Lights, camera, acting: the growing local film industry, according to Film London

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A new professional film production equipment hire business has opened in London, just as Fanshawe College is unveiling a new on-screen and stage acting program to meet growing demand for actors.

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In the background, Film London continues to bring film and television production here as it marks its first year in business.

Andrew Dodd, director of Film London, believes there is a connection between the city’s booming cultural and business scene.

“The fact that this is happening now. . . tells me London is serious about film and TV. We’ve always had passionate players in town,” he said.

Dodd said he couldn’t give details yet, but five films – including two local and two Toronto productions – will be filmed here this year and next several TV series will be shot in London and more are scouted.

Film London was established in 2021, with annual support of $300,000 from the city, to attract film production. That year, only two films were shot here.

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“We are seeing the growth of production here. The industry is so big in Toronto that the bubble is getting bigger. Cinema is bigger than ever. The streaming wars are on and they’re hungry for content and coming to southwestern Ontario,” Dodd said.

It’s too soon to see large blocks of hotel rooms booked for films shot here, but Cheryl Finn, chief executive of Tourism London, remains optimistic.

“It’s early days but from what I hear we could see it in a few months,” she said. “I know the film office is busy and London is under surveillance. The seeds are planted.

Derek Lamoureux has been making films in London for seven years, mostly commercial work, but did some cinematography on a Netflix documentary, Generation Iron. He opened Set Ready on Bessemer Road to meet what he thinks is the growing demand for film production equipment.

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“I didn’t have access to anything, so I had to go buy things. I was limited in what I could do. It’s a way to provide access to budding filmmakers and bring more production to London,” he said.

“I appreciate what films bring from an economic point of view. We can play a small role in building an ecosystem. I see the demand slowly increasing and the film office could accelerate that.

Lamoureux still runs his film production company, LC productions, and a marketing firm, Reux Agency. Set Ready will offer a full suite of gear for rent from $250 to $1,000 per day for camera packages.

In September, Fanshawe will launch a two-year degree program called Acting for Screen and Stage. It will reflect the changing world of actors, offering instruction for voice actors working in digital media such as games, commercials and voiceovers, as well as theater and film artists, the coordinator said. Romy Golem.

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“It will include the base that all actors need, like stage components, but it will also be media-based,” he said.

Fanshawe already has an advanced film production program whose graduates work in the industry and now it will have an actor training program to work with these emerging filmmakers, Goulem said.

“This is a program for the same reason Film London exists: times are changing, the screen industry is growing,” he said.

This weekend, an event called Forest City 48 in London will take place. Fifteen filmmakers will write, shoot and edit a five to eight minute film in just 48 hours. They must use a specific location, a line of dialogue, and a particular prop.

The films will be screened on May 17 at the Wolf Performance Hall on Dundas Street.


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Gladys T. Hensley