For Career Counsellors
Take a chance on me
Hello and welcome! Do you know a passionate performer, a technically minded student who can fix almost anything or a budding costume designer standing before you looking for career advice?
Students can gain a better understanding of the variety of roles available in film and television through the specific career sections on the Creative Pathways’ Careers section. This provides a general overview of specific roles from screenwriter, cook, camera operator, accountant and more:
- Above the Line/Creative Entrepreneurs,
- Below the Line/Professional Craftspeople & Technicians,
- Animation/Visual Effects/Post Production/Creative Tech
- Film adjacent careers
Career Exploration Quizzes
If students are still unsure of what area they’d like to pursue, there are useful tools to narrow down their focus based on their passions, skills and knowledge:
Skills, Training, Workshops
There are a number of independent filmmaking societies, film festivals and service providers throughout the province which may have youth specific workshops and educational offerings such as:
- Okanagan Society of Independent Filmmaking
- Cineworks (Vancouver)
- Cinevic (Victoria)
- Cinekids (Victoria)
- YKA Film Society (Kamloops)
- Mastermind Studios (Kelowna)
- Cinevolution Media Arts Society (Richmond)
B.C. has 8 provincially-funded regional film commissions. For the film commissions in your area which may also have resources specific to your locale, visit the region page here.
- Reel 2 Real Film Festival Elementary School Programs – school programs for students in Grades 4-7
- DigiBC – Digicamp Youth Summer Programs
- Reel Canada (national)
- Reel Opportunities Program (Aged 15-30)- Schools can sign-up for a free, one-hour online presentation by Reel Canada’s Reel Opportunities Program for youth aged 15 and above. Reel Canada facilitators will provide an overview of career paths in Canadian film and will feature a working film industry professional speaking about their own experiences in a specific area of interest. If you would like to access a pre-recorded session, you can do so by clicking here
- Reel Canada also offers specialized catalogues and learning modules for the classroom
- Reel 2 Real Festival – BC based, Reel to Real: A Celebration of Moving Images for Youth Society, online festival that creates elementary and high school level resources/study guides for films playing at the festival in addition to a number of online high school programs such as the Jury Program.
- Pacific Cinematheque (Vancouver) – Offers interactive workshops for schools and has put on in person Cinelab workshops specifically geared towards youth aged 14-19.
- Reel Youth is a media empowerment project that delivers community development programs to youth and adults across Canada and internationally. Reel Youth offers programming from film production, Claymation, documentaries and short film partnerships.
- Out in Schools – Out In Schools is BC’s award-winning 2SLGBTQIA+ education program that uses film and facilitated group discussion to engage youth in building safer, more inclusive communities.
A variety of schools and organizations offer media specific programs for youth such as:
- Digital Media Academy (DMA) – in North Vancouver School District, based at École Argyle Secondary School, produces an annual Expo
- Delta Film Academy
- Templeton Secondary After School Film Program (ASFP)
- Richmond Youth Media Program
Growing numbers of post-secondary schools are offering microcredential courses to meet the demand of motion picture, in addition to part-time or full-time programs. For a list of post-secondary schools with motion picture training visit the Creative BC Knowledge Hub.
The Motion Picture Industry Orientation Course is an introductory orientation course for job seekers and those interested in the motion picture industry. As one of the major courses required for unions and guild membership, it may be useful for students to take this course to better prepare themselves for this industry and to learn how to start on the right foot on their first day on set.
Visit the Creative Pathways Opportunities to find out information about upcoming jobs, webinars, training opportunities and so much more.
Microcredential courses for motion picture roles can be a another route to gain valuable skills, knowledge and abilities needed to enter into the industry. The StrongerBC future skills grant provides funding to British Columbians aged 19 years or older – regardless of financial need – to take eligible short-term skills training at public post-secondary institutions, covering up to $3,500. Learn more about which institutions and courses are available to access the grant through the StrongerBC website.
Student Film Festivals & Grants
- Reel 2 Real Festival
- Reel Youth
- BC Student Film Festival
- Telus Storyhive
- Filmcan (Victoria Film Festival)
- Women in Animation Scholarship Program (post-secondary)
Internships & Finding Work
Students should do some research on the internet to find local companies and then reach out via email or in person to ask about potential internships. As a heads up, the larger, more recognizable productions in the lower mainland usually cannot accept unpaid volunteers or interns as there are liability/safety issues as well as union hiring practices to negotiate.
Student and independent film makers with small budgets are often looking for volunteers and sometimes volunteer job postings can also be found online. Careful research and being tenacious in pursuing possible internship positions will be the key to success! There may be internship postings available on the Creative Pathways Opportunities Page.
If working on set may not be possible, consider reaching out to local film societies or film related organizations which more readily accept volunteers and have an established program. This can still act as a networking opportunity and lens into the different careers available in the motion picture industry, including several film adjacent roles.
- For listings of motion picture related businesses, companies and more, explore the Creative BC Knowledge Hub.
- There are also listings of the Commerical industry here through CPAWC (Commercial Producers Association of Western Canada) and the CMPA (Canada Media Producers Association).
- For more general tips about finding work and what resources are available, click here to get a broader understanding.
- Social Media tends to be a popular place for the motion picture community to post volunteer and/or work opportunities that are non-union. Click here to access a general list of popular Facebook pages.
- Industry associations may have student placements available, such as the CMPA’s Student Work Placement Program.
General Skills, Knowledge and Abilities Resources
Learn about Above-the-Line careers
Learn about Below-the-Line careers