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The Latest News from the Film Production Program at Toronto Film School

With the return of the sunshine comes renewed energy the influx of film and television productions all across the GTA including The Strain, Star Trek, The War with Grandpa, Black Mirror, Life in a Year and Schitt’s Creek to name but a few. With the Spring term comes the final step in our students Toronto Film School career with the celebration of the Toronto Film School Commencement Ceremonies. Graduation occurs this year on May 4 at 3 p.m. at the Toronto Center for the Arts. We all wish our graduates the best of luck as they embark on their careers in the film and television industry, and invite them to keep us updated on their adventures and successes.

Now let’s take a moment to introduce a few of our newest instructional additions that we’re very proud to have joined the TFS team. First is our Production Design instructor, Vincent Moskowec, who has dozens of film and television credits under his belt including In the House of Flies (2012), Bite (2015) and The Demolisher (2015). We’re incredibly lucky to have this mad genius (literally) take time out of his hectic schedule to impart his wisdom on our future art directors. We’ve also added a new orator to teach our Film Contract & Copyright course in Hugh Lambre. Hugh is a Lawyer educated at such prestigious institutions as Duke University and the University of Toronto Law School. He has taught law for the Directors Guild and is now ready to make sure our 5th termers have their paperwork in order. We are incredibly lucky to have him. Lastly (although we have not forgotten about the few others that have joined our ranks), we congratulate our new Advanced Directing Techniques and Canadian Film Studies instructor Randall Okita for his recent CSA win of the John Dunning Discovery Award for his film The Lockpicker (2016) which is award to an independent film that was produced on a micro-budget of under $250,000 and that has achieved success through theatrical release or festival acceptance. Be sure to [lock]pick Randall’s brain for his tips to success.

Lastly, let’s congratulate and wish luck to our first round of thesis films to have completed the entire new course curriculum and come through with completed, and potentially door opening short films. The work and dedication put forward by the Thesis Film Committee, with their professional input have been invaluable. Dusty Mancinelli heads up our Post Production and Workflow course in term six which aims to take all of the hard work, lessons and raw footage  our students have collected the previous five terms and turn it into masterpieces.  The students have responded positively to the pace and the discipline required to work with an experienced Post Production Supervisor can sometimes be arduous, but due to his efforts, all of our students have delivered not only on time but exemplary work. All of us instructors couldn’t be more proud.

Don’t forget to celebrate National Canadian Film Day on April 19th. And a big thank you to all of my student crew members who have stepped up to be part of and serve as volunteers, greeters, ambassadors, crew to shoot and have an all around good time at many of the NCFD events (as well as all of the students that have stepped up for the many other events we have going on around the city- there will be more). This year there are over 1700 events and counting, and this is pegged to be the world’s largest one-day film festival ever. Celebrate your Canadian film heritage as you are now part of the Canadian filming community. Speaking of Canadian film and filmmakers, the last term we were lucky to have a guest speaker in Ben Ayers. This term, Ben has agreed to take over the reigns to a few classes. Ben is an accomplished Canadian actor and producer know for Saving Hope, Bitten, Rookie Blue, Seed, Lost Girl, Flashpoint and the Vampire Diaries as well as Fantastic Four: Rise of the Silver Surfer, Smallville– again just to name a few. Students responded excitedly, and Ben was happy to hang around well into the evening. I can promise you as the season hits we’ll be pulling many of you out on many of the projects, there are so many on the go right now I can’t even begin to list them all.

Well, as usual, my door is always open, and I invite all of you to stop by if you have any questions or just want to share a great story or joke. Take the time to welcome our first term students and our international visitors. Good luck! And as always stay focused.

Christopher Lane is an instructor in the Film Production Diploma Program at Toronto Film School. He is a writer, producer and director who has been working in the film industry for more than 20 years.