Friday, November 26, 2010

Your New CASO Board Members

Congratulations to the 2010 - 2011 CASO board members!

The CASO Annual General Meeting came to a close with these names now on the CASO Board!

Wes Lui,
President, Government Relations, Finances


Neishaw Ali, Standards
Darin Bristow, Membership
Marianne Culbert, Communications – Animation
Juan Lopez, Marketing Animation
Lon Molner, Marketing VFX
Alex Olegnowicz, Membership Services
Tom Turnbull, Communication VFX

Michael Carter,
Past President

Shirlyn Antonio,
Business Affairs

From The Desk of Wes Lui, 2010-2011 CASO President

Dear Members,

Being apart of CASO for the past two years I have been fortunate to collaborate with Studio owners, executives, government officials and delegates aboard. As my involvement in our industry and with CASO grew, I better understood the passion each past Board Member and President had for our industry. CASO offers a unified presence to support the marketing and viability of our industry. Through the mentorship and integrity of the Board Members before me, I look forward to continuing the successful programs set in place while developing new initiatives with the 2010-11 Board of Directors. There are many new faces to the board, all of whom are very successful in their own right. I look forward to their contribution and experience as we approach the new Board year.

Our mandates for CASO will be to provide a community based marketing approach while developing specific strategies for VFX and Animation. Through this, we have also dedicated separate roles for communication in both respected fields. This will create a concentrated approach and allow for quicker feedback from our members to our clients and governing bodies.

All levels of government have been gracious supporters to CASO; their relationship is critical to each studios success. As such, the board has divided the varying government sectors to allow for focused communication and attention to each relationship.

Each Board of Director's have been assigned a primary Chair and will sit on a secondary Chair Committee to meet the demands of our roles and objectives. All of these steps are to ensure opportunities for membership participation. Whether members collaborate together on projects or with CASO initiatives to develop a growing vibrant community, participation from our members will be what drives our industry. Get involved with the various committee's, programs and trade missions - We want to hear your voice.

Wes Lui,
President, CASO

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

All In

For the past two years I've had the pleasure of sitting on the Board of CASO to represent our Industry and be apart of the community at large. The Board consists of all studio owners and executives alike with over 250 artists to smaller twenty person shops. It's never easy making money through artistic creativity nor is it easy balancing the need to express creative output with a strained budget. Listening to studios find new ways to reach higher levels of quality while keeping costs low is an all too familiar regime. Studio owners want the best for their artists and their clients. As the manner in which people digest content through a whole host of platforms, studio owners are constantly changing they way they do business. It is the speed of change that I feel CASO is most important. It's developing a community where owners and executives can share ideas and reach out to more people, clients and their employees. Ontario has the best in software development, world-class education system and seasoned professionals in all aspects in VFX and Animation. With the support of the Ontario Government, Sponsors and our members, I'm excited to act as President of CASO for the upcoming year and create strategic initiatives with the new Board of Directors.

We've got much work to do and look forward to the challenge.

Wes Lui

Previs and Inception Newsletter Summary

The Previsualization Breakfast with Panelist Rob Morgenroth (Previsualization Society) Darren Cranford (Keyframe Digital Production), Justin Denton (HALON Entertainment LLC), Jericca Cleland (Twenty One Inc), Bret Clup (Starz Animation) and David Morin ( Joint Technology Committee on Virtual production) was well attended with about 40 people from within the Industry, including College and major Studio representatives. The Previsualization video conference touched based on quite a few topics including the history of Previsualization, a documentary on what Previsualization is today, how the panelist use Previs, Production Challenges, Workflow/ Software/ Hardware/ Experience with Panelists (i.e. Converging Roles, Cohesive Production Environment) with video clips and images to enlighten the attentive audience. The interactive conference allowed the panelist and audience to interact with each other and opened the floor to any Q/A or feedback.

Previsualization is a collaborative process that generates preliminary versions of shots or sequences,
predominantly using 3D animation tools and a virtual environment. It enables filmmakers to visually
explore creative ideas, plan technical solutions, and communicate a shared vision for efficient

CASO would like to acknowledge our sponsors OMDC, HP, SIRT and Previsualization Society for their steadfast contributions and support.

CASO is also very proud to report that the Inception Lunch held on October 7th at the Scotia Bank Theatres with Paul Franklin and Rob Hodgson was another huge success with over 80 people attending from Colleges such as Sheridan, Humber, Seneca, various studios and film representatives and Government officials. The discussion with these key visual effects creatives, centered around how key software and techniques were used on the set, some of the methods and insights used to create and execute the stunning visual effects in the movie and how collaboration and thought created not only a dynamic movie but outstanding visual effects.

Again CASO would like to acknowledge our sponsors OMDC, DFAIT and HP for their steadfast contributions and continuous support.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

Cure for 3D Viewing Motion Sickness in the Works in Canada

TORONTO -- A cure for nausea or headaches from 3D movie or TV viewing is in coming from Canada.

Starz Animation Toronto has teamed up with Canuck academics to ease or even end motion sickness that movie and TV audiences experience in a virtual world.

The fault, says York University film professor Ali Kazimi, lies in 3D stereoscopic cinematography.

"The reason people feel nauseous or have discomfort, headaches or eye strain is when there's something being done improperly or incorrectly in the Stereoscopic 3D process," Kazimi explained.

The challenge, adds Rob Burton vp of technology at Toronto-based Starz Animation, is controlling stereoscopic camera parameters to generate comfortable 3D images, where possible.

Discovering a more viewer-friendly stereoscopic film language and camera work is especially important as 3D audiences increasingly move from stationary seats in a cinema to watching stereoscopic content in homes, where neck angles and sight-lines vary greatly as viewers move round a 3D TV set.

"Unless you shoot multiple versions for different viewing venues, it's difficult to make a one-size-fits-all model for stereoscopic 3D production," Burton said.

To produce stereoscopic 3D imagery that leaves viewers less queasy, Starz Animation has pacted with Kazimi to make Lovebirds a 3D live action/animated short.

Burton explained Starz Animation already had a stereoscopic 3D unit in Toronto, but tended to put storytelling first before considering how the 3D production process helps tell a story.

With Lovebirds the Starz Animation crew talked extensively with Kazimi, the live action director, at the rough story-boarding stage to consider how stereoscopic 3D camera parameters might impact the story-telling, and what were the format's potential caveats and pitfalls.

"Being able to simulate what you would get with a real stereoscopic camera in a CG environment before stepping onto a live action stage was really invaluable," Burton said.

Love Birds, created and directed by Gary Dunn, portrays a hapless romantic bird and his first experience with dating, is conceived in a CG environment, and set against a live action background.

Stereoscopic 3D imagery helps viewers appreciate the physical size and scale of characters in a movie or TV show through the use of binocular vision.

So the Starz team and Kazimi had to consider how they wanted an audience to perceive their position in relation to a tiny 3D bird.

"Do we want the viewers to feel like their chin is on the ground looking at a bird that's four inches tall, or do we want the viewer to feel they are on-par in terms of scale with the bird?" Burton questioned.

The decision was making the bird larger in scale in all the stereoscopic 3D camera shots to get viewers more into the two-legged animal world, starting with the opening scene.

"We chose stereoscopic camera parameters that convey the appropriate physical size and scale and, as we get into the story over the next few shots, we slowly bring the viewer down to this smaller size by manipulating the stereoscopic parameters," Burton explained.

Kazimi adds that calculating how best to place the animated birds against the live action background when producing Lovebirds offered vital clues to the relationship between stereoscopic 3D live action and animation integration, and scaling and eye vergence.

Easing or eliminating discomfort of viewers experience with 3D content is vital, the Canadian academic insists, before stereoscopic 3D possibly gets a "bad name, and audiences get frustrated with it.

The Lovebirds shoot is part of the Toronto-based 3D Film Innovation Consortium, which has brought a host of private and public sector partners together to research stereoscopic 3D perception and provide best practices for 3D cinematography.

Original Source

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Jump Start Breakfast Series

nextMEDIA 2010

Running November 29 & 30 at the Design Exchange in Toronto, nextMEDIA 2010 will be brings together the highest growth areas of the converging next-generation entertainment marketplace, including content production, broadcasting, advertising, music and publishing. As a member of ACCT you are eligible for a discount of $220 off of the regular registration rate. Learn, strategize and collaborate through facilitated meetings, networking, high-level keynotes and sessions, and an exclusive invitation to the Canadian New Media Awards on Dec. 1, 2010. Click here to access your discounted registration.

