About Us

The Screen Industries Research and Training (SIRT) Centre is one of Sheridan’s Research Centres, committed to working directly with industry partners on innovation and training projects while infusing new knowledge into Sheridan’s curriculum.  SIRT was established by Sheridan in 2009 and works extensively with students and faculty/staff in areas such as applied learning and research. The Centre has also been made possible by government funding from provincial and federal government levels.

Located at Pinewood Toronto Studios in the heart of the city’s film and television studio district, SIRT is a premier destination for training, collaboration and creation for the screen-based industry in Ontario and around the world. Our state-of-the-art production studio and lab facility is a content creator’s dream come true.

Together with our partners, we explore and evolve digital image capture and creative processes for the film, television and gaming industries. Currently, the Centre is focusing on developing and enhancing technology in workflow, stereoscopic production, previsualization, virtual reality & 360 filming, digital cinema, virtual production, and remote and real-time collaboration.

Our cutting-edge equipment sets the industry standard. When you step on to our fully-equipped 10,000 square foot sound stage, you’ll feel like the research, training and production possibilities are endless. Advanced digital cinema cameras, stereoscopic camera rigs, motion capture technology and leading edge virtual reality technology are ready and waiting for your next project.

Our Technology Access Centre (TAC) designation is one-of-a-kind in Canada. As a Digital Media TAC, designated by the Federal Government, we are able to offer evolved and specialized services to companies, organizations and guilds locally and globally. 

Are you ready to collaborate with us?

Meet The Team

John Helliker

Dean, Innovation and Engagement

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John Helliker

John Helliker is the Dean of Innovation and Engagement at Sheridan College and the founder of SIRT. John has been an inspiration at Sheridan College since 2005, initially teaching direction and pre-visualization as a faculty member. Prior to this, John worked extensively and successfully as a director and writer within the Canadian film and television industry. In 2012, John was presented with Ontario’s prestigious ORION Leadership Award for Higher Education. In 2014, he was awarded the Association of Canadian Community Colleges National Leadership Excellence Award, which recognizes his innovative work at SIRT. Currently, his creative and research focus is on virtual reality, empathy and social action.

David Dexter

Associate Director

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David Dexter

David Dexter is the Operations and Business Development Lead for SIRT—Screen Industries Research and Training Centre—at Sheridan. David has been integral in transitioning SIRT into a sustainable research and Technology Access Centre (TAC) thanks to his passion for live events and vision for technology. Twenty-five years of experience in multiple industries, including mobile (Nokia), technology (IBM) and music, combined with an acumen for business development and delivering cutting-edge products to market, makes David a leading expert in bridging the gap between training, technological development and studio production.

Bronwyn Macdowell

Project Coordinator

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Bronwyn Macdowell

Bronwyn Halliday is the Project Coordinator at SIRT and the primary lead between SIRT and the Applied Research Team at Sheridan College. She uses her education—graduate of Sheridan’s Project Management postgraduate program and a B.A. in Film Studies—and prowess for problem solving to ensure all SIRT events and projects are successfully delivered. She is an essential part of the team as she coordinates large events, co-op student onboarding, board meetings and financing. As part of her studies, Bronwyn helped Habitat for Humanity implement and adapt a new e-marketing platform.

Spencer Idenouye

Virtual Production Lead

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Spencer Idenouye

Spencer Idenouye is the Virtual Production Lead at SIRT. As part of a collaborative team, Spencer is creating an integrated virtual production studio for training, applied research and commercial services. He provides leadership and expertise in applied research and technical research for the movie, television and gaming industries, and is focused on the application of VR technologies. Spencer’s education is extensive: A BFA in Media Arts & Digital Technologies and two post-graduate diplomas in Directing and Editing in Advanced Television and Film and Computer Animation Digital Visual Effects. His expertise includes directing, editing, VFX artistry, cinematography, digital content production and motion capture.

Stephan Kozak

Computer Graphics and Visual Effects Lead

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Stephan Kozak

Stephan has been a VFX Supervisor, Technical Director, CG artist, animator, compositor and designer in the commercial and VFX industry. He has over 15 years of award-winning experience as well as 5 years of postsecondary teaching under his belt. Stephan has worked with big clients such as Alliance Atlantis, IMAX, Corus Entertainment, Coca-Cola, Disney, Paramount and many others. He has extensive knowledge of many software platforms including Maya, 3DS Max, Zbrush, Substance Painter, Marvelous Designer, Unreal and 3D scanner to name just a few. Currently, he works with industry partners, Sheridan faculty and students to create high-quality content for tech markets and develop new strategies for current technologies. Furthermore, he is doing extensive research and development work with virtual humans and digital double creation for virtual reality, gaming and broadcast.

Mike Darmitz

Software Engineering Research Lead

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Mike Darmitz

Mike takes lead on projects that involve substantial programming, software architecture, or software integration efforts. Mike has an extensive background in virtual reality and augmented reality; he previously served as the Head of Software for Sulon Technologies, a company that created one of the world’s first standalone augmented reality headsets. Years of working as a software engineer in the games industry have also provided him with experience in a diverse range of programming languages and platforms, and have allowed him to express his great passion for delivering compelling experiences to others.

Josh Kerekes

Audio Research Lead

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Josh Kerekes

Josh is the Audio Research Lead at SIRT and an Unreal Engine developer. He has worked with various industry partners and collaborators at the centre, spanning projects involving real-time acoustic simulation within game engines, interactive virtual reality, AR application development, haptic feedback, and location-based experiences. Previous to his role at SIRT, Josh worked as an Audio Engineer, VR developer and technician for multiple companies and productions.

Jason Hunter

Virtual Reality Lead

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Jason Hunter

As the Virtual Reality Lead, Jason focuses on virtual cinematography at SIRT. His responsibilities include designing and directing virtual reality production from ideation to launch. Furthermore, Jason develops new workflows and efficiencies for content creation. Jason completed his B.A in Multimedia & Theatre and Film at McMaster University and then studied Directing & Editing for Film at Sheridan College. His extensive experience allows him to provide training and applied research in order to support local SMEs in adopting Virtual and Augmented realities.

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