Ontario broke records in 2019 with 343 productions, and Toronto is already home to 1,500 productions per year, with the waterfront replete with Pinewood, District 28, and Cinespace. The Handmaid’s Tale, Kim’s Convenience, and Baroness von Sketch Show film in Toronto, while the pilot of Clarice, based on The Silence of the Lambs will wrap filming there in March 2021. The city is known for its productions already, but some extra space could entice more filmmakers to the area and could allow studios to gain greater traction in Toronto.
The VFX house responsible for bringing to life some of the most dramatic elements of Game of Thrones, Pixomondo, also announced in October 2020 that they would be developing a new production studio in Toronto. The house utilizes virtual production, which involves developing VFX in real-time alongside the action on set. This means that more can be done with the narrative as the limits for what can be seen on screen are further removed. As any Thrones fan will agree, the dragons, White Walkers, and even the wall seemed real.
Toronto’s Pull Towards Digital Media
This isn’t the first digital expansion that Mayor John Tory has planned. September 2020 saw the launch of Island Stories, a digital storytelling project that allows people to talk about Toronto Island Park and what it means to them as individuals. The scheme was born of an idea to connect citizens through the lives they have lived and how Toronto Island Park has played a role.
Using various kinds of multimedia and engaging local artists, a richer tapestry can be created. The digital nature of the project means that the scope is far-reaching. More people can get involved and more people can experience the finished project. The project already utilizes a social media hashtag (#IslandStories) and has amalgamated video and text to bring Toronto Island Park alive.
Push for Digital Worldwide
Taking traditional or analog concepts and revitalizing them has grown in popularity across a wide range of sectors. For example, the banking industry is facing a slew of challenger banks. ATB Brightside offer Albertans a digital alternative to traditional banking and personalized experience, while Impak Finance professes to be a digital-first ethical banking operation with its own coin and the ability for conscious consumers to harness digital to give back.
The entertainment industry has also seen a slide to digital. For instance, traditional casino games have already been transformed. As the live casino versions of poker and blackjack at Betway show us, the traditional concepts of the games have been updated for digital audiences so that the player at home can see the dealer in front of them in real-time.
Moreover, Toronto-based wedding entertainment company Digital X Entertainment has upped their offering to include the live streaming of events to wider audiences, harnessing digital.
Even the way we eat has gone digital with delivery companies. DoorDash has changed how Torontonians see takeout and given even the most traditional restaurants and eateries a digital makeover. This has enabled many to build a wider customer base and remain viable. Moreover, companies like Unata offer solutions to help grocery stores become digitally feasible. Ultimately, digital is a way of life now and building on this in Toronto will most likely be fruitful.
Toronto’s name is already on the map, but as trends grow and new ways of doing things emerge, it can be easy to be overlooked. A commitment to filming in the future and a dedication towards digital media will ensure that Toronto remains a sustainable place of investment and economic and cultural growth.