How Canada Goose Became a Film Industry Essential

Films are immersive experiences. Pictures, sound, movement, and tone play together and invite us into a story to experience it as if it’s our own. Every performance, location, costume, and shadow is carefully calibrated. But there are some things that no director or producer—or anyone else—wants you to see, because there can be nothing that distracts from the story.

“Movies are inherently a mad, pressurized, and uncomfortable process,” explains Michael Almereyda, director of Marjorie Prime, which premiered at Sundance this year. “There’s an underlying tension because you’re always fighting the clock, you’re always aware of the limitations that you’re up against, and you’re always doing your best to dig as deep as you can into the emotional content in the material.” But unless the film is about tension and fighting the limitations, those challenges must be hidden from the audience.

Which brings us to Canada Goose. For years, the outerwear brand has fostered relationships within the film industry in a ways we can’t see—at least not directly. What started as a sponsorship of the Sundance Film Festival in 2013 has grown to a much larger and robust presence that extends far beyond two weeks in Park City, Utah. Those relationships start long before a film premiers, before the movie is edited, before actors even say their lines.

More than five years ago Rose Ganguzza, producer on Kill Your Darlings, was gearing up to shoot the movie about the Beat poets in New York City when she realized that it was going to be cold. Very cold. The shooting schedule demanded that the cast and crew spend extended periods of time shooting outside in the North East during winter. That’s a huge liability.

“If a key person, or a grip, or somebody else gets sick, you’re in a situation. Every day that you’re out is costing you money,” she says. Even on a smaller film, losing key crew can cost the production up to $150,000 a day. “You can always rest assured if you’re shooting in winter that you’re going to have these problems.” But proper preparation, and a couple warm jackets, can change that.

The way Ganguzza tells it, it went like this: “I reached out to Canada Goose, literally on a cold call, and said, ‘I’ve got all these wonderful young stars. We’re going to be outside practically 75% of the shoot and I need to protect them. But I don’t need to just protect my stars, I need to protect my crew.’ And Canada Goose dressed everybody on set.” Producers, actors, the director of photography—everyone got fitted. The crew warmed up.

“I actually have two now,” Leslie Zak says years later. Zak worked as the script supervisor on Kill Your Darlings. “They’re basically the foundation of my winter kit.”

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