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Grad Spotlight: Fadi Sara

Grad Spotlight: Fadi Sara

Tue, January 21, 2020

Fadi Sara graduated from 3D Animation in 2015 and is now the Tracking and Layout Department Lead at Mr. X in Toronto. 

Fadi was recently featured in The Focus Magazine for his team's work on the dramatic scene where Brad Pitt's character plummets 80,000 feet to Earth from an antenna that extends outside the planet's atmosphere.

We caught up with Fadi to find out more about what he does and how Humber helped him get there.

What is your current job title and what does that mean on a daily basis?

My current job title is "Tracking and Layout Department Lead" at Mr.X Inc in Toronto, Ontario. The tasks I perform in a day can vary, so here are some of the things that I do:

Lead - I oversee a team of 8 others on a daily basis as part of my duties as lead. I work with them to address any issues or concerns they have, as well as just general supervision, support, and direction.

New Show Setup – I work with the technical leads in the studio to set up new shows. I help ingest the data that’s been given to us by clients and set up the foundation required for each show so they’re ready for our artists to work with. This includes things like dictating render resolutions, color spaces, and software templates.

Interviews – I conduct interviews alongside my manager to scout for potential new hires in the Toronto tracking and layout department.

General Troubleshooting – I work alongside all the artists in my department to help them with any issues they may have. This can be related to the specific shot/show that they’re working on, or it could be one of our proprietary tools that needs bug fixes.

Pipeline Overseeing – I manage and oversee the pipeline for the Tracking and Layout department across all 3 locations. The "pipeline" is the technical term for the proprietary toolsets that allow for the transfer of data from one department to the other. I discuss, oversee and approve any development that affects the data coming into or going out of the tracking and layout team.

Training – Having worked with a team to pioneer the current training system in place for Tracking and Layout, I still oversee the training to this day. New hires for Toronto are seated next to me and get 1-on-1 time as they are introduced to the tools and workflow. Once they’re at a comfortable level, we put them into production. During this phase, they continue to sit next to me so I can oversee their work and troubleshoot any hiccups they may experience.

Shot Work – If there’s nothing from the above list on my plate for that day, I work on individual shots alongside my team.

What was your career path to get where you are now?

My career path after leaving Humber has been fairly single track. I was hired at Mr. X while still in my third year and have been here ever since. I was brought in as an "Entry Level Tracking Artist". Over the years, I was presented with more responsibility and higher-level tasks as my skillset, knowledge, and experience grew.

In the fall of 2017, I worked with my supervisors to restructure and establish an entirely updated training program for new hires in our department. This training has been widely successful. Over 10 artists have gone through it since and almost all are now at a senior level.

In the spring of 2018, I was given the opportunity to travel to India. We opened a branch in Bangalore and I was sent there to train the staff of the tracking and layout department in our proprietary toolsets and workflows. I held live demos, recorded hours of video training documentation, established personal connