Ryerson in talks with new Netflix production hub to offer student internships

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By Cassidy Garbe

Netflix has announced the opening of a new production hub in Toronto this summer, with the possibility of future internships for Ryerson students, according to Faculty of Communication and Design (FCAD) Dean Charles Falzon.

“There are no specific details yet, but we have certainly had early discussions and anticipate that there will be internship opportunities for students on future productions,” Falzon told The Eye.

The production hub will create up to 1,850 jobs for Canadians each year, according to The Canadian Press. The hub will supposedly provide a platform for local talent and future producers to showcase their skills.

Ryerson is a leading school in the Canadian entertainment industry. In 2017, the Hollywood Reporter listed the RTA School of Media among the top 15 film schools in the world.

“Grads from RTA, creative industries and performance, among others, will be vital to the success of the Netflix production initiative,” said Falzon.

Second-year creative industries student Janelle Patrick is personally not interested in the internship opportunities, but said “[the production hub] is a great opportunity for students to become involved in a larger corporation, since creative industries is a fairly new program.”

Since Netflix is a U.S. based company, a few problems may arise for its future Toronto-based employees.

James Nadler, chair of the creative industries program, said the ownership of work may be an issue, as Netflix owns the complete copyright to any work produced by Netflix. This means employees can work on the production and earn a living but might not be able to expand the business beyond that or have ownership of the content produced.

Additionally, there’s a possibility that Rye grads working in TV and film will be hired to work on a Netflix show, but not necessarily at higher levels, according to Nadler.

“They won’t be the writers or the executive producers because the people that make decisions and actually have creative control will be Americans living in Los Angeles,” Nadler said. He said the new production hub may end up being a service hub instead, “where Canadians will provide and do great work and have opportunities to grow their career, but only to a certain level.”

Nadler said Canadians working in the media industry should be focused on building their own ownership to intellectual property.

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