Sheridan faculty unveil “State of the Arts” as new series

The Faculty of Animation, Arts and Design have implemented a new series at their Faculty meetings. Entitled “State of the Arts,” this invites faculty members from our five departments to present latest innovative trends in their practice and in the discipline.

The Department of Film, TV and Journalism led the way with presentations from Michael Kennedy, Sherry Lawr and John Loranger.

HEAVEN, T Wellner, M Kennedy, cameras

“A recent opportunity to explore this tension appeared in the summer of 2014 when I was approached to direct the pilot of a new sitcom that would incorporate 360 degree filmmaking. This is done by a cluster of seven GoPro cameras that record visuals from all 360 degrees around them,” he said.

“The concept of allowing the audience to choose where to look and what to see at all moments is entirely against the grain of what I have been doing as a filmmaker for the last 35 years. It also addressed several intriguing artistic communication issues, so I was immediately interested and agreed to the gig.”

360 filmmaking completely disrupts the traditional notion of a fixed “point of view,” putting the viewer instead in the centre of any filmed scene. Kennedy sees this new technique as a way to enrich storytelling.

Michael has directed 14 feature-length theatrical films or TV movies and over 200 episodes of prime time network drama and comedy films. His awards include 2 Directors Guild of Canada Awards (7 nominations), a Directors Guild of America nomination, 3 Best Director Gemini nominations, and 3 Canadian Comedy Awards from 11 nominations.  **

Sherry Lawr, a professor in the Broadcast Journalism program for the past 15 years, introduced an interactive Shakespeare eBook designed to help students in their studies.

A screenshot of the eBook application. This displays how students can take practice quizzes to help their learning.

A screenshot of the eBook application. This displays how students can take practice quizzes to help their learning.

“We designed it with the intention of targeting the 95% of students who have to study Shakespeare but would rather eat a bucket of snails than have to learn the Bard. It was born out of another project my company (art from KaoS Media) had been working on with The Stratford Festival and the University of Waterloo,” she explained.

“Randall Kapuscinski (ATVF & BFTV), our developer, came up with the notion of creating an interactive eBook.”

Sherry also says that the idea will hopefully help students expand their knowledge on Shakespeare, comparing the project to SparkNotes, but more interactive.

Other than teaching, Sherry remains as a partner and producer for KaoS Media as mentioned above. She has also worked as a producer for TVO Ontario and with CBC.

Finally, John Loranger, a sound editor, talked about his research into functionally inaudible energy that emanates from wind turbines. At the core of the debate is the acoustic presence produced by wind farms as these giant turbines emit powerful sound waves that permeate the surrounding environment.

Wind turbines, courtesy of John Loranger.

Wind turbines, courtesy of John Loranger.

“Working with and gaining a better understanding of infrasound has been invaluable for my work as a sound designer and teacher.  This research has served as an outlet to explore infrasound and to engage with the issues surrounding this debate of how acoustic ecology is affected by wind turbines,” he said.

“Additionally, I am now applying this research and exploring infrasound use in film and game sound design.”

John was nominated at the 2012 DIRECTORS GUILD OF CANADA AWARDS for his work as a sound editor in Degrassi – Episode 1129 – Dead and Gone:  Part 2

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