Producers toolkit

 

The producers toolkit is an continually evolving list of tools, knowledge and resources designed to help production company owners make informed decisions to grow their businesses.

Sustainable production

We all want to live on a planet with a stable climate, thriving ecosystems, and diverse and healthy communities.

 

The CMPA encourages all producers and industry stakeholders to take action to reduce their carbon emissions as quickly as possible.

Below is a short selection of tools and resources to help guide productions. The list of resources below is intended to be used by members in their own efforts to design and implement sustainable practices throughout their productions and organizations and reduce their carbon footprint.

New resources will be added to this toolkit on an ongoing basis. Should you wish to suggest resources to add to this list, or share ideas, questions or concerns, please contact us at the coordinates below.

Ontario Green Screen (Ontario Creates)

Ontario Green Screen is the collaborative initiative between government, industry partners, unions, guilds, trade associations and companies that endeavours to make lasting change in the industry and to empower individuals, production companies and studios to make sustainable choices.

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Production tools

Reel Green (Creative BC)

The Reel Green™ initiative is a mainstay at Creative BC and we are looking ahead to the next decade and how we can empower and inspire productions to innovate and implement sustainable production practices, and industry stakeholders to collectively support this effort.  We are prioritizing education, engagement, communications, and resources as we develop a platform for the reduction of environmental impacts and stakeholder engagement at the local level to set an example for other jurisdictions globally.

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Production tools

On tourne vert / Rolling Green

The goal of the On tourne vert / Rolling Green program is to facilitate the adoption of eco-friendly actions during audiovisual productions. Any production, regardless of its size or type, will be able to benefit from the recommended practices and references to reduce the impact on the environment. The Rolling Green program is free and accessible to all!

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Production tools

Reel Green (Manitoba Film & Music)

Manitoba Film & Music recognizes that sustainability in motion picture production is important. We also recognize we must collaborate and learn from each other and reduce negative environmental impacts.  In early 2020 MFM licensed the Reel Green program for Manitoba. Reel Green is a program to inspire, empower and enable sustainable production. We want to encourage the reduction of negative environmental impacts and work to improve the wellbeing of crew and the communities in which we film.

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Production tools

CBC: Green Production

Canadians view the environment as one of the most important issues facing our world. As Canada’s public broadcaster, CBC has a duty to be part of the solution and do everything we can to keep our environmental impact to a minimum. This page includes many resources, including information on calculating carbon emissions, how to produce in a greener way, how to implement a strategy to be greener, and more.

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Production tools

Ontario Green Screen: Carbon Calculator

The carbon calculator tool is available free for all productions to use. It has helps streamline the process of inputting and collecting data needed to calculate carbon impact. Multiple productions can be tracked on this tool, and having a single data hub helps to develop benchmarks for productions to work from and improve upon.

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Production tools

Start here

Sustainability is a big concept, so it can be hard to know where to begin or where you can have the greatest impact.  So start here: when it comes to the climate crisis, carbon is the problem, so cutting carbon is the solution.  Cutting emissions means using less fuel, less energy and putting less food into landfills (to turn into methane!). These solutions are easier, more available, and cheaper than you might think.

Here are some simple ideas for actions to get you started:

Creative / development

Start early. It will be easier to make a plan, find solutions, consider the full value-chain, and save money (and carbon!) the sooner you begin. Starting in prep? Great. Starting in development? Even better. Tap into resources and experts and involve your team from day one. Appoint someone to take responsibility for sustainability on your project. Communicate sustainability as a priority both on-screen and behind the scenes.

  • Be creative: Involve the creative team – writers, artists, performers, directors and other leaders – in the vision to tell climate stories and produce responsibly. Even projects that aren’t explicitly about the environment can point to how the crisis is impacting everyday life, and help normalize climate positive behaviours.
  • Understand the market: Connect with buyers, partners and financiers early in the process to understand their own climate action priorities. Are buyers looking for sustainability-themed content? Will your contracts mandate specific sustainability actions or targets?
  • Reduce air travel: Use the digital connection tools we’ve gained from COVID to enable remote and virtual work where it makes sense.
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Production

Fuel use (cars, trucks, planes) and energy use (generators) are the largest contributors of carbon pollution on the typical film set.

