Monday, January 31, 2011

CASO Industry Forum Post Report - Shirlyn Antonio

Dear Members and Non-Members:

CASO is pleased to advise that our forum held on Wednesday, January 12th at the OITC was well attended by all invited guests and was very successful in reaching a consensus as a unified group on how to promote the industry. It was a pleasure and honour having so many representatives from various studios, colleges, government officials and freelancers who all wanted to hear and participate in the discussion on the recommendations listed in the industry strategy report, commissioned by CASO, prepared by Tom Wesson Consulting and generously funded by the OMDC.
The meeting scheduled at 9:30am was excellently moderated by Neishaw Ali (President of Spin) who sits on the CASO board as Chair Standards and consisted of a handful of panellist who were selected based on their knowledge and expertise of the industry, their previous involvement in gathering stats and working on such reports, or their contributions and dedication in assisting/preparing the report. The combined efforts of the panellist who consisted of Tom Wesson (Tom Wesson Consulting), Ron Haney (CEO/Executive Director of DCG Ontario, Board Director of FilmOntario), Nick Gray (Board Executive and Founding Member of Seventh Man Films, Board Director of FilmOntario) and Ron Estey (2009 Past President of CASO) were exceptional in answering questions, providing recommendations and feedback on the report and sharing their knowledge of the industry on what strategies should be implemented to help our industry in the future and how we should continue our efforts to establish Ontario as a stable and thriving Film and Television Community.

The forum centered around the recommendations as outlined in the report and was presented by Tom Wesson, who touched based on how the recommendations were gathered, the rationalization behind the findings and what should be the next steps in achieving our objectives of promoting our industry.

Once each recommendation was addressed, the discussion was opened to the Panel, as well as to the floor for any feedback or analysis on the stated recommendation. Overall, the consensus from all present was that the recommendations and findings were concise and accurate, and “we” as one body should work together to achieve our goal of keeping our industry a viable market, staying competitive, creating high quality work, achieving effective communications amongst ourselves and to attract investments, and fine tune the tax credits making it payable to the producers and modifying the residency requirements.

It is clear that our members and invited guest present at the forum spoke as one “Voice” and represented ourselves as a community ready to see change to our OCASE tax credit. There is no division or boundaries amongst ourselves from what we would like to recommend to the OCASE tax credit. In fact, we are all in agreement that to be competitive and to stay in the game, we have to follow suit with other markets and offer incentives to producers that would attract more work to Ontario. In promoting and marketing our industry competitively, we need to focus on quality, infrastructure, communications and team work, along with the recommended changes to our tax credits.

The Computer Animation Studios of Ontario will continue to promote the Ontario Animation and Visual Effects industry with the support of our Government, our private sector and others within the industry to promote and advocate change for the overall benefit of our industry. We hope the outlined recommendations for the OCASE tax credits will be reviewed and accepted by the government especially since we are lobbying as one “Voice”.

Shirlyn Antonio

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Heenan Blaikie and the entertainment industry

Heenan Blaikie’s Entertainment Law practice has been representing the legal interests of the entertainment industry for over three decades. Our internationally recognized group is the largest in the field in Canada. Based in Canada, the United States and abroad, our clients are involved in all areas of entertainment, including film, television, new media, video gaming, communications and music. They include major studios, broadcasters, independent producers, distributors, financial institutions, Internet service providers, software publishers, video game developers and publishers, special effects and post-production houses, as well as multimedia and animation studios. Many well-known directors, writers, producers, performers and other successful artists are also long-standing clients of ours.

The lawyers in our Entertainment Law practice are counsel to some of the most significant players in the entertainment industry. Some of our representative work includes:

• Acted as legal counsel for Electronic Arts in their establishment of operations in Canada.

• Represented Lions Gate Entertainment in connection with a $210-million slate financing deal led by Goldman Sachs.
• Represented Canada Film Capital Limited Partner-ship[CFC],an affiliate of Rainmaker Income Fund, in connection with a $33-million revolving credit facility with Royal Bank of Canada.
• Counsel to Vice Magazine and its sub-sidiaries Vice Records and Vice Films. We represented Vice Magazine in the launch of the magazine in Japan, Australia, the U.K., Sweden, Italy, Germany and New Zealand, and represented Vice Films in their partnership with MTV Networks

Heenan Blaikie provides its entertainment clients with fully integrated areas of corporate financing, international co-productions, labour and employment, intellectual property, merchandising and licensing, media and communications, litigation support, competition and trade, and other areas of law that assist Canadian and international clients to establish and carry on business in the Canadian media and communication sectors.

For more info:

CASO Launching New Website February 1st!!!!!

What better way to start the new year with a little bit of remodeling.
On Feb/1/2011 CASO will be launching their new and improved website As a member of CASO you'll be able to have your very own profile page. Here you'll be able to post videos, pictures and blogs about what amazing stuff you're up to. The monthly newsletter will also be available, along with webcasts, events and resource links and much more!

Don't forget to sign up for the newsletter on the new site. We will be integrating the new system and don't want anyone to be missing out on the scoop!

Here's a sneak peak of what's in store.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

4th Brazil-Canada Coproduction Forum

4th Brazil-Canada Coproduction Forum
Rio Content Market
March 16 – 18, 2011
Windsor Barra Hotel, Rio de Janeiro - Brazil

The Rio Content Market is an international market place where multi-platform content will be given prime visibility. Over 500 national and international decision makers are expected to attend and discuss the creation and distribution of digital media and multi-platform content. More details about the program and speakers can be found at

On its 4th edition, the Brazil-Canada Coproduction Forum will take place inside the Rio Content Market and it will be organized by two local industry associations with full support from the Canadian Consulate in Sao Paulo. This event is designed to allow content producers (digital media/TV/Film) from both countries to understand each other's business environment and markets and discuss potential opportunities for co-production.

1. Main activities

a) Keynote, Panels and Case Studies presentations – Both the Rio Content Market and the Coproduction Forum will bring keynotes, panels and case studies presentations dedicated to address the opportunities offered by international partnerships in all genres and platforms, be it documentaries, drama, format concepts or current trends in television business and new media.
b) One-on-one meetings – There will be a prescheduled agenda of one-on-one meetings for the Canadian delegates of the 4th Coproduction Forum. Participants that wish to meet individually with potential partners will have to submit their bio/company information by February 11th so the organizers work on the matchmaking process.
c) Networking activities - In addition to a Brazil-Canada cocktail, there will be plenty of networking opportunities during the Rio Content Market. There will be a large contingence of Brazilian and international television/feature film/digital media producers, broadcasters, telecom operators, etc.

2. Estimated Travel Expenses

• Return ticket (Toronto/Rio de Janeiro/Toronto): from C$ 1400
• 4-night accommodation: C$ 700 (quoteJan20 - Promenade Paraiso, near the Windsor)
• Conference Registration: complimentary (must register online before Feb. 4th)
• Coproduction Forum / Business meetings: complimentary (must submit bio by Feb 11th)

To confirm your participation, submit your bio or to obtain more information, please contact:

Fernanda Whitaker
Trade Commissioner, New Media & Cultural Industries
Canadian Consulate General - São Paulo - Brazil

Sunday, January 23, 2011

MIFA 2011

For over 25 years, the International Animation Film Market (Mifa) has been encouraging synergy between professionals, helping to get projects off the ground and contributing to the circulation of works.

Meet up with all the players in the animation industry from TV, movies, video, VOD, internet and mobile phones.

For dates and to learn more about MIFA 2011 follow the link below;

Monday, January 10, 2011

Sheridan Pilot Training

Spaces are filling up fast! Our first pilot program, Building Leaders, has almost filled to capacity - have you and your studio secured your place yet?

Sheridan College and SheridanCorporate in partnership with the Computer Animation Studios of Ontario (CASO), have developed a series of groundbreaking day-long learning programs designed to deliver insights and skills in management leadership, entrepreneurship, employee training and pipeline efficiency within the animation, digital media and VFX industry.

As a result of our OMDC funding, Sheridan is pleased to offer animation, digital media and VFX professionals a one time opportunity to participate for free in this exciting pilot training before we launch this training to the community at large.
Spaces are still available in the following programs:
• Building Leaders: Leadership Skills Development (February 26 - April 30, 2011) Over the course of 5 separate days, participants will learn techniques and insights towards effective leadership, strong communication, building and managing high- performing teams and much more.
• Career Portfolios: Entrepreneurial Skills Development (May 14 - June 25, 2011) Over the course of 4 separate days, participants in this program will explore a variety of techniques designed to enhance their access to opportunities, contribute more effectively to the studio environment and, most importantly, increase their personal brand and influence in the industry.
• Employee Onboarding: Studio Training Development (Fall 2011) Over the course of 2 days, participants in this program will learn tried and true techniques for assessing new employee learning styles, setting up an effective training process and creating clear channels for feedback and communication, all with the intent to enable new hires to become successful contributors in new environments.
• Understanding the Pipeline Workflow (Fall 2011) Particpants in this one day program will explore the broader ecosystem of their industry, including how productions are brought to studios, the key stakeholders and influencers in the production process, as well as discuss current and future trends of the industry both locally and globally.
• Diagnosing the Pipeline Workflow (Fall 2011) Participants in this one day course will explore a variety of these techniques and their effective application to their own studio environments, with the intention of developing new methods of diagnosing and overcoming bottlenecks and issues within the pipeline and workflow.
What next?
We are looking for a broad range of professionals from the animation and VFX industry to participate in our pilot programming. Please note that enrollment in these exciting programs will be limited in each course on a first-come first-served basis. To find out how you or your staff can become involved, or for more information, please contact:
Ben McEvoy, Project Manager / Animation Learning Consultant / / 647.886.5236
© SheridanCorporate, 2010. All Rights Reserved. 1

Vortex 2011

The Vortex competition begins this year on January 19th, 2011 with Boot Camp, to be followed by 2 rounds of Competition on February 2nd and February 24th, and culminates with the finals on March 30th, 2011 at the TIFF Bell Lightbox.

Now in its sixth year, the Vortex Videogame Conference and Competition has evolved into a full-blown, multi-day, competition and conference. Here, emerging game developers can gain skills, knowledge, and networking experience by learning about the industry and submitting their ideas to the top movers and shakers in the Canadian videogame world. The goal of Vortex is to provide business development opportunities for videogame entrepreneurs in the digital media industry. New this year Boot Camp offers Tips from the Trenches case-study sessions from experts in each platform.

Glenda Fordham, Fordham PR
T: 416-966-2049
Follow Vortex at

T: 416 944 8105

Keynote Announcement for GameON: Finance 2011

Keynote Announcement for GameON: Finance 2011
North America’s Premier Investment Forum for Digital Games welcomes top investors and speakers

January 4, 2011 – Interactive Ontario (IO) is pleased to announce that Rémi Racine, President and Executive Producer of Behaviour (formerly Artificial Mind & Movement) will be a keynote speaker at GameON: Finance 2011. Don Carmody, President of Don Carmody Productions, and Dino Patti, Co-Creator of LIMBO, and co-founder of Playdead Games will also be featured keynote interviews at the conference, taking place on January 20 & 21 at the Design Exchange, Toronto.

For the past 18 years, Racine has positioned Behaviour as a world leader in the video game industry. Under his leadership, the company has ranked simultaneously amongst the Deloitte Technology Fast 50™ and Canada’s 50 Best Managed Companies™ from 2006 to 2008.

Carmody produced feature films Silent Hill and Resident Evil: Afterlife, which recently topped worldwide box office receipts of over $280 million -- making it the most successful production in Canadian feature film history, surpassing previous box office champion PORKY’S, also produced by Don Carmody. In November 2010, Boondock Saints was released on the iPhone, iPad & iTouch.

Patti is co-creator of the critically acclaimed title, LIMBO, which has now received several international awards including two awards at the Independent Games Festival in San Francisco and 3 Milthons for Game of the Year, Best Indie Game and Best Visual Art at the European Games Awards.

GameON: Finance offers advice on transmedia digital game projects, and funding strategies on how to create a game or app that expands screen-based creative. GameON: Finance offers delegates the insider business and market knowledge needed to understand how to budget, build and finance your mobile, online, social, or ipad, game. Through one-on-one meetings, GameON: Finance fosters partnerships and connections needed to get a game financed, developed and distributed.

Keynotes, panel discussions and interviews will cover boot-strapping, venture capital, government programs and alternate funding models.

For a full list of speakers, the schedule and tickets visit:
By registering with this code CASOGOF11, you will receive a 15% discount off regularly priced tickets!


