DAILY NEWS Jun 7, 2013 6:59 AM - 0 comments

People, Places and Players Making News on the Canadian Digital Media Scene 06/07

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Strong Pedigree, Multiple Partners at New Digital Entertainment Company

Digital content strategists and production company founders Daniel Dales and Jarrett Sherman are at it again, with the launch of Digital Howard, a new Toronto-based interactive entertainment company working across all media platforms.

Dales and Sherman founded another interactive firm, Smokebomb, in 2008; it was acquired by television production company Shaftesbury to be the in-house digital studio there.

Now, Digital Howard is assembling a talented team and putting strategic partnerships in place, Dales described, and it is launching a TV companion experience called SPIN OFF 360.

It’s the digital version of the television game format, which allows the audience watching at home to play along with the ‘SPIN OFF’ television game show, in real time, on their digital device of choice – tablet, smartphone, or laptop. The interactive experience also includes a ''Digital Home Edition'' of the show where users can play any time of day and compete against the rest of the digital community.

Dales and Sherman say Digital Howard will make several more announcements in the coming months.

“Digital Howard is at the forefront of creating a real, vivid and compelling second screen experience for home viewers. We’re excited about the roll out of SPIN OFF 360 and can’t wait to have thousands of Canadians playing along at home,” said C. Scot Cru, SVP of International Distribution & Production at One Three Media.

“Digital Howard has been an excellent partner by creating brand opportunities that are more effective and innovative than traditional display advertising,” noted Robert Ostfield, Managing Director, Channel Zero Digital. “They put the audience experience first, which ultimately best serves our brand partners.”

One Three Media is the joint venture between Hearst Corporation and Mark Burnett.

Suddenly SeeMore... Productions is an Emmy-nominated and award-winning television production company founded by Morgan Elliott.

Established in 2000, Channel Zero Inc. is an independent Canadian broadcaster that owns conventional channel CHCH Ontario (HD) as well as specialty channels, online properties and film sales and distribution divisions.

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Frantic Films Appoints EVP, Scripted Development

Brenda Greenberg has been named Executive Vice-President of Scripted Development for Frantic Films, based in the company’s Toronto office.

“We are thrilled to have someone of Brenda’s calibre join our team,” said Jamie Brown, CEO of Frantic Films. “She has extensive experience as both a creative producer and executive producer on many successful series and in leading creative teams. Brenda’s relationships with top talent will open new opportunities while she helps carry forward our existing roster of projects in development.”

Greenberg has played a key role in many top rated series including Being Erica, The Best Years, Kenny vs. Spenny, Side Effects, and Street Legal. She started her career at NBC and was a producer on the Emmy Award winning series As The World Turns at CBS. She has been lauded for her work with emerging talent as part of the NSI Totally Television program and the Shaw Showrunner program and is an Advisory Board Member for the Sheridan College Advanced Television and Film Program.

“I’ve really enjoyed watching many of the successful series Frantic has been involved with including Todd and the Book of Pure Evil, Men With Brooms, The Don Cherry mini-series as well as features like Faces in the Crowd, and Lucid. I’m really looking forward to building on their decade of experience in scripted programs and see greater opportunities ahead,” said Brenda Greenberg.

Frantic Films produces live action film, television and commercial content from offices in Toronto and Winnipeg.

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Gavin Barclay Joins Bling Digital

SIM Digital has appointed veteran television producer Gavin Barclay as Vice President of its Bling Digital unit. Barclay, whose television credits include such shows as Suits, Covert Affairs, Nip/Tuck and Knight Rider, will oversee the expansion of Bling’s on-set and near-set post-production services, which include solutions for dailies processing, colour grading, offline Avid rentals, online editorial and other operations. He will have both operational and client services responsibilities.

“We are thrilled to have Gavin join our team,” said Chris Parker, Chief Technology Officer for SIM Digital and Bling Digital. “Gavin brings deep experience in television production and post-production, and has helped several shows make the transition to file-based workflows with exceptional results. Our clients will benefit greatly from his expertise, insight and enthusiasm.”

For the past six years, Barclay has served as a post-producer for NBC Universal. Working with Bling Digital, he developed file-based workflows for the shows that allowed them to prepare dailies, perform colour grading and editorial finishing within the shows’ production offices, resulting in significant time and cost savings.

“Moving the post facility into our offices made everyone’s life easier,” Barclay recalls. “It eliminated the need to make daily trips across town and avoided scheduling conflicts with other shows. Post became streamlined and efficient.”

In his new role, Barclay will introduce similar workflow solutions to other television and film productions. “I’m excited with what Bling is doing, especially on the finishing side,” he says. “Post production doesn’t have to be as hard as it is for many productions. With new technologies and the workflows we are developing, having time to enjoy life outside of work is no longer a fantasy.”

Bling Digital is a division of SIM Digital, a global rental facility specializing in digital production equipment and workflow services.

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Wm F. White Continues Expansion Mode with FlyCam Partnership

William F. White International Inc. (WFW) has struck up an exclusive partnership agreement with FlyCam Canada Inc., effective immediately.       

FlyCam is a national film and television support company that provides innovative, proprietary technology enabling cost-effective aerial photography for live broadcast, music, live event, commercial, feature and episodic television productions.

FlyCam Canada is helmed by industry veteran Alan Lennox and currently occupies office space at William F. White Int’l headquarters in Toronto, William F. White Centre.

The agreement follows Comweb/WFW’s recently announced letter of intent to purchase Telescopic Camera Cranes Ltd. in addition to a recent $20 million investment in new production technologies and $40 million financing agreement with BMO Financial Group, Paul Bronfman, Chairman/CEO of Comweb Corp. and WFW reports.

“FlyCam Canada is another great fit for WFW as we continue in our mission to be the first in Canada to bring new technologies to market while enhancing our national specialty equipment offerings,” Bronfman added.  “Our resources and customer base combined with FlyCam’s talents and expertise in live events will prove to be a dynamic and value-added opportunity for our clients.”

Recently, FlyCam Canada worked with WFW on the live production Megastunts: Highwire over Niagara for ABC Worldwide, the recent broadcast that saw Nick Wallenda cross Niagara Falls on a tightrope.

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Guavus Acquires ‘Big Data’ Network Analytic Tools from Applied Broadband

Guavus Inc., a leading provider of Big Data analytics solutions for the Communications & Media industry, has purchased Pipeline, the market leader in the cable industry for collecting, analyzing and mediating IPDR (Internet Protocol Detailed Records) data to understand bandwidth consumption and network activity.

With the acquisition, Guavus becomes the first big data analytics solutions company to provide Multiple System Operators (MSOs) with a comprehensive view of networks, services, devices and subscribers as they evolve their product offerings, improve the customer experience and drive new revenues.

Created by Applied Broadband, Pipeline is currently licensed by seven of the top ten MSOs in North America as the IPDR solution for millions of broadband cable subscribers.

Applied Broadband was founded and is led by Jason Schnitzer, a recognized expert of the Canadian and U.S. broadband markets. Prior to Applied Broadband, he founded Stargus (now part of ARRIS) and earlier in his career was a key contributor to various DOCSIS standards at CableLabs and was a broadband engineer for Shaw Communications.

"As broadband networks continue to expand in terms of scale, complexity, and supported services -- from 100+ Mbps speeds and business offerings to streaming video and home automation -- a sea of new intelligence can now be derived by 'listening' to the network in more holistic and powerful ways," said Schnitzer. "Clearly, the time for Cable Big Data is now and Guavus is uniquely positioned to take IPDR to the next level by incorporating Pipeline into their comprehensive analytics solutions to deliver even more business value for MSOs."

People, Places and Players is an occasional feature of Mediacaster Magazine.com; it also appears in the editorial print versions.

Information of interest and relevance to the Canadian digital media industry may be sent to editor@mediacastermagazine.com for consideration.

People, Places and Players Making News in Digital Content Creation, Production and Distribution

2013- 01 -21


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