Seeking Blue Chip Development Talent

Join our crew

 

Position: Blue Chip Documentary Development Person

Duties: Take documentary series ideas from one liners to full-fledged pitch with compelling copy and imagery.

Tasks include research, proposal writing, and preparation of beat outlines and sizzle reels.

This is a contract, temporary position, with infinite potential.

Wage: Based on experience.

 

Location: White Rock, British Columbia

Skills: The applicant must have strong writing skills and a thorough understanding of what constitutes reliable information sources along with an ability to footnote and annotate research documents. Position requires excellent spelling and grammar and attention to detail. A successful candidate will have demonstrable interview skills and be able to edit in Final Cut Pro and create one-sheets using InDesign, or similar software.

Experience: Must have a minimum of 2 years experience in developing traditional documentary and/or dramatic programs for international broadcast.

Minimum education: Bachelor Degree, ideally History Major or similar.

Please submit you cover letter and resume as one document to jobs@parallaxfilm.com before August 31, 2017.

Successful candidates will be contacted directly.  Please no calls.

Seeking a Bookkeeper

We are looking for a Bookkeeper (aprox. 25 to 30 hours per week) to assist with general bookkeeping and production accounting in our White Rock based office.

The candidate must be organized, meticulous and able to work independently using accounting software, such as Quickbooks and be comfortable manipulating and creating spreadsheets using Excel.

This individual will work in a demanding, deadline driven environment, assisting management and production staff with a number of competing accounting responsibilities.

Duties include:

  • Accounts Payable: Post purchase orders, accounts payable/receivable, and production costs.
  • Accounts Receivable: Prepare bank deposits, clear accounts receivable, enter cash receipts.
  • Payroll: Prepare biweekly payrolls through a service provider, post payroll reports, prepare project billbacks. Manage employee status changes as directed.
  • General cash flow management: update bank balances, prepare cheque runs, organize bank drafts.
  • Credit Card and Petty Cash Management: issue petty cash, including foreign currencies, record and reconcile costs, project billbacks, ensure timely reconciliation.
  • GST: Track and prepare returns.
  • Vendors: liaise as required.
  • Filing, documentation and to ensure Audit Trail.
  • General office administration: filing, answering phones, as required.

EXPERIENCE:

Suitable applicants shall have three years experience and achieved an intermediate level with a recognized accounting body, be comfortable implementing the principals of financial reporting, cost accounting and taxation. Any experience with Canadian film and television production accounting would be welcome.

If interested please email your resume, with cover letter to jobs@parallaxfilm.com. Please send resumes and cover letters together as one file.

Salary to commensurate with experience.

Seeking an Assistant Editor

Location:     White Rock, British Columbia

Company:    Parallax Film Productions

 

Do you love post-production and everything about the editing process?  Are you hungry to know more about every new technology?  Do you have the ability to give things all your attention making sure no threads are dropped?   This job would really work for you.

We’re producing an amazing World War II documentary series and we need an assistant editor that can work out of our office. If you land the position you’ll be processing and logging our precious incoming footage, helping our editors and writers when they hit the wall (or just need a hand) and prepping deliverables– pretty important stuff.

Please apply with a short explanation of why the job interests you and a brief outline of why you think your experience would make us a great team.  Send your resume and brief paragraph to jobs@parallaxfilm.com as one document.

Sorry, no phone calls.  If you’ve secured an interview we’ll be sure to give you a ring.

 

Seeking Writer for Documentary Series

Location:     White Rock, British Columbia

Company:    Parallax Film Productions

 

We love telling compelling story in great detail.

We are relentlessly curious about the world around us.

You too?

We’re producing an amazing long form documentary content and we need an experienced writer, with broadcast credits, to shepherd shoot scripts through the edit process.

Send a brief paragraph outlining why you’d be a good fit along with a detailed resume, as a single document to: jobs@parallaxfilm.com.

Sorry, no phone calls. If you’ve secured an interview we’ll be sure to give you a ring.

Seeking a Researcher

Location:    White Rock, British Columbia

Company:    Parallax Film Productions

Do you have an eye for detail? Do you love finding out the story behind the story? Do you give good phone? Could you live in a library? This could be your dream job.

We’re producing an amazing World War II documentary series set during and we need someone that can work out of our offices to find fantastic interview subjects, confirm historical research with multiple primary sources and annotate scripts.

