FAQ

How do I get started in the film & television business?

Answer

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?

Answer

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?

Answer

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?

Answer

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?

Answer

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?

Answer

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?

Answer

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!

Are there sponsor or partnership opportunities with AMPIA?

Answer

Yes there are (and thanks for asking!).  As a non-profit association, our sponsor/partners are very important to us, and we welcome any inquiries in the direction of possible partnership opportunities and collaboration.  Our current Executive Director would be more than happy to talk or meet with you.

Can I submit something for your E-Newsletter?

Answer

Yes – priority is given to submissions from AMPIA members, but we welcome any submissions we receive.   Just contact our Communications Director, pgerlach@ampia.org and send along any information, write-up or pictures you want included in your submission.  We try our best to include a broad cross-section of what’s happening in the industry, news from our members and their projects, workshops and opportunities to network, as well as any job postings that are submitted.

Does AMPIA have a benefit plan for its members?

Answer

More information on a Member benefit plan coming soon.

Are there Mentorships available?

Answer

There is support for mentorship opportunities through Alberta Culture and Community Spirit via the Alberta Multimedia Development Fund (AMDF).  Information on this and more can be found at http://culture.alberta.ca/multimediafund/

Do you need to be an AMPIA member to enter a film or project into the Rosie Awards?

Answer

No.  The entry fees for your submissions, however, will be double what AMPIA members pay, as well as costs for tickets to the Awards show and banquet, and any workshops or events throughout the year.  It can add up!  The main criteria for any submission to the Rosie’s is that at least one producer on any given project MUST be an Alberta resident and provide proof of residency in the province in order for the project to be eligible.

What kind of industry events does AMPIA hold each year, and what can I expect?

Answer

AMPIA tries to hold at least three workshops each year, and we try our best to make each as informative, timely and worthwhile for our members, specifically targeting what is hot in the industry or emerging as ‘information you need to know’.   We try to keep workshop fees down, and AMPIA members get reduced registration rates, as well as priority when the demand is high but space is limited.
Other Industry events come in the form of our Industry breakfasts, where we line up a few key speakers to talk about what’s happening in the industry, or our ‘meet & greets’, where members can catch up and network in a casual setting.  Ofcourse, each year also holds the Rosie Awards, the ultimate setting for the industry coming together – celebrating all the hard work throughout the year and our members’ successes.

How do I know if I qualify as a Producer member of AMPIA?

Answer

The criteria to qualify as a producer member in the AMPIA bylaws states:

“Must have completed a moving image screen-based production on a commercial basis which has been disseminated via a commercial outlet or portal (which can include public or private broadcast, distribution, internet or direct to consumer undertakings).”

Simply put – if you or your company has produced something that a third party has paid for – ie: you have sold it as a product, and in some way shape or form, it has been broadcast, then you qualify as a producer.

What is the Upstart Program?

Answer

UPSTART is AMPIA’s popular talent development program and new sessions begin on a fairly regular basis and are ‘advertised’ well in advance to all our members and non-members alike.

Co-sponsored by Telefilm Canada and co-ordinated by the award-winning directors the 7 week program brings together Alberta’s emerging actors, writers, and directors for creative scene studies, shot and edited for critique and feedback from everyone involved.  UPSTART provides an excellent opportunity for actors, directors and writers to improve skills and develop talent while waiting for a call from your agent. Participation is open to all Alberta-based writers, actors, and  directors who have some basic experience in their field.

For more information, email the UPSTART co-ordinator for your city.

Calvin Malaka – edmontonupstart@ampia.org

Karen Ryan – calgaryupstart@ampia.org

Alberta Media Production Industries Association