Profiles in Canadian Media

Posted by | August 12, 2012 | Film/TV/Radio

Q&A: Michael MacMillan – One-time Executive Chairman and CEO of Alliance Atlantis and Current CEO and founder of Blue Ant Media.

Q: What inspired you to become involved in media and how did you become involved initially?

MM: I don’t know if I was inspired to get into media as much as it was something I simply had to do. I began making Super 8mm films when I was about fourteen. Then I studied film theory in university and by the time I was finishing up at school there was nothing I wanted to do other than make movies. So a couple of friends and I from Queens University (with no money and no contacts in the industry) moved to Toronto and started our own production company called Atlantis Films.

Q: In your opinion, what channels of study/work are optimal for pursuing a career in media?

MM: I firmly believe in two things that are crucial in this regard. The first is a liberal arts education because one is encouraged to express themselves creatively, think critically, use imagination and show an interest in the unknown. The second thing is to be like Nike and “Just Do It”. There are loads of programs that are more training-focused but my strong advice is always to “Just Do It”. I have never seen anyone asked to contribute to a project based on their academic credentials, it’s about motivation, courage, and ability.

Q: What can one do to increase their chances of distinguishing themselves from other job applicants?

MM: Don’t be a pale imitation of everybody else. You’re not going to be distinctive by having the slickest movie or image. Be defiantly original, outrageous or different in some way. One will stand out by being distinctive.

Q: What developments do you see unfolding in media over the next 10 years?

MM: We are into another golden age of content creation. It used to be that the biggest single barrier in creating media was the physical issue of acquiring equipment. Now those barriers are hugely reduced and it has become like writing an opera or a novel, all you need is a pad of paper and a pen. So now it’s about whether this person has the talent and imagination to create something great. I am optimistic for creators.

~ Lewis Spring

686 total views, 1 today

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *