Shooting For Support Of Your First Film

Living in the A1C
If you want to make a film, St. John’s is the city to make it in. This city’s downtown A1C postal code is home to three times more artists than the National average. Actors, writers, photographers, musicians, painters, and many more live here. The Newfoundland film community – and its arts industry in general – is one of the most supportive in the entire country. Artists consistently volunteer their talent, time, and skills to first-time and emerging films. And you may not realize it, but these films are being made almost every other week!

All things film begin at NIFCO
The Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-operative (NIFCO) was founded in 1975 by a group of filmmakers who wanted to ensure that the means of film production were available to local artists. Because they have a strong emphasis on sharing experiences and providing assistance to first-time filmmakers, NIFCO is your first point of contact if you want to make a film.

The Co-op offers a wide range of courses to get you started on the road to your first film. NIFCO’s Film Class is the best way to immerse yourself in the process of making a short film. In a class of about ten people, you conceive, write, shoot, and edit a short film. In the span of 48 hours spread out over 8 weeks (Part I -- 24hrs spread out over 5wks; Part II -- 24hrs spread out over 3wknds), this two-part course will show you everything you need to produce a short. For more details, check out the information provided on the Co-op’s website:

After completing the Film Class, you’re ready for NIFCO’s First Time Filmmakers Program. Facilitated by Nickel founder Roger Maunder, it’s designed to give first-time filmmakers access to film, processing, and production equipment. The program’s goal is to produce a short film with minimal cost to the filmmaker. The program covers production-related costs, including film stock and processing/transfer. Filmmakers are also granted in-kind use of NIFCO’s production equipment, which includes a Super16mm film camera, Grip/Lighting equipment, and a great Sound Recording package. Finally, filmmakers are granted in-kind use of NIFCO’s post-production facilities to picture and sound edit their projects. Here’s additional information about the program:

The Nickel: Buy the ticket, Take the ride!
The Nickel also strives to provide workshops for aspiring or emerging filmmakers. In 2011, we’re offering an introductory screenwriting class entitled “3 Acts in 3 Minutes.” It will cover everything from sluglines to storylines, parentheticals to plot points, and dramatic beats to dramatic needs. A week later, participants return for a chance to reveal their stellar three-page scripts incorporating everything they’ve learned the previous week. Check it out here:

If hunger for more knowledge about film is getting the best of you, the Nickel’s Filmmaker Panel and Luncheon will satisfy your craving. Whether you’re interested in making a film, want advice on where to start or what to watch out for, or you just want to know how these tenacious folks from all kinds of backgrounds made the leap, this is where you’ll get answers. You’ll get to share a lunch break with some of the festival’s most exciting new talent. For more details, click here:

Making a film certainly isn’t an easy task. With so many factors that go into creating it, it’s probably one of the most difficult things to properly accomplish. It takes having a great story, a good cast and crew, attention to detail and some simple dumb luck. Fortunately, in a film community such as St. John’s, the last thing is the only one you can’t control.

Author's Biography:
A graduate of Vancouver Film School (VFS), Brad Gover has been producing documentary and dramatic films for festivals and television. His first two documentaries have garnered national awards and theatrical screenings. "The Care Package," his first fictional film, played to sold out audiences at prominent film festivals around the world. As it’s producer, he recently completed "Snarbuckled," a short film that premiered at the 30th Atlantic Film Festival in Halifax. He is currently producing an interactive documentary web-experience with the National Film Board of Canada (NFB), entitled "Bubble Dancers," about restaurant dishwashers and their daily toil within a so-called dead-end job. Brad is also on the Board of Directors of NIFCO (Newfoundland Independent Filmmakers Co-Operative) and is President of the Nickel Independent Film Festival.

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