Now & Next show

Now & Next

Summary: In-depth interviews with experts for a closer look at emerging trends and the digital transformation of the media and entertainment industry. Now & Next is produced by the Canada Media Fund. Leora Kornfeld hosts the series.

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 Isolation Nation: When Going to Work Means Never Leaving Home | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1684

The guests on this episode of the podcast are Marie Claire LeBlanc Flanagan and Jim Munroe. They have been tasked with finding out what the shift to working from home has actually been like for game industry personnel. They’re putting the finishing touches on a research report about the sector’s transition from studio-based work to home-based work called “Isolation Nation”. Marie Claire and Jim provide us with a sneak peek into some of their interview-based findings so far, such as the challenges of people having to be their own boss at home, the tendency to work too much, and mechanisms for keeping morale up.

 Breaking On Screen Stereotypes From the Inside Out | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1003

In this episode, we meet Jacob Pratt, an Indigenous film producer from Saskatchewan. He’s the co-owner of Los Angeles based Skoden Entertainment, an Indigenous story-focused production company whose first client happens to be Disney. Jacob explains that the best way to fight stereotypes perpetuated by the media, is to use the same medium to break them.

 Making Movies Social Again: The Entrepreneurs Behind Hoovie | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1685

On this episode, we speak to Hilary Henegar and Fiona Rayher, the entrepreneurs behind the startup Hoovie. The platform is making it possible again to watch a movie with other people and have a discussion afterwards, just like old times but...virtually. This new trend is proving to be both appealing to individuals and profitable to film producers.

 Staying in the Game: How Indie Video Game Studios Are Rising to New Challenges | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 961

The gaming industry has been affected pretty hard by the pandemic, as it has historically relied on networking at large annual in person events. On this episode, we check in with a handful of Canadian independent game studios to find out how they’re adapting to changes in their day-to-day operations and with Nadine Gelly, the executive manager of La Guilde, one of Canada’s largest industry associations for game developers, to learn about the initiatives happening at the industry level.For more information about this or other episodes of Now & Next or to consult the show’s credits, visit

 Staying Eco-Conscious on Set During COVID-19 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1210

Clara George, VP of Studios & Sustainable Production Services at Sim, is the guest on this episode. According to Clara, while the COVID-19 restrictions might seem like a step back in terms of sustainability efforts, they’ve actually provided an opportunity for people to become more aware of unnecessary waste on set, and come up together with new solutions. For more information about this or other episodes of Now & Next or to consult the show’s credits, visit

 Fake It to Make It: Virtual Production Techniques for Film & TV | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1565

Using a combination of more affordable technologies and open source real time 3D game engines as a foundation, special effects are starting to move closer to mainstream film production. In this episode, Leora Kornfeld sits down with Alberta-based producer Andrew Scholotiuk and director Dylan Pearce to discuss virtual production techniques. The pair share their advice and experience as interconnectedness and collaboration are increasingly hot commodities in the film industry.For more information about this or other episodes of Now & Next or to consult the show’s credits, visit

 Tonya Williams on Making On-Screen Diversity Easier to Achieve | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1360

Canada is among the world’s most culturally and racially diverse countries. But what we see on the streets isn’t always reflected on screens. On this episode, Tonya Williams, the founder and executive director of the Reelworld Film Festival talks about the upcoming 20th anniversary of the festival, how she defines success for the various initiatives she is driving, and the important work that still needs to be done to bring increased diversity to Canadian TV and film productions.For more information about this or other episodes of Now & Next or to consult the show’s credits, visit

 How to Practice ‘Safe Sets’: TV & Film Production at a Distance During COVID-19 | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1191

Film and TV production are back in Canada’s major production centres but, not surprisingly, there’s a ‘new normal’ in place. To help on-screen and off-screen talent adjust to the new reality, serial entrepreneur Alex Kolodkin launched a virtual company called Safe Sets International to provide both education and certification to the production industry all over the world. In this episode, Alex talks about getting the company off the ground and why he sees Safe Sets International as a personal responsibility.For more information about this or other episodes of Now & Next or to consult the show’s credits, visit

 The Battle for Attention: How Viacom Uses Short-Form Video | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1233

First, a *major* shout out to Toronto’s Buffer Festival and its staff, who were instrumental in arranging this interview. Buffer Festival is the world's largest international digital-first film festival. It features theatrical screenings, red carpets, educational keynotes, and awards — and you should definitely check it out at bufferfestival.comIn this episode of Now & Next we explore how a major legacy media company is navigating the shift from the “lean back” experience of linear television to the short, snappy, and on-the-go mode of mobile viewing.We dig into this with Brendan Yam, vice president and general manager of Viacom Digital Studios International. He has been with the company since 2005, and for the past year and a half, has led the company’s short form digital content output — and its conquest of global markets.To dig deeper, visit

 Audiovisual Production Goes Greener | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 963

On this episode of Now & Next, a look at the growing call for environmental sustainability in film and television production.A sustainability consultant who worked on large-scale productions such as 'Legion,' 'The X Files' and 'The Man in the High Castle,' Green Spark Group president Zena Harris guides us through the array of environmentally sustainable practices productions of any size can start implementing. To download a transcript of the episode, to dig deeper into the topic and to find all of our content, visit

 Hot Pod’s Nicholas Quah on the Flourishing Podcast Industry | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1330

On this episode of Now & Next we journey into the business aspects of one of the buzziest areas of the media landscape: Podcasting. And really, there’s nobody better to explain the dramatic changes playing out in the audio space than Nicholas Quah.He’s a veteran of a bunch of online media companies that you probably know, like Business Insider and BuzzFeed. He’s also a contributing writer to New York Magazine, he’s been a Nieman Journalism Fellow at Harvard, and he’s also the founder of Hot Pod, the leading newsletter about podcasts.To download a transcript of this episode, to consult the show’s credits and to dive deeper into the topic at hand, visit Excerpts in the opening: (00:21) - Podcasts on TV: Big Successes and Major Flops by the CBC on YouTube (URL on - Sarah Koenig Interviewed the Taliban for ‘Serial’ by The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on YouTube (URL on - Podcasts See Massive Boom in Listeners and Investment by CGTN America on YouTube (URL on

 Tech Matters, but Voice Prevails: Acclaimed Filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1494

This episode presents an in-depth conversation with acclaimed documentary filmmaker Alanis Obomsawin, one of the world’s most notable Indigenous filmmakers. She has made over fifty films over the span of her fifty-year career. Her documentary on the 1990 Oka Crisis is among her most widely known works. Now in her late eighties, Alanis has not slowed down. Her 53rd film, Jordan River Anderson, The Messenger, premiered at the 2019 Toronto International Film Festival. It also won the ‘Best Canadian Documentary’ award at the 2019 Vancouver International Film Festival.So, what does the iconic documentarian make of all the changes afoot in the doc world but of media and technology in general? Find out in this episode of Now & Next as we focus the spotlight on Alanis Obomsawin.To download a transcript of this episode, to consult the show’s credits and to dive deeper into the topic at hand, visit

 Esports: From the Fringe to a Billion-Dollar Industry | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1426

While you may think—and a lot of people do—that gaming is just something that too many kids spend too much time in their basements doing, you can’t get away from how insanely popular it is. The global gaming industry is worth more than twice the movie and music industries, combined.Spurred by gaming’s massive popularity, eSports—or competitive video game playing—are rapidly gaining momentum. The industry is predicted to breach the billion-dollar threshold in 2019.Furthermore, data released by GlobalWebIndex in July 2019 show that almost a billion people had watched an eSports tournament "in recent months." That’s close to a 50% increase over 12 months. The trend is increasingly noticeable among internet users aged between 16 and 24 years old. Within that group, 32% say they watch eSports. 31% say they watch traditional sports.Because there are no borders on eSports, when a tournament happens, it’s a global event. And in some cases, like the League of Legends World Championship, audiences are bigger than the Super Bowl’s.So, have eSports reached a tipping point? Where does it go from here? How does Canada fit into the global eSports scene?On this episode of Now & Next, Leora Kornfeld sits down with five time Counter-Strike World Champion and professional gamer Stephanie Harvey for an insightful chat about the fast-growing eSports industry.For more about this topic, or to consult the show’s credits, visit

 How AI Could Reshape Filmmaking | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 1311

For several decades, placing long-shot bets and hoping for the best was pretty much all there was when it came to making TV shows and movies. Then along came data and analytics.On this episode of Now & Next we hear from Jack Zhang. Jack is a Waterloo grad who has devised a machine-learning system that breaks movies down to their core elements—tens of thousands of them in total—to predict a movie’s likelihood of success. And as you’ll hear in the inaugural episode of our second season, that’s only one of the many things Zhang’s artificial intelligence program can do. For more information about Now & Next, this episode, to learn more about artificial intelligence in filmmaking, or to consult the show’s credits, visit

 CMF Trends does SXSW | File Type: audio/mpeg | Duration: 761

Why do Canadian businesses from the entertainment and audiovisual production sectors flock to Texas during SXSW? We sent the Canada Media Fund's Director of Industry and Market Trends, Catherine Mathys, down to Austin – microphone in hand – to find out.For more about SXSW 2019, head over to


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