Thunder Bay is situated in the geographical centre of North America and shares an Eastern Standard Time Zone with over 124 million people. The strategic location also provides convenient and direct access to the United States. A mere 32 miles south from Thunder Bay is the Minnesota-Ontario border. The city is only a 6 hour drive from Minneapolis-St.Paul; Winnipeg is a quick two-hour flight or a seven-hour drive. From Minneapolis, it is a one-hour flight or a six-hour drive. Toronto is a mere two hour flight. Thunder Bay is a true four-season city with over 2,200 hours of sunshine per year.
Locally, a producer can find everything from cameras to lighting, sound equipment, green screens, dollies, jib arms, and more. Both offline and online editing studios are all available to the out-of-town producer.
Whatever is not locally available is easily brought in. Thunder Bay's central location makes it easy to transport staff and equipment from major centres.
The Thunder Bay International Airport can easily handle your production transportation needs. As the third busiest airport in Ontario, it serves over a half a million passengers a year. For more information, visit the Thunder Bay International Airport Authority website at:www.tbairport.on.ca.
A plethora of picturesque location sites including unique cultural neighbourhoods, niche and major shopping areas, historical and modern architecture, state-of-the-art developments and ghostly remnants of bygone eras, can all be found in the city that is “Superior by Nature.” A rich blend of natural boreal forests, lush endless fields, long rolling hills and mountains, and the world’s largest fresh water lake, Lake Superior, make for some breathtaking shots. Historical sites such as Old Fort William a living breathing re-creation of the fur trade fort as operated by the North West Company from 1803-1821, and the Founder’s Museum Pioneer Village and their recreation of early times extend their facilities to you as picture perfect locations to shoot historical documentaries, mini-series, or motion pictures. Thunder Bay has the expertise, locations, funding incentives and people to help make your shoot and your postproduction experience gratifying and monetarily satisfying.
What makes filming in Thunder Bay so exciting is the creative community that already exists and is flourishing here. When a production is supported by a community that welcomes it and can provide assistance, a community that 'gets' it, then it becomes something more than just 'making a movie'; it becomes an experience.
The film and video culture in Thunder Bay has roots a hundred years deep and is currently experiencing a renaissance. Many award winning production companies exist in town that can assist out-of-town producers, whether it’s scouting locations, crewing a production, providing gear, casting, or post production.
Thunder Bay is also home to a number of film festivals, showcasing local, national, and international productions. These festivals are enthusiastically supported by the wider community of Thunder Bay that values creative expression and culture. That's something already here, and what makes filming in Thunder Bay a truly complete experience.
Shooting in Thunder Bay is efficient, satisfying, and provides an amazing array of creative possibilities. The benefits to producing in Thunder Bay are efficiency, satisfaction and myriad creative possibilities. There are many people available to assist the out-of-town and local producer. One example is Flash Frame, a local co-operative organization composed of film and video professionals who are available in many ways to assist in production. The Confederation College film program is one of the best film training schools in Canada. Many talented graduates, students, and faculty reside in the community and they have the expertise and training to assist in making productions in Thunder Bay successful. In addition there are numerous production companies ready and willing to help.
When you put all of these advantages together, shooting in Thunder Bay opens up an amazing array of creative possibilities, providing an efficient and satisfying filming experience.
Visit the Tax Incentives and Funding page for information on what may be available to you.
Visit the Film Companies in Thunder Bay page for a list of filmmakers.