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Careers In Culture
Film and Broadcasting - What You Need to Know
Focus On Tomorrow
On this page:
- New opportunities
- The all-round performer
- Needed: Arts Administrators / Managers
- Build your skills
- Copyright: Do You Own Your Art?
Technology + Talent = A Great Mix!
Computerization is changing the way many people in film and broadcasting careers do their work. Some actors now wear body mics that are hooked to computerized sound systems. Specialized software is being used for all aspects of production from scriptwriting, to costume design, to musical scoring. Animation and special effects programs are central to many of today's film and television programming. Radio, film and television editing is now completely digitized so that technicians can cut, mix and add elements by computer.
New media and the Internet are creating new performance markets. If you dream of working in film or broadcasting, make sure that you keep your computer skills up to date. These are key to the career of your choice.
Establish Yourself at Film or Video Festivals
Although the process of submitting your feature film, documentary, or video to a local or international film festival can be time-consuming and costly, the marketing rewards can be well worth it. Valuable exposure is gained when your work is juried and selected for screening at local, national or prestigious international film festivals such as the Toronto Film Festival. It is here that you can garner valuable media coverage, establish your credentials and attract key players in the industry.
Find Out About Distribution Channels
The competitive world of film and broadcasting requires you to seek a Canadian distributor who will find the right markets for your work. You need to learn about how films and broadcasts are distributed, what royalties and rights you can expect, and how to take advantage of secondary markets that may evolve from your project, like the original soundtrack from your first feature film.
The all-round performer
If you're a performer, you will usually spend years in training to perfect your art. Building your knowledge as a professional by auditioning, researching opportunities and keeping at the top of your form requires a great deal of energy. You may find yourself so immersed in your field of performance that you lose sight of the rest of the world. However, while hard work and discipline must be part of your life, great performances usually come from people who remain curious and connected to other people. By seeking life experiences outside your immediate circle of performance-related friends, you grow as an artist and your art has more depth and content. Keep connected with the world, and it will provide you with many different opportunities in your field and outside of it.
Needed: Arts Administrators / Managers
Many creative people don’t think they’d like business, while many commerce types don’t think of culture as a business even though they enjoy the arts. The result? Arts organizations are looking for creative, business-oriented people who love the world of “studio, stage and screen.”
Use this checklist to determine whether arts administration or management could be the career path for you.
Build your skills
Your talent and creativity are what make you a "natural" for a career in film and broadcasting. But your skills - the knowledge you get from training and experience - are key to finding and getting work in this demanding environment.
Be a Multi-Skilled Worker
Being multi-skilled means that you're versatile and have transferable skills that would be useful in many different settings. For example, you could be the sound technician for a movie and use your technical skills in a live radio broadcast. Or you could be the cinematographer for an indie film and a camera operator in a television series. Be multi-skilled and you'll be in demand!
Use Your Transferable Skills
Do you have good communication skills? Are you disciplined? How about your teamwork skills? These types of skills are in demand in every career path. Build these transferable skills, and you'll find opportunities open to you no matter what you decide to do!
Copyright: Do You Own Your Art?
Protecting your copyright – your ownership of the film, broadcast or video you create or produce – has become increasingly important and complex. Negotiating agreements between creators and producers has become less clear-cut, where both parties may attempt to retain all but specified rights or licenses, or some artists may wish to negotiate a license for each specific use. New media and technologies (such as iPODs and websites filled with user-generated content) have made the digital distribution of copyrighted material much easier but the protection of your copyright immeasurably harder. In addition, Canada's copyright legislation is under review, and international negotiations on copyright issues are ongoing, creating an uncertain climate for creators and producers alike.
Film and broadcasting organizations and professional associations are important sources for up-to-date information on copyright protection, negotiations and legislation.
Check out these websites:
- ACTRA-PRS: ACTRA's Performers Rights Society, administers neighbouring rights and private copying rights for sound recordings (www.actra.ca/actra).
- Access Copyright (www.accesscopyright.ca).
- Artisti: Formed by Union des artistes, is a management collective that protects performer member's rights and royalties (www.uniondesartistes.com).
- Association des producteurs de films et de télévision du Québec, APFTQ (www.apftq.qc.ca).
- Canadian Actors' Equity Association (Equity) (www.caea.com).
- Canadian Film & Television Production Association, CFTPA (www.cftpa.ca).
- Canadian Heritage's information on copyright (www.canadianheritage.gc.ca/pc-ch/sujets-subjects/artsculture/droit-copyright/index_e.cfm)
- Canadian Intellectual Property Office's copyright guide (http://strategis.ic.gc.ca/sc_mrksv/cipo/cp/copy_gd_main-e.html)
- Canadian Musical Reproduction Rights Agency, CMRRA (www.cmrra.ca).
- Copyright Central (www.copyrightcentral.ca/collective.htm).
- Creators Rights Alliance (www.cra-adc.ca), especially for international rights.
- Industry Canada 's information on intellectual property (www.ic.gc.ca/cmb/welcomeic.nsf/ICPages/SubjectIntellectua lProperty)
- International Trade Canada's Virtual Trade Commissioner (www.infoexport.gc.ca).
- SOCAN: Society of Composers, Authors and Music Publishers of Canada (www.socan.ca).
- Société de droits de reproduction des auteurs, compositeurs et éditeurs du Québec (www.sodrac.com).