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Frequently Asked Questions

General

How do I get a job in film production or post production?

While there are some non-union productions in Ontario the vast majority of productions utilize professional union labour.  You can contact the major unions and guilds to find out about mentoring and apprenticeship programs that you may qualify to participate in. They are: Directors Guild of Canada, IATSE Local 411, IATSE Local 667, IATSE Local 873, and NABET CEP Local 700. 

I wrote a script but I am having a tough time getting a studio to look at it...what do I do?

There are very few producers, networks, or studios that will accept unsolicited manuscripts. An agent, entertainment lawyer, or business manager is often engaged to represent your interests and attempt to get your script to the right people.  There is no formula that will guarantee that good work will be recognized immediately - some very famous writers experienced multiple rejections before they found success. Make sure that your work is protected by some form of legal registration – you can talk to a lawyer or the Writer’s Guild of Canada about this process.

How do I find a casting agent/studio/hotel/vfx company/union local in Ontario?

The Ontario Production Guide is the most comprehensive guide to goods and services for Ontario’s post and production industry sectors. Companies offering goods and services in the Ontario Production Guide have demonstrated prior experience in the industry. As well as the services mentioned  above the OPG also includes such topics as immigration and work visas, locations services, transportation, equipment rentals, tax incentives, post and animation, labour, support services and much more.

Does the OMDC provide filming permits in rural and urban Ontario?

The OMDC does not issue any filming permits or permissions in the Province of Ontario. Permits to film in Ontario are provided by the local municipal or regional permitting authority (such as the Town of Markham or the Regional Municipality of Durham) and production companies must contact the local authority to file insurance and apply for a permit. The Ontario Production Guide provides contact information for Ontario’s municipal and regional film liaisons/contacts in the “Government” chapter at: Regional Film Contacts

I am seeking a co-production partner or a co-producer to work with– how do I find the right one?

The Canadian Media Production Association (CMPA) represents many of Canada’s producers, line producers, executive producers, and production companies.  The CMPA have a guidebook with a list of credits for each member so you can check their credits to find the right producer for your project. The CMPA can be reached here.


Locations

How do I list my property with the OMDC Digital Location Library as a potential filming location?

There are two ways you may submit your photos:

a)     Register a user profile here and upload digital photos directly to our database

b)     Burn digital photos onto a CD and submit it via standard mail accompanied by the paperwork found in our Property Owner’s Package

*Please note we do NOT accept e-mail submissions

Further details on listing your property can be found in the Property Owner’s Package

Why do I need to sign and return the “ASSIGNMENT OF COPYRIGHT AND RELEASE” form?

Once returned to us, this release form gives us explicit written permission to display your photos on our secure website.

Is there a cost to have my home/business listed in the OMDC Digital Location Database?

No, there is no cost to be listed.

Who has access to the database?

OMDC grants database access only to approved film and TV professionals.

Can OMDC send a photographer to shoot my property?

Though we would like to be able to send a photographer to shoot each property, we have limited resources that prevent us from doing so.  By submitting your own photos, your property generally goes live in the database much sooner.  Once submitted either online or via CD, your location will be put in a queue for processing.  Please allow time for this.

How and what parts of my property should I shoot?

a)     Shoot single, high-resolution photos in LANDSCAPE orientation
b)     Minimum 1600 x 1200 pixels at 180 dpi
c)     Shoot the interior AND exterior
d)     Shoot only those rooms in which a camera crew could fit
e)     You can upload up to 30 images at a time – maximum 2 MB per image

Further details, photography tips and examples can be found in the Property Owner’s Package

My home/business is listed in your database.  Why can't I find my property in a search?

As a home or business owner whose property is listed in our database, you are assigned the “location contact” access level.  This means that you and all other location representatives, for privacy and security concerns, may only view your listing via a link at the bottom of the “My Profile” page after logging in. 

If my house is in a small town, will you list it?  How likely am I to get filming vs. a home in Toronto?

Though the bulk of filming does take place in the Greater Toronto Area (GTA), OMDC’s Film Commission has a mandate to promote filming across Ontario, not just in the major urban centres.  Film and television scripts are set in urban and rural locations alike, so we are equally pleased to list homes and businesses in smaller, more remote jurisdictions.  If your property is unique and its look is not found anywhere else, and if it’s financially and logistically feasible for the production to travel to shoot there, the likelihood that it will be selected can increase.

What happens after my property is live in the OMDC Digital Location Database?

If your location fits the description within a script, and a location manager selects it by accessing our database, you will be contacted by the location manager or production company directly.  OMDC personnel have no way of knowing how much interest a location will garner.

Why haven't I had any filming?  How can I make my home/property stand out?

First and foremost, script requirements are unpredictable and dictate which properties are considered.  Travel time and budget are other key considerations, as is proximity to other locations the production is using.  With so many variables involved in choosing a location, there really is no way of making your property stand out.

How do I know if a production company is legitimate? 

If at any point you wish to verify the legitimacy of a production company or location manager who has approached you, feel free to call our office for a quick reference.  We work in conjunction with the majority of projects and have a professional relationship with most local location managers.

What can I expect once I have decided to allow a production company to use my property? 

We’re glad to explain any aspect of location filming, so please don’t hesitate to ask. Upon request, we can e-mail a sample location contract that you may find useful if you are in negotiations with a production company.

How much will I get paid if my home is used for a film shoot?

Anywhere from $500 to $5,000 per day. The rate you are offered will vary depending on a number of factors: the type of project (e.g. feature film, commercial) and its budget, the amount of space the film crew will occupy, and the scale of the home and property. Generally speaking filming consists of prep day(s), to rearrange furniture or bring set dressing into the location; shoot day(s), when all the sequences pertaining to your location are filmed; and wrap day(s), when set dressing is taken out of the location and the home or business is cleaned up and, after inspection, returned to the property owners.  The rate will also vary each day your property is used: shoot days, for example, will pay somewhat more than prep or wrap days. Compensation can be calculated either as a flat rate encompassing all prep, shot and wrap days or individually, with prep and wrap days generally ½ the rate of the daily shooting fee, depending on production company preference.

Will we have to move out or stay in a hotel while they’re shooting in our house?

Only if the budget of the production permits, and if the crew will be occupying your home for an extended period of time. This decision is usually made mutually between the location manager and the homeowner.

Contact Us

Ontario Film Commission
Ontario Media Development Corporation

175 Bloor St. East, South Tower, Suite 501
Toronto, ON M4W 3R8
T: 416.314.6858
F: 416.314.6876
locations@omdc.on.ca

In Los Angeles
T: 310-391-1868
torontoontariofilm@gmail.com

Digital Locations Database
Digital Library button

Ontario Production Guide
Ontario Production Guide

List Your Property

List Your Property
Would you like to list your property in our Digital Location Library? Find out how to submit your own photos.