Monday, November 1, 2010

Board Nominee - Neishaw Ali

Neishaw Ali - President /Executive Producer

SPIN has been creating VFX, Animation, Matte Painting and Motion design for the feature film, television series, commericial and broastcast markets with facilities in Toronto, Vancouver, Atlanta and Los Angeles. They bring over 20 years of visual effects and animation experience to your Production in the areas of Onset Supervision through to Digital Matte Painting, 2D/3D Animation and Title Design. As your VFX Production partner, we are committed to creative excellence and sensitive to your budgetary constraints.

Board Nominee - Tom Turnbull

Tom Turnbull
Rocket Science VFX

Although Tom Turnbull started his career in film in 1982 as freelance cinematographer; his first work in visual effects began at age 10, assisting his older brother in creating a claymation sci-fi epic. It was not long afterwards that he graduated to his own trick cinematography, creating back yard miniature exploding space ships and beams of death, eventually winning the Vancouver Planetarium’s best fake UFO photo contest.

In 1992, Tom began working for GVFX as a freelance effects cinematographer. As the company grew from five employees to fifty, Tom soon became one of the company's senior Visual Effects Supervisors and Motion Control specialist. In 2003, Tom co-founded Rocket Science Visual Effects, a boutique facility specializing in photo real visual effects for features and high end television.

Tom is one of the Canada's veteran Visual Effects Supervisors whose worldwide credits include commercial, documentary, television and feature production. He has extensive experience with Motion Control as well as Motion Capture, Miniatures and VFX plate photography. He is the recipient of three Gemini Awards for Best Visual Effects for Terry (CTV 2006), Shattered City: the Halifax Explosion (CBC 2004), and The Arrow (CBC, 1998) and has been nominated for a Prime Time Emmy for the Haven (CBS , 2000), Path to 9/11 (ABC) and Fringe (Fox Television). He recently won the BAFTA for Best Visual Effects for his work on the BBC’s adaptation of John Wyndham’s Day of the Triffids. Tom's recent credits include Warner Bros. features License To Wed and Sisterhood of the Traveling Pants 2, Atom Egoyan’s Adoration, BBC’s Day of the Triffids and Screen Gems’ Resident Evil: After Life 3D

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Board Nominee - Juan Lopez

Juan Lopez
Managing Director
Pipeline Studios Inc

Juan Lopez, President and Co-founder of Pipeline Studios Inc., is responsible for the business development, production finance, tax planning and management of the studio operations. Juan is certified by the Canadian Securities Commission, is a Sheridan College graduate in Business Administration – Finance and a Degree in Economics and Finance from the University of Western Sydney, Australia.

Juan has led the development of the company’s global business in order to become a key service player in the animation industry. Under his leadership Pipeline Studios Inc continues to produce internationally renowned and award-winning children's animated content such as The Backyardigans, Babar, Grossology and Guess With Jess.

Before founding Pipeline Studios, Juan directed and managed another start-up company in the Entertainment industry. This software development company grew to a leading position in the online entertainment environment.

Board Nominee - Michael Carter

Michael Carter

theskonkworks builds turn-key studios, market intelligence and award winning teams. We create solutions for clients looking to establish short or long term film, broadcast or gaming production internationally and within Canada. By combining over 15 years of international production management and pipeline creation experience with exceptional financial, governmental and technical ingenuity, theskonkworks creates the right environment to creatively service produce any project on-schedule and on-budget.

Michael currently sits on the board of directors as President of CASO, and represents CASO as a member of the OMDC's (Ontario Media Development Corporation) Screen-Based Industry Advisory Committee.

Friday, October 29, 2010

Board Nominee - Wes Lui

Wes worked in commercial lending and personal finance at TD Canada Trust, the Bank of Montreal and CIBC Wood Gundy. Wes then moved to VFC Inc. where as Area Finance Manager he helped grow the company to become Canada’s largest sub-prime lending institution, completing an IPO on the TSX and eventually being acquired by TD Canada Trust.

In 2004, Wes left VFC to found House of Cool with longtime friend and business partner, Ricardo Curtis. Since then, Wes has acted as the studio’s Director of Operations and has been the producer on all House of Cool productions. In these roles, Wes has led negotiations with major studios such as Disney, Universal, Fox and Blue Sky Studios. Wes also played an integral role in structuring the acquisition of high-end computer generated animation studio, Red Rover, in 2008. With Ricardo’s immense talent in the arts, Wes looks forward to developing House of Cool Inc. and Red Rover initiatives creating a dynamic culture and workplace. Wes is the acting President of Red Rover.

Board Nominee - Alex Olegnowicz

Born in Mexico City, Alex Olegnowicz moved to
Toronto in 1995 searching to expand and utilize his
background in graphics and animation and apply it
to the Film & Television industry in “Hollywood
North”. Dedicated to the post production, vfx and
animation process, Alex has established a renowned
boutique facility, not only assisting producers in the
post-production of their projects, but also giving
insight to the pre-production and production
process, ensuring the successful completion of
quality programming.

Mr. Olegnowicz, has been nominated for an Emmy
and the RTS award for producing the visual effects for
the Discovery Channel documentary Planet Storm,
currently sits at the forefront of the post-production
industry in Toronto.

Mariane Culbert

Media Tree Entertainment Inc.

Executive Producer / Supervising Producer

With over 20 years of experience in television on both the broadcast and independent production side, Marianne has shepherded over 700 episodes of television programming. Throughout the course of her career, Marianne has lived in both Canada and the United States working as an Executive Producer & Supervising Producer on both 2D & 3D animated series as well as and complex hybrid productions.

Also a Creative Producer, Marianne has been successful in combining her in-depth production expertise with the creative production process that is put in place from the creative development stage to ensure a smooth path from script to broadcast delivery. Marianne’s approach to any project is with the philosophy that setting up the building blocks properly from the outset is what will guarantee success.

Marianne has overseen series for many major networks including ABC, Disney, Fox, MTV, HBO, Nickelodeon, Nick Jr., Noggin PBS, Sony, Oxygen, Paramount, New Line Television and Discovery US, CBC, CTV, Global & Treehouse. She is a Gemini Award winning producer and four time Emmy Nominated Producer.

Board Nominee - Lon Molner

It takes leadership to co-found and build a successful visual effects company, just as it takes leadership to guide a team of creative yet diverse animators on such successful projects as the Oscar-winning feature film Chicago (2002). Whether as CEO of Intelligent Creatures or as a leading Visual Effects Supervisor, Lon shows leadership in spades.
Lon began his career in graphic design but then caught a particularly virulent strain of a well-known bug—a passion for making pictures move. After cutting his teeth in computer animation at the Vancouver Film School, Lon worked on a dizzying array of projects across North America, developing a profound expertise in animation and visual effects. Commercials, MOWs, television series and feature films have all fed his inexhaustible appetite for professional growth and achievement.
Over the last decade he has been blazing a path of creative contributions on high profile Features Films such as Watchmen (2009), The Game Plan (2007), Babel (2006), Mr & Mrs Smith (2005), and supervised a team of artists on the stereoscopic 3D film The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl (2005) with director Robert Rodriguez.
Today, Lon is a leader in Toronto's Visual Effects community with a reputation for achieving filmic excellence by working with creative people, especially filmmakers, who share the same passion for detail and design.
Lon’s innovative leadership extends well beyond the Company itself. Convinced that today’s leaders share an obligation to develop the leaders of tomorrow, he makes significant contributions in guiding aspiring youth at various educational facilities.

Board Nominees - Darin Bristow

Darin Bristow

Senior Technical Producer, Corus Kids
Corus Entertainment Inc.

Darin Bristow is a 17-year veteran of the animation industry and has lent his variety of skills to over 20 animated TV series in both the 2D and 3D realms. His creative passion lead him to start his career as a designer on such notable series as Eek the Cat, Ace Ventura and Sam & Max. Bristow then took his design skills into the 3D side of animation to work as a modeller on Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Friends, The Santa Claus Brothers, and the multiple Emmy Award®-winning Rolie Polie Olie. Bristow's next move further expanded his range as he became a technical director on Rescue Heroes, Nickelodeon's Emmy®-winning Backyardigans and eventually became the technical supervisor for Disney's popular Handy Manny. In 2006, Bristow helped in the retooling of Nelvana's 2D digital pipeline as technical supervisor on Ruby Gloom.

Bristow has also storyboarded and designed numerous national television commercials, an award-winning NHL logo, and posters for Van Halen's 1998 world tour. Bristow is also a fan of classic television, and is very proud to be the illustrator of 30 Years of The Rockford Files, an in-depth book about the iconic TV detective show. Bristow also spent time in Hollywood working on such feature films as Dr. Dolittle 2 and Planet of the Apes. More recently, Bristow completed directing an animated music video for the hard rock super-group Chickenfoot.

Bristow currently works for Corus Entertainment, one of the world's leading animation companies, and serves as Nelvana Studio’s senior technical producer. In this position, Bristow oversees the production for all Nelvana's 2D digital series. While in this position, Bristow also managed to co-direct Celebutards, the outrageous primetime animated series for adults. In addition to leading the technical aspects of Nelvana’s 2D division, Darin is currently the Technical Producer of the new 3D series Chuck The Truck.

DUE DATE Screening November 3rd

You and a guest are invited to attend the advance screening of
Please RSVP to Jeff Pinto-Lobo -

DATE: Wednesday November 3rd
TIME: 7:00pm
LOCATION: Scotiabank, Richmond St., Toronto

From director Todd Phillips, “Due Date” stars Robert Downey Jr. and Zach Galifianakis as two unlikely companions who are thrown together on a road trip that turns out to be as life-changing as it is outrageous. Downey plays Peter Highman, an expectant first-time father whose wife’s due date is a mere five days away. As Peter hurries to catch a flight home from Atlanta to be at her side for the birth, his best intentions go completely awry when a chance encounter with aspiring actor Ethan Tremblay (Galifianakis) forces Peter to hitch a ride with Ethan—on what turns out to be a cross-country road trip that will ultimately destroy several cars, numerous friendships and Peter’s last nerve.

Todd Phillips directs from a screenplay by Alan R. Cohen & Alan Freedland and Adam Sztykiel & Todd Phillips, from a story by Cohen & Freedland. “Due Date” also stars Michelle Monaghan (“Made of Honor”), Oscar® nominee Juliette Lewis (“Cape Fear,” “Whip It”) and Academy Award® winner Jamie Foxx (“Ray”). The film is being produced by Phillips and Dan Goldberg, who previously collaborated on “The Hangover.” Scott Budnick, Thomas Tull and Susan Downey are serving as executive producers on the film.

The behind-the-scenes creative team from “The Hangover” returns, including director of photography Lawrence Sher, production designer Bill Brzeski, editor Debra Neil-Fisher and costume designer Louise Mingenbach.

Warner Bros. Pictures presents, in association with Legendary Pictures, A Green Hat Films Production of A Todd Phillips Movie, “Due Date.” The film will be released on November 5, 2010, and will be distributed worldwide by Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The National Film Board of Canada presents


October 26-31, NFB Mediatheque, 150 John St.

The National Film Board of Canada presents


October 26-31, NFB Mediatheque, 150 John St.
Get Animated! is a Canada-wide series of FREE screenings, master classes and activities marking International Animation Day. The NFB Mediatheque is excited to present adult and family animation workshops, working with pixillation, as well as a special presentation of 3D Hothouse films, and screenings of new NFB animated shorts such as Higglety Pigglety Pop! Or There Must Be More to Life, by Academy Award®-nominated directors Chris Lavis and Maciek Szczerbowski (Madame Tutli-Putli). Join us and GET ANIMATED!
Tuesday, October 26
7 PM - Get Animated for Halloween! - Animation workshop for adults

Thursday, October 28
7 PM - Hothouse in the Third Dimension!
Special presentation of the Hothouse 6 series in 3D with special guests
9 PM - NFB New Releases Program

Friday, October 29
7 PM - NFB New Releases Program

Saturday, October 30
10:30 AM Get Animated for Halloween! – For children ages 3 to 5
Animation workshop followed by a screening of Fairy Tales for All.

Saturday, October 30 & Sunday, October 31
12:30 PM Get Animated for Halloween! – For children ages 6 to 13
Animation workshop followed by a screening of Fairy Tales for All.
Don't forget to come dressed in your Halloween costume!
Registration is required for all animaton workshops as capacity is limited.
Call 416-973-3012 to register.
Follow the NFB Mediatheque on Facebook, Foursquare or Twitter! Sign up for the new NFB Mediatheque newsletter by email here.
NFB MEDIATHEQUE | 150 John St., Toronto | 416-973-3012 |

Thursday, October 7, 2010

CASO's Upcoming AGM

Dear Members,

It is my pleasure to announce the 2010-2012 CASO Board Elections and AGM. It has been an extremely busy year with over 5 International Trade Missions, highly successful member events, a new strategy survey and increased awareness domestically, internationally and with various levels of Federal and Provincial governments. Some members have closed shop due to the economy and many more have started. Membership in CASO has increased and there is a real desire to participate in further developing a strong, stable and strategic Animation and VFX industry here in Ontario.

With that, CASO is looking for the next round of leaders to sit on it's board. Visionaries looking to increase our ability to enhance this very important part of the Film and Television business in Ontario. I encourage all members, those considering joining CASO to volunteer their time to sit as a board member or special committee member to further our goals of a mutually beneficial production industry.

I look forward to seeing all CASO member and our non-member guests at the upcoming AGM and once again encourage all of you to participate in building a strong Animation and VFX industry here in Ontario.


Michael Carter
President, CASO

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

In celebration of the 40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations Between Canada and China

Join us October 8-13 for a FREE screening series

In celebration of the
40th Anniversary of Diplomatic Relations
Between Canada and China

NFB CINEMA - 150 John St.

Enjoy award-winning films from China from October 8th through October 13th. Highlights include Academy Award® nominee Chen Kaige’s Forever Enthralled, starring Zhang Ziyi (House of Flying Daggers; Memoirs of a Geisha), and Mei Hu’s Confucius, starring Chow Yun-Fat (Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hard Boiled). Also enjoy the CANADIAN PREMIERES of The Dream of Jinsha, Walking to School and Go Lala Go!

All films will be screened in their original versions, subtitled in English.

Friday October 8th, 6:30pm – Forever Enthralled
Saturday October 9th, 1pm – The Dream of Jinsha
Saturday October 9th, 3pm – Walking to School
Saturday October 9th, 7pm – Confucius
Tuesday October 12th, 7pm – Bodyguards and Assassins
Wednesday October 13th, 7pm – Go Lala Go!
Wednesday October 13th, 9pm – The Message

For more information about the program, visit

Jointly organized by the Film Bureau of State Administration of Radio, Film & Television of China, the Embassy of People’s Republic of China in Canada, Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada (DFAIT) and National Film Board of Canada (NFB).

Follow the NFB Mediatheque on Facebook, Foursquare or Twitter. Sign up for the new NFB Mediatheque newsletter by email here.

NFB MEDIATHEQUE | 150 John St., Toronto | 416-973-3012 |

If you no longer wish to receive NFB Mediatheque emails, please reply to this email and add "unsubscribe" to the subject field.

Monday, September 27, 2010


"Join us for an engaging discussion with the key visual effects creative on the contemporary sci-fi actioner set within the architecture of the mind"
CASO is proud to introduce Paul Franklin and Rob Hodgson as the speakers for Visionary Lunches V.05 on Thursday October 7th 2010 at 12:00pm - 2:30pm. There is limited seating so be sure to RSVP at

Scotiabank Theatre

Advanced Tickets (+HST)
$25 Members
$40 Non-Members

At The Door (+HST)
$40 Members
$55 Non-Members

Friday, September 17, 2010

Guru Studio rocks the 'Mudpit'

Guru Studio is gearing up for MUDPIT, a new animation series in association with Cookie Jar Entertainment and TELETOON.

September 16, 2010 (Toronto, Ontario) – Guru Studio begins animation production on Cookie Jar’s new half animated, half live-action series MUDPIT in Toronto. Four teenage friends form a band and hit the virtual road in the online world of Muzika where they compete to win in the world’s wildest rock and roll adventure game. MUDPIT is a TELETOON Original Production scheduled to premiere in 2011.

The 26-half hour series follows the lives of Reese, Geneva, Liam and Mikey and their online personas, Dodge, G, Lamb and Booch, as they sing and play their hearts out, battling other bands for dominance and avoiding the game's nefarious ruler and MC, Slime.

“This is a great opportunity for Guru to step outside our preschool comfort zone and flex our production muscles on an ambitious show that has all the things we love: big action, smart humour and great musical performances,” says Frank Falcone, President and Creative Director at Guru, “it takes our experience on The Backyardigans to the next level!”

