Producer & Director Talk with Ryan Northcott

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Producer & Director Talk with Ryan Northcott

Panoramic Media was founded by Ryan Northcott, award-winning producer and director born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta. With over eight years experience in the production industry, Ryan has amassed dozens of screen credits, hundreds of hours of produced content, and a few awards and recognitions along the way.

So in 2020, Panoramic was born – a full service production agency based here in Alberta. As Ryan continues to produce high quality commercial, documentary and narrative content under this new brand, his long-term vision is to produce stories with heart and unique perspectives while helping put Alberta on the map for high-end film and digital content creation.


Producers, directors, choreographers and professionals in related occupations oversee and control the technical and artistic aspects of film, television, video game, radio, dance and theatre productions. They are employed by film production companies, radio and television stations, video game companies, broadcast departments, advertising companies, sound recording studios, record production companies and dance companies. They may also be self-employed.

Job Forecast

In order to determine the expected outlook of an occupation, the magnitude of the difference between the projected total numbers of new job seekers and job openings over the whole projection period (2019-2028) is analyzed in conjunction with an assessment of labour market conditions in recent years. The intention is to determine if recent labour market conditions (surplus, balance or shortage) are expected to persist or change over the period 2019-2028. For instance, if the analysis of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was insufficient to fill the job openings (a shortage of workers) in an occupational group in recent years, the projections are used to assess if this situation will continue over the projection period or if the occupation will move towards balanced conditions.

Over the 2016-2018 period, employment in this occupational group grew strongly. The unemployment rate increased slightly to reach 4.1% in 2018, below the national average of 5.8%. However, the unemployment rate for this occupation has been historically below the average of all occupations, mainly because about 60% of the workers are self-employed. The increase in the number of unemployed workers, coupled with a low and stable number of job openings, led to a surge in the number of available workers to fill those vacancies. The mixed signals of key labour market indicators suggests that the number of job seekers was sufficient to fill the job openings in this occupational group.

For Producers, directors, choreographers and related occupations & Conductors, composers and arrangers, over the period 2019-2028, new job openings (arising from expansion demand and replacement demand) are expected to total 11,300 , while 11,500 new job seekers (arising from school leavers, immigration and mobility) are expected to be available to fill them.

As job openings and job seekers are projected to be at relatively similar levels over the 2019-2028 period, the balance between labour supply and demand seen in recent years is expected to continue over the projection period. About half of job openings are expected to result from retirements. The retirement rate is notably lower than the average for all occupations as workers in this occupational group typically retire substantially later in their career relative to workers in other occupations. New jobs are expected to account for almost a third of the demand, on par with the employment growth observed during the 2009-2018 period. Job creation in this occupational group largely depends on the growth of consumer spending in the recreational sector, specifically movies and TV shows. Over the projection period, employment growth is thus expected to be stimulated by the higher demand for recreational services coming from an aging population. The increased popularity of watching video on mobile devices will also lead to growth in the Canadian online entertainment media industries, stimulating work opportunities for these workers. Additionally, the growth in the motion picture industry, notably from the increased production of American movies in Canada, will further strengthen demand in these occupations.

Employment Requirements

A university degree or college diploma in the performing arts, broadcasting, journalism, business administration, theatre production or film studies and Experience in a technical or production occupation in motion pictures, broadcasting or theatre are usually required.

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Complete Episode Transcript

Many barriers, like so many funding, you know, everyone’s like, where do I get money for my thing, you know.

So the barriers are infinite, but a good producer just kind of looks at, you know, those solutions.

How are we going to step through this and get this to the finish line.

Coming up next, The Job Talk Podcast shares stories from people who are passionate and love what they do in their careers.

Through conversation, we explore their careers, past work experiences and the education that got them to where they are now.

We are putting together a Career Crisis Ultimate Interview series.

We are asking experts to give their best advice and guidance around work anxiety career pressures, career goal setting, and ultimately career transformation.

To learn more about this special interview series and get notified when it’s available, please visit our web page at Today’s guest is Ryan Northcott.

Here’s our Job Talk with a producer and director.

When did you decide to pursue a career as a producer director.

Were you ever in any other industries.

I haven’t worked in any other industries.

I mean, career wise other than film.

I have you know, I had jobs through school, obviously high school, university, that type of thing. But I never I never thought I would be in film, not because I didn’t want to, just because I didn’t think it was like an avenue for me.

