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Calgary becoming a 'go-to location' for film, TV production, says union

Last Updated Jul 29, 2021 at 6:30 am MDT

CALGARY – A union that represents those who work behind the scenes of TV and film productions is painting a picture of just how much the industry is booming in the Calgary area.

IATSE 212 says the number of sound stages in the has grown from 50,000 square feet to 500,000 in a matter of six months.

President Damian Petti says it’s a struggle to keep up with demand.

“The growth is driving us as a go-to production location,” explained Petti. “We’re starting to become a choice that people seriously consider.”

RELATED: Alberta front and centre in new ‘Ghostbusters’ trailer

Petti says one challenge the industry faces is the need for more training because production companies that come here expect the best of the best.

“There aren’t many unskilled jobs in the industry… So, we’re offering more training than we ever have and we’re hoping to keep pace,” he said.

He says the industry has been working with post-secondary institutions in the province to create job opportunities for costume designers, lighting and set technicians, and other roles on a film set.

He’s also celebrating the release of the latest trailer for the new Ghostbusters and says more than 200 technicians worked on the movie, and most were based in Calgary.

Petti says there are several projects being shot in the Calgary area, including the next season of Heartland, a Predator series feature called Skulls, The Last of Us, Joe Pickett, and Billy the Kid.

He adds a new series titled Under the Banner of Heaven is set to begin shooting next month.