Manitoba Film & Photography Production Services & Camera Crews
Are you a media company, brand, ad agency or production company looking for film / photography production support or shooting crew in Manitoba? Contact us for trusted fixers, producers, directors, DoPs, videographers, photographers, and full shooting crews tailored for the specific needs of your project.
Filming in Manitoba
For an introduction to shooting in Manitoba see below notes on film locations, permits, when to shoot, unique local stories, costs, tax incentives, crews, talent, equipment, communications, art department, studios, post facilities, visas and work permits for filming, transport, film-friendly accommodation, and safety advice.
Manitoba Film Locations
Manitoba is best know for its big skies, vast areas of wilderness, forests, thousands of lakes, sprawling rivers, Hudson Bay icebergs, prairies, and deserts. Wildlife of interest includes polar bears, wolves, elk, moose, bears, beavers, and whales.
Agricultural film locations include cattle ranches as well as fields of wheat, corn, barley, oats, potatoes, canola, and sunflowers.
Manitoba has hosted films including The Ice Road (2021), Run (2020), Fractured (2019), Look Away (2018), A Dog’s Purpose (2017), Goon (2011), The Haunting in Connecticut (2009), The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007), Capote (2005), and Storm of the Century (1999).
Winnipeg is Manitoba’s largest city and main production centre. The Exchange District has doubled for many different American cities including New York, Chicago, New Jersey, and Baltimore. Other Winnipeg locations of interest include the Canadian Museum for Human Rights, Manitoba Museum, Precious Blood Parish, St Boniface Cathedral, St Boniface Museum, and Assiniboine Park. Capote (2005) filmed at the Manitoba Legislative Building. Goon (2011) filmed in St James Civic Centre. The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford (2007) filmed in Burton Cummings Theatre. The Winnipeg Art Gallery houses the world’s largest collection of Inuit art.
Brandon is the second largest city in the province. A Dog’s Purpose (2017), and Goon (2011) filmed in Brandon.
The northeastern town of Churchill located on Hudson Bay is known as the Polar Bear Capital of the World. Nearby Wapusk National Park is a remote park that is home to many polar bears.
Riding Mountain National Park is home to elk, moose, bison, wolves, and cougars.
Whiteshell Provincial Park is known for its rivers, lakes, boreal forest and granite ridges.
Grand Beach Provincial Park is known for white sand dunes and the beaches of Lake Winnipeg.
Other provincial parks of note include Birds Hill Provincial Park, Spruce Woods Provincial Park, Nopiming Provincial Park, Pinawa Dam Provincial Park, Hecla-Grindstone Provincial Park, Turtle Mountain Provincial Park, Duck Mountain Provincial Park, Asessippi Provincial Park, Clearwater Lake Provincial Park, Beaudry Provincial Park, Patricia Beach Provincial Park, Camp Morton Provincial Park, St Malo Provincial Park, Atikaki Provincial Park, Stephenfield Provincial Park, Pembina Valley Provincial Park, Saint Ambroise Beach Provincial Park, and Pisew Falls Provincial Park.
Pisew Falls-Kwasitchewan Falls is a spectacular waterfall location.
Narcisse Snake Dens are home to red-sided garter snakes that mate in their thousands come spring.
Pinawa Dam ruins make for an interesting film location.
Lockport is known for the St Andrews Lock and Dam, Lower Fort Garry National Historic Site, and Half Moon Restaurant which featured in A Dog’s Purpose (2017).
Mennonite Heritage Village in Steinbach has a traditional windmill, house barn, and church.
Stony Mountain Penitentiary in Rockwood featured in Capote (2005).
The Prairie Dog Central Railway has an old steam train available for filming.
Run (2020), Fractured (2019), A Dog’s Purpose (2017), and Capote (2005) filmed in Selkirk.
The Ice Road (2021) filmed in Ile des Chênes, and Gimli.
Goon (2011) filmed in Portage la Prairie.
The Haunting in Connecticut (2009) filmed in Teulon.
Manitoba Film Location Permits
Depends on the size and scope of the shoot. Film permits are required for productions that interrupt traffic, lay track or other film equipment on public property, or affect public parking. Proof of insurance is required. Most permits take about 72 hours to process. Please contact us for location specific information.
When To Shoot?
