Upgrades to a database of workers in the Northern Ontario film and television industry are designed to help them connect with producers filming in the region.
Cultural Industries Ontario North (CION) announced on Feb. 10 that it’s spent $20,000 to improve the online tool, which features listings for more than 1,000 workers, including everyone from photography directors to locations managers to sound, lighting and grip professionals.
Patrick O’Hearn, CION’s associate managing director, said the database has been very effective since its launch in 2014, and the upgraded tool should only improve efforts to connect film producers with crew members.
"The enhancements we are making to the service will not only allow this momentum to continue, but it will also more efficiently connect crew with producers (by providing faster, and streamlined real-time information), and will allow crew listed on the service to use enhanced features to strengthen their ability to stand out and compete for jobs,” O’Hearn said.
“Ultimately, continued success of the service and the enhancements that we announced will make it easier for producers to access talent from the North and limit their need to bring in talent from outside of Northern Ontario."
Prior to 2014, O’Hearn said, crews largely relied on message boards and word-of-mouth promotions about jobs available in the field.
"While these services allowed Northern Ontario to build a robust roster of crew talent, the crew database created a central source for crews to promote their in-the-field experiences and garner the attention of productions making Northern Ontario home," he said.
With the new changes, crew members can now inform productions about their availability, while producers can vet crew members based on region.
O’Heard noted there is representation in the database for each of Northern Ontario’s active production jurisdictions, including Greater Sudbury, North Bay, Thunder Bay, Sault Ste. Marie, Parry Sound and Timmins.
– With files from BayToday