If you are interested in this position send us something you gathered information on (eg: a thesis excerpt, a documentary program, a research proposal, a print story or pitch document). Tell us how you gathered the information. Please send this document and your resume as a single document to jobs@parallaxfilm.com.

Sorry, no phone calls. If you’ve secured an interview we’ll be sure to give you a ring.

Seeking an Office Production Assistant

Location:     White Rock, British Columbia

Company:    Parallax Film Productions

We’re producing an amazing historical documentary series and we need someone here in the Lower Mainland who can support our directors, producers and office staff.

We expect people that work in this position to help make travel arrangements, answer phones, gather information (and present that info with precision), run errands, make coffee, and keep things tidy – really, whatever needs doing.

Whoever fills this position will be doing stuff we really value.

We need someone with a valid driver’s license, proficiency in English and Microsoft Office applications, as well as a pleasant demeanor and an ability to solve problems on the fly.

If you’re excited about this position please write and tell us why. Be sure to outline how your experience and background would make us a great team.

Send your resume and a brief paragraph about yourself as one document and send it to: jobs@parallaxfilm.com

If you’ve secured an interview we’ll be sure to give you a ring. Sorry, no phone calls.

 

Seeking a Picture Editor

Location:    White Rock, British Columbia

Company:    Parallax Film Productions

We’re producing an amazing World War II doc series and we’re in need of senior level editors with experience editing long form documentary programs.

You will be working from detailed shoot scripts, with annotated facts to create rough and fine cuts that are engaging, beautifully timed and profile our finest footage.

Please apply with a short statement of interest you and a brief outline of your experience cutting classic doc films (if you only have only docu-soap experience, this job won’t likely be a good fit).

Send your resume and brief paragraph to jobs@parallaxfilm.com as one document.

Sorry, no phone calls.  If you’ve secured an interview we’ll be sure to give you a ring.

 

Happy 4th of July!

Happy 4th of July to our American friends and viewers! We’re excited to share the upcoming Hell Below line up for U.S.  The six-episode series premieres Sunday, July 17 at 9 p.m. ET/PT on the Smithsonian Channel.

Set in the Atlantic and in the Pacific, Hell Below charts the stealthy game of undersea warfare in World War II. We’ll be sharing some classic American submarine stories: the revolutionary Dudley “Mush” Morton, commander of the USS Wahoo, and Commander Sam Dealey and his daring missions aboard USS Harder and Richard O’Kane commanding the legendary USS Tang.   We’re also profiling the forgotten sacrifices of American Merchant Mariners when the U-Boat war came to US shores in the episode: Hitler’s Revenge.

Complete Episode Listing:

Sunday July 17The Wolfpack

The series kicks off in March 1941, when Hitler’s mastermind of submarines, Karl Dönitz, deploys his U-Boat Aces in a deadly new tactic. But the Allies have armed themselves with new anti-submarine technology. The resulting battle changes the course of the Battle of the Atlantic.

Production still from "Hell Below" television series (c) 2015 Parallax Film Productions Inc. 1-604-531-2244 Photo by Sean F. White

Sunday July 24Hitler’s Revenge

In December of 1941, five Nazi U-Boats set out on a secret mission to attack Allied shipping off the shores of the United States in an attempt to thwart the American war effort. The orders to the U-Boat commanders are simple: sink as many ships as possible.

Production Still from Hell Below: Hitler's Revenge

Sunday July 31 – America Fights Back

A look at Dudley “Mush” Morton, the Commander of USS Wahoo and his brash new tactics in submarine warfare. On this his patrol in command, the new skipper decides to take on an entire Japanese convoy. If he succeeds, he will be the first American submarine commander to claim such a prize.

Production Still from HellBelow: America Fights Bak (c) 2016 Parallax Film Productions Inc.

Sunday August 7 – Atlantic Showdown

Two convoys leave North America bound for Britain, carrying vital food and raw materials for the Allied war effort. For three days, the ships are mercilessly attacked by the Nazi U-Boat Wolfpacks, resulting in the largest convoy battle of World War II.

Production Still from HellBelow: Atlantic Showdown (c) 2016 Parallax Film Productions Inc.

Sunday August 14 – Destroyer Killer.

Commander Sam Dealey and the crew of USS Harder ply through enemy waters on a daring rescue mission while facing dozens of Japanese warships.

Production Still from HellBelow: Destroyer Killer (c) 2016 Parallax Film Productions Inc.

Sunday August 21 – Fatal Voyage.

