ED, Jan 2004

From the Executive Director

Ah, the end of the year and time to reflect on our accomplishments at LIFT in 2003 and what awaits us in the new year. 2003 was an extraordinary year of change: five staff positions were filled at LIFT, and despite the lack of experience, the new staff have been able to meet or exceed all our goal. I would personally like to thank Shenz Baksh, Michael Barker, Greg Boa, Vanessa Lam and Renata Mohamed not only for their hard work and enthusiasm, but also for fostering a wonderful sense of community at LIFT. I am very proud of the staff and of all the improvements that have occurred over the last six months that we have worked together. We have a number of exciting new services and events planned for 2004 – stay tuned for more details in the new year.

The new staff are only part of the changes at LIFT in the past year. We have initiated an extensive renovation and upgrading strategy to the facilities – not since our arrival at 37 Hanna seven years ago has their been such activity in our edit suites. Over the past six months alone we have completely renovated the Protools Suite and added a lovely ADR room. Sound insulation should be complete in the new year, but the room is already a formidable mixing studio, with the ADR room ideal for voice-over and musical performance.

We have also created a second animation suite with another 16/35mm Oxberry full automated camera (compliments of a generous donation from Film Effects in Toronto). The new camera is located in the Azure suite and it represents the foundation of a digital image/film-to-film transfer system that we hope to have in place by the end of 2004. With the addition of another Oxberry, we have moved the Media 100 editing system from the Azure to Orange suite and have upgraded both the software and the computer in the new location. We are currently putting the finishing touches on a telecine system for super 8 and 16mm to mini-DV transfers that will also find a home in the Orange suite. Members will be able to digitize their own film footage and even burn it to DVD.

We are nearing completion on our new Optical Printer in the Violet animation suite (so that members can blow up from regular 8, super 8 and 16mm to 35mm), we are creating a digital sound editing system for those interesting in cutting film on a flatbed, and we are reorganizing the members’ area in the office. All of these changes were initiated to keep pace with new technology that is becoming a part of our everyday lives, and to ensure that filmmaking is promoted and preserved as a viable art form. Our goal is to provide greater service and opportunities to our members.

Finally, I would like to thank the critics at NOW Magazine in November, who chose LIFT as the best place to make a film in the city. I would like to accept this prestigious honour on behalf of the staff and all of our members who have volunteered over the past year. We deserve it!

Shine it on,

Roberto Ariganello