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OVERVIEW

Monday to Friday 10am - 3pm

$25 per day based on registration for one full year

The Creative Media Lab is aimed to equip individuals on the Autism Spectrum with experience in media production to develop professional career stream skills in a media or arts profession. This program is based around access to professional tools, applying participant goals to industry standard workflows and producing creative content.

This is done through a project-based, skills development approach, where members explore and develop their specific media interests. Practicing ones chosen craft is how interests turn to skills and relevant experience motivating participants to pursue pathways that are tailored to their strengths. This approach fosters confident, productive and innovative creators.

The program format encourages collaboration, placing participants with common interests together in situations that build connections and productive working relationships. The benefit of working in a team environment develops skill sharing, social skill development and empowerment in media production team roles. CML replicates typical studio environments, where participants can learn about and develop essential industry based work skills.

There are few vocational, employment and arts based options open to young adults on the autism spectrum. Spectrum Production’s Creative Media Lab (CML) prepares participants for careers by teaching media production skills in areas such as video editing, sound recording, camera operation, 2D and stop-motion animation. 

REQUIREMENTS

First and foremost, we want to see that you have a passion for media creation and desire to apply and grow your skills.

Secondly, we require that you are motivated and actively engage in producing work so you can develop your talents, and learn new skills through the creation process.

For some this means pitching new projects and creating them from start to finish, for others it means collaborating with other CML members on technical aspects of media creation.

OUTCOMES

We are always exploring new creative pathways into the arts and technical careers for all our attendees. These pathways look slightly different for everyone since each person has their own goals and skills to combine into building their portfolio, and ultimately carving out specialties for their career pathway.

However, there are some general points along each trajectory that each participant will follow including:

  • Building a portfolio of work, including artist statement, career goals, skills development focus, links to work created with descriptions, and public screenings.  

  • The chance to develop a concept and pitch the idea for production, with guidance and support.

  • Contributing to Spectrum Team projects and studio maintenance – this builds ownership and connection to the studio and equipment, as well as knowledge of studio workings leading to more independence and leadership roles.

The two clear pathways/outcomes for CML participants are as follows:

PATHWAYS INTO THE ARTS

Organizationally we have always worked to find pathways that fit individual’s goals, and for some that means pursuing an arts career. To succeed in the arts, you need to actively practice your craft and define an artistic direction. Partnerships with like-minded organizations help to develop new opportunities and relationships that can help our creatives find their career pathway.

Our starting strategy is to develop participant portfolios to align with this goal, and access our connections in the cultural community to leverage opportunities in artistic practices and ultimately funding to create. Screening work at Spectrum screenings and our other platforms is the first step. Collaborative content creation and submitting work to peer juried public events is the next milestone to artistic practice, funding opportunities, and generally launching an arts career. Those who want to visualize their stories and experiment with their craft have a bright future in our opinion. We see the drive to practice artistic expressions in many people, and want to facilitate opportunities and recognition.

 For this reason, we are now actively pursuing arts funding both on an organization level, and for individual projects. The barriers to become an emerging Canadian artist are real, but developing skills and showcasing ideas and potential through dynamic work is the pathway to establishing an entrance to this milieu.

The process of developing a full pitch of your idea for a project to produce is the avenue we will provide guidance for if you decide you want to pursue a digital media arts pathway. This will include developing and creating a pilot, concept samples, storyboard, supporting materials, and workflow imagined to accomplish a full pitch. You will then get the opportunity to pitch your production proposal to our core staff team. Your idea will be judged on how you plan to visualize it and willingness to integrate constructive suggestions to reach your goal. This is the foundation for applying to funding bodies, building a portfolio for your professional arts pathway.

Here are some examples of CML participants’ that are pursuing an artistic pathway.

 
THE BLOBZ BY LUCAS LEROY

THE BLOBZ BY LUCAS LEROY

EATS WITH PETE BY PETER PAPIANNOAU

EATS WITH PETE BY PETER PAPIANNOAU

TECHNICAL SKILLS CAREER

Programs for young adults are limited. Workforce training is a key element of Spectrum’s social enterprise model, providing paid work and training experience to individuals who face employment challenges. The CML provides a solid foundation to those who would like to continue film studies at the post-secondary level, or as an entry point into the film industry or to follow a career in the arts.

For those who are ready to take on the challenge, CML trained creatives can be offered paid contract work on Spectrums production team as camera operators, sound engineers, editors, and as a production facilitators or leads in our summer camps. We are proud of the fact that 45% of wages paid to contract staff went to autistic creatives in 2017 and 2018. 

Our Production Company gives us the ability to provide on the job training and paid employment for CML participants looking to pursue a technical career. We provide a wide variety of high quality production services, and our reach is growing every year! Our approach is to hire Autistic first on all our production teams, with a coach and fade method. This ensures we provide support on the job at no extra cost to our clients, to maintain a high level of Quality Assurance. This approach, pairs mentors with contract staff to prepare for each shoot. The coaching extends into the contract environment to ensure on the job learning, fading away as skills reach professional level. Our goal is to always program for success on the job and build community links. Outside of contract time we run skill share sessions with professionals who teach workflow skills and share tips.

We believe that engaging in both professional contract work and artistic co-creation are equally as important for developing artistic and technical skills. Our goal is to provide high quality training, empower our members in content creation activities, and build a foundation for each to pursue their chosen professional artistic, or production industry career.

Check out our Production Work HERE

 
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I’ve been working at Spectrum for the past four years as part of the Creative Media Lab. I’ve worked on over 20 corporate production contracts as a camera operator on shoots in Montreal and Toronto. I have had some great training from Spectrum. They gave me the tools to continue to move forward with my career in video production.
— -Chris Dymond, Spectrum participant
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