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Why So Many Canadians Do Photo/Video For A Living?

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I noticed the majority of the photo & video creators I watch on social media, (YT/IG) that have large followings with good content are Canadian. Same goes with when I watch indie movies/documentaries and look into the crew. I have nothing against them in any way, I am just curious as to why this seems to be the case. I know there are many beautiful places in Canada that could inspire people to create, but that could be said about lots of areas in the world. Is there any data on this, or social research in general? I will be really jealous if they had videography as a core requirement for their public schooling lol.  

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I believe the reasons are socio-political.

Canada is one of the most progressive societies on the planet, so there is freedom of speech and expression, and self determination.

Also it is the most "European" of the new world countries (Canada,US,NZ,AUD) so it has a bigger influence on other countries, and also is open to receive influence.

I have a friend there that has done 2-3 documentaries in his whole life, and somehow he survives as a "director", with only a very limited portfolio of other paid jobs.

Also, they have a lot of free time, not the wildest capitalism over there, high salaries that can afford the newest and best of equipment, they are very digital literate, a lot of Hollywood and video gaming productions and obviously match more your profile, so you fell on them all the time!

I am sure there are Hindus, Chinese, Korean and Japanese with a lot more social media power, but we may never know anything about them.

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18 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

I believe the reasons are socio-political.

Canada is one of the most progressive societies on the planet, so there is freedom of speech and expression, and self determination.

Also it is the most "European" of the new world countries (Canada,US,NZ,AUD) so it has a bigger influence on other countries, and also is open to receive influence.

I have a friend there that has done 2-3 documentaries in his whole life, and somehow he survives as a "director", with only a very limited portfolio of other paid jobs.

Also, they have a lot of free time, not the wildest capitalism over there, high salaries that can afford the newest and best of equipment, they are very digital literate, a lot of Hollywood and video gaming productions and obviously match more your profile, so you fell on them all the time!

I am sure there are Hindus, Chinese, Korean and Japanese with a lot more social media power, but we may never know anything about them.

That would make sense, I did read something on very early Toronto, where they used photographs to make political points in the 1800's? Basically, they viewed it strictly as a tool & used it politically more than others. Then it wasnt until the 1970s that it was viewed more as an art form. 

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Well if you aren't into winter sports there isn't a hell of a lot else to do in Canada but "escape" through movies, or movie making LoL. I have met a lot of them when I lived in Florida. They overall didn't seem to be a happy Lot to be honest. They took everything Way too serious. They acted like their mother was watching them all the time alive or not!  Stiff upper lip and all. Stressful way to live if you ask me.😬

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5 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

They overall didn't seem to be a happy Lot to be honest.

This is surprising! I live in Vermont, so I know a lot of Canadians (eh?) and the only negative interactions I have really ever had are with French Canadians. They drive too fast, pretend they don't speak/understand English (most of them do!) and can be pretty sour. And before anyone accuses me of being prejudice my Mom's family is French Canadian! So some French Canadian runs through these veins! 🤣

Really though I think part of it boils down to the importance of art and creativity in Canadian culture. Culturally they focus on the arts more than the US does these days. As someone that grew up in the late 80s and the 90s, art and music programs began to disappear during my time in school. I think that began even earlier, unfortunately, starting in the 70s. Those programs are what stimulate creativity in children and send them on the path to creative outlets like photography and film. 

Degrees in the "liberal arts", theater, and even stuff like journalism, etc. have become kind of punchlines and are viewed by many as useless degrees in the United States these days. 

Without going on a political rant, the TL;DR version is simply the United States has really focused itself culturally on money, economics and... That's about it. Even our film and television industry has become more about money and economics than artistic expression and creativity. Films make more money than ever but those films are void of much substance. They're incredible from a technical standpoint, but Transformers 8 and Fast and the Furious XXI aren't exactly leaving a positive impact on the culture of the United States. They're made for economic reasons, not artistic. 

When you watch films or television made in other countries you'll often see that they've been made with government grant money, whereas most films and television is made here using private money with tax incentives. Heck here in the US people are trying to defund what little is made with tax payer money! PBS is one of the few American outlets that still produces things with substance but is constantly targeted by people trying to defund it. 

I think you can also trace the decline of American influence globally in part to the decline of the arts here. Obviously there are a ton of other factors, but American entertainment was a huge part of spreading American culture and ideas (for better or worse) to the world. 

Anyway. Ha ha ha ha. As others have said, I think it's a cultural thing. 

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I have to say that considering how much film production has gone on in Canada in the past 30+ years then I think the answer should be "why wouldn't there be so many Canadians doing photo/video for a living?"

Favourable exchange rate, a range of tax incentives, English (and French in parts) speaking crews and the ability to double as a range of US locations (especially NYC) etc etc has all added up to making it an attractive proposition to shoot there over the years.

This list of films shot in Toronto for example illustrates the point

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_films_shot_in_Toronto

Telefilm Canda is also very active with co-production agreements with numerous countries and all of this production creates not only a lot of activity at the high end but obviously also filters down and creates a sizeable base below it.

Clearly, looking at YouTube then, a lot of Canadian have just taken the previous job the outside world knew them for and just put the letter 'V' in front of it ;)

 

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@BTM_Pix I was watching the first Flying Circus episodes this weekend. Again! 

How's British TV these days? I remember some great shows when I was living there. Ideal, Mighty Boosh, Garth Marenghi's Dark Place, Peep show, Nighty Night, Modern Toss, Big Train, Morris, Iannucci, Partridge, so many stuff!

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2 minutes ago, Kisaha said:

 

How's British TV these days? I remember some great shows when I was living there. Ideal, Mighty Boosh, Garth Marenghi's Dark Place, Peep show, Nighty Night, Modern Toss, Big Train, Morris, Iannucci, Partridge, so many stuff!

There are a couple of exceptions but I'd say in general terms that the past 5-10 years have produced better drama TV series from the UK than comedy.

That could all change post 29th March of course when God knows we'll need something to laugh about.

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Hard to believe David Lynch once had the number one show on US network television, or that MTV was the go-to channel for indie music..

I don't follow much British TV (or any TV) these days but Black Mirrors is certainly one of the more imaginative shows out there now imo.

Still haven't gotten through all the alternate endings of its latest interactive episode. Would love to see a BTS about the process/filming of that.

 

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11 hours ago, Snowbro said:

I noticed the majority of the photo & video creators I watch on social media, (YT/IG) that have large followings with good content are Canadian. Same goes with when I watch indie movies/documentaries and look into the crew. I have nothing against them in any way, I am just curious as to why this seems to be the case. I know there are many beautiful places in Canada that could inspire people to create, but that could be said about lots of areas in the world. Is there any data on this, or social research in general? I will be really jealous if they had videography as a core requirement for their public schooling lol.  

I think that this should answer your question on why Canadians are so inspired to be creative.

 

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1 hour ago, Django said:

Hard to believe David Lynch once had the number one show on US network television, or that MTV was the go-to channel for indie music..

I don't follow much British TV (or any TV) these days but Black Mirrors is certainly one of the more imaginative shows out there now imo.

Still haven't gotten through all the alternate endings of its latest interactive episode. Would love to see a BTS about the process/filming of that.

 

Black mirror is worst and worst every year. A couple of good episodes per season now. The first 2 - British - seasons were excellent.

This ButterSnatch, or whatever it is called, was a waste of 100 good minutes. Truly terrible. Don't know what they were trying to achieve with all these back and forth.

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As a Canadian, born, raised and making a living for 15+ years as a producer in Toronto (predominantly in radio but also in tv with a passion for grassroots indie film docs) I can tell you that while there might be some unique characteristic of Canada that is giving film/doc makers/crews the perception of an advantage to film/doc makers/crews south of the border, the comparison itself would likely sound laughable to many of them... especially when you think that Canada's entire population can fit in the state of California. You can also expect much much more laughter from the Canadian film/doc makers like myself, who are Black, Brown or Indigenous. It's one thing to be a Canadian film/doc maker/crew etching out a decent living telling and re-telling the standard White-Eurocentric narratives, but... ....

I don't think I need to finish that sentence cuz we all know where I'm going with it.

 

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I'm sorry (actually I'm not sorry) but.... generalizations only tell a fraction of the story... and actually make us look fat, stupid and wearing an eyepatch.
On the national level, the Canadian government is mandated to dispense funds to outfits (Telefilm, Canadian Media Fund, Film Tax Credits, Arts Councils etc) with the idea to not only to offset the massive footprint of their neighbour south, but to 'reflect Canada to Canadians'. Better still if the works travel well. Moreover, those in the know certainly appreciate the revenue it generates in GDP, but certainly understand that nations who do not support the arts, sacrifice their imaginations on the cruel alter of reality.

 

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On 1/6/2019 at 11:08 AM, webrunner5 said:

I have met a lot of them when I lived in Florida. They overall didn't seem to be a happy Lot to be honest. They took everything Way too serious. They acted like their mother was watching them all the time alive or not!  Stiff upper lip and all. Stressful way to live if you ask me.😬

I certainly wouldn't want much to do with snowbirds taking holidays in Florida either. Moreover, I can imagine these poor bastards probably thought you were trying to slip something in their watered down sugar drink ;)

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A lot of them seemed to be either farmers or owned a lot of land. They are seemed very well educated and knowledgeable. I had a lot as friends because they came back year after year. They didn't stay really that long. A lot of them has to get back for an operation they had scheduled for months, and they could only be out of country so long or their insurance was canceled? But they all acted like they were afraid to be seen ever making a mistake. Hard to describe, but they had fun but they didn't. It was like you act when you are at church LoL.

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2 hours ago, User said:

generalizations only tell a fraction of the story... and actually make us look fat, stupid and wearing an eyepatch.

I feel like this is a hit piece on someone, but I can't quite put my finger on it... 🤔

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5 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

I think I see it also, but I am wearing a eyepatch so hard to tell. Sounds like User is Canadian?

Hahaha.. my wife just walked in and said "Its Odin!" Is it too late to change usernames? 😁

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27 minutes ago, webrunner5 said:

A lot of them seemed to be either farmers or owned a lot of land. They are seemed very well educated and knowledgeable. I had a lot as friends because they came back year after year. They didn't stay really that long. A lot of them has to get back for an operation they had scheduled for months, and they could only be out of country so long or their insurance was canceled? But they all acted like they were afraid to be seen ever making a mistake. Hard to describe, but they had fun but they didn't. It was like you act when you are at church LoL.

You know, the rest of the world seeing Anglo-Saxonic influenced countries as exactly the opposite, as making too many stupid things on a very short time and act as nothing really matters in this life, or the next, while that can be insulting for different cultures and peoples.

There is even a term "anti-Americanism", that extends to extremeties from completely different cultures, while a lot of Europeans consider the "Americans" naive/clueless/cowboys, or worst.

Certainly Canadians have a much better reputation around the world!

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