Guru Studio Production Manager Lisa Brodie joins the crew with a strong background in both animation and video game production management. Falcone comments, “She is the perfect fit for an animated show taking place inside a video game world – she’s seen both – so she understands the aesthetic considerations.”

Cookie Jar's Jamie Waese, the Head of Current Programming, is pleased to have the opportunity to work with Guru Studio and commented, “Guru has made a name for themselves in the animation world and we are excited to be working on this cutting edge project with them.”

Guru will be looking to hire new talent for this upcoming project, including Leica Editors, Riggers, Modelers, Storyboard Artists and more.

For employment opportunities please visit

About Guru Studio

Toronto-based Guru Studio celebrates 10 years as an industry leader in animation. Founded in 2000 with a mandate to create the best character-animated entertainment, guru has expanded their services beyond commercial design for broadcast television, advertising, film and new media into content development and creation, full production, financing, marketing and distribution. Guru earned its reputation producing animation on the Emmy and Gemini award-winning pre-school series THE BACKYARDIGANS for Nick Jr. and Corus/Nelvana, THE NEW ADVENTURES OF BABAR, as well as the new hit series GUESS WITH JESS for Corus/Nelvana and Classic Media. Guru is now in production on its first original series, JUSTIN TIME, for Family Channel Canada and retains worldwide distribution rights. With 5 new properties in development, Guru is poised to create an ever increasing impact on the television, new media and film business. To view our work please visit

About Cookie Jar

The Cookie Jar Group of Companies is one of the world's leading independent entertainment, consumer products and educational publishing companies with 16 offices around the globe. Cookie Jar Entertainment is a leader in the creation, production and marketing of animated and live-action programming. Its library of nearly 6,000 half-hour episodes of television features some of the world's most recognizable series including Caillou, Inspector Gadget, Arthur, The Doodlebops and Johnny Test. The company operates Cookie Jar TV, which furnishes the weekend morning block on CBS, and has a one-third interest in international children's television channel KidsCo. Cookie Jar Entertainment's is the premiere web video destination for kids with the largest independent selection of full-length children's TV series and movies online. Copyright Promotions Licensing Group (CPLG), Cookie Jar’s full-service international licensing agency, represents numerous entertainment, sport and design brands such as Strawberry Shortcake, Richard Scarry, St. Andrews Links, Lucha Libre AAA and Skelanimals. Carson-Dellosa Publishing is one of North America's largest providers of supplemental education materials and reaches nearly 2,000 teachers across the United States. For more information, please

For more information please contact:
Tanya Beach


Tuesday, September 7, 2010

CASO Animation and VFX demo reels, 2010

In case you haven't seen the CASO VFX and Animation reel for 2010, here it is. Thanks for all the studios that participated. It's great to show the talent and quality of work we do here in Ontario.

Thursday, August 26, 2010

Korea Is Open For Business

Recently CASO was invited to participate at the Seoul Promotion Plan (SPP) which is a market dedicated to cartoon, animation and related contents run by Seoul Animation Center of the Seoul Business Agency. Along with the market, an International Animation Film Festival and Licensing fair also took place. It was an excellent venue for local and international property holders to show their latest projects and creatives.

Korea has been making great efforts in developing partnerships in Europe and North America to develop and distribute International and Korean based properties. Being able to witness first had at the spirit and energy of the market I believe there are many advantages in developing Korean/Canadian partnerships and co-productions. Many Korean companies appear to have access to capital and working with producers from around the world to produce universally relatable animated projects. There has been a large concerted effort to understand market trends outside their country and down the barriers of doing business abroad.

I was one of three speakers to present at the conference. My topic was trends in VFX and Animation in Ontario. I touched base on CASO responsibilities of:
• International Promotion and Marketing
• Industry Statistics and Competitive Advantage
• Education and Organizational Relations
• Government Relations
It is an excellent conference to attend, especially if you have never been to an Asia based market. Trends are quite different then in Europe or North America and many opportunities exist between continents.

If you would like to know more about my experience in Korea or would like to be introduced to reputable Korean companies in regards to a project, please feel free to contact me at

Special thanks to Jinsook Park, Executive Programmer of SPP 2010

Here are some pictures from the conference.

The Talent Pool – CASO Jump Start! Executive Breakfast Series

Last week’s Jump Start! Executive Breakfast was a great success and stirred much discussion on the state of digital animation and visual effects labour pool in Ontario.

The well attended event was lead by moderator and President of CASO, Michael Carter. Present were studio executives and producers along with representatives from Seneca, Centennial and Sheridan colleges, who shared their views on the current state of our sector’s labour force.

The topics discussed centered around domestic and international labour touching on costs and skill set; the school system in Ontario and the preparedness of their graduating students entering the workforce; as well as the current market economy and the competition that directly effects Ontario labour – we need the work to get the talent and the talent to get the work.

It was agreed that the skill sets and artistic talent of artists are the backbone to a successful studio. Particularity in Ontario, we have multiple streams to foster talent through our post-secondary educational system, ensuring that the level of artists graduating are of a high standard. It was also agreed it is imperative that the labour community and the colleges work together to continue to build this new talent base through these post secondary streams. This will ensure a strong and vibrant VFX and Animation labour pool that remains in Ontario which will enable us to meet market demands.

During the discussion the participants focused on and analyzed other animation communities. In particular, the success of the UK based community that collaborates through Soho Net. Also discussed was Ontario’s competitive advantage due to our excellent school system, the Ontario tax credits, seasoned artists and experienced studios. In contrast, the area touched upon as needing improvement was mainly the industry unified-technological standards in software, hardware and the overall pipeline.

There was mutual agreement amongst the participants that Ontario had the expertise and capacity to work on the higher budgeted 60 million dollar features.
They also felt that it was imperative that the studios needed to find a way to efficiently work together to both attract these types of budgets into the province and to support the level of work demanded by these higher profile films.

CASO thanks all the participants who attended, Ira Weiss, Category Business Manager and Hewlett Packard for their gracious support of our full roster of programming and the OMDC for their continued support and unwavering enthusiasm for the continued growth of our community.

We look forward to continued discussions and involvement of the whole community to build Ontario as the premier destination for innovative visual effects and animation, globally.

Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Final Call For The "Canadian - European Co-Production Forum"

Final call for Cartoon Connection Canada-EU
Animation producers have one last chance to register for this Canadian-European co-production forum.
Join 40 European delegates in Ottawa for three days of meetings, panels and networking.
Register at

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Greater Toronto Region - GameInc - Stakeholder Consultation Thursday, August 26, 2010 from 1:00 PM - 3:00 PM (ET), and it's FREE

The Ontario Digital Games Business Incubator Network (GameInc) is a network of startup resources that serve the Province's digital games development community. It connects related incubators, organizations and institutions to leverage each group's assets for the benefit of all.

The purpose of this meeting is to gain a better understanding of opportunities that may exist for GameInc to serve the needs of stakeholders in the Greater Toronto Region.

This meeting will be of interest to:

* Digital games developers
* Technology companies that are selling, or that want to sell, products/services to game developers
* Digital media incubators/accelerators
* Investment community members; i.e., angles and VCs
* Colleges and universities that offer digital game development related programming

Registered attendees will be sent the agenda by email.

For those that are unable to attend in person, a teleconferencing line will be available. Dial in details will be sent via email in advance of the meeting.

Please address any questions regarding this event to: Kathleen Webb, 416-878-8876,

Check out the website for more information

Tuesday, August 17, 2010

"The Talent Pool" Tomorrow, don't forget!

Just a reminder "The Talent Pool" happens tomorrow! RSVP to

Monday, July 26, 2010

Tax aid, local talent help Canadian film compete

Yahoo Canada, News

Sun Jul 25, 4:00 AM

By Keith Doucette, The Canadian Press

HALIFAX - While a higher dollar and increased competition continue to challenge Canadian film and television production, some provinces say they see signs of stability thanks to enhanced tax credits and a strong stable of domestic producers.

Nova Scotia, which typically ranks fourth in film production behind Ontario, British Columbia and Quebec, moved in 2007 to boost its film tax credit to 50 per cent from 35 per cent.

The change was made as several provinces, including neighbours P.E.I. and New Brunswick, introduced increased tax credits when many in the industry were ringing alarm bells over the impact of a higher loonie and fierce competition from the United States.

