It was almost an accident, or perhaps serendipity, during his studies at Niagara College that sent Mark Montefiore on his path to success.
Fifteen years ago the St. Catharines native was studying in the college’s broadcast — radio, TV and film (BRTF) program. Originally he had entered the program in the hopes of being an actor, that was until the time came to divide up the roles for a first-year television project. Montefiore recalled that task fell during a 5 p.m. class he was in a rush to wrap up because he had a date that night. No one was volunteering to be the producer for the project so he stuck up his hand, got out of class and headed to his date.
The girl might not have stuck around, but producing certainly did.
“I discovered it and it was great,” said Montefiore, who since graduating in 2003 has racked up success and accolades as a producer in the television industry. As the president of New Metric Media his producer credits include the hit CraveTV show Letterkenny, CraveTV’s What Would Sal Do, and the FX Canada series Bad Blood.
On Friday he returned to the college where he first started producing, speaking to students from his former program with a few tips on finding success, even if they must leave Niagara to do so.
He was quick to praise the college’s BRTF program, specifically pointing to the hands-on nature of studies in the small program that exposes students to all facets of production.
“Because we had to wear many hats it allowed me that opportunity to get my hands dirty,” said Montefiore, adding, “Niagara prepared me for my career tremendously … it was just an encouraging environment to go make stuff.”
He did however note that students who hope to make an impact in the industry will need to seek greener pastures outside the region, specifically in larger urban centres with established film industries like Toronto.
“If there was a real legitimate industry I never would have left Niagara,” said Montefiore, adding, “the truth of the matter is there isn’t.”
He pointed out however that whatever their dreams students should be prepared to work hard to get their foot in the door. He recounted his own experiences volunteering for months on end with Craft Services to get his foot in the door.