Like I, you know, I love what everyone loves, you know, their shows and their movies that they like.

And and I was always kind of fascinated with how it was done.

But at the same time, I never really, you know, saw myself in that world.

And this is, you know, I’m talking about when I was in school, in university and going back to high school.

So I kind of happened into it a little bit accidentally.

Just a family friend of ours had started a production company and she had recently left her production company that she had worked for her her whole career and to start her own.

And and I had just graduated from university.

And so there was kind of a chance meeting almost.

She had said, Oh, I just started this thing up looking to, you know, make a business plan.

So I was like, okay, I’m going to business school.

And we did that a couple of times.

So let’s, let’s do it, you know, don’t pay me anything.

I just want to do something on spec.

Like, if it’s, if it’s good, then I don’t know if you want to throw me a few bucks, whatever.

I didn’t think anything of it really at that time, to be honest.

So, yeah, I jammed it out and, and yeah, eventually it led to me being hired there to basically do business development, which is kind of a funny term and a small film production company I’m noticing now.

But that was kind of it, you know, find clients, market the company, build, build the brand up.

So it started with redoing the website, redoing the logo, build the brand up a little bit, start, start, you know, Instagram, Facebook, that type of thing.

Yeah, it was your.

Sorry to interrupt you.

It was your university education business.

Was it around business? Yeah.

So my question would be, did you have formal education on the actual skill of being a camera operator editing.

No. None was all learned on the job.


Which to me, you know, I mean, it has its pressing cons, obviously.

I feel I felt like I had to learn everything by failing it like two, three, four times to actually figure out, okay, like this is how you know this needs to be done.


You know, like, I took like film100 in first year where we, you know, watch Blade Runner and write a thesis on it.

It’s like, okay.

But even at that point, I didn’t really like it.

It was cool cause I could be wrong, but I didn’t even think I would be in this in this line of work. So.

Yeah, no, no formal training, nothing like that.


I first met you because where I was working, we hired to bring you in to get some aerial footage of the campus.

Mm hmm.

And that.

That seemed like that was your your business model.

Do you think you could have sustained just a business where you were a drone pilot, or did you have to diversify and focus on, you know, more offerings like production offerings.

Could you have just lasted and sustained yourself being a drone photographer.

Yeah, I believe so.

I think about that quite a bit, actually, just because we had kind of pioneered it in Edmonton at least, and if not in Alberta, in terms of like actually using these things for film and photography.

Like, I don’t know of many if any people doing, doing it professionally and marketing it that way before us.

In fact, we kind of marketed it before I was even really ready to be used to the capacity that, you know, it should be because the technology just wasn’t there.

But we said, okay, let’s just do this because it’s going to be, you know, we thought it was going to be a cool new thing.

And all credit to Paulina who’s who I spoke about, who gave me my my shot at graphics.

You know, she kind of said, hey, like, this is going to be cool.

We should buy one, check it out, see if it gives us anything.

And so all credit to her for kind of, you know, kickstarting that.

But I do think that it has its own space in the production world.

I do think that, you know, there are companies out there that have done reasonably well offering drone services.

I would probably expand it more to include things like mapping and surveying things like that.

Yeah, because that’s where it seems like the big contracts are.

But I do still think that, you know, if you’re just a one man show and you want to carve out an okay living that you can, you know, do okay, flying drones for a living could do a lot.

Yeah, the technology around drones amazes me because in 2000 or 2001, the school I was working for sent me up in a helicopter.

And, you know, I took I took my Sony DV camcorder at the time and I was looking through the viewfinder.

I don’t know how it even passed because I was holding the camera while I was leaning outside of the helicopter and of the the harness that was attached to me was tight. And when you’re looking through the viewfinder, you’re kind of you’re not really recognizing any of the dangers around you.

You’re just focused on the shot.

By the way, the footage I took was garbage.

It was out of focus and shaky.

But when I realized that the harness was tight and that’s the only thing that was holding me into the helicopter, it took me about 5 minutes for myself to kind of lean back in, to be into the helicopter, to be safe.

And I was worried about my shoe falling off and killing some students below us.

But I you know, I don’t want to focus too much on the drones, but technology, how much would somebody have to invest into buying a drone to do it professionally, do you think? Not.

Not heaps, honestly.

Like I think the main thing that I’ve learned just as it’s progressed is that it doesn’t like a lot of production companies and last shows coming to town or corporate videos or whoever’s going to hire you, they, they don’t really know or care about, you know, they’re not going to pixel peep the footage.

They don’t care about quality, like they care about quality for sure.

But, you know, if it’s, if it’s a cool movement and you can capture like that part of the story, like they don’t care, but they shot a, you know, a mini or, you know, miter x three with, you know, a DSLR or, you know, red Komodo on it.


So to me, I think, you know, if you’re looking to get into it’s hard, harder to get into now just because, you know, there’s there’s a few companies around.

But if you’re good at flying, you know, start with a mac pro like they’re not crazy expensive and you can get a pretty nice image and and, you know, just get good at doing cinematic movements.


That was part of the benefit that, that we brought to the table was coming from a cinematography background and a producing and directing and generally a video production background is a lot of those guys came from, you know, the RC world.


So they’re used to flying helicopters, like little helicopters, planes, that type of thing.

And which is infinitely more difficult than flying a drone for sure.

But and you know, so they had the technical knowledge and skill of flying, but without that feel for, you know, what we’re trying to do with that, with the shot, you know, the I guess kind of maybe one in a different direction and one more towards, you know, mapping things like that.

So the world is, you know, the the drone world is not definitely fully saturated, but, you know, you have to kind of almost pick like, okay, well, where do I want to start.

you have to kind of almost pick like, okay, well, where do I want to start.

What do I want to do.

Cinematography, photography, you know, mapping, that type of thing. And yeah, I guess it just starts start small.


You can get a phantom RTK if you want to do, you know, geotagging and stuff like that for about ten grand.

And that would be kind of your cost of entry.

You have to do bigger contract stuff.

You get a Mavic for a thousand bucks and go, you know, burn some cool cinematic stuff.

So yeah, I mean, Sky’s the limit, right.

Did you do you have to get certified to be a drone pilot and do it professionally.

Yeah. Oh, yeah, yeah.

The the rules have shifted a lot over the years.

It’s know at the beginning it it became a huge fad and everybody was doing it, you know, everyone was buying a drone.


And the regulatory system just couldn’t really keep up with it.

And then you’d hear all these news stories and it’s all over the news.

You know, drone comes in close contact at Edmonton Airport, flying at 10,000 feet or something.

Not 10,000, but 2000 feet or something.

So it just became like this crazy thing and they couldn’t keep up Transport Canada It couldn’t keep up.

So they kind of clamped down and made it very difficult for a number of years to get certified.

Now it’s a lot easier two types of licenses.

Basic advanced basic involves an online test, advanced involves same test as well as a field test.

And it’s not terribly difficult.

It just involves a lot of prep and a lot of yeah.

Just just studying and knowledge of the Canadian aviation regulations.

So nothing crazy but definitely, definitely has freed up a lot of opportunities for people that the system’s a lot easier to get into now.

Can you talk about your production company now, the name of it and the types of projects that you’re working on.

Sure, yeah.

So I started Panoramic Media about two and a bit years ago.

I kind of I’m trying to focus into three different worlds with it.

One would be original content productions, so that would be kind of my own projects that I would produce or co-produce with others, you know, bring ideas across across the desk, mainly scripted content.

That’s kind of, you know, what I enjoy doing the most is, you know, directing, producing, scripted content, just, you know, finding cool stories, finding cool scripts and and yeah, seeing them through to fruition.

Now, the other, I guess, panoramic media as a whole, you know, we do everything live action, corporate, commercial, a bit of agency work, bit of everything really.

And then there’s the drone side.

So originally it was panoramic drone and now I’ve just kind of rebranded it to Drone.

Alberta mainly because the domain name became available.

And so that has just kind of recently launched, I guess you could say, and that would be obviously just catering to the to the drone market.

So a lot of, you know, international productions coming to town, looking for an operator, you know, longer term projects, construction projects, things like that.

And then, you know, whatever locally needs to be done and helping out too with friends on their films and their docs and things like that.

So three kind of, you know, branches, I guess, if you will, to to panoramic.


Do you see yourself more as a producer or a director.

And when you’re answering that, can you tell our listeners what the difference is between a producer and a director.

Yeah, I think so.

