ED, April 2004

From the Executive Director

What is LIFT? Are we just a film production centre as our arts council funders like to remind us?  Defining LIFT has been difficult since we are more than just a rental facility or production centre. Whatever the case, we are many things to many members.

Ahh! the end of the year and time to reflect on our accomplishments in 2003 and what awaits us in the new year.  2003 was an extraordinary year of change for LIFT. Five staff positions were filled and, despite the lack of experience, the new staff have been able to meet or exceed all of our goals.  I would personally like to thank Michael Barker, Shenaz Baksh, Greg Boa, Vanessa Lam and Renata Mohamed for not only their hard work and enthuesiam 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 6 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 2003. We have initiated  or completed an extensive renovation and upgrading strategy to the facilities. Not since our arrival at 37 Hanna 7 years ago has their been such activity to our edit suites.

Over the past 6 months alone we have completely renovated the Protools Suite and added a great ADR room. Sound insulation should be complete in the new year, but the room is a formidable mixing studio with ADR room ideal for voice over and musical performance.

We have created a second animation suite with another 16/35mm Oxberry fully automated camera (compliments of a generous donation from Film Effects). The new camera is located in the Azure suite and it represents the foundation of a digital image/file 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 upgrading both the software and hardware in the new location. We are currently putting the finishing touches on a telecine system for super 8 and 16mm to miniDV that will also find a home in the Orange suite.

Of course we are also putting the finishing touches 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; creating a digital sound editing system for those interested cutting film on a flatbed, reorganizing the members area in the office.

All of these changes were initiated to keep pace with all the 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 with all of these improvements is to provide greater service and opportunities to our members.

Apparently someone has noticed all the improvements because the critics at NOW magazine in November for chose LIFT as the best place to make a film in the city. I would like to thank the critics for acknowledging LIFT, but where else would you go to make a film in Toronto?

Shine it On,

Roberto Ariganello

Executive Director