Tag Archives: Industry News

Link: Screenwriters chart a new course for TV’s ‘female gaze’

From Johanna Schneller of The Globe and Mail:

Link: Screenwriters chart a new course for TV’s ‘female gaze’
Is there such a thing as a female gaze in movies and television? That was the hot topic at last weekend’s Toronto Screenwriting Conference. On Saturday, I sat down with five female writers who’d just discussed it in an hourlong panel: Tracey Deer (Mohawk Girls); Jennifer Holness (Shoot the Messenger); Robby Hoffman (Odd Squad and Workin’ Moms); Katrina Saville (Private Eyes); and Courtney Jane Walker (Degrassi: The Next Generation). We could have gone on all day. Continue reading. 


History announces production on original docu-series Bud Dynasty

From a media release:

Green is the new gold. HISTORY, the #1 Specialty Entertainment Network*, announced today the start of production on the new Canadian original docu-series, Bud Dynasty (7×30). With filming underway today at the 4/20 event in Vancouver celebrating cannabis culture, the series follows intrepid entrepreneurs as they navigate Canada’s thriving and controversial marijuana industry at a time when the dubious plant is emerging from the shadows of prohibition and into the grow lights of legalization. Bud Dynasty is produced by Screen Siren Pictures Inc. and Henry Less (HL) Ontario Inc. in association with HISTORY. Broadcast details will be announced at a later date.

With the recent news of the federal government’s bill to legalize marijuana by July 2018, Canada may be the first industrialized nation to end pot prohibition. Canadians are experiencing a historic shift in the perspective on the product, and the potential impact of legalization is being deliberated across the country. In B.C. specifically, the marijuana industry is worth an estimated $2-7 billion annually, and produces 40% of all Canadian cannabis, making it some of the most valuable cash in the province.

Bud Dynasty chronicles this burgeoning green rush by following Canada’s most charismatic and uncompromising marijuana trailblazers who risk it all and bravely face serious obstacles in this uncharted territory. Pot pioneer Bob Kay is a burly biker and father of four who dreams of franchising on a massive scale, but also recognizes the volatility of the business. As Bob seeks out investment opportunities, he turns to Joe Le, a young entrepreneur and dispensary owner from Vancouver. Joe is making his mark on the cannabis industry and is intrigued by the possibilities of partnering with Bob and capitalizing on his grow license – which happens to be one of the largest in Canada.

However, the competition is fierce as franchise operators, large-scale growers, licensed producers, publicly traded companies, and other dispensaries each battle for a slice of the market and control over supply, distribution, and retail sales – all while facing local officials threatening to shut down all retail sales until regulations are in place. Bud Dynasty provides an all-access look into the frontier of the legalized pot business, its big players, the obstacles they face, and the epic journey of building a groundbreaking industry from the leaf up.


CTV unveils The Launch, a new six-part original music series and international TV format

From a media release:

Showcasing a mix of vibrant voices and mic drop moments during the creation of the next chart-topping song, CTV announced today from Canadian Music Week the new, six-part music television series, THE LAUNCH, premiering in 2018. The new international television format is the first TV project culminating from the previously announced partnership between Bell Media and world-renowned record executive Scott Borchetta (AMERICAN IDOL), founder, president, and CEO of the Big Machine Label Group, whose roster features international superstars like Taylor Swift, Reba McEntire, Florida Georgia Line, Rascal Flatts, and Thomas Rhett, among others. Reinventing the music competition genre, THE LAUNCH delivers an authentic behind-the-scenes look at the creation of a series of hit songs. Casting for the series is now open (see below), with production set to begin in Toronto this summer.

CTV also announced it has brought on board Eureka Productions’ acclaimed showrunner Paul Franklin, the creative mastermind behind the MASTERCHEF format, along with Canadian format pros Insight Productions (THE AMAZING RACE CANADA, BATTLE OF THE BLADES), one of Canada’s preeminent production companies. With an award-winning background in music television production, Insight CEO John Brunton and Insight’s Lindsay Cox (THE TRAGICALLY HIP: A NATIONAL CELEBRATION) are executive producers, along with Franklin and Borchetta.

Created for markets around the world, THE LAUNCH features a new and unique format: a group of unsigned musicians are mentored in the creation of a new original song by a panel of internationally renowned hit makers – including Borchetta.

Casting for the internationally renowned music mentors is underway. Additional program format information and special guests will be announced in the coming months.

CTV also confirmed today that casting for THE LAUNCH is now open. Aspiring megastars can prep their auditions for this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to work with some of the biggest names in music. The deadline for submission is May 10 at 11:59 PM ET. For all casting details and updates, including instructions on how to apply, fans can visit CTV.ca/TheLaunch, the CTV Facebook Page, and follow @TheLaunchTV on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.


Kevin White previews this year’s Writing Room Intensive at the TSC

This year’s WGC Writing Room Intensive at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference is notable for a couple of reasons. For one, it’s the first time the TSC’s Intensive is focusing on comedy writing. And secondly, the Intensive is being run by Kevin White and Ins Choi, the co-creators of CBC’s hit comedy Kim’s Convenience, giving the participants the opportunity to write a mock episode of the series which is, coincidentally, prepping for Season 2 on CBC.

On Thursday, Amy Cole, Derek Robertson, Elize Morgan, Gillian Muller, Jennifer Siddle, Lisa Rose Snow, Marcia Johnson and Richard Clark will join White, Choi and myself for six-hour session (there will be snacks, just like a real writer’s room). What can these lucky eight expect from the session? We got Kevin White to tease what’s in store. And check back on Friday to read my recap of the session; I’ll be moderating a panel discussing the group’s experiences on Saturday, April 22, at the Toronto Screenwriting Conference.

First off, what interested you about participating in the Writing Room Intensive this year?
Kevin White: It’s hard to get experience making stuff and doing stuff. I feel like anytime you can share that with people, with the hopes that people can learn and get better at the craft [is good]. And, hopefully, we learn something too and get a chance to meet emerging or young writers. That’s what was in it for us. If anyone can take anything away from the way we write the show, all the better.

What are you hoping they walk away with?
I don’t really know how other writer’s room are run. I’ve been in other people’s rooms as a writer for hire, so I have some sense of that. I’ve adapted a lot of things over the years as to how we approach breaking story and writing scripts collectively, so I hope some of that might be informative and helpful to people who have had less time in rooms. From a selfish point of view, it’s always nice to meet writers you haven’t worked with before and have a chance to see what their ideas are about, how they think and their point of view. I think it will be exciting for us to have eight fresh eyes on the material and really hear what it’s like for someone who hasn’t had any previous experience or exposure to the behind-the-scenes of our show freshen our outlook as well.

Will you be setting up the Intensive like you do it on Kim’s Convenience?
We’re going to try. Obviously, we have part of the morning finding out who everyone is. Then we’ll share ideas.

What can you say about the breakout sessions you have planned?
We have seven writers in the room on Kim’s Convenience now. With a number like that, we often work in different side group configurations. I hope we’ll have time to break up how we do it a little bit. Ins will have half the room, I will have half the room and we’ll be able to work in two smaller groups and report back to the bigger group. We want to be able to work with as many people as possible and meet with as many people as possible.

People will, presumably, be coming to the table with ideas. We need to hear those ideas and ruminate on them on them in the smaller groups. We’ll boil down to the ones that seem to have the most promise and then get back together and have feedback as the groups present their strongest ideas. They may be big stories and they may be small stories. Then, once we land on the stories we like the most and can sort of fit together, then we can figure out what will be the main story and what will be the other story. There might even be a third story. Then we’ll probably break off again into groups and beat those out.

Are you expecting to have an episode outline completed by the end of the day?
[Laughs.] I don’t know! I’m sure we can cobble together something. You can always make something because of time constraints because day’s end is coming. But, yes, I think we’ll be able to cobble together the bones of an episode and try to come up with what those 18 or 20 scenes could be for this typical Kim’s Convenience episode.

The Toronto Screenwriting Conference runs April 22-23, 2017. Get the latest information—including events and how to register—on the official website.


Women in Film & Television – Toronto and Meridian Artists Announce Inaugural Mentorship Opportunity

From a media release:

Women in Film & Television – Toronto (WIFT-T) announced today that they have partnered to create a new mentorship opportunity. The Meridian Artists Agency Mentorship is open to a woman with at least two years’ experience, but not more than five, in the screen-based media industry. It is a full three-week immersion at Meridian Artists, a premiere literary agency and leading entity in the Canadian entertainment industry, founded by Glenn Cockburn.

The mentee will learn, through job-shadowing, how a select roster of the most talented writers, directors, and producers in North America are represented and managed; learn more about client management and development, generating ideas, preparing pitches and selling shows; tap into the youth and animation markets; get a glimpse into the world of publishing; see how clients are “pitched” for roles; and experience the bullpen.

The inaugural Meridian Artists Agency Mentorship will take place from October 23 to November 10, 2017. The mentee will also receive a cash honorarium and on-stage recognition at the 2017 WIFT-T Crystal Awards Gala Luncheon in December. Deadline to submit is May 31, 2017. For more information on the submission process, visit wift.com.

About WIFT-T: Women in Film & Television – Toronto (WIFT-T) is a member-based organization of women and men working in screen-based media that supports the development and advancement of women in the industry. Membership in WIFT-T enables women to be capable, confident, connected and successful in their careers. For more information, visit www.wift.com.

About Meridian Artists: Founded in 2005, Meridian Artists is a premiere full service e-literary and talent agency and a market leader in the Canadian entertainment industry. With principal offices in Toronto and Los Angeles, Meridian Artists is an established leader in the representation of actors, authors, screenwriters and directors. www.meridianartists.com