I read a super I read a really funny quote and I won’t attempt to to rip it off of the person who said it because I think they were quoting someone else.

But in Katrina, a well-known local producer here in Edmonton said this.

So I thought it was pretty funny.

A producer has to plan the best party for themselves possible, but doesn’t actually get to go, though producing to me is you know, you take that idea, you take that, you know, the script at the core and you basically will it into existence.

You know, you have creative producers, you have producers more on the financing side.

It’s obviously a big world.

I mean, there would be more executive producer, obviously, but it all kind of blends together if you’re making the if you’re bringing that script to life, you are a producer.

If you’re part of that puzzle. Yeah.

You know, directing is obviously a well, maybe not obviously, but to me, directing is more of the creative interpretation of that script.

And, you know, whether you’re hired as a director or whether you, you know, wrote the script to direct it or whether you’re directing someone else’s script, it’s your creative vision that is going to, you know, make that film what it is.


So, you know, in a lot of cases, obviously there’s a lot of crossover.

You know, for me, I would produce and direct certain product projects.

To me, I would only direct them or produce them or depending on, you know, what’s needed.

But I wouldn’t say I lean towards one over the other in terms of like preference.

I mean, I love directing. I love getting out there on set.

I love, you know, working with people.

I love working with talented people who I just vibe with creatively.

That to me is, is my favorite part.

I think about working in this industry is, you know, building that team or, you know, finding that team that can really just mesh with and they complement you, you complement them and you can, you know, see it come to life.

And it’s, you know, it’s cliche, but it’s magic.

It’s it’s to me, it’s, it’s, yeah, really cool.

So yeah, I mean, I would say historically, experience wise, I’ve traditionally been more of a producer.

It goes to my business background.

I’ve, you know, learned and worked on more of that nuts and bolts.

I have, you know, definitely more of that macro 30,000 foot view where all of these pieces need to come together to make this happen.

Where I would say directing is is a little more micro.

It’s a little more I’m worried about the script.

This is how we’re going to bring this to life, you know, in a unique way or hopefully unique way.


What qualities in a person make a great director and a great producer.

It’s it’s hard to say.

I think, you know, for producing just willpower is the main thing I’ve seen projects that I for example you spoke with Adam Scorgie, you know yeah he can maybe not as much now because he’s a lot more recognized.

And, you know, networks trust him and they say, okay, you know, yeah, you’ve knocked a lot a lot of stuff out of the park.

So here, off you go.

But I know even historically like you know he would will projects into existence you know I learned a lot from Don Metz.

And you know, I was alongside or at least partially involved in some of those projects that he straight up willed into existence.

Yeah, I you’re like, now we’re doing this and I’m not taking no for an answer.


I don’t have as much as many of those qualities.

I will admit that right now.

Yeah, I think it just comes down to you saying this is a great idea.

I believe it’s a great idea.

I have enough conviction to, you know, see that and enough vision to just see it through and say, hey, we’re going to make this happen.

Yeah, there’s so.

Many barriers, like so many funding, you know, everyone’s like, where do I get money for my thing, you know.

So the barriers are infinite, but a good producer just kind of looks at, you know, those solutions.

How are we going to step through this and get this to the finish line.

Let’s say good director.

I mean, I’ve I’ve directed a few things.

I wouldn’t you know, I wouldn’t say I’m nearly on the level as many others in the province country nationwide, obviously. But and I’ve worked with a lot of directors in doc world and narrative world and it’s tough to get a like they’re all so different it seems like you know some are very quiet and and almost they get a whisper and they’ll kind of just work with their AD.

And you almost don’t even know what they’re thinking and what’s going on.

And, and yet they just kind of flow through it.

Some are like loud and in your face.

And, you know, I want to want to be the the guy or the girl on set.

And and you can tell kind of have that ego, but they have it for a reason because they are successful.

They know how to make things their way and they know how to get it done.

So Director is a bit of a wild card. I mean, I’m very collaborative.

I know at a at a minimum level, a good director has to be collaborative.

You have to be you have to you know, your team doesn’t have to be friends with you, but they have to respect you.

You have to be, you know, respected by your crew in order to get the best result possible.

So it’s managing this a lot of different a lot of different things and but at the same time, not compromising on, you know, what your vision is because other people are always, you know, always going to say, oh, well, what if we just did it this way.

