June 2, 2023 12:00 pm
What position do you hold at the NFB and what are your duties?
I’m the Marketing Coordinator, Audiovisual & Digital. Essentially, my job is to create audiovisual materials and coordinate their production for the various projects in the pipeline at the NFB. I’m also responsible for archiving the materials and making sure they’re accessible to all staff in-house.
When I started in this role, one of my tasks was to set up an archival procedure for all promotional materials produced, for historical preservation, but also so that people right across the organization can easily access all available promo materials.
How long have you been with the Film Board? Tell us about your journey.
I was interested in graphic design and digital art, so I enrolled in the Multimedia Integration Techniques program at Collège de Maisonneuve after I arrived in Quebec. I got my start at the NFB in 2014 as an intern at the French Program Interactive Studio. I gradually found my footing, and my contract with the Studio was repeatedly renewed for three-month periods, for around a year and a half in total.
After the Interactive Studio contract ended, I joined the Marketing team in October 2015. Then my job title and responsibilities evolved, culminating in the position I have today. Seven years later, I’m still here and I still love my job!
Did you choose the NFB or did the NFB choose you ?
It was both, really. I was looking for an internship, and an opportunity at the NFB opened up at the last minute, so I took it. So you could say that at that point, I chose the NFB. Then, I got to know the organization. Its mission and values really speak to me, and because of that, now I choose it every day!
Since my first internship, my role at the NFB has been renewed several times. My second contract was a paid internship whose goal was to help integrate ‘visible minorities.’ I applied for it, and I was selected. So that’s an example where I would say it was the NFB that chose me.
What aspect of your craft brings you the most pride?
The thing I’m most proud of is seeing our trailers and promo clips circulate on social media, in theatres and even on TV. I’m proud to help create visibility for our projects and amplify our mission in Canada and even internationally. We measure up to the best in the world!
Knowing that we can create that cultural visibility makes me happy, especially when I see the reactions from people who view our various promotional tools. We work hard with our external collaborators (freelance editors) to make sure those tools are as visually compelling as possible.
I think promotion using video has become much more important since the COVID pandemic. We’re seeing an evolution in people’s audiovisual consumption behaviours. We need to stay on top of trends to make sure the NFB maintains high visibility and remains a top choice for our audiences.
What did you want to be when you were growing up?
When I was young, between the ages of 6 and 12, I really loved drawing—so much so that I dreamed of becoming an artist for Walt Disney Studios. Why Disney? Because our house was full of Disney classics on Betamax cassette: The Jungle Book, Peter Pan, The Sword in the Stone, etc.
When I entered my teens, my ambition to become a Disney illustrator fell by the wayside. But I had an uncle who was an architect and drew all his plans by hand—this was old-school days, before AutoCAD. He would add colour to his drawings of walls and his perspective views using Chartpak-brand alcohol markers. I was super impressed, because it gave his drawings this 3D look, with shading and details that made them more realistic (we’re talking about the era before computer-generated 3D renderings).
That awakened in me a desire to become an architect. So I enrolled in the architecture program at the University of Guanajuato, in Mexico. After five semesters, I had my first existential crisis and I lost all interest in architecture. I dropped out of the bachelor’s degree program and switched to multimedia. And today, I’m very happy that I did!
This post was written by Jimena Romero