Perpetually Productive Production Assistants

Production still from “Hitler’s Last Stand – Season 2” (c) 2019 Holdout II Productions Inc /

We’re lost without good help.  So we’re seeking dependable, energetic Production Assistants to support all aspects of our historical documentary series shooting in Abbotsford from mid October through December with additional days the end of January.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Helping prepare the set with lights, props, equipment etc.
  • Assisting Director, Camera Department, Production Office and Location Department
  • Operating equipment – smoke machines, generator – training will be provided
  • Assisting with repairs to sets,painting and construction
  • Act as a runner collecting and distributing items to and from set and throughout the Lower Mainland, as required
  • Must be able to lift and move heavy items (up to 40 pounds)

 Qualifications & Attributes:

  • Experience as a Production Assistant– but not essential, will train for the right candidate
  • Knowledge of film terminology is appreciated
  • Excellent organizational and multi-tasking ability
  • Resourcefulness and problem-solving
  • A team player with great communication skills
  • Physical strength and stamina
  • Willingness to work outside in all weather conditions
  • Basic construction/trade skills an asset
  • A valid driver’s license and reliable car.  Production office is in White Rock, Location shoot is in Abbotsford

Please email cover letter and resume as one pdf to jobs(at)parallaxfilm.com

Recruiting a Costumer / Dresser

Production still from “Hitler’s Last Stand – Season 2” (c) 2019 Holdout II Productions Inc /

We want our characters to look their part.  We’re looking for an experienced Costumer/Dresser for a historical documentary series starting October through mid December.   Prep will take place from production office in White Rock and filming will be based in Abbotsford.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Ensuring costumes are historically accurate for all characters
  • Assisting to source costumes and creating look books for each episode (if required)
  • Be familiarized with script breakdowns, cast and costume requirements for each episode
  • Sourcing costume items as required
  • Working ahead to order items like military patches well in advance and then sewing on patches and other similar items in advance
  • Preps all wardrobe for the cast for the day
  • Tracking of all costumes for every character (sign in and sign outs)
  • Ensuring costumes are cleaned, dried maintained and accounted for (daily)
  • Developing systems for quick changes and in and out of costumes by re-enactors
  • Picking up / returning costumes from rental house as required
  • Tracking costumes from rental house, ensuring they are returned in good and clean condition.
  • Monitor onset kits, inform Production Manager of required items.

Qualifications & Attributes:

  • Education or equivilant experience in fashion, costuming, tailoring/sewing
  • Excellent organizational skills and supreme attention to detail
  • Appreciation for and knowledge of WW2 history is an asset.
  • Resourcefulness and problem-solving
  • A valid driver’s license and reliable car – Set location isin Abbotsford

Please email cover letter and resumes as one pdf  to  jobs(@)parallaxfilm.com

Hiring a Casting Coordinator

Production still from Hitler’s Last Stand – Season 2 (c) 2019 Holdout Productions Inc /

Can you help us find other good people?  We’d like to add an experienced Casting Coordinator to our team.  We will need you to starting in October for filming through mid December. Prep will take place from our production office in White Rock and at production stage, the Casting Coordinator will work on set in Abbotsford for a third season of a WW2 documentary series.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Working with Director to determine Casting requirements based on Shoot Script
  • Source, book and schedule talent
  • Coordinate cast and extras on set
  • To manage and file release forms and other paperwork

Qualifications & Attributes:

  • At least 1 year of experience in a similar role at a production company
  • Proficient multi-tasker with good problem-solving skills
  • Excellent communication, scheduling and organization skills
  • Self-starter with a proactive attitude
  • The ability to work well individually as well as in a team
  • A valid driver’s licence, reliable car and computer

Email cover letter and resume as one pdf to:  jobs(at)parallaxfilm.com

Searching for a Production Coordinator

Production still from Hitler’s Last Stand – Season 2 (c) 2019 Holdout II Productions Inc /

We’re searching for an experienced Production Coordinator for a historical documentary series starting October through January 2021. Prep will take place from our production office in White Rock and once production starts the Coordinator will work on set in Abbotsford.