It’ll be cheaper. Yeah.

You know, producers would say that or DP would say, oh, what if we, you know, did it this way.

Maybe the light’s a little better this time or whatever.

And those are all maybe good ideas.

But at the same time, having that conviction to say, no, this is this is my vision, this is how it’s going to happen, I think every director needs to have that while still being open to ideas.

But knowing that this is what it takes to get it done and then getting it done.


What are some of your specific challenges day to day.

And maybe once you start talking about some of your challenges, have you experienced any failures and what have you learned from from those lessons.

I think day to day, you know, I’m running a pretty small shop.

I you can probably tell I’m just in my office, in my house.

So the whole entrepreneurship side of it has had its ups and downs.

I mean, you know, for example, without going into too too much detail, you know, the first year panoramic was around was like everything broke right for me.

Like it was weird.

Like I was, you know, getting calls on heaps of stuff, cool stuff, like really cool opportunities.

Got funding for my second short film, which, you know, not easy to get that amount of funding for for a short.

So everything was going right for me and I was almost like, okay, when’s the shoe going to drop? So and that was kind of this year, not to say everything’s gone wrong and has it.

I’ve had a good year, but definitely this year it’s it’s forced me to kind of just get back on that hustle and just say, okay, it’s not just coming in and I have to deal with it.

It’s now like I haven’t I haven’t done a lot of as many corporate productions this year in commercial like agency work and things like that.


And it’s makes you, it keeps you up at night, you know, it’s not that that’s I’m still doing okay, I’m still doing well with the drone business and I’m still making enough to get by.

But it’s more of that like, Oh, did I do something wrong.

Like when, if they like me anymore, like why are they calling.

And then, you know, like, I don’t know what to do. So, you know, and it’s just forced me to, to think about, okay, well, how am I going to improve my networking.

How am I going to improve my client interaction.

How am I going to do that type of thing.

Because I didn’t have to worry about that in the first year.

So that’s been I think the biggest struggle is just adapting to that entrepreneurial kind of mindset where, you know, you got to kill what you eat type of thing and you know, kill anything you’re not eating.

So how are we going to keep those relationships going.

How are we going to continue to push the envelope of, you know, my own creative content because that’s your biggest asset marketing wise, what you can produce.

So that’s been kind of the biggest challenge, I would say failures.

I don’t know. It’s hard to say.

I, I can’t think of anything recently where I’ve been like, oh, I really dropped the ball on that one.

Yeah, you suck it.

So it’s, it’s hard to say.

I feel like, you know, I feel like I’ve done some, some cool stuff.

I feel like I’ve done some good work.

So it’s hard for me to to think about failures, especially since starting since starting panoramic.

You know, you can look at things like, you know, not getting into a film festival you want to get into.

And you know that I can keep you down.

I can get you down, especially if, you know, it’s something that you’ve maybe gotten into before and you feel like this projects a lot better.

So that kind of thing, you know, bugs you a little.

But at the same time, you know, it’s such a fickle game.

Yeah, that and there’s not a lot of loyalty in, in some aspects.

So it’s you can’t get too down on yourself based on, you know, the perception of others and critics and things like that.

Because yeah, it’ll just paralyze you into never wanting to do anything again.


You know, you just mentioned I was actually going to ask you I’ll ask you this and then I’ll ask what I just thought of.

Have you ever crashed one of your drones.

That would have pretty significant failure.

You have crashed.

If you crashed it. Yeah. Yeah.

And was that operator error or was that technology here.

You know, back in the day, the drones didn’t have the failsafe that they have now. Right.

And when they started to come out with those fail safes, they often didn’t really even like work that well, to be honest.

So there are a couple equipment, like equipment errors for sure.

You know, you know, could you partially blame yourself for getting into that situation where you needed to use a failsafe? Sure.

Yeah, but but yeah.

So I would chalk up a couple to equipment.

A couple for sure.

You know, the, the nature of it is you want to push push it, you want to push what you can do, you know, so you start getting longer lenses on a drone, you start flying through tighter spots, you start tracking things faster.


And you know, you’re bound to something happen.

I’m, I’m actually quite pleased with my track record of being what it is because I’ve done, you know, hundreds and hundreds of of flights and have never crashed.

I don’t like a paid or a corporate or a doc or a narrative.

Never on anything.

High stakes like that, only on, you know, my own kind of personal learning and and trying things.

So there’s your answer to that.

So I try to be professional, but also try, push, push the boundaries a little.


You had mentioned critics and I work as a video shooter, an editor as well.

How do you handle constructive criticism or how do you handle comments from critics.

You have a thick skin.

I think so. I think, you know, it’s important to know, you know, where that’s coming from.

So there are certain people I mean, one of the quotes everyone here is that or everyone knows it.

But if you wouldn’t take advice from that person, why would you take criticism from them.

Yeah. So there’s definitely that type of situation where but pretty rarely, I mean, I’m, I’m kind of known as like, you know, I don’t get too high, I don’t get too low in terms of trying keep an even keel regardless of anything.

Like if the production is burning down, it’s like, okay, now it’s burning down.

We’re going to have to put out the fire and rebuild it.

So I don’t get too worked up about stuff like that.

I mean, it is it is definitely one of those things where as an artist and speaking of the artistic side of it, as someone who does artistic work, you know, that’s validated by other people, right.

The quality of that, that art or whatever.

Because you know, yeah, when you want to go to a film festival, you want to show people, you want to show your friends, you want to you know, you want people to say, Oh, that was that was cool.

And I mean it, you know? Yeah.

So to me, it’s it’s one of those things where, you know, you’re going to get criticism from others if it’s constructive and if it is from someone that I respect in the industry, then I take it to heart for sure.


You have to you have to understand that this person has, you know, more experience.

You might not agree with it, but you have to respect it.

I think so.


I don’t get I don’t I feel like I don’t have too much of an ego, you know, on set and in production, you know, in production and things like that.

Because I know what I don’t know and I know that at the end of the day I’m not that great.

I can organize things and people and drive towards a result.

But, you know, directing creative, artistic, wise, I’m definitely less experienced than many, many, many, many people out there.


So yeah, you have to take criticism if it’s from someone that you respect and that’s the only way that you can really, you know, learn something and grow from it.


Out of all of your productions to date, what are what when film are you most proud of.

A tomato can for sure.

That’s been. It’s my newest short.


It’ll be premiering at an international next month, so I was pretty stoked on it I think.

You know, obviously you look back and you know, there’s things you would always change.

There’s things that logistically you just couldn’t do at the time, whether it was for a lack of organization and that specific part or whether it was for, you know, curve ball, you’re always getting a curve ball.

So how are you going to deal with them.


So, you know, there’s obviously things you would change, but at the same time for how it came together, for the performances that, you know, we were able to get, I was pretty, pretty happy with it at the end of the day.

And what is it about.

What is that short about.


So it’s it’s a short film about an aging boxer or past his prime who is essentially paid to go into the ring to lose.


So it’s kind of a not really talked about side, kind of uglier side of the sport that, you know, in the early days of a fighter’s career when they’re young, 18, 19, 20, and they go pro from amateur, if they want to go anywhere in the sport, they have to have a good record.

And you can’t get a good record by getting thrown in against the heavyweight champ in your first fight.

So you build up that confidence and you have steppingstones to building that up.

And these stepping stones are people who get punched in the face for a living.


So I always thought that was really interesting, you know, how to humanize that character.

And I met a lot of these these people we had done with Gruvpix, we had done two seasons of a boxing documentary about the local boxing scene in Edmonton.

And so I met a lot of these people who, like, grind harder than anybody and have day jobs.

You know, they go work on the rigs or they go do this and that have families.

And yet they love fighting.

They love to box.

And they they know they’re not going to win.

They’re not supposed to win nothing.

They don’t try, but they know that that’s what their job is. And so it’s it’s that was really interesting to me.

And so I wanted to write something about that.

What has surprised you most throughout your career, do you think.

It surprised me most.

That’s hard to say. I, I don’t know.

I think I’m always surprised by the talent of creative people here in Edmonton, and we don’t get a good enough rep for it.

Like we don’t get a good enough.

We don’t get respect for that.

We really don’t.

Yeah, and I can say that based on evidence, you know, the people that I’ve worked with and in this world, in the film world, you know, they can do stuff that stands up with anything out there in the world.

We just often don’t have the resources or the respect to be asked to do that.

A lot of times if there’s a production, like I say, a big production by a big Alberta agency and they will hire, you know, a director from New York who hires DP from Montreal who are highly hire his crew from Vancouver.

And then, you know, and that doesn’t need to happen.

So I don’t need to go on a whole rant about that.

You can ask me about that if you want.

But the the thing that surprises me most is that there are such talented creatives and actors and artists here, and it surprises me that they don’t get the respect that they deserve.

If you could summarize what you love about being in the production industry, what would you say.

I think you know, what I love the most about being in this industry is just having friends and having talented people that you can do fun stuff with.

Like it’s fun to make movies.

Like, I don’t care what anyone says, it’s hard work, but it’s fun.

It’s it’s cool to see, even if it’s not your idea, even if it’s, you know, someone else’s script or whatever.

Like it’s cool.

Even if it’s a corporate video, you know.

Okay, some of them are boring, but, you know, try it, you know, you can always try and make it cool in your own way.

Maybe no one will appreciate it, but you know, you have to try and make it cool in your own way. So I think that’s the fun part is just saying, hey, like, like, how are we going to do this.

What are we going to how are we going to get it done and find the people to make it happen and bringing them together and and cooperating on something and and going out there and, you know, setting it all up, lighting it all and stuff and trying new things.

That’s the fun part to me.

You know, I love being out there on set. I love being on location.

I love working with people who I think are more talented than I am artistically and getting them to buy into this idea.

And then making it happen and just seeing it kind of come to life.

You know, you’re not always going to be happy with the end result.

And then but that’s how you learn, right.

And you figure out, okay, well, what went wrong there.

Was it communication, was it resources, blah, blah, blah, and figure out how to do it better next time.

So that to me is the most the most fun part.


There’s an episode of Family Guy where Peter is asking his friend Quagmire, who’s a commercial pilot, and Peter asks him the question, How do you land a 747 and quagmire response.

You want me to explain to you how to land a 747 So in the spirit of that idea, I’m wondering if there’s any advice you could give to that creative person out there that has a fantastic documentary idea but doesn’t know how to get started.

What kind of advice could you give that person.

Well, I think the biggest thing is, you know, the film community here and I’ve touched on this, but the film community here is is unbelievable.

And people that you think, you know, might be out of reach because they’ve done some really cool stuff.

The Adams Scorgies of the World, like the you know, the bigger producers here here in Edmonton, like they’re always willing to.

Well, in my experience, now that I’ve talked to all of them, but I get the vibe, I get the feel that they’re always willing to chat, they’re always willing to like to some degree, mentor or at least put you on the right path.

I would say build that network, talk to the right people.

Don’t necessarily go in guns blazing.

And I got this idea like, let’s make it happen.

Get a feel for the industry, get a feel for how things are made, do your research and then just talk to the right people and when it comes up in conversation or however you want to bring it up and then be open, be open to what they have to say and whether it’s this is, you know, this idea is never going to work.

No one would say that.

But you know what I mean.

Whatever whatever they say or whatever kind of interaction you have, I would say use that to kind of fuel you moving moving forward and do your research on the grants available.

Find find out a game plan for how to get something made.

You know, a lot of people want to go do a feature doc or a series right off the bat and they are just like, this is the form and it has to be this way.

But there are a lot of opportunities for short project, short films.

Then you can do more damage on a smaller budget when the project’s 15 minutes versus 60 or 90 minutes.

So I often say, Well, maybe look at that first.

How can you do this shorter.

How can you maybe do that as a proof of concept and then use funding to make something shorter and then build that up so that people can see what you can do.

So there’s so many avenues.

There’s some great avenues for funding, great community here.

Everybody is always willing to give you a time to chat and so just get involved in the network, get involved in the groups, get involved even just on Facebook, get involved in those groups and just kind of find your way through the process.

It’s not easy.

You have to definitely grind it out.

But at the end of the day, it’s it’s even if it doesn’t come to life.

Your project, it’s worth it based on those connections that you’re going to make and based on that knowledge that you’re going to get.

That’s great advice.

Congratulations on a successful career and to this to this point and I wish you the best of luck moving forward.

And thank you for joining us today.

Thank you, Kim. Appreciate it.

I’m glad we got to link up and catch up for a little bit below.

So appreciate you having me. It’s been fun.

Thank you for tuning into The Job Talk Podcast.

For more information, please visit us at Our podcast music was created by our friend Mike Malone in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

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