"I know what it is I want to study," you announce to your parents one day. You can feel their relief. It is instantaneous. They can't wait to hear what career path you have chosen. Could it be law? Or medicine? Or perhaps the trades? But no. You want to study film, and this, this makes them a little bit nervous, for someone who studies film may be bound for sunny, but expensive and far-away California. How, they wonder, will they ever summon up the cash for tuition at a foreign film school? How, they wonder, will they ever form a meaningful relationship with their unborn grandchildren if you should decide to forever settle there? Quickly, you reassure them: "Mom, Dad, I want to attend film production school in Toronto. And here's why."
1. The Canadian industry is unique.
You want to attend film school in Toronto because ultimately, you'd like to make films in Canada, perhaps working independently, or for the National Film Board or some other public agency. And making films in Canada isn't quite like making films in the United States. For one thing, the sources of funding are different. The grants are different. Even the style is different. What works for Hollywood doesn't necessarily work for Canada, where one selling point of any film is its "different-ness" from Hollywood stock.
2. Toronto is central.
Attending film production school in Toronto can be a way to ease into the local industry. An internship through school may lead to that pivotal first job. And if you are going to make films in Canada, then Toronto is a good place to be. It plays host to key industry events, such as the Toronto International Film Festival, and is home to many of the country's major players, such as Atom Egoyan and Sarah Polley.
Also, the teachers at your film production school in Toronto will in all likelihood probably work in the industry, and be able to advise you on how to best navigate it as a newcomer.
And you will also be forging relationships with the fellow students in your film production or audio engineering program. So it would be helpful if you were likely to end up working in the same film industry, where you can help one another out, by passing on information about job postings and giving recommendations, etc. Remember: film is a collaborative discipline and much of your success will depend on who you know and how well you work with them.
3. Toronto is more affordable than Hollywood.
Tell your parents to quit fretting, that attending a film production or audio engineering program won't be half as expensive as they fear. In fact, it will be darn right affordable. After all, you will not be travelling to expensive California, but attending film school in Toronto.
So, chin up, parents! The news that your child wants to attend a film production or audio engineering program in good ol' Toronto can be very heartening news indeed.