Responsibilities include (but are not limited to):

  • Assisting the Director / Production Manager coordinate all aspects of production
  • Issuing call sheets, travel itineraries and other production documents
  • Booking equipment for shoots
  • Organizing and digitally filing cast photos, release forms, contracts, call sheets and DPRs
  • Reconciling petty cash, assisting in collecting invoices and receipts from vendors
  • Acting as a runner- facilitating pick-ups/returns throughout the Lower Mainland
  • Managing Catering and other supplies on set
  • Possess or willing to obtain Worksafe Level 1 Emergency First Aid certificate

Qualifications & Attributes:

  • At least 2 years of experience in a similar role
  • Proficient multi-tasker with good problem-solving and time management skills
  • Experience with Microsoft Office
  • Resourceful and prides themselves on details
  • Excellent communication skills and calm under pressure, capable of delivery to short deadlines.
  • Organized, pro-active and a self-starter
  • Must be able to lift and move heavy objects (40 pounds)
  • A valid driver’s license, reliable car and computer
  • Appreciation for and knowledge of WW2 history is a bonus

Email cover letter and resume as one pdf to  jobs(at)parallaxfilm.com.  No calls at this time.  We will contact you for an interview.

Looking for VFX CG Coordinator

Production still from Hitler’s Last Stand – Season 2” (c) 2019 Holdout II Productions Inc /

We’re keen to  hire a VFX CG Coordinator for a historical documentary series starting in October through approximately May 2021. VFX CG Coordinator oversees all aspects of the VFX, Map and CG creation for a third season of a WWII Series.

The Coordinator will review Scripts to identify CG and potential map requests and manage all CG VFX requests and notes the from Director, Producers and Editors.

The candidate will coordinate CGI VFX workflow to ensure all deadlines are met and issues addressed at each stage of the outputs according to Broadcaster Specs.

The position requires excellent communication skills, exceptional organizational skills and a good understanding of the Post Production process.  We can train the right candidate.

Work will take place in our production office in White Rock. Commuting is possible, but having a car would be helpful.

Interested candidates please e-mail jobs(@)parallaxfilm.com with “VFX CG Coordinator” in the subject line.

Hiring an Assistant Editor

Production still from Hitler’s Last Stand – Season 2 (c) 2019 Holdout II Productions Inc /

 

We’re hiring an experienced Assistant Editor for a historical documentary series starting in October through approximately May 2021.

Project is FCP7 based and we are happy to train the right candidate.  Position includes full AE duties: transcode and log dailies, support editors, temp SFX/music, exports and deliverables.

Work will take place in our production office in White Rock.  Commuting is possible, but having a car would be helpful.

Interested candidates please e-mail:  jobs(@)parallaxfilm.com with “Assistant Editor” in the subject line.  Sorry no phone calls please.  We will contact you for an interview.

Seeking Researcher / Annotator

Production still from Hell Below Season 3 
© Pacific Fleet II Productions Inc. 2020

Job Opportunity:

Do you love details? Does discovering the story behind the story excite you? Is your dream home in the Archives?  If you answered yes, then this might be your dream job.

Parallax Film Productions produces World War II documentary series for broadcast on Smithsonian and National Geographic Channels.  We want to add a Researcher/Annotator to our award-winning team. The successful candidate will collect and collate requested research, find fantastic interview subjects, source period props and costumes, verify historical details with multiple sources and annotate scripts.

Qualifications:

  • BC Resident and Canadian Citizen
  • University Degree in History, Journalism or Political Science is desired
  • Research using primary and secondary sources beyond online searches
  • Verify historical details using multiple sources to annotate scripts
  • Proven experience in accurate fact checking
  • Exceptional organizational and writing skills
  • Ability to work ahead in a fast-paced environment to meet deadlines
  • Comfortable conducting phone interviews, and
  • Must live within commuting distance of our White Rock office

How to Apply:

If you are interested in this position then send us something you gathered information on (example: a thesis excerpt, a documentary program, a research proposal, a print story or pitch document). Tell us how you gathered the information.

Send this document and your resume to jobs(at)parallaxfilm.com with Researcher/Annotator in the subject line.

Sorry, no phone calls. If you secure an interview we will call you to set up a meeting.

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.

Like our Facebook page for more updates.

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!