A space to congregate. A space to collaborate. A space to create.
Toronto Film School is counting down the days until the fall opening of its new showcase location at 460 Yonge Street – a 17,387-square-foot hub in the heart of downtown Toronto.
Located at Yonge and College streets, this is the fourth building in the Toronto Film School’s College-Dundas Campus. It will feature five studios – including three dedicated Film Production studios, one dedicated Acting studio, and one multi-program studio – as well as a spacious student lounge, four classrooms, a sound room and vocal booth, and a fully stocked equipment room.
“It’s just a phenomenal thing that’s happening,” Yale Massey, director of TFS’s Film Production Diploma, said of the upcoming opening of the new Toronto Film School location at 460 Yonge St.
“What’s really neat, in my opinion, about the studio spaces we’re opening up at Yonge and College is that it’s just like a hub for everyone to meet, to gather, and to get to know each other and work on each other’s films – because that’s what the film industry is all about. It’s about making great, creative connections.”
By creating such a space where students from across so many of TFS’s multi-disciplined programs can “intermingle,” Andrew Barnsley said he hopes that the school will succeed in its mission to unlock the door to “unlimited creativity.”
“When students from Film Production, Acting, Writing and Video Game Design can all congregate in the same place, who knows what magic will come out of that?” said Barnsley, TFS’s Executive Producer in Residence.
“No longer are students contained to their specific academic programs. Now all students from all disciplines will be in the same place, sharing ideas and secrets, and learning from each other and expanding their networks, which will only help as they grow as professionals.”
Also helping to prepare students for the post-graduation endeavours in the ever-booming film and television industry here in Toronto, Barnsley added, will be their access to the modern studios soon to be unveiled at the new 460 Yonge campus.
Reflecting back at his own time in school, Barnsley said having that same kind of unfettered access to production space that TFS students will now enjoy was a critical factor in his formation into the producer he is today.
“I learned about cameras, I learned about studios, I learned about lighting, I learned about directing and acting. None of this could have been possible without the space I had access to,” said Barnsley, who currently serves as an executive producer on both CBC/Netflix’s Schitt’s Creek and CTV’s Jann.
“With this new production hub at Toronto Film School, students will have the opportunity to get their hands dirty in the studio space that’s accessible to them. This presents a real opportunity for students to take risks, to try new things, to get to know their team members and to really figure out what it means to work in the Toronto production community.”
Here in Toronto, that “booming” screen-based industry has quickly grown to a $2-billion-a-year enterprise that supports an estimated 35,000 jobs every year – a number Massey said he expects will soon rise to 50,000, with the recent arrival of Netflix and CBS production hubs locally.
TFS’s new studios, Massey argued, will be a huge help to students by giving them the studio experience they’ll need as they work to transition seamlessly from the classroom into that ever-expanding workforce.
“Right now in Toronto, there are all these new studios being built – this is where Hollywood wants to make their films,” he said.
“If you’re a student coming out of Toronto Film School, you want to have that studio experience – not only shooting in a studio, but building sets and understanding what it’s all about. And for those that do get that experience out of Toronto Film School, you’re one step ahead of the rest.”