There’s never been a better time in history for new Canadian filmmakers.
That was the message from one of Canada’s top producers, who spoke yesterday at an Atlantic Film Festival luncheon in Halifax.
“I don’t think there’s ever been more opportunity to make a film,” Kevin Tierney, whose movies include Bon Cop, Bad Cop — the highest grossing Canadian film in domestic box office history.
“There (are) so many festivals looking for young people’s films; new filmmakers,” he said.
Tierney added the digital revolution has made it possible for students to get their hands on cameras and editing equipment. There’s also a burst of new ways to get your movie seen, such as on YouTube.
But he said in the end, it comes down to the content, not to the equipment used.
“Everybody’s looking for scripts. Everybody’s looking for content. And this generation has at their disposal ways of creating content that nobody had in the past,” Tierney told Metro.
“I mean, where would I have got a 35 millimetre camera, a 16 millimetre camera or even a Super 8 camera? Now you can make a movie off your phone.”
But as someone involved in the film industry for decades, Tierney doesn’t sugarcoat the unique challenges of making a commercially successful Canadian movie.
“Unfortunately, the market is harder. It’s harder to sell movies to the international market, and it’s harder to get financing from outside of Canada for Canadian movies,” he said.
Two of Tierney’s new films are playing at the Atlantic Film Festival – Love and Savagery and The Trotsky, which was written and directed by his son Jacob. At an industry speech yesterday, he stressed the importance of entertaining audiences.
Tierney said the tradition of Canadian films have tended towards sombre, personal stories that don’t reach out to viewers. But he said that’s now all changing.