  • Track fuel use in litres, not just dollars and use a carbon calculator, or even an old-fashioned spreadsheet to understand your impact and find opportunities for reductions and savings.
  • Where possible, encourage the use of hybrid, electric, or smaller more fuel-efficient vehicles. If using generators to power the set, opt for cleaner options such as smaller generators, renewable diesel, or battery generators. Use grid tie-ins where available.
  • Engage your teams in the mission to go green. Talk to your department heads early and empower them to opt for sustainable solutions. Check out the various best practices guides and select actions that can be put in place on your productions. You may be surprised to find that many eco-options are actually cheaper.
  • Encourage everyone on your team to take the free sustainable production training offered by Reel Green and Ontario Green Screen.
  • Put sustainability on-screen by showing climate positive behaviours, like opting for electric picture cars, re-usable bags and mugs as props instead of disposables, reusing materials and so on.
  • Embrace innovation. Innovations like LED lighting and virtual production may revolutionize the way productions are made and watched. These new technologies are not only exciting creatively, but they are often greener as well.
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Corporate sustainability

Sustainability at the corporate level is becoming more important with every passing day. Not only is it the right thing to do, but it will help attract and retain talent, and it will be important to buyers, financiers and investors.

  • Consider how sustainability can be incorporated into your corporate operations. No matter your position inside the company, you can make a difference and be a sustainability ambassador.
  • Set climate-positive policies such as allowing remote work or cutting back on unnecessary air travel, investing in rechargeable batteries, turning off lights and investing in power bars and eco-certified appliances.
  • Get involved in your local production community’s efforts to green the industry. Connect with the CMPA’s sustainability team for ideas.
  • Attend a Reel Green or OGS community meeting.
  • Become and ambassador for sustainable action on your productions and in the production community.
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Diversity and inclusion resources

The CMPA is committed to elevating underrepresented voices in Canada’s media production industry.

 

While recognizing that we must do better, both as an organization and as an industry, we also want to empower our members with information to help them guide their own efforts towards positive change. The list of resources below is by no means intended to be a complete list. It is intended to be used by members in their own efforts to increase equity, diversity, and inclusion within their companies. Should you wish to suggest and contribute resources to this list, or have requests for additional resources, please contact us at the coordinates below.

Out On Set database

Out On Set is a database for North American LGBTQ+ film & television crew and creative talent. It is a joint initiative created and developed by OUTtv and Inside Out to connect production companies, agencies and networks to queer and trans talent within the screen industry. Out on Set intends to increase LGBTQ+ hires in all elements of production, from the writers’ room to post-production, eliminate barriers to access and employment opportunities for LGBTQ+ crew and creatives, and connect queer storytellers with the teams they need to bring their projects to life.

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Databases

Black is Now/The Black Academy

Recognizing a scarcity of platforms in Canada that celebrate Black talent in the arts, entertainment, and sports, Canadian actors and brothers Shamier Anderson and Stephan James founded The Black Academy. The organization is dedicated to breaking down barriers of discrimination and combating systemic racism in Canada. By honouring, celebrating, and showcasing established and emerging Black talent, The Black Academy will elevate and inspire Black talent in both the Anglophone and Francophone communities across the country for generations to come. A permanent, year-round, and national operation, The Black Academy is a division of the not-for-profit B.L.A.C.K Canada. The division was launched in 2020 and is based in Toronto.

