Filming on location with Canadian Line Producer André Fitsialos
André was born and raised in Toronto and studied arts at university. He has been working in the city’s commercial film world since 1996, working on many national spots as well as serving the international commercial film community interested in shooting in Canada.
How did you get into this business and how do you currently operate?
I am proud to say that I started at the beginning, working as a PA getting coffee and picking confetti out of lawns. I started working on music videos and commercials, and I’m now a freelance Line Producer, but I have worked as a Production Manager, Post Producer and Broadcast Producer.
My primary function is working on commercials and content, but I do work on independent feature films from time to time, but mostly with directors from the commercial world.
Where have you shot overseas or out-of-state in the past couple of years?
Much of my travel work had been in British Columbia, Alberta and Ontario, but I also get the occational travel jobs to South America. The most notable was to Queenstown, New Zealand. I also seem to have been shooting arctic projects in northern Alberta and North West Territories.
Can you describe the process that resulted in your Queenstown shoot?
We were looking for dramatic rope bridges, so we looked at British Columbia, Chile and California. Being February and shooting a commercial intended for spring, the decision to film in Queenstown was based on talent costs and the lush aesthetic of New Zealand.
Being the backdrop for Lord of the Rings and the Narnia franchise, the local crews are very experienced and the helicopter pilots were some of the best film pilots I have seen.
Who were the location scouts you used for this project?
I worked with a great local company called Film Construction. They were a great full-service film company and provided scouts that found exactly what we were looking for.
What would you have liked to have known before filming at these locations that you could pass on to other production professionals?
Get a head start on moving through the immigration process. Not all Government offices talk to one another, so the more time you give it the greater the chances of getting your paperwork on time.
Other than immigration, shooting in Queenstown is a breeze. Being the backdrop for Lord of the Rings and the Narnia franchise, the local crews are very experienced and the helicopter pilots were some of the best film pilots I have seen. I would recommend Peter Hewitt of Film Construction and Big Chief Grips.
Do you consider your carbon footprint when shooting?
Film shoots are notorious for their wastage, so we always try to be as green as possible. Things like recylce bins, compostable travel containers for food, and water coolers to help cut down on plastic water bottles, are a must on all of my film sets.
Film shoots are notorious for their wastage, so we always try to be as green as possible.
Where have you shot that in your opinion represents the best value for money or production values?
New Zealand was cost-effective. The exchange rates were in our favour and the production value was high.
Where are you happiest?
My cottage, in Muskoka Ontario.
To contact Andre, please click here.
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