Manitoba has a four-season climate with big blue skies all year round. Winter (December to March) has freezing cold temperatures and snow on the ground. Spring (April to May) sees the snow melting with green pastures and flowers in full bloom. Summers (June to September) are hot and humid with occasional tornadoes. Most crops are harvested in August and September. Fall (October to November) has mild temperatures with leaves changing colour. September and October are Churchill’s prime polar bear watching months.
Events of interest to filmmakers and photographers include the following:
• Northern Manitoba Trappers’ Festival in February,
• Festival du Voyageur in February.
Each spring (April / May), tens of thousands of red-sided garter snakes come out to mate in an area just outside of Narcisse.
Public holidays may affect timing, availability and costs. See here for public holiday dates in Canada.
Unique Local Stories
Brands are looking for local stories that match their brand narrative. Our local teams are a great lead for sourcing those unique stories and characters.
If you are looking for stories for your next shoot, send us your brief and we will pitch you ideas.
If you have a unique story you would like to pitch to a brand anywhere in the world, pitch us your idea. We have well-established processes to ensure that your ideas are properly seen and protected.
Manitoba Tax Incentives For Filming
Tax Incentives. The Manitoba Film and Video Production Tax Credit offers qualifying productions a base rebate of 45% (up to 65% with bonuses) on approved Manitoba labor expenditures. Bonuses include a 5% Rural Bonus, 10% frequent filming bonus, and a 5% Manitoba producer bonus.
Manitoba Film Crews & Talent
Crews. Manitoba has a small but good crew base that are experienced in working efficiently in cold weather conditions.
Contact us if you are looking for a director, DP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, or any other film crew for your shoot in Manitoba.
Talent. The province’s population is predominately Caucasian with sizeable Asian and First Nations communities. There are 63 First Nations groups in Manitoba. Winnipeg offers a small pool of multicultural talent looks. Additional casting may be required out of Toronto or abroad. Film characters synonymous with Manitoba include wheat farmers, big game hunters, and hockey players.
Manitoba Film Equipment
Equipment. Some standard camera, lighting and grip equipment can be found locally and the rest can be brought in from Toronto.
Communications. Communication is key. Our agility and global experience allows us to customise the right communications systems for every shoot.
Web posted casting, scouting, and videoconferencing.
For clients that are unable to attend set we offer a virtual video village solution. This dedicated and secure high-resolution video streaming platform allows clients from one or multiple timezones to view setups without compromise and to participate in real-time with the team on set. Separate systems can be set up for the discrete conversations that are required to make a job run right. Working remotely with our local teams reduces your content production costs, turnaround times, carbon footprint, and risks associated with unpredictable global events.
Studios. Winnipeg has a 15,000 sq/ft studio.
Visas & Work Permits
Previously the rules were very strict with all visiting crew required to have work permits that were very time consuming and expensive to get. The good news is now commercial advertising shoots are exempt from the work permit process on the condition the project is foreign funded. See here for more information.
For crew members who will be entering to oversee the project, Western passport holders are able to enter Canada visa-free with an eTA for a period of up to six months. This excludes US nationals arriving directly from the US, who are exempt from the eTA requirement.
Transport & Accommodation
Transportation Infrastructure. Canada has an extensive road network, particularly in the more populated south of the country. Several domestic airlines and charter services are available to access more remote areas. Major Canadian cities are serviced by most international carriers.
Accommodation. Please contact us for recommended film friendly hotels in Winnipeg, Brandon, Thompson and other areas of Manitoba. For longer stays we can also organize serviced apartments.
Safety. Manitoba is a very safe and reliable filming centre. See here for up to date travel advice.
Down Time. Head up to Churchill to watch the northern lights, Polar bears and whales.
Projects. For an example of TV commercials, stills campaigns, online content, corporate videos, virtual reality 360 content, feature films, TV series and documentaries shot in Manitoba, please see below:
Hire Manitoba Production Support & Shooting Crew
If you are looking for a film or photographic production service company, line producer or fixer for your shoot in Manitoba, please contact us.
If you are looking for a shooting crew for your shoot in Manitoba, such as a director, DoP, photographer, videographer (cameraman / camera operator), camera assistant (focus puller), sound operator, grip, gaffer, stylist, hair and makeup, PA / runner, production driver, please contact us.
We are able to provide you with answers, references and bids quickly.