ShebaFilms provides a full range of pre-production, production and post-production services to out of town filmmakers. We make films with budgets that are large and small. We have equipment of our own or locally at our disposal, and we can get more specialized equipment in Thunder Bay or overnight from Winnipeg or Toronto. We have filmed around the world and in many challenging situations, so we are not afraid of a challenge. We have access to a large pool of local talent and we know where to find the people we cannot find in Thunder Bay. We live in a city of 120,000 which is on the shores of the largest freshwater lake in the world and we are surrounded by spectacular natural beauty. ShebaFilms has it all.
Our productions range in size but they have been as large as “Under the Red Star” which was shot on Super 16, had a crew of 35, required 200 extras in period costumes, and used a 6000 sq. ft location as a studio for one month. Everything, except the lead actors, the DOP, the Gaffer and a few special lights were sourced locally. For this production, which was in Finnish and English, we relied primarily upon our own equipment, a couple of local sources for 1910-1940 costumes, local actors for 40 plus speaking parts, and other Thunder Bay resources for period cars, free access to locations like a period general store, train station and court room, and reasonably priced accommodation and services. There are limits to what we can do, but we can do quite a bit.
Our equipment has evolved over the years and we either own or can easily get the latest technology for production and post-production. We do not rent our equipment, but we have a Super 16 Aaton XTR camera and kit, a 16mm camera, several DSLR options, sound equipment, lights, stands, and lots of other stuff. For post-production we have an editing suite, a small sound studio, and access to a larger venue for use as a short-term production studio. Our interest in historical documentaries means that we have a good selection of archival materials related to various projects and we have lots of stock footage. We also have experience with production in 360 and we have the editing software and expertise to make it work. If it’s here, we know where it is. If it’s not, we know where to get it.
In addition to producing our own films, we have assisted in many productions, large and small, in Thunder Bay and region. We are also mobile and travel across Canada and around the world with our equipment and our expertise. We have literally climbed the highest mountains, crossed the largest oceans, been almost as far north and as far south as you can get, trekked through jungles, filmed in prisons, gold mines, and slums, and we have worked outside at -30. We have also conducted research for films in various archives, we interviewed high-level officials and individuals at home and abroad, we have gained access to highly restricted locations and we have used interpreters to conduct interviews in a number of languages. We are experienced and bring that experience to our work.
Thunder Bay boasts a deep pool of experienced film production talent because Confederation has been producing filmmakers since the 1970s. Confederation College’s Film Production two-year diploma program provides graduates with training in every aspect of film production including directing, scriptwriting, lighting, cinematography, editing, art direction, production design, sound mixing, and the business of film. Its graduates can be found throughout the film industry in Canada and elsewhere in the world. Shebafilms has been providing training opportunities for recent graduates and employment for experienced local filmmakers for twenty years.
The city of Thunder Bay and its residents offer a supportive environment for film production and permits are seldom required. Thunder Bay is located on the shores of Lake Superior and it is just a short flight from Toronto and Winnipeg. This means that filmmakers wanting to make use of the natural beauty of the Canadian Shield, the spectacular vistas of the largest freshwater lake in the world or who are looking for the backdrop of a small town or city streets, can base their operations in Thunder Bay. In addition to what the city has to offer, it is a short distance away from some of the most spectacular and accessible locations in Canada. Need a canyon with 100 metre cliffs, the second highest waterfall in Ontario, a sea port, wild animals, a lighthouse, a mountain, a forest, a shipwreck, or a functioning 19th century fur trade post? We’ve got them and more.
Watch this short video montage by Damien Gilbert for a sample of the landscapes and other locations our region has to offer filmmakers. Thunder Bay and Surrounding Area
ShebaFilms has experience in making films in Northwestern Ontario and around the world. We know the local filmmaking community and we know where to go and who to call to get the job done in Thunder Bay. In addition to making our own films and providing advice to other filmmakers, we provide a range of commercial services, from helping to develop the concept for a production, to production and marketing. We can help you make your ideas come alive because we have the experience and the know-how.
Contact us to discuss the possibilities