Motion Picture

Alberta Media Fund

Calgary, Alberta is a three hour flight northeast of Los Angeles and has some of the best film production locations in the world. This international city of one million people is one of the fastest growing in North America. Strong economic growth has attracted the country's youngest and most affluent population. This in turn has led to the development of a vibrant modern dining, arts and cultural scene. Within an hour's drive of Calgary you will find mountains, forests, prairies, badlands, rivers, lakes, small towns, several western movie sets and wide open spaces.

How to apply for Motion Picture

Use our Applications page to view the numerous Motion Picture Departments and determine which is the right fit for you. We have full details on the Requirements, Tools (if applicable) and Education requirements.


To SUBMIT questions or your application please contact

Caucus Information
Select a Motion Picture Caucus from the list below to view their specific requirements and information:
Motion Picture Dispatch - How it works
The Union operates a dispatch system based on qualified seniority. The seniority number is based on a person's induction date into the Union. Qualification is determined by the Departments, based on testing, certification etc.

Here is how it works:

A production may hire any member in good standing as they deem to be qualified. They must hire a member over a permit, providing the member is qualified for the job. Crewing is usually left up to the Heads of Department. A production may also choose to go through the Union Dispatch system. Before a Department Head or Employer can go off the Membership list, the Union must first, verify that there are no qualified and available members who have not been offered the work The Union Dispatch person goes to the department list and phones those people who are listed as 'available', in order of their seniority number. This availability designation is up to the members and permits to keep up to date. You can do this on the secure website within your Member Availability page on your profile or by phoning Film Dispatch @ 403-250-5562

The allowed time for individuals to respond to the call is as follows:

  • Calls placed more than 72 hours in advance of the call: A member/permit has 6 hours to respond or they relinquish their right to the call.
  • Calls placed 24 to 72 hours in advance of the call time: A member/permit has 2 hours to respond.
  • Calls placed less than 24 hours in advance: The first available member/permit reached in person shall be offered the call.
It is essential for people to respond to the calls as quickly as possible whether or not they want the job. This frees up the Dispatch person to proceed down the seniority list to fill the positions in a timely manner. All Hall Calls are placed by seniority in the above manner. In the event that there are no members to fill the position, the Dispatch person will proceed to the permit list. There is no seniority to the permit list. A Department Head may request any permit over another permit. If none are specified, then Dispatch will call the permits in a rotational order, trying to make sure everyone gets a chance to work.

You can enhance your chances of working by:

  • Being reachable. Carry a cell phone and it's preferable that you have an active voicemail for Dispatch purposes.
  • Checking your messages frequently.
  • Updating your availability as soon as you have finished work on a project.
  • Taking calls. Be as available as you can for short notice calls.
  • Being a valuable worker. Update your skills. Work cooperatively without attitude.
New Members
You've accepted your first Union call to work. Congratulations! NOW WHAT?!
Be sure to get the following information when accepting a call:
  • The name of the production or production company
  • The phone number of the production company (This can also be accessed on the website) Shooting Schedule
  • The time of your call
  • Your rate of pay
  • The location or venue of the work
  • A map if necessary
  • Who you will be reporting to
This information may not be available from Dispatch. Phone the production company directly for these details, if needed.
The specific tool/kit requirements are listed on the website under each department; see Department Tool Requirements

Useful General Information

Dress Code

Be sure to dress for changing weather. Keep additional winter gear in your vehicle. You never know when the weather will change even in the middle of summer.
Come to work clean, and in clothing suitable to the filming location. Short shorts, muscle shirts, clothing with offensive slogans, and bare midriffs are often forbidden by production companies.

Be On Time

Give yourself plenty of time to get to your call. Consider traffic and road conditions. Do not be late.
Upon arrival, report to your Department Head or Crew Supervisor to be given your work tasks. Always follow the instructions you have been given. There are no stupid questions, but there are better times than others to ask them. Unless safety is an issue, save your questions for a slow time; not when everyone is under the gun to get things set up. Beyond anything else, work safely. If you are asked to do something that you feel is unsafe, you have the responsibility to speak up. If you do not know how to do something, admit it. Do not put others in jeopardy by doing something the wrong way.


Movie productions often provide breakfast for the crew. This is on your own time prior to the start of your work day. The catering and eating tent are located in an area called 'the circus'' which is often close to crew parking but away from the filming location.
On a movie set, a catered lunch is provided. It occurs at the beginning of the 6th hour of work after Crew Call. It is either an hour or a half hour in length, with the time measured after the last IATSE member has been served. Snacks and drinks are available throughout the day at the Craft Service table. If you are working at a Theatre or on a non-shooting crew, you should bring your lunch. In most cases, a break away lunch is not possible.

Set Etiquette

Do not leave your work area without notifying someone in your department. There are washroom facilities on every set. Carry hand sanitizer with you if there is no water available for hand washing.
On a movie set, it is forbidden to take pictures. Candid shots of performers is definitely a no-no! It is also frowned upon to engage in conversation with the Director or actors unless they initiate it. Everyone is there to work. Do not, under any circumstance, report details of a movie or movie set on a blog, chat room, social network site, or to your friends.
Never be caught on a film set with your cell phone ringing! The embarrassment does not outweigh the consequences! Turn them off or leave them in your car.
Be the best you can be. Work efficiently and happily. Leave your troubles at home. Get along with the others in the department. Think ahead. Be proactive.

Getting Paid

Be sure to fill out a start pack. You cannot get paid without one. You will get this from your Department Head or Crew Supervisor. If you are unsure of anything, be sure to ask. You will also need to fill out a time sheet. These are filled out in military time. Military time does not have am or pm designations. It is based on a 24 hour clock. Therefore, 1am to noon becomes 100 to 1200. 1pm to midnight becomes 1300 to 2400. On film sets you are paid in 6 minute increments or .10 of 60. You adjust your time out to the next increment of 6. So, if you are clocking out and your watch says 5:15pm, you would put 1718 on your timesheet. The Theatre and Stage contracts vary in their pay increments; although most are in 15 minute increments. Ask your Department Supervisor if you are unsure.
When the work is done or you have been released, clean up quickly and sign out. Leave your time sheet with your Department Head. They will check it, sign it and turn it in to the Production office. Your cheque will be available at the Production office on the Friday of the following week.

Permit Hours

It is the Permit's responsiblity to track their own hours. Keep your paystubs as proof of the work you have done as this is the best way to prove hours worked for membership qualification.

Information regarding our Motion Picture Agreements is private and secured via login.
Please click the following link, login and you will be able to view the current Motion Picture Agreements for our Union: