Toronto – Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning has been awarded a $2.3 million grant from the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council (NSERC) of Canada’s College and Community Innovation Program to establish a unique new research centre for screen-based industries. NSERC’s funding follows an initial $300,000 grant from the Ontario government’s Ontario Media Development Corporation.
The Digital Media Centre for Real-time Production takes a revolutionary approach to research, technology development, education and innovation, and will be located in the heart of the filmmaking industry in Toronto.
The Centre’s mission is to conduct world-class research into film, digital cinema and high definition imaging technologies in a wide variety of areas from capture to delivery and archiving. It was conceived and launched by Sheridan and will operate in partnership with creative industries and three levels of government.
“The Digital Media Centre for Real-time Production will give Canadian television, film and interactive media a competitive advantage through research toward improved digital media production technologies and techniques, more cost effective production processes and better trained industry professionals,” said Dr. Robert Turner, President and CEO, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. “We’re grateful to the Natural Sciences and Engineering Research Council of Canada for their support of what we believe will be a keystone to the future success of filmmaking in Canada.”
Research partnerships have already been established with many key companies and industry associations including Side Effects Software, C.O.R.E. Digital Pictures, Panavision Canada, Autodesk Media and Entertainment, Filmport, Directors Guild of Canada Ontario Branch, International Cinematographers Guild (I.A.T.S.E. 667), and FilmOntario.
“Our members have helped establish Ontario’s entertainment and creative industries as key pillars in the province’s economic future,” said Ron Haney, CEO, Directors Guild of Canada Ontario Branch. “We’re partnering with the Centre to ensure these industries remain at the forefront in adoption of new technologies and work processes, and create new jobs from technological innovation.”
“The Centre was created to establish a hub of collaboration and knowledge sharing among film, television, and interactive media specialists, where technology experts, craftspeople and creative content-producers can interact in order to foster technological innovation, commercialization, and adoption of new workflows,” added John Helliker, Sheridan professor and Faculty lead at the Centre.
Education at the Digital Media Centre for Real-time Production
Sheridan will also be adding a film and digital media studies component to the Centre, making it the first such initiative to establish a permanent educational campus within a studio complex in the heart of Canada’s filmmaking industry. This educational component will serve both full-time students and industry professionals through facilitating technology and knowledge transfers that foster improvements in creative collaboration and economic efficiency, innovation, and commercialization.
“The Digital Media Centre for Real-time Production is a truly exciting venture,” said Sandy McKean, Associate Dean, Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning. “It would be the first of its kind in Canada: a major studio lot with students, teachers, filmmakers, producers, directors, writers, actors, technical and production crews, animators, production houses and suppliers working side-by-side to ensure a healthy and vibrant film making industry in North America.”
By involving students in technology research and the development of new production workflows, it will ensure that the next generation of digital media professionals is both technologically adept and able to respond proactively to the changing needs of industry.
Sheridan has over three decades of expertise in live action film and television production and award-winning visual effects and animation programs. The Centre will be a platform without comparison in Canada and will help Sheridan extend this excellence to the professional community at large.