Getting Started in the Film Industry

Becoming a PA (Entry Level Position on a Film Set – Locations/On Set PAs and Office PAs)

 

Here are a few steps you can take to prepare yourself to work in the film industry:

Take introductory courses*

Course Name
Where to take it
Motion Picture Industry Orientation Course
(Note: recommended for everyone starting out)

Royal Roads University 

ActSafe

WHMIS Online through ActSafe BC
Traffic Control (for Locations PAs) BCCSA

 

Roadmasters Safety Group

Motion Picture Safety 101  

Covid 19 Safety Procedures 

ActSafe

* Note that courses listed are not required unless you want to become a DGC union permittee, but they are still recommended to improve confidence and competence on a set and can increase chances of employment.

 

Apply directly to a film or television production

  • See what’s filming on the island and across BC on the CreativeBC Film List or the DGC Production List
  • Apply as a Locations PA, Office PA, or to a department that you have experience in (both union and non-union shows)

 

Create a Production Assistant resume and get on our PA list

  • A PA resume is: a one-page resume with your film, television or related experience and any certifications/licenses that are relevant.
  • Once you have at least one production on your resume, we can add your contact information to the ONLINE LOCAL CREW LIST as a PA or in a specific department where you have experience.
  • If you wish to set up an online crew profile (resume, availability, union affiliations, notes) please pay your membership fee with the Film Commission
  • We also have a PA MAILING LIST for those looking to gain entry into the industry. We try and send this list entry-level opportunities that we hear of. Not an official crew list–no membership required.
  • Note: this does not ensure employment. The Film Commission does not hire crew directly. We give the crew list password to Producers and Production Managers. A production that finds you from this list will contact you directly.

 

More Info on Becoming a PA 
The DGC BC offers resources on working as a PA, including information about how to join their union through the Permittee Logbook Program.

Entry Level Permittee Logbook Program (DGC BC)

DGC PA Helper Manual

PA Survival Guide

Office PA Survival Guide

Includes: role of the PA, info on the permittee program (becoming a union member), and a checklist of required courses.

 

Film Unions
Read more about joining a film union. 

 

Camera Trainee Program
Interested in working behind the camera? This is another route into the film industry through ICG 669. Read more about the camera trainee program.

 

Get Additional Experience
Build your resume and gain experience with local productions, student films, and more!

Connect with the Local Film Scene
Intern at a Local TV Station
Approach Local Production
Companies
MediaNet CHEK News See our website for a list
CineVic

 

* monthly mixers, events, & workshops

Shaw TV  

 

Networking

Become a Member of the Film Commission (newsletter, invites to our mixers, events, and workshops)

Follow us on Twitter and like us on Facebook.

Look out for events at CineVic, MediaNet, and VIFPA.

Check out local industry Facebook groups such as Film Scene Vancouver Island  and Women in Film Vancouver Island.