Commander Dick O’Kane and the USS Tang sail into Formosa Strait, possibly the most dangerous region in the Pacific, with the mission to sink Japanese ships. Nearing the end of their patrol, O’Kane fires his last torpedo. But it turns against him and his crew must fight to survive aboard a sinking submarine.

Production Still from HellBelow: Fatal Voyage (c) 2016 Parallax Film Productions Inc.

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Filming the Hell for Hell Below

Last year, Hell Below filmed its principal dramatic re-enactments on board two museum ships: USS Cod, a Gato-class submarine in Cleveland, Ohio and U-995, a Type VII U-boat in Laboe, Germany.

USS Cod in Cleveland, OH
USS Cod in Cleveland, OH

Both locations provided the production with fantastic opportunities to capture an authentic look and feel for the show. A typical day on either set would see 15-25 cast and crew on board. That’s a half to a third of what you might expect to have on a WWII vessel. Needless to say, these spaces are very cramped and make logistics challenging. All camera and lighting equipment had to be hauled on the sets each day and staged in various compartments. It was tough for our small production crew so we can only imagine the logistical realities for the men living and fighting for long periods of time on board.

Sean F. White on Location Aboard HMCS Sackville
Sean F. White on Location Aboard HMCS Sackville

We’re always throwing Director of Photography Sean F. White into challenging and foreign environments. Shooting on WWII submarines would prove no different. Our Production Co-Ordintator, Dalila Jovanovic, caught up with Sean and they chatted about some of the demands and rewards of the shoot.

What was the most challenging part of filming at the USS Cod?

“The Conning Tower was the smallest space in the submarine.” recalls White. “We had three days worth of shooting in there. Not only is it a small space but there are plenty of protrusions – the two periscopes, equipment, etc. The bulk of the character filming took place there because that’s where they battled. In addition, heat rises and it all collected there. There was barely enough room to move a meter in any direction with a camera on your shoulder. Lots of dangers to yourself physically but also to the expensive equipment you’re working with, not just our cameras but also the Cod’s fragile museum pieces. Lots at stake and lots to work with.”

In the Conning Tower during the Destroyer Killer Episode

“When we did our depth charging sequences, it was full on. It was noisy and cramped, people are bouncing around. Your intensity level is peaked out. What I find amazing is how cool-headed the actual crew of these submarines must have been, working under these extreme situations in the same cramped, confined spaces. I mean it was challenging enough just filming in there but they had real life and death situations, and the ship would be moving and travelling. I wouldn’t want to do it.”

White continues about his crew, “We are a very tight, small crew that works very well as a unit. Some of the compartments were so tight that we had to stage cast and crew in other rooms. Sometimes the Director, Ian Herring, would be wedged up in the corner of the room on top of an apple crate, watching the scene. It’s far from your feature film scenario with huge tents and cables running everywhere and people sitting down in chairs looking at monitors. This is guerrilla style work but we were all united in the vision of how to achieve it.

What about the set of U-995? How did the U-boat differ from the American submarine? Were there any particular challenges there?

“Well the U-boat was smaller, so there was even less space than the US submarine.” White elaborates, “The US sub by contrast was luxurious – wider spaces for the crew, wider and taller corridors, bigger doors. The U-boat was more condensed. At this point, our crew was more accustomed to submarine the environments. But I think most of my injuries were sustained on the U-boat. We also spent a lot of filming on the deck. The nature of the design for the U-boat made it very difficult to film. We had to strap ladders on the deck and weigh them down. We literally harnessed ourselves on to the side of the submarine to get our shots of the bridge watch. We were about 40 feet off of the ground and spraying water, wind, and smoke.

Production still from "Hell Below" television series (c) 2015 Parallax Film Productions Inc. 1-604-531-2244 Photo by Sean F. White
Production still from “Hell Below” television series (c) 2015 Parallax Film Productions Inc. 1-604-531-2244 Photo by Sean F. White

Was there a particularly fun scene to shoot on set?

White laughs. “Well there was a lot of fun things to shoot. I think that’s what attracted us all to the project, the opportunity to shoot on these very cool subs. One of the highlights from the German U-995 shoot was out on the deck. We actually had the local fire department show up and they brought in these huge hoses and set them up on top of the deck. We had guys re-enacting the Atlantic storms. In some cases, German U-boat crew would actually be swept off the bridge and so they were often harnessed in, like us. We did it in a safe manner and it was very fun. The whole town came out and watched these actors in period pieces just get plastered by these firefighters. Of course, we all got soaked but no one minds getting wet and dirty if you know you’re getting good stuff.”

