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Former student discusses film industry


On Monday, Val Martindale’s grade 12 English Media class got a rare opportunity when independent film-maker Carol O’Brien talked to them about the film-making industry.

O’Brien, now a Winnipeg-based Canadian film-maker but a former graduate of Fort High, came in on the request of Martindale, who has two classes that study the media.

“Even though I teach the process of movie-making, it has more weight than a person who actually does this comes in and talks to the students,” Martindale noted.

O’Brien is quite experienced in the film industry. She has made four short films, which have been aired on WTN, Showcase, and CBC, the latter of which she has done other work for.

She was the third assistant director in the “Ernest in the Army” movie, which was filmed in South Africa, and also has done work for the popular YTV series, “The Adventures of Shirley Holmes.”

“I really enjoy talking to students and explaining that there is a movie-making industry in Canada,” noted O’Brien, whose father, Marty, was a former mill manager here.

She gave an elaborate account of the process of making a movie, including the people involved and their roles, the finances, and how to acquire them as an independent film-maker.

She also explained the difference between independent films and Hollywood films.

“What [O’Brien] said to my students was very important. They may not realize that one can actually make a living as an independent film-maker,” said Martindale.

“Even if she reached just one student, it was worth it,” she added.

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