On January 20, Sheridan thought leaders joined WarnerMedia Access Canada’s virtual Creativity X Tech panel for an engaging discussion with industry experts on the future of careers in VFX, gaming, AR, VR and virtual production, with a focus on creating opportunities for under-represented talent to help redefine the modern workforce.
The panel follows the recent announcement that Sheridan and the Virtual Production Innnovation Hub (#VPIH) at Sheridan’s Screen Industries Research and Training (SIRT) has partnered with WarnerMedia Access Canada to develop a cutting-edge Virtual Production (VP) Micro-Credential program, providing opportunities for individuals from historically underrepresented communities to further their education and build career readiness for jobs in this rapidly growing multibillion-dollar industry in Canada.
Expected to launch in Spring 2022 this ground-breaking program will include courses such as Introduction to Virtual Production, Personal/Professional Development, Virtual Production Art Direction in Unreal Engine, Motion Capture Technician, and Unreal Engine On-Set Technician.
This program is made possible by sponsorship from founding partner WarnerMedia Access Canada and the applied learning portion will be held at Screen Industries Research and Training Centre (SIRT), Stage 10 at Pinewood Toronto Studios. Sheridan continues its tradition of helping educate the industry’s future leaders through its internationally renowned SIRT Centre which supports innovation in Ontario’s film, television and interactive media cluster through applied research, access to cutting-edge technology and a 10,000 sq. ft. innovation centre. SIRT’s unique capacity through trusted partnerships with key organizations and technology leaders facilitates innovations within digital cinema, virtual and augmented reality, interactive media, and artificial intelligence.
“For too long, important members of the community have missed out on unique opportunities to share their stories within the film and television sphere. As a society, collectively, we have legitimacy to be heard and share our lived experiences with one another. It’s time we challenge existing barriers, create clear career pathways, and tap into the unique storytelling of those who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour.”– Dr. Jane Ngobia, Vice President of Inclusive Communities
Offered through Continuing and Professional Studies this innovative program leverages SIRT’s space, expertise, technology and partnerships and will build on Sheridan’s reputation in the screen industries – rated as one of the top 10 visual effects schools in the world. Aligning with Sheridan’s ongoing commitment to equity, diversity and inclusion, the program will elevate, activate and connect Canadian talent from communities that have been historically marginalized with global opportunities and global audiences.
Sheridan’s Shenaz Baksh, Screen Industry Specialist with Continuing and Professional Studies, and Dr. Jane Ngobia, Vice President of Inclusive Communities, were panelists along with industry leaders discussing career pathways and opportunities for students to help redefine the modern workforce.
“Across Sheridan, we’re making meaningful strides towards developing an equitable and inclusive community for everyone,” says Dr. Ngobia. “For too long, important members of the community have missed out on unique opportunities to share their stories within the film and television sphere. As a society, collectively, we have legitimacy to be heard and share our lived experiences with one another. It’s time we challenge existing barriers, create clear career pathways, and tap into the unique storytelling of those who are Black, Indigenous and people of colour.”
“Because virtual production is an evolving technology, there is a great need for talent,” explains Baksh. “Virtual production has been advancing rapidly since the onset of the pandemic, and LED walls are an exciting alternative to the green screen. This shift is an integration with – as well as a transformation from – traditional filmmaking processes.”