Made-in-Canada film, television and digital media production is a major economic driver and a growing source of innovative career options, says a leading advocacy group representing the country’s production sector.

According to statistics from the Canadian Media Producers Association (CMPA), the industry created 140,000 full-time positions and generated $8.5 billion in GDP last year alone. A quick review of the closing credits of a film or TV episode indicates just how many roles are associated with a single production. And while most of these positions are probably not well known by viewers, they are vitally important to the completion and success of a project.

“The most in-demand careers today in production tend to require technical skills that can be attained in a variety of post-secondary programs, from visual effects and CGI animation to digital marketing, concept art, and even law,” says Reynolds Mastin, President and CEO at CMPA. “At the same time, new forms of screen-based content, such as web-series, virtual reality, and augmented reality are opening up new, exciting career opportunities.”

New content revolution

Jay Bennett started out in theatre, but found his true calling as a digital content creator. Today he is the Senior Vice-President of Creative & Innovation at Shaftesbury / Smokebomb, the production company behind Murdoch Mysteries and the hit LGBTQ vampire web-series Carmilla.

“Producers come in all shapes and sizes; while some specialize in raising funds or focus on the business side of production, my role is much more about balancing the creative interests with the business and monetary needs of a project,” says Bennett.

That requires a collaborative effort drawing in a variety of different departments, including writers, directors, costume designers, lawyers, business and legal affairs, broadcasters, editors, and social media experts, he adds.

“It’s a really interesting perspective being part of a new generation of producers and understanding the importance of using new digital tools to tell stories, create content, and talk to an audience,” he says. “There are so many more devices and platforms you can use to deliver high-quality original content today than there were even five years ago.”