Ann MacKenzie, CEO of Film Nova Scotia, said the benefits of that increase were noticeable within the next fiscal year.

"It really kick-started 2008-09. That year ended up being our highest on record ... with $150 million in production," said MacKenzie.

Recent numbers released by the province show business declined in fiscal 2009-10 to $97 million, but that is still well above the $75 million registered in 2007, which was the lowest figure in a decade.

MacKenzie said that was largely due to the recession, which led to a drop in commissions from major broadcasters such as CTV and Global.

However, she believes the most recent figures also reveal the strength of Nova Scotia's production capacity because well over half, at $54 million, was generated by local producers.

"I think we're lucky in that we have a critical mass of local production that carries the industry even when we can't attract the foreign stuff," said MacKenzie. "Normally our local production is well over 50 per cent of the total and sometimes it's been as high as 70 or 80 per cent."

MacKenzie said the current calendar year has seen increased activity with the shooting of five feature films since February and two more are ready to go into production in the fall. There are also two larger budget television series that are shot in the Halifax area.

Independent filmmaker John Wesley Chisholm, who is based in Halifax, believes the province has created the conditions for local producers to compete, but the challenge will be to produce stories that will "interest the world."

Chisholm's company, Arcadia Entertainment, specializes in ocean-related documentaries and specials. He says a proliferation of specialty channels has created more opportunities than ever before.

"The market just keeps getting bigger, it's growing at over 10 per cent per year. So we have steady customers and a steadily increasing list of potential customers."

Production giant Ontario also saw a boost in its fortunes when the province enhanced its tax credits to cover any cost film productions incur for equipment, studio rentals and labour costs.

"The dollar is important, but now that our tax credit is more attractive the less we live and die on where the dollar goes," said Donna Zuchlinski, film commissioner with the Ontario Media Development Corp.

She said at $946 million in 2009, Ontario's film production approached the $1.1 billion registered in 2000, when the Canadian dollar was significantly lower than it is today.

But Zuchlinski said a solid core of diversified local companies accounted for the majority of the production figures at $674 million — a number that also includes visual effects, animation and post-production work.

However, in smaller production centres such as New Brunswick, the challenge remains to drum up enough business so local producers can thrive.

Tim Hogan of Fredericton-based Dream Street Pictures said he doesn't see much potential for growth for the province's English-language companies, which currently aren't getting enough business from Canada's large private broadcasters.

Hogan contends that's in contrast to the province's French-language companies, which can access a special federal fund for productions shot outside Quebec. He said the extra help is key in an increasingly competitive landscape.

"There needs to be more money poured into development. The ratio is, for every 10 projects you put out there, one gets made," he said.

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Monday, July 19, 2010

Australian Effects & Animation Festival - Awards (AEAF)

AEAF Awards 2010, 11 August 2010, Sydney
Seminars and screenings plus the AEAF Awards screening and presentation.
The AEAF Awards Entry Form

The Australian Effects & Animation Festival Awards - AEAF Awards - is an international competition and screening now in its 13th year and attracts entries from around the world. The Awards recognize and reward excellence and creativity in 10 categories of competition.

Commercials Animation - Commercials VFX - Titles, Idents & Stings - Short Film - Student - Music Video - TV Series - Flash Animation - Feature Films Animation - Feature Films VFX

The AEAF Awards finalists and winners will be screened on 11 August 2010.
The panel of judges will select the top ten entries in each category for screening and the top scoring entry will be named winner and receive the award.
The AEAF Awards are open to all digital content creators and motion graphics, digital video, animation and effects professionals and students.

Digital Media Online Festival For the first time, all entries will have the opportunity to be shown online at prior to judging by the panel.
If you want your peers in the filmmaking community to view your projects, and believe you deserve industry recognition, then enter your work now. If you choose, it will be shown online straightaway.

Previous winners of the AEAF Awards are among the world's premier post-production companies, effects houses and film studios. Past winners include:
Weta Digital - Animal Logic - Industrial Light & Magic - Beeps - Complete Post - Digital Pictures - Fuel - Iloura - Rising Sun Pictures - Fin Design & Effects - Sony Pictures Imageworks - Passion Pictures - The Mill - Box Communications - John Rowe Animation - Framestore CFC - Nectarine - Bigfish Design - Pixar Animation Studios - Students from AFTRS - QUT - VCA - and many others.

Don’t miss out on your chance to be involved in Australia’s leading competition for the creation of animation and effects and digital content creation. Make sure to enter your work in the AEAF Awards 2010. Simply fill in the Entry Form and send it to us with your entry, no later than 30 June 2010.

All finalists’ entries will be screened at the AEAF Awards night on 11 August 2010. Winning entries receive the specially commissioned Award and, most important, exposure through a screening of the entries, press coverage including the Showcase issue of Digital Media World Magazine and the recognition of the digital content creation, animation and VFX communities

Please see the Entry Form to enter online or download an entry form. We look forward to receiving your entry.

Friday, July 16, 2010

Need Artists? Ramping Down?

CASO is developing an online data base system to help identify studio who are looking to ramp up in production and studios who are looking to do temporary layoffs between productions. This will be a new feature on our CASO website and we look forward for everyone's involvement and feedback when we launch.

For the time being, if you are looking for artists for a production coming up or have some artists who are sitting idle and can assist other production, please contact We'll do our best to match up studios.

Current Studios looking for Artists and production personnel:

Imarion Studio: Generalists & Senior Designers/Directors
Specifics: Generalists would need to know everything (modeling/rigging/animation/lighting/rendering/compositing) working with software such as Maya 2011, Photoshop, AfterEffects and or other comp softwares. Our Senior Designer/Director should also know the inner workings of Maya- however, if they are more of a motion gfx person working with 3D max is fine but again, Photoshop, AfterEffects and or other comp softwares are a must.
Please contact:

Guru Studio: modelers, riggers, texture artists, animators, TDs, lighters
Please contact:

House of Cool:
Flash Animators
Please contact:

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

CASO and The Queen

One of the primary functions of CASO is to market the many talents of our VFX and Animation studios in Ontario. With the support of the OMDC, Christa and I had the pleasure of presenting CASO Studios to LA Production Executives at Pinewood Studios. We presented with the capacity and capabilities studios in Ontario have to offer touching on point such as:

- Efficient, viable production solutions and on going creative innovations
- Healthy, experienced companies with proven track records
- Availability of Tax Credits and other economical benefits
- Availability of talented, trained artists and technical workers
- Collaboration - Ability to work with many studios on a large scale productions

We handed out the CASO USB's and screened the Animation and VFX compilation reels. Many of the executives had excellent production questions regarding what studios have to offer, level of talent, and cost benefit in Ontario. It was a good interactive conversation and CASO was presented in a professional manner focusing on our creative talent pool in the region.

Another exciting moment Christa and I participated in that day was watching the Queen of England roll in for her tour of the facilities and luncheon; one of the perks of being on the Board - which I hope to see CASO members wanting to be apart of in the upcoming fall elections.

We hope to develop more valuable relationships and do more presentations about our industry. To better market what our VFX and Animation community has to offer, we encourage all CASO members to tell us some of the great projects or innovations you are working on. CASO takes pride in promoting your work through our website and marketing material, bringing you up and coming projects that may fit your studios pipeline and sending you to international countries to develop foreign strategies and company growth.

Special thanks to the OMDC and Edith Myers at Pinewood Studios for making this possible.

Wes Lui

Registration Now Open for IN 2010 - Receive 15% off

Registration Now Open for IN 2010 - Receive 15% off

IN 2010 – the INteractive Exchange - explores the visionary ideas, creative excellence and technological innovations that generate truly engaging interactive experiences. From games to film, from social media to mobile, IN 2010 will bring together International industry leaders for 2.5 days of networking, ideation and business in downtown Toronto.

By registering with this code INDP15, receive 15% off Regular Rates. Visit to register.

The conference will be divided into the following streams:

In partnership with Mobile Innovation Week, the IN Mobile stream will present sessions from case studies to discussions about the latest and greatest key developments, the current status and future development trends in wireless technology.

Social Media:
Social Media at IN will focus on the creative and business opportunities in a sector which is continuously reinventing itself through user-generated content. Showcasing leading-edge projects and discussions about the newest communication platforms, these sessions will explore marketing, collaboration, information sharing, and experimental crossovers.

The video games industry continues to be one of the fastest growing industries worldwide. With an eye toward intellectual property, which is exploitable along multiple entertainment verticals, this stream brings creative, production and business perspectives to the table at IN 2010. Industry veterans will discuss current trends, explore leading-edge projects and examine the challenges and opportunities that exist in crossover projects.

