How do I get started in the film & television business?
One of the most asked questions here at AMPIA – and it’s a pretty broad question to say the least! We often encourage those just starting out, or with virtually no knowledge of the industry to start their ‘detective work’! It never hurts to inquire into the programs at some of our Post Secondary Institutions. Red Deer College, NAIT, SAIT, Grant MacEwan, Mount Royal College – all offer programs relating to Television, Digital Media, Graphic design, Theatre & Film. When you are trying to decide on which aspect of the industry appeals to you, asking questions regarding exactly what these programs offer, often helps in learning just how varied your options are. If not interested in further studies, our main advice is to check out our resources page, and asking questions of those already in the business. As an AMPIA member, you can gather information about what’s happening in the province, and utilize our Industry events to start networking. Volunteering on film projects will also give you the opportunity to meet people and gain valuable experience.
I’ve written a screenplay/story/children’s book, etc. How do I get it produced?
There are many ways to begin this process. One option is to line up a meeting with a producer. If you write a letter to producers to introduce yourself and your project, it’s not a guarantee that they will look at your work, but most will be supportive and at the very least try to give some feedback and advice on what your next step should be.
I’m an actor/director/editor/producer/make-up artist/camera operator/graphic artist…etc. Will an Ampia Membership help me?
Yes it can! Through membership with AMPIA, you gain a great cross section of news from many different industry professionals and organizations. There are many chances throughout the year to network and learn through workshops, industry breakfasts, our annual awards, as well as being eligible for mentorship opportunities. You can gain access to our website’s job board, and post your work on your portion of our site so other members can get to know you.
Do I need to know someone in the Industry to become a member?
We do ask for an AMPIA reference (someone who is a current member) when someone signs up for a new membership, but if you don’t know anyone, that’s OK. If you happen to know someone who is an AMPIA member, or even has held a past membership, it simply makes it easier for us to have a reference to get to know you better ie: what your specialty is, positions you’ve worked in the field, etc. We often refer AMPIA members for jobs. For example, when someone asks ‘Who do you know that’s and Editor/animation specialist/doc filmmaker?’ etc., we’ll suggest our members with those particular strengths. It’s just another way we help to support our members!
How can I get involved on AMPIA committees?
We welcome anyone who wants to serve on any of our committees, this is your association! They include: Broadcast Committee, Events Committee, Membership Committee, Communications Committee, Government Relations and Producers Caucus (Producer members only). These are set once a year, usually shortly after AMPIA’s General Meeting, normally held each year at the end of June. For more information on the role of each committee please contact the individual Committee Chairs.
Where can I go to get funding for my project?
It takes a bit of work, but there are funds available through a number of sources. The Canwest Alberta Legacy Fund (CALF), The Alberta MultiMedia Development Fund (AMDF), ACIA, The Global Fund, Telefilm Canada, and various grant programs. To find out more, along with contact information for all of these funds, go to our Funding page under Resources.
Can I volunteer with AMPIA?
There are times of the year the office is busier than others, especially in the lead up to our Annual awards and there are opportunities to volunteer at that time. All you have to do is contact the AMPIA office or speak with the show’s Producer and let him or her know you are interested in volunteering. You will be added to the volunteer list, and called if there’s a spot to be filled!