“Some of the running scenes were really fun to shoot. If there was an emergency on the sub, they would dive and all free men would race to the bow of the sub to help it reach depth faster. We did a bunch of cool scenes where the crew would be running through these various corridors. Following people through these tight spaces really gives you a sense of the submarine. You feel like you’re travelling.”

Hell Below also shot scenes on the HMCS Sackville to represent the British sailors aboard Atlantic convoys and created a Special Effects submarine in Langley, BC, for some of the more action-packed sequences.

Aboard HMCS Sackville in Halifax during the filming of Hell Below
Aboard HMCS Sackville in Halifax during the filming of Hell Below

The dramatic re-enactments are a huge part of the series and bring a real sense of authenticity to the visuals. The crew of Hell Below had a small taste of what submarine life might have been like for the young sailors of the Second World War and were fortunate to walk away with some stunning imagery, plenty of stories, and only a few bumps and bruises.

Hell Below is currently airing on Tuesdays on Smithsonian Channel in Canada. The episodes are available for Canadian viewers online for a limited time after broadcast here.

We look forward to announcing more worldwide broadcast dates shortly. Stay tuned!

How to Dress a Submariner

Hell Below was filmed aboard two Second World War era submarines, the USS Cod in Cleveland, Ohio and U-995 in Laboe, Germany. We had great sets, an incredibly talented crew and a wealth of performers to work with.  In order to really bring the visuals to life, we needed to be as authentic as possible with the period costuming.  Our talented Production Coordinator and Designer Dalila Jovanovic tells us how to dress a submariner.

At first, the insignia, ranking systems, and even the hue of the uniforms, was daunting.  After many hours of research, I breathed a sigh of relief as both the American and German submarine uniform requirements were much less rigid once sailors left port.  The men would pack away their best clothing for their return to base.  On board, they were able to wear whatever made them most comfortable.  For the Americans, this usually meant khakis, t-shirts, undershirts, etc.  Aboard German U-Boats, it would appear that they usually dressed down their battledress.

Sam Dealey and his Crew Aboard USS Harder
Sam Dealey and his Crew Aboard USS Harder

The American costumes were easy enough to replicate.  Our friend Paul Farace at the USS Cod provided us with many of the American khakis seen in the show.  In our Destroyer Killer episode, we borrowed authentic battledress from one of our re-enactors to replicate what a group of Australian commandos might have worn for a rescue mission.   All in all, Cleveland was good to us.

The real challenges came with our German episodes.  While the Kriegsmarine active duty wear was “casual”, we still had to replicate their battledress and source the proper caps for a number of Commanders.  Luftwaffe and SS Officer uniforms are fairly accessible but the U-boat costumes are a truly niche market.  After many sketchy website visits, we started building costumes by U-boat compartment.

There were a number of looks that needed to be replicated.  The Deck Watch crew might wear one of two options.  The first a sleek, grey leather reefer style jacket.  The second being foul-weather wear, consisting of sea-boots, black over-trousers, large waterproof black coats, balaclavas and sou’westers.  This was designed to help crew brave the Atlantic weather on the deck.  Crew below deck often wore sweaters or a “Canadian lumberjack”/ plaid civilian shirt.  The Commander of the U-boat would wear his white peaked cap to show his status.

Production Still from HellBelow: The Wolfpack
Production Still from HellBelow: The Wolfpack

In the end, the Kriegsmarine battledress uniforms were a patchwork of hipster flannel shirts, Dickie’s grey trousers, U-Boat war badges ordered from memorabilia websites, caps hand-sown with various rankings, and custom made battledress ordered from international suppliers.  The deck crew costumes were a medley of strange Ebay purchases from London to Texas, white towels, dollar store balaclavas and Helly Hansen pants and sou’westers.

And it worked.

The power of the German uniform, even at it’s most Kriegsmarine casual, didn’t really hit me until we marched our re-enactors from holding base to our set at U-995.  Heads turned.  Lights came on in the hotel rooms as people stood-by watching.  Something in the air changed. For a few hours each day, we were able to really imagine and feel the weight of it all.

Production Still from Hell Below: Hitler's Revenge
Production Still from Hell Below: Hitler’s Revenge

Hell Below is currently airing on Tuesdays on Smithsonian Channel in Canada. The episodes are available for Canadian viewers online for a limited time after broadcast here.

We look forward to announcing more worldwide broadcast dates shortly. Stay tuned!