I feel like this is something that effects me just as much as everyone else in the industry. The whole reason why I moved to Vancouver, is so I could work in film as an actor. Within my time, after graduating from VFS, I’ve had 3 years of struggling to get work in the first place.
I understand that I can’t put myself in the same position as most that are honestly, far more effected than I. But for one that has concentrated on nothing but working in the industry, making countless bad decisions on work and personal life, and still not give up on anything, I want to put in my two cents.
I’ve seen it happen infront of me every day. Reasons why nothing has come my way. Sure there is countless actors out there wanting to work, wanting to make it big. Me? I just wanted to work… In a general sense. It was bad enough that I couldn’t get much auditions, or I made it to a second round, only to fall flat. But I was always being told that “it’s been slow.” “There’s nothing filming right now.” “Things will pick up.” “This show is cancelled, That show has moved production.” (The year I moved to Vancouver, ‘The Dead Zone’ moved to Montreal. and that just bummed me OUT.) Over three years, I have seen this industry dwindle. It’s crummy that I can’t tell my parents, that they’ll get to watch me on a big screen, because nothing is biting.
Hell, I’ve had more success walking around as an extra on Fringe (bless that show), and I can forever watch myself give a dirty look to Walter Bishop, as I play with shoes. Now that Fringe is one less thing being filmed here. What am I supposed to do with my time? You know, as opposed to farting around in a 9 to 5 job. (which can inherently be a story in itself sometimes.)
One of the things that I’ve noticed in my three years, is that I’ve made countless connections with people that really want to work. Ones that are surprisingly enthusiastic about film, but when it came down to it, just didn’t follow through. I’ve spent the years, not only looking for work, but also try to make work happen, I’ve written shorts, features, pilots, and participated in the work of others just as much. So many productions just stop dead in their tracks.
In a sense, yeah, we really ought to tell Christy Clark to cut the industry some slack, because it’s big over here. Not just for film, but animation. There’s a reason why it’s a fabled Hollywood North. But I’m on the fence, because a lot of the work I’ve been ending up getting is more like… I don’t know what you would call a Poor man’s Hollywood. Branson, Missouri? Delaware? The stupid fumble-y point that I’m trying to make is, I don’t see us doing enough for ourselves.
I’m a struggling artist in more ways than one, and there is never a day where I’m not thinking, “Hey, I have a good idea, I know people with equipment. Let’s make something happen!” BUT I know it’s not that easy. I’m working on a show right now. Completely from scratch, getting a crew together, and I’m learning something everyday from all the limitations. But the show is my first step. We’ll perform it, film it, edit it and pitch it. If it doesn’t grab the first time, we’ll just do more and try again. The sheer idea that I will keep at it, is enough to be inspired by.
Or an independent film sitting on the shoulders of a guy who went to Toronto to get work so he could come back to Vancouver to film it. That’s telling you something. I admire that, and want to give it my full support. Because if I want to be a part of it, what would be expected of me?
I want to work. I want a project, to go towards another project, that will go towards another, and so on. Even if doing things online is the only outlet to really utilize anymore. I keep the ones with zero enthusiasm close to me, because I don’t want to see them lose interest in something they want to do with their life. I want to be in a position where I can give more work to more people, just with the power of an idea. A kid can dream after all.
I also understand that I’m probably not talking realistically, because I’m just one person experiencing a small percentage of the industry over here. I but really want to stand up and feel like my points are valid.
So I think… yes. There’s a petition out there that we should all sign. Yet, I’m skeptic. I’m all for wanting my voice to be heard, I do it every day and I fail miserably. But I’m also a big fan of doing the work myself. So if push comes to shove, and Hollywood North continues to dwindle, sometimes a good defence is an offence.
One way for people to get excited about BC film, is for BC to do the filming themselves.