What is Hollywood North and what does it have to do with the Vancouver film industry? The answer is, EVERYTHING! Read more to see what makes Vancouver a hub for Canadian film production.
If you’re a film fanatic or as aspiring filmmaker, you’ve probably heard Vancouver referred to as Hollywood North. In 2018 alone, the film industry added 3.2 billion dollars to BC’s economy. This included a good balance of international and domestic productions. Every year, hundreds of films, TV shows, and documentaries are shot in Vancouver. As a result, the city is ranked as the third largest production center for film and TV in North America. Because of the amount of activity within the Vancouver film industry, the city has certainly has earned the reputation for being a hub for Canadian film and television. With all that being said, what exactly makes filmmaking so successful on Canada’s west coast? Why has there been so much success within the vibrant Vancouver film industry?
Vancouver Film Industry Facilities
Vancouver is home to most of British Columbia’s production and post-production activities. That is to say, the city has the capacity to support the biggest Hollywood movies in casting, set-building, location filming, and audio and special effects. It also has some of North America’s most highly-developed studio spaces, as well as numerous FX and sound stages.
Major film studios include:
Top VFX & animations studios include:
Location, location, location!
A simple 2-hour flight from Los Angeles, both Vancouver and L.A. share the same time zone. This eliminates any issues with operating hours, accessibility, and travel time for actors and key crew members, for example.
On top of this, Vancouver’s mild climate allows for year round shooting. Consistent cloud cover also naturally diffuses sunlight. This makes it easier for technicians to add additional light when needed. Furthermore, there is also a strong community of skilled crews, technicians and creative experts to work with within the Vancouver film industry.
Vancouverites Love Film
The film festival scene in Vancouver is alive with local and international fare. For example, the Vancouver International Film Festival (VIFF) is one of the largest and most recognized film festivals in North America, with over 500 screenings held over a three week period.
It also features a VIFF Talks film forum with a variety of high-profile speakers. VIFF 2022 featured Clement Virgo, the director of Brother, and Deborah L Scott, an Academy Winning costume designer of films such as Avatar & Titanic.
Other major film festivals in Vancouver include:
- Crazy8s – Crazy8s short filmmaking festival/competition
- VIMFF – Vancouver International Mountain Film Festival
- VSFF – Vancouver Short Film Festival
- VQFF – Vancouver Queer Film Festival
- VIWFF – Vancouver International Women in Film Festival
- WFF – Whistler Film Festival
- Italian Film Festival
With it’s dynamic film community and mix of Hollywood and indie productions, the Vancouver film industry is a great place for emerging and professional filmmakers alike!