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Advocacy

Center for Scholars & Storytellers – AIR report

Just because a film numerically has a cast that includes more members from a variety of backgrounds, it may not actually reflect true diversity in its storytelling. To determine if there is true diversity in storytelling — what we call Authentically Inclusive Representation (AIR) — it is necessary to examine both: (a) if there are individuals from diverse backgrounds (in terms of race/ethnicity, gender, sexual orientation, and their intersections) on the screen and behind the scenes; (b) if such diversity is present, whether the characters and story on-screen reflect genuine aspects of the culture being portrayed (i.e., instead of relying on and reinscribing stereotypes or tropes). The result of our research was finding that a movie that lacks AIR can indeed cost a distributor big-time at the box office.

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Research and reports

Assessments and toolkits

RespectAbility.org

RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization that works collaboratively with employers, elected officials, policy makers, educators, self-advocates, nonprofits, faith-based organizations, philanthropists and the entertainment and news media to fight stigmas and advance opportunities. Led by diverse people with disabilities and allies, RespectAbility knows that people with disabilities and their families have the same hopes and dreams as everyone else.

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Advocacy

International

Women in View – 2021 Report

WIVOS 2021 includes an analysis of two funding cycles: film projects financed by Telefilm Canada between 2017-2019 and scripted English language television series funded by the Canada Media Fund (CMF) between 2017-2019. In this Report, the definition of women includes cisgender and transgender women, and there are also data points where non-binary people have self-identified.

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Research and reports

Vancouver Asian Film Festival – Elimin8hate

To provide an anonymous and safe reporting environment for Canadians of Asian ancestry experiencing anti-Asian attacks. To consolidate public resources in an accessible format to victims. To utilize reported data for actionable change.

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Advocacy

Assessments and toolkits

Consultants

The Collective (Janelle Brady, Ezi Odozor ad Dr. Shawnee Hardware)

Anti-Racist & Anti-Black Racism Professional Development and Consultation services. Our team offers speaking engagements, community town halls, and workshop facilitation and PD.

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Consulting and coaching

Speaking and storytelling

Training and workshops

Yuki Matsuno

Yuki Matsuno is a mediator, facilitator, and lawyer based in Vancouver, British Columbia.

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Facilitation and mediation

Training and workshops

University of Alberta

Indigenous Canada is a 12-lesson Massive Open Online Course (MOOC) from the Faculty of Native Studies that explores Indigenous histories and contemporary issues in Canada.

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Training and workshops

Ritu Bhasin

bhasin consulting inc. is a world-renowned full service equity, diversity and inclusion consulting firm dedicated to driving organizational change

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Consulting and coaching

Facilitation and mediation

Speaking and storytelling

Reconcilation Canada

Born from the vision of Chief Dr. Robert Joseph, Gwawaenuk Elder, Reconciliation Canada is leading the way in engaging Canadians in dialogue and transformative experiences that revitalize the relationships among Indigenous peoples and all Canadians

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Speaking and storytelling

Training and workshops

Research

Rania El Mugammar

Rania El Mugammar is a Sudanese Canadian, Artist, Arts Educator, Equity, Anti-oppression, Liberation and Meaningful Inclusion Educator & Consultant, performer, speaker and published writer

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Consulting and coaching

Training and workshops

Contacts


Anti-harassment resources

The CMPA is committed to working with our members and stakeholders from across the production sector to address and eliminate discrimination, harassment and bullying behaviour in our industry.

 

As part of this effort we have developed a suite of anti-harassment tools and resources, which are accessible for member companies through the links below.

As this is an issue of upmost importance, the CMPA is also making these resources available for non-members. Individuals may get in touch with Lisa Moreau to request materials.

Anti-harassment training for producers

Anti-harassment training for producers

Handbook on workplace sexual harassment

The handbook, which can be downloaded here (login required), covers examples and forms of sexual harassment, employer obligations, tools for bystanders, avenues of redress and territorial legislation for every province.

