July 29 was the first day Manitoba had to face up to the facts: there’s a new area code coming, and there’s no getting around it.
Although our province feels like a friendly place where everyone knows everyone, Manitoba is growing. This means more phones, which means increased demand for phone numbers.
From now until October, Manitobans who dial their familiar seven-digit numbers hear a recorded reminder requesting they dial 204 in the future. After October 20, calls made without the area code will not be connected, according to the MTS website. In early November another area code, 431, will be introduced depending on phone number availability.
Although I knew this, I didn’t expect the phone changes to make much of a difference to me. Growing up in Ontario, with multiple area codes already in use, I already dialed 204 here. But I quickly grew interested when I learned – via Twitter – that Kildonan Place Shopping Centre was looking for someone to create a freelance video highlighting the change.
The project sounded fun, and video creating is my thing, so I took on the gig. The toughest part was organizing the shooting schedule, since it was a bunch of mall employees. Everyone was in at different times and I work during the day too.
We definitely got more than a few stares while filming. The setup consisted of me, a small speaker to play the music, the tripod and camera, my assistant (either my husband or my sister), and whoever I was shooting the video with that day. When we shot the scene with the bench right outside the mall, an older man came right up beside me and stared unashamedly: first at the shot, then at the camera.
My favourite part was working with all the fun mall employees. The guys from Virgin Mobile, for example, didn’t even know we were shooting that day, but got right into it. And some of the girls made T-shirts with the area codes on them. Talk about getting into it!
Editing is also a lot of fun. It’s where everything comes together and looks like one project, instead of so many isolated pieces. It’s also the part where you realize your mistakes and the fact that you have to film some parts over again.
The fact that this video is catching people’s attention is exciting. The goal was to be fun and interesting while reminding people about the new area codes, and I hope it succeeded in doing just that.
And here’s a link to the video: