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Guillermo del Toro filming Cold War movie in Toronto

Guillermo del Toro on Pacific RimMexican filmmaker Guillermo del Toro has started filming his new movie The Shape of Water in Toronto.

The movie is an ‘otherworldly’ tale featuring a semi-amphibious being in a story set against the backdrop of the Cold War in early-1960s America. Filming is scheduled to wrap in late October.

Del Toro is a repeat visitor to Toronto, having filmed both Crimson Peak and Pacific Rim (pictured) at Pinewood Toronto Studios.

He has also been involved as a producer on several Toronto-shot productions including virus TV drama The Strain and the 2013 supernatural horror Mama.

Toronto is one of the most popular filming hubs in the whole of North America partly because of its generous tax credit support.

As a measure of the demand in eastern Canada for trained production crew, a call went out this week for skilled construction workers to come to Ontario to work on films and TV shows.

Crew union the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts (known as IATSE) told Ontario’s Daily Commercial News that it is not restricting its call to individuals who have prior production experience.

“The sheer volume of productions we have right now has already seen us run through our list of construction people who are experienced in this industry,” said local union president Wayne Goodchild in comments to the outlet.

“The basic principles of construction are the same [in the production industry], but it's meant to be torn down and dismantled at some point. If you're a carpenter in the real world, it won't take long to learn to apply those skills in our world.”

Toronto is not the only North American production hub looking to boost its crew pool to help satisfy filming demands. Georgia recently opened a new film academy and has enrolled hundreds of students to reduce pressure on big-budget shoots to bring in crew from other parts of the country. 

For more on filming in Ontario see our production guide.

Main page Crimson Peak image: Kerry Hayes/Universal Pictures. Pacific Rim image: Warner Bros./Legendary Pictures