 

Training videos

The above mentioned handbook is a compliment to a four-hour workshop conducted by Rubin Thomlinson. Videos from the workshop are available on the CMPA member portal to access at any time (login required). The videos cover the following issues:

 

1) What is sexual harassment?
2) Employer/employee obligations
3) Basics of workplace investigations
4) Bystander interventions

 

The importance of addressing the issue of harassment cannot be overstated, so in an effort to support positive change in industry workplaces, the CMPA is making the handbook and the training videos available to non-members. Individuals may get in touch with Lisa Moreau to request the materials.

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Workplace policy and program

Workplace policy and program

Pursuant to legislation in certain provinces and to the CMPA member declaration, member companies must have a workplace violence and workplace harassment policy and program that is communicated to all employees, contractors and agents. The CMPA has commissioned a template, which can be accessed here (login required). We hope it will be useful as a tool to assist with compliance, and with setting the tone for a respectful workplace. If you choose to use this template, we encourage you to adapt it to the circumstances of your workplace and ensure that it adequately reflects your organization’s needs and obligations.

 

The CMPA will respond to all complaints that are within its authority. However, we remind members that employers are responsible for providing a safe and respectful environment and conducting investigations of allegations made against their employees; the CMPA will not conduct investigations that would rightly be conducted by member companies. For example, if a report is made of an incident involving two crew members on set, the complaint will be redirected to the producer/employer.

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Contact

 

Liz Shorten
Chief Operating Officer
1-604-694-2711 /
1-866-390-7639 ext. 122
liz.shorten@cmpa.ca


Immigration and work permits

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Temporary Foreign Worker Program

Canada’s Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP), which is operated by Employment and Social Development Canada (ESDC), allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers to fill temporary labour and skill shortages. The permit process is subject to approval through a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). The LMIA verifies that there is a need for a temporary worker and that qualified Canadians are not available.

Program highlights

  • There is a $1,000 CAD non-refundable processing fee for each application.

  • Applications may be submitted up to six months in advance. Applications submitted more than six months in advance may be considered on a case-by-case basis.

  • It is possible to change the name of the TFW after the fact, once the LMIA is approved.

Read the step-by-step guide to the TFWP application process.

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International Mobility Program (IMP)

International Mobility Program (IMP)

Canada’s International Mobility Program (IMP), which is operated by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), allows employers to hire temporary foreign workers without a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA)—that is, without verifying that there is a need for a temporary worker and that qualified Canadians are not available.

Exemption for film and television

Foreign workers in the film and television industry may be eligible for an LMIA exemption (which is processed through the IMP under LMIA exemption code C14). Foreign workers who do not qualify for an exemption under the IMP may still apply for a work permit under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program.

Program highlights

  • Employers are required to register, enter information on the offer of employment, and pay a compliance fee of $230 on the online Employer Portal. (The fee may be reimbursed if the application is subsequently refused, or if the employer withdraws the offer of employment before the work permit is issued.)

  • Once the employer and offer is properly registered, the portal will generate a proof of payment and an ID number.

  • In order to apply for a work permit, the applicant will need the proof of payment, offer of employment ID number, letter of support from the production, and a letter of no objection from the applicable union.

  • Applications for work permits are filed online in the Employer Portal, but processed at the border by the Canada Border Services Agency.

View a presentation about the IMP in the television and film sector.
Learn more about IMP Exemption Code C14.
Visit the Employer Portal for an enrollment guide, user guide and technical support.
Browse FAQs around LMIA exemptions for the television and film sector.

Exemption for treaty co-productions

Under LMIA exemption code T11, foreign workers entering under the terms of a treaty co-production agreement between Canada and any foreign country may be eligible for an LMIA exemption. The fees and application process are similar to those described above.

Learn more about IMP exemption code T11.
Learn how to submit a co-production request.

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Contact

 

Sean Porter
Vice-President, National Industrial Relations and Counsel
sean.porter@cmpa.ca
1-647-797-1856 /
1-800-267-8208 ext. 237


Health and safety

Wherever you are working, it’s important to remember that safety always takes precedence over expediency.