This stream focuses on the opportunities that lie in the digital media content space as it continues to grow by showcasing the interconnectedness of various interactive sectors within cultural and digital media industries. This stream highlights the potential creative and business opportunities that exist between platforms.

The visionary stream is dedicated to showcasing thought-leaders. Made up of the innovators, originators, inventors and explorers of big ideas. These forward-thinkers share their vision and in turn, incite new ways of thinking about business models, interactivity, and technology.

IN 2010 – the INteractive Exchange – is presented by Interactive Ontario (io).

Monday, June 21, 2010

"WEEKLY UPDATE" From Kelly Graham-Scherer, Los Angeles Marketing Agent

Michigan Film Commissioner Janet Lockwood resigned last week amid continuing controversy over how film and television tax credits are administered in that state. Lockwood has been an enthusiastic and high-profile booster of Michigan's industry and a familiar face to me at LA marketing events over the last several months. Her resignation, along with that of an aide to a state representative announced yesterday, has reiterated for me the continued importance of highlighting Ontario's record of stability and reliability with regards to its tax incentives. I spoke to many of you last week about how these qualities are swiftly becoming our jurisdiction's greatest asset as newer and flashier incentives programs are facing increasing scrutiny in competing jurisdictions. You can read more about the scandal in Michigan below in the Michigan Messenger, which continues to identify film and television tax credits as an election issue in that state... controversy-over-tax-incentives

With regards to film and television tax credits, another interesting issue is emerging in several US jurisdictions and I think it is one to watch: the New York Times reports below that states are increasingly reviewing the content of the projects that are applying for tax credits. The piece talks at length about how Michigan's Janet Lockwood recently rejected an application from established filmmaker Andrew van den Houten due to the violent and graphic nature of his script and reports that film offices from Texas to Florida to Georgia are grappling with whether to apply content restrictions to their incentives.

Over the last several months I have heard time and time again that tax credits are the soft money that gets pictures made. I have heard state film commissioners refer to themselves as equity partners and I heard one ask a panel of production executives if they considered her a co-producer: that state film offices are starting to flex their muscles with regards to content does not surprise me. Although Canadian jurisdictions are not immune (Bill C-10 anyone?) I sense that this is an issue poised to gain traction in the US, especially in conservative jurisdictions...

An addendum to the above: Andrew van den Houten said in the Times that he will move his picture to Massechusetts where the "subsidy program has no apparent strictures on extreme horror". Just one day later a story about his pending application appeared in the Boston Herald and referred to his project as "taxpayer-funded cannibalism"...

The Los Angeles Times reports that booming business in Georgia has resulted in the opening of a new 30-acre studio complex. Since beefing up its incentive in 2008 Georgia has emerged among the top five states in the US for film production, attracting such movies as The Blind Side, Zombieland and the fifth installment of Universal's Fast & Furious franchise... georgia-booms.html

Also from the Los Angeles Times, despite opposition from the major Hollywood studios, federal regulators voted 3 to 2 on Monday to approve an investment vehicle that will allow professional traders to bet on the ticket sales that a movie generates during its opening weekend...,0,6162556.story

And finally Canadian Business reports that Telefilm Canada and the OMDC congratulate Splice, a Canada-France co production supported by both organizations, for exceeding the million dollar mark after just one week in Canadian theatres. Opening Friday, June 4, Splice generated box office sales of $1.12 million across 170 screens in Canada in its first week. At time of writing the US box office for Splice was more than $14.3 million...

You will find the full text for linked articles below my signature. Please feel free to distribute this widely and contact me with feedback. Have a great weekend.

Warmest regards,
Kelly Graham-Scherer
Los Angeles Marketing Consultant

For The Full Article:

Friday, June 18, 2010

The Consulate of General Invites You to The "2010 NHL Entry Draft"

You and a guest are invited to join the Los Angeles Kings as they host the "2010 NHL Entry Draft".

Date: Friday, June 25, 2010
Time: 4:00 - 7:00pm (doors open at 2pm)
Place: Staples Center 111 South Figueroa St, LA, CA 90015

For more information please visit

Budgeting Visual Effects Seminar

A streaming video Webinar on Budgeting Visual Effects for Feature Films.
Topics to be covered include:

•Defining the Role of the VFX Supervisor and VFX Producer
•The VFX Chart of Accounts
•Globals Fringes
•Production Support: from pre-production through post

Seminar leaders:

Susan Zwerman, VFX Producer, (DGA, PGA and VES Member)
Charles Finance, VFX Producer, (VES Member)

For full details and registration please visit:

Friday, June 11, 2010

PipelineFX, Shotgun Software and Tweak Software Announce Global Roadshow to Showcase Integrated Product Line


PipelineFX, Shotgun Software and Tweak Software Announce Global Roadshow to Showcase Integrated Product Line

Three companies announce 8-city worldwide tour
Los Angeles, CA – June 1, 2010 – Tweak Software, makers of RV, the next generation image and sequence viewer for VFX and animation artists, PipelineFX, makers of Qube!™ - the leading render farm management software for digital media creation, and Shotgun Software, makers of Shotgun, a customizable web-based project management and collaboration system, announced today an 8-city world tour showcasing their latest integrated products and discussing integrated pipelines with the digital content creation community.

Shotgun Software, PipelineFX and Tweak Software develop flexible tools for high-end production environments that allow their customers to focus on creating content rather than managing infrastructure. The three solutions work together to facilitate render farm management, production management and media review/playback and are built on open standards to provide the hooks for extensive customization.

For more information and to RSVP to the tour stop in your city, click on this link:
• Los Angeles June 16, 2010 (Wednesday, 7pm) Digital Domain
• Vancouver June 17, 2010 (Thursday,7pm) Rainmaker Entertainment
• Toronto June 21, 2010 (Monday, 7pm) Starz Animation Toronto
• New York June 23, 2010 (Wednesday, 7pm) Offhollywood
• London June 30, 2010 (Wednesday, 7pm) Framestore
• Mumbai July 2, 2010 (Friday, 7pm) To Be Announced
• Singapore July 5, 2010 (Monday, 7pm) To Be Announced
• Beijing July 7, 2010 (Wednesday, 7pm) Xing Xing

About PipelineFX

PipelineFX is the leading provider of renderfarm management solutions for digital content creation. PipelineFX has more than 400 customers worldwide including BBC, Digital Domain, Electronic Arts, Fisher Price, General Motors, Herman Miller, Imagemovers Digital, Laika Studios, Lockheed Martin, MTV, NBC, NHK, Proctor & Gamble, Rainmaker Animation, ReelFX, Smoke & Mirrors, Sony Computer, South Park Studios, Starz Entertainment, Technicolor and Telemundo. PipelineFX is headquartered in Honolulu, Hawaii, and has offices in Los Angeles, San Francisco, San Diego and Las Vegas. For more information, please contact Richard Lewis, CEO of PipelineFX:

About Shotgun Software

Shotgun Software was founded in January 2006 by a group of visual effects professionals to build production tracking and pipeline solutions. The founding members worked together on a major studio animated feature, and are developing Shotgun to fill the mounting industry need for a commercially viable system for managing complex projects spread across multiple locations. Shotgun is actively developing the system with more than 100 industry studios including Digital Domain, Framestore, Rainmaker, Playstation, Blizzard, Zoic Studios, Dr. D, and Laika. For more information, and an online demonstration, visit

About Tweak Software

Tweak Software was founded in 2007 to develop tools that address real-world production needs of VFX and animation professionals. The Tweak partners Jim Hourihan, Seth Rosenthal and Alan Trombla spent many years at Industrial Light and Magic where they developed tools and techniques still in use at that facility today. Jim Hourihan is the recipient of two Sci-Tech Academy Awards and is best known for developing Dynamation, the first commercial particle system that was subsequently incorporated into Autodesk’s Maya software. For more information, visit

Friday, June 4, 2010

BAICAA - International Animation Film Festival "Golden Kuker" 2010

The International Animation Film Festival “Golden Kuker” 2010, which aim is to continue the tradition of the World Animated Film Festival, held from 1979 to 1989 in Varna, Bulgaria, will take place from 13 to 17 October 2010 in Sofia, at the National Palace of Culture. It is been organized by the Bulgarian Association of the Independent Cartoon Animation Artists (BAICAA).

We kindly invite you to enter the festival by submitting your films. The selection for the Competitive and Information Program will be performed by an international Selection Committee, and the prizes will be awarded by the International Jury.
This year special emphasis will be given to children's films and to the works of authors from the Balkan countries.

Panoramas of classic Bulgarian animated films as well as different thematic programmes and retrospectives will be proposed to the audience's attention. The authors of films in the competition will meet every day with professionals, journalists, colleagues and students and will discuss their creative work and the animation art's actual problems. Round tables will be organized to debate the place of the art in the education process, as well as the measures and forms of state's support for the artists / animators in our country. Children will enjoy a special Children Feast, a whole day full of plays and entertainments, concerts and films for them.
The day Festival Club and the night one will provide space for personal meetings and for spending pleasant time with pleasant people.
We are waiting for new films and festival guests. Information about accommodation will be published later on.

You can find the Regulations and the Entry Form on the Festival's site:
Deadline for submission of Entry Forms: July 15, 2010, deadline for receiving animation works (on DVD or videotape): July 30, 2010.
Send Entry Forms to:
Please provide also a professional CV and photo (300 dpi, min 4х6 cm) of the director, as well as 3 stills from the film (300 dpi, min 6 х 8 cm) - by e-mail or on a CD to

Thursday, June 3, 2010

Ontario Multimedia Mission to France and Italy 2010

Ontario Multimedia Mission to France and Italy 2010 October 24-29, 2010
The Ontario Government and the Department of Foreign Affairs and International Trade Canada invite you to participate in the Ontario Multimedia Mission to France and Italy. The program will enable Ontario companies to meet with key decision-makers of companies and stakeholders from two world-class multimedia centres: Imaginove (Lyon, France) and Think Up (Turin, Italy).
The program includes:
• Matchmaking with French and Italian companies organized through the expertise our international partners.
• Site visits to animation studios, gaming software companies and other businesses with relevance to the companies participating in the mission.
• Presentations at View Conference 2010 (Turin): a key international stage for business on computer graphics, interactive techniques, digital cinema, 3D animation, gaming and VFX (

Why participate?
The Imaginove cluster, centered in Lyon, brings together over 200 multimedia companies of the Rhône- Alpes region. Rhône-Alpes has over 650 companies and 23 research centres devoted to different multimedia sectors. The region is home to the world famous Game Connection and the Annecy Film Festival. .
Think Up is a project of the Chamber of Commerce of Turin (Piedmont region) to promote internationally 80 IT companies in multimedia, ITS, ERP, finance, industrial automation and telecommunications. The Think Up’s multimedia companies have gained an international reputation for their expertise in virtual reality, web design, multidimensional graphics, e-learning and IPTV. Piedmont, with its strong IT tradition, is home to over 8,000 IT companies.

For further information, please contact: Victor Miranda, Area Director, France Benelux and Southern Europe, International Trade Branch, MEDT
T. 416-314-8231, To apply, please fill in the enclosed form and return it via e-mail to Victor Miranda. A registration fee of
$125.00 (cheque payable to “Minister of Finance”) will apply upon application.
The mission is limited to eight companies. Early registration is advised.
The Ontario Media Development Corporation (OMDC) Export Fund provides eligible Ontario companies with funding to pursue export development activities that correspond to a strategy for company growth. Please consult: .

Precis of Bill 168

From the desk of Brian Simpson, Keyframe Digital Animation

Bill 168 is Ontario Provincial Legislation adding further mandatory duties on Employers within the Occupational Health and Safety Act to cover violence and harassment in the workplace.

This act will significantly impact all workplaces, employing five or more employees, within the province of Ontario. It is apparent that the Provincial Government is quite serious in ensuring compliance with the bill, as it has hired some 200 inspectors to audit workplaces and enforce the act.

Effective June 15, 2010, all Employers must

- prepare policies with respect to workplace violence and workplace harassment; and post such policies in conspicuous locations within the workplace.

- in addition to the policies, the employer shall assess risks in the workplace and then develop and maintain programs to implement each of the policies with respect to workplace violence and harassment, which shall then be fully communicated to employees.

- once implemented, the Employer shall monitor and evaluate the effectiveness of the policy and the programs on a regular basis.

As a result, Employers must develop procedures to investigate and resolve complaints of violence and harassment; and to develop safety plans in the event of occurrence.

Please note that there is a further requirement under the act which makes the Employer responsible in to ensure safety of employees and workers with respect to domestic violence; if an employer becomes aware, or ought reasonably to be aware, that domestic violence would likely expose a worker physical injury in the workplace, the employer shall take every precaution reasonable in the circumstances for the protection of the worker (safety plan)

It is important that Employers recognize that it should formally go through all the steps as indicated in the legislation, and ensure that it has a paper trail of its efforts.

For further information on the Bill and recommendations for its implementation, it is recommended consulting the information at the following links

Employers now have only a short period of time to get ready for the new Workplace Violence Prevention law. Bill 168, an Act to amend the OHSA to prevent and manage workplace violence and harassment comes into effect on June 15, 2010 and is enforceable as of that date. The amendments explicitly set out a duty for every Ontario employer to take specific steps to proactively prevent and manage workplace violence. Legal compliance starts with a risk assessment.
The tragedies of the Lori Dupont workplace murder in Windsor and the Pierre Lebrun shootings in Ottawa highlight the seriousness of workplace violence.
Bill 168 contains definitions for workplace violence and workplace harassment. Workplace violence means the exercise of physical force by a person against a worker, in a workplace, that causes or could cause physical injury to the worker. It also includes an attempt to exercise physical force or a statement or behaviour that a worker could reasonably interpret as a threat to exercise physical force against the worker in a workplace. Workplace harassment means engaging in a course of vexatious comment or conduct against a worker in a workplace that is known or ought reasonably to be known to be unwelcome.

Risk Assessment
Employers must conduct a risk assessment of workplace violence that may arise from the nature of the workplace, type of work or conditions of work. For example, the activities workers perform, whether workers are required to travel, work alone or work late at night as well as access security and surveillance systems. The risk assessment must also consider circumstances common to similar workplaces – the activities or work conditions that certain sectors have in common and circumstances specific to the workplace such as layout and design and geographic location. If an employer has multiple work locations, each location should be assessed for its own unique risks of workplace violence in addition to the common risks.
Employers must prepare, and review at least annually, a policy with respect to workplace violence and harassment. The policy is required regardless of the size of the workplace or the number of workers. If more than five workers are regularly employed at a workplace, the policy must be in writing and posted in the workplace. Employers may prepare separate policies on workplace violence and workplace harassment or they may combine their workplace violence policy with an existing workplace harassment policy.

The employer must also develop a program to implement the workplace violence and workplace harassment policy. The program must include measures and procedures to control the risks identified in the workplace violence risk assessment; measures and procedures for workers to report incidents of workplace violence and harassment to the employer, for summoning immediate assistance when workplace violence or harassment occurs or is likely to occur; and identify how the employer will investigate and deal with incidents or complaints of workplace violence and harassment. The Bill also places a duty on an employer to take every reasonable precaution for the protection of a worker, if the employer knows or ought to reasonably know that domestic violence may occur in the workplace and likely expose a worker to physical injury.

The employer must also provide information and instruction to its workers on its workplace violence and harassment policy and program. In particular, the employer will be required to disclose to its workers the risk of violence from a person with a history of violent behaviour who they may encounter in the course of work and if the risk of workplace violence is likely to expose the worker to physical injury.

There are also minor amendments to the work refusal provisions contained in section 43 of the Act and the incident reporting provisions contained in section 52(1) of the Act. The Ministry of Labour recently released a guidance document titled ‘Workplace Violence and Harassment: Understanding the Law’.

The Ministry of Labour is committed to enforcing Bill 168. Employers who have not completed their Risk Assessment, policy, program and training by June 15, 2010 are at risk of enforcement actions including orders and prosecutions. Directors and officers must ensure their organizations are in full compliance or risk personal liability. Corporations may be fined up to $500,000.00 and individuals may be fined up to $25,000.00 or jailed for 12 months or both. Compliance with Bill 168 is not only the law, it is also the right thing to prevent workplace viol

Saturday, May 22, 2010

NASSCOM Game Developer Summit 2010- Call for Speakers !

“NASSCOM Game Developer Summit focuses on development of games on various platforms like console, mobile, online and PC. Last year’s summit was India’s first of its kind Game Developer Summit organized to nurture and encourages the community to network and share knowledge.

The Summit is scheduled on 12-13 November 2010 in Hyderabad will attract more than 300 attendees worldwide and provides game development professionals educational, networking, and business opportunities that help drive the game industry. It is a forum where programmers, designers, producers, writers and others involved in the development of interactive games, gather to exchange ideas, and ultimately shape the future of a thriving industry.

This year the event would have more than 20 sessions will address the most pressing development challenges for games.

We are now soliciting session proposals from speakers with deep industry expertise and a fresh and unique perspective on the state of the games industry. The last date to send in your entry is 18 June 2010.”

Speaker Expectations

Conference attendees expect excellence from our speakers. They will evaluate your talk based on delivery, knowledge on the topic addressed, and the visuals presented. Please consider the following when proposing to speak:

The proposed outline must match the talk you present at NASSCOM Game Developer Summit.

You may be required to submit your presentation slides for review prior to acceptance.

We strongly encourage that you rehearse the delivery of your session for it to be effective; preferably in front of your peers.

Your presentation materials must be completed and submitted to us four weeks before the conference.

Have adequate visual accompaniment to your speech.

Allow NASSCOM Game Developer Summit to record and sell copies of your presentation.

For an opportunity to showcase Ontario's expertise in the area of gaming (digital media), by way of a speaking opportunity, please contact:

Trade Advisor - Ontario
Ontario International Marketing Centre
Consulate General of Canada
Fort House, 6th Floor
221, Dr. D.N Road
Mumbai - 400 001
Maharashtra State

Mobile: +91-9867-345-292
Tel : +91-22-6749 4444 extn. 3395
Telephone no. (Dir) : +91-22-6749 4495
Fax: +91-22-6749 4415

Wednesday, May 12, 2010

Final Reminder or CASO Discount for Banff World Television Festival 

LAST WEEK to use your CASO Discount and attend the Banff World Television Festival and nextMEDIA Banff - June 13-16, 2010.

For the price of one ticket, you will have access to BANFF, the world’s largest multi-platform production and development marketplace and nextMEDIA, Canada’s premiere digital media trending and technology conference. Engage with emerging digital content creators and distributors as well as top programming and development executives, producers, broadcasters and dealmakers from Canada and abroad. Create innovative partnerships that will help you build your business in this new era, and benefit from new funding models like the Canada Media Fund. Track the trends shaping animation and connect with the most influential players during our Kids & Animation Program. BANFF is the next step in the evolution of media – and the only conference that is designed to grow your business by combining the expertise of traditional television and the in-demand innovation of digital media.

Use your CASO Discount Today and Save 30% off the ticket price.
Discount ends May 14, 2010.
Visit us at

Friday, May 7, 2010


All CASO members acknowledge as GTMA partners and will recieve the rate of $30.00 if interested in attending the event on May 21st. For full details please visit the website

Gemini Awards - Digital Media Category

The Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television is now accepting entries in the new Digital Media categories for the 25th Annual Gemini Awards.

This notice is being sent to keep you apprised of the additions to our Digital Media categories so that you might help spread the word to your associates.

The new Digital Media awards are designed to:

• recognize and celebrate the achievements of craftspersons responsible for creating the interactive digital media projects
• focus on content creation and different genres

Three of the five new annual award categories are based on the previous Best Cross-Platform Project award category and recognize interactive Digital Media projects that relate to television projects, whether or not the related television project has been entered into the 25th Annual Gemini Awards, in the following genres: Fiction, Non-Fiction and Children and Youth.

Two of the new categories recognize original productions, the first broadcast of which is intended for a medium other than television, in the following genres: Fiction and Non-Fiction.

The 2010 Rules and Regulations and official entry form can now be found online at

Please see fee schedule below.

Deadline for entry is Tuesday, May 18.

Peer juries will adjudicate the five new award categories. The Academy’s Gemini Special Award Committee will adjudicate the new Special Award.

The following will give you further information about these categories.

1030. Best Cross-Platform Project - Fiction
An interactive project that enhances the user’s enjoyment of a television program/series through such platforms as mobile, the Web and other portable devices. Entries must be associated with a specific program or series that meets the eligibility requirements for the 25th Annual Gemini Awards. The TV partner, however, does not necessarily have to be entered in the 25th Annual Gemini Awards. Projects that are primarily promotional and corporate entities’ interactive works are not eligible in this category, nor are projects entered in the category of Best Cross-Platform Project – Children’s & Youth. This award is intended to honour up to 5 individuals responsible for the work. Eligible credits include Executive Producer, Producer, Website Producer, Site Producer, Creative Producer, Senior Web Producer, and Interactive Producer. The entrant must include either a short video or a text description with screen shots as visual support to demonstrate
the user experience and how their project works.

1031. Best Cross-Platform Project – Non-Fiction
An interactive project that enhances the user’s enjoyment of a television program/series through such platforms as mobile, the web and other portable devices. Entries must be associated with a specific program or series that meets the eligibility requirements for the 25th Annual Gemini Awards. The TV partner, however, does not necessarily have to be entered in the 25th Annual Gemini Awards. Projects that are primarily promotional and corporate entities’ interactive works are not eligible in this category. This award is intended to honour up to 5 individuals responsible for the work. Eligible credits include Executive Producer, Producer, Website Producer, Site Producer, Creative Producer, Senior Web Producer, and Interactive Producer. The entrant must include either a short video or a text description with screen shots as visual support to demonstrate the user experience and how their project works.

1032. Best Cross-Platform Project – Children’s and Youth
An interactive project that enhances the user’s enjoyment of a television program/series through such platforms as mobile, the web and other portable devices. Entries must be associated with a specific program or series that meets the eligibility requirements for the 25th Annual Gemini Awards. The TV partner, however, does not necessarily have to be entered in the 25th Annual Gemini Awards. Projects that are primarily promotional and corporate entities’ interactive works are not eligible in this category. This award is intended to honour up to 5 individuals responsible for the work. Eligible credits include Executive Producer, Producer, Website Producer, Site Producer, Creative Producer, Senior Web Producer, and Interactive Producer. The entrant must include either a short video or a text description with screen shots as visual support to demonstrate the user experience and how their project works.

1033. Best Original Program or Series produced for Digital Media – Fiction
An original video program or series, the first broadcast of which is intended for a digital medium other than television. Programs that are primarily promotional are not eligible in this category.

1034. Best Original Program or Series produced for Digital Media – Non-Fiction
An original program or series, the first broadcast of which is intended for a digital medium other than television. Programs that are primarily promotional are not eligible in this category.

Note: Eligibility requirements for these awards:

1. The cross-platform project or original program produced for digital media must be produced by a Canadian company.
2. The cross-platform project must be related to a television program that is eligible for the Gemini Awards competition. The television program does not have to be submitted to the Gemini competition.
3. The original program produced for digital media must first be made available to the public on a digital medium other than television.
4. The cross-platform project or original program produced for digital media must not be dedicated primarily to promoting a program or be a promotional program.
5. The cross-platform project must have gone live and the original program produced for digital media must have been made available to the public, in Canada, during the eligibility period.

Special Award - Outstanding Technical Achievement in Digital Media
(Deadline for Entry July 15, 2010)

This award may, but need not, be presented on an annual basis to honour a recent worthy technical achievement in the Canadian digital media industry. Any device, method or invention of exceptional technical value used in production, distribution or display of content and less than three years from initial implementation may be entered for this special award. The technical achievement may relate to any digital platform.

Nomination Process: Nominations are received from members of the Academy and the industry at large. Recommendations should be sent to the Gemini Special Awards Committee, who will convene to recommend a winner. The recommendation will be passed on to the Board of Directors for approval.

Please provide the following information for the Committee’s consideration:

1. The name of the device, method or invention.
2. Date of first private showing.
3. Date of actual industry use.
4. How the device, method or invention serves to enhance the content.
5. Impact of this technical achievement on the industry.
6. Extent that the technical achievement has been accepted by the industry.
7. Patents (pending) considered for this achievement.
8. Please state why recognition should be received for this technical achievement.
9. Contact information for the submitter.
Contact information for the recipient.

Please note that the entry form can be filled out online and sent in electronically.
Visit for all applicable forms.

Cost of Entry

Categories 1030 through 1034:


Note: Entry costs are significantly lower once the entrant is an Academy member.

For more information about Academy membership, please visit:


Voting Membership……....$150.00 + Applicable Taxes
Non-Voting Membership…$100.00 + Applicable Taxes