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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 a program 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 connection and productive working relationships. The benefit of working in this team environment is seen through 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 another CML member with a technical aspect of media creation.

OUTCOMES

We are always pushing to find new creative pathways into the arts and technical careers for all our attendees. This pathway looks 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.

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. Our goal is to gear participant portfolio work to align with this in mind, and use our connections in community to leverage opportunities in artistic practices and ultimately funding to create. Screening work in Spectrum screenings and our other platforms is the first step, applying to festivals with submissions is the next milestone to peer recognition and collaborative productions and funding to launch 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 in many people and want to facilitate recognition for this creativity.

 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 your skills and showing your scope of ideas and potential through dynamic work is the pathway to establishing your entrance in 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. 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 applications to funding bodies, and would be the beginning of professional arts pathway.

Here are some of our current CML participants’ projects that have 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 for the challenge, the CML provides paid work on the studio’s production contracts as sound engineers, camera operators and editors as well as counselors and technical facilitators in our summer camps. We are proud of the fact that 45% of wages paid to contract staff went to individuals with autism. 

Our Production Company was launched in 2016, and the reason we now have a way to provide on the job training, and paid employment for those in our programs that are looking to pursue a technical career. We provide a wide variety of production services our reach is growing every year. We hire Autistic first for all our production teams. Our approach is to pair mentors with our contract staff in training to ensure on the job learning. Our goal is to program for success, and outside of contract time, we run skill share sessions with professional who teach their workflow and share tips. We believe that this type of on the job training and opportunity to learn applied skills is the missing link to more individuals gaining meaningful employment in media.

Check out our Production Work HERE

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ACCESSIBILITY

Our mandate includes ensuring our programming is accessible for those who want to create, and we recognize that there are a variety of barriers that could impact the opportunities available for people.

The wide variety of programs offered are part of how we strive to ensure there is a place for all to create, though note that other reasons including financial barriers are sometimes responsible. To address this need, we are launching and actively developing scholarship opportunities for those with a passion for media creation and limited finances. This program is open to everyone, across all programs.

Scholarships awarded will be decided by our Board of Directors, with recommendations from our core team. Funds are limited, so we cannot promise everyone who applies will receive a scholarship. However, we believe that access and opportunity is biggest roadblock for individuals in our community and are committed to growing our accessibility initiatives in line with our organizational capacity.

Check out our Scholarship Page HERE and find out if you are eligible .

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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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