In most cases, the producer is responsible for taking all reasonable precautions to protect the health and safety of everyone working on the production. Cast and crew also have a responsibility to work safely and in compliance with the applicable health and safety legislation. Productions are structured into departments with department heads, so there are clear reporting lines to the producer.

Any safety concerns should be brought the applicable department head or the producer—and should be welcomed as a sign of conscientiousness and professional competence.

Contact

 

Sean Porter
Vice-President, National Industrial Relations and Counsel
1-647-797-1856 /
1-800-267-8208 ext. 237
sean.porter@cmpa.ca

Christine Rutherford
Manager, National Industrial Relations
1-416-304-0278 /
1-800-267-8208 ext. 226
christine.rutherford@cmpa.ca


Industry research and analysis

The CMPA regularly undertakes research in the interest of understanding market trends and exploring new opportunities in order to further the growth and success of Canadian independent production.

 

Our three guiding research themes are:

Business strategy and innovation

Research that adds to the producers toolkit for business development and innovation.

Industry vitality

Exploring the industry’s cultural and economic impact, production trends, challenges and opportunities.

 

Policy in action

Studying the impact of policy and regulation on Canada’s media production sector and around the globe.

Business strategy and innovation

Business strategy and innovation

Research that adds to the producers toolkit for business development and innovation.

 


 

Equity Investment Guide (2018)

 

The objective of this guide is to provide Canadian media production firms with a sound overview of equity investment fundamentals and strategies needed to raise capital or acquire debt in order to grow their companies.

 

Produced by FG8 for the CMPA


Strengthening the Business: Capitalizing Canada’s Content Business (2016)

 

For most producers, business strategy is determined by project financing – very few successfully move beyond this model to building out corporate growth strategies. Mirroring this structural challenge is the perception amongst potential financiers that the content business lacks stability and scalability; that content is inherently unpredictable, and is therefore a risky and generally unattractive investment. And yet, we live in an era where ‘content is king’ has never rung so true! The purpose of this study is to help content producers who are interested in growing their businesses better equip themselves to do so.

 

Produced by Duopoly for the CMPA


 

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Industry vitality

Industry vitality

Exploring the industry’s cultural and economic impact, production trends, challenges and opportunities.

 


 

Exporting Canadian Television Globally: Trends, Opportunities and Future Directions (2017)

 

The goals of the study were three-fold: to identify key trends in international sales of television programs generally and Canadian television programs specifically; to provide intelligence on challenges and opportunities to increase foreign sales; and to identify policies, programs and initiatives to support foreign sales in other jurisdictions and make recommendations to ensure that Canadian initiatives are competitive.

 

Produced by Communications MDR for the CMPA


Exporting Canadian Feature Films in Global Markets: Trends, Opportunities and Future Directions (2017)

 

The goals of this study were three-fold: to identify key trends in international sales of feature films generally and Canadian independent feature films specifically; to provide intelligence on challenges and opportunities to increase foreign sales; and to identify policies, programs and initiatives to support foreign sales in other jurisdictions and make recommendations to ensure that Canadian initiatives are competitive.

 

Produced by Communications MDR for the CMPA


 

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Policy in action

Policy in action

Studying the impact of policy and regulation on Canada’s media production sector and around the globe.

 


 

International Comparative Study: How National Content is Defined in Canada and Selected Countries for the Purpose of Providing Access to Public Support (2015)

The overall goal of this study is to assess whether Canada is on par with other countries in terms of how national content is defined for the purpose of accessing public funding and hence, whether its approach is globally competitive.

 

Produced by Olsberg•SPI for the CMPA

 


 

Impact of the 2003 Communications Act on Indie Producers (2015)

This report provides detail on the impact of the UK’s Terms of Trade, looking closely at how they were introduced and how they affected Indies, broadcasters and also UK television viewers. It  also considers how Ofcom’s ongoing involvement has been crucial to the realisation of these successes.

 

Produced by Olsberg•SPI for the CMPA

 


 

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