Confirmed speakers include:
Ron Frankel, Founder of Proof Inc, and co-chair of the joint Committee on Previsualization of the American Society of Cinematographers/Art Directors Guild/Visual Effects Society, and Brian Pohl, co-founder/previsualization supervisor at POV Previs. Both Ron and Brian are co-founders of the Los Angeles-based Previsualization Society, and their companies are two of the global leaders in the previsualization field. Other confirmed speakers include Aaron Weintraub, Visual Effects Supervisor for Mr. X Inc., experts in previsualization and visual effects for both 2D and stereoscopic 3D feature films (Resident Evil: Afterlife, TRON: Legacy, and The Three Musketeers, currently in post-production); Darren Cranford, President and Director for Keyframe Digital, one of Canada’s first companies to concentrate on previsualization for films including X-Men, Driven, and Zombieland; and Jim Laird, Managing Director and CFO, Bedlam Games Inc., a Toronto-based developer of next generation video games (Scratch: The Ultimate DJ).

Production practices and workflow will also be demoed and discussed by a variety of companies including: motion capture industry leader Vicon; Jason Walter, Autodesk Media and Entertainment Consulting, presenting a virtual production test case project. Additional local and international presenters to be confirmed in the next two weeks include a mix of individuals active in previsualization and virtual production from a variety of fields including directing, cinematography, production design, visual effects and producing, as well as from film, television and game sectors.
Speakers list subject to amendments.

Registration fee:
Public fee: $350
Member fee: $150 for event co-sponsors and SIRT partner members with a discount code.
Discount code instructions:
Members of partner organizations will receive a discount code in correspondence from their organizations.
On the Registration Start Page click on the drop down list "Select registration type".
Select option "SIRT Partner Discount".
In the field "Partner Identification Number (If Provided)" enter the code your member organization has provided to you.
Select "Continue" button.

SIRT Studio and Pinewood Toronto Studios.
Pinewood Toronto Studios is Canada's largest studio complex with more than a quarter million square feet of production space, including 7 state-of-the-art, purpose-built soundstages ranging from 10,000 to 46,000 square feet. Localized support facilities include office space, mill shops, lock-ups, craft rooms and wardrobe suites.


A general introduction to the history and current state of previsualization and virtual production within film, television, and gaming will be followed by a focus on previsualization practices. Previsualization has been described as “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 production.” *From ASC-ADG-VES Joint Technology Committee on Previsualization

The process is designed as a immersive and interdisciplinary one, whereby directors, cinematographers, production designers, visual effects artists and others are engaged in working through both technical and creative aspects of production planning, with cost savings as a benefit. But with changes come challenges and opportunities that can only be dealt with effectively through informed application of technology by our industry’s creative, technical, and management professionals. How can you best become a part of the international group of professionals shaping the present and future application of these processes within production?

Panels for the day will focus on:
• The current state of the art and practice of previsualization and its relationship to virtual production. How is previs impacting traditional production practices and what are its implications for creative choices, production efficiency, and potential new business models?
• How these changes affect your role within the production process, whether an artistic, technical or financial professional. How do you best utilize the technology in your work and in your relationships with other professional categories involved in a production? How do you take control of the technology instead of just riding the wave?
• Actual production examples of the use of previsualization within a variety of forms of production;
• the additional importance of previsualization within S3D production – as a general learning tool but also within the production process. What are the options and the processes professionals are adopting to make sure they get it right on their S3D projects?

The second day’s panels will focus on emerging trends in virtual production which were given significant impetus by the technological developments and publicity surrounding their use in Avatar. “As a starting point, virtual production is defined as ‘computer graphics on stage’, or the process of shooting a movie with real-time computer graphics, either for all-CG movies (such as Christmas Carol) or visual effects movies with live action (such as Avatar).” * From Virtual Production Committee (a joint effort of the American Society of Cinematographers, the Art Director's Guild, the Visual Effects Society, the Previsualization Society, and the Producers Guild of America).

The panels will consider what this means in terms of the technologies and business models for production of both animated and live action/visual effects projects. They will consider how this development is being both driven by and fosters the integration of film, television, and game content production. Discussions will also centre on how technological developments can impact the roles and interaction of those in front of and behind the camera within the production.

Panels for the day will focus on:
• State of the of the art of virtual production and the convergence of virtual production business models as used in film, television and gaming; How are these changes affecting the dialogue and collaboration among film, television and game practitioners?
• Virtual Production options and production examples in an Animation Pipeline
• Virtual Production options and production examples in a live action/visual effects pipeline
• The impact of virtual production practices on the role of the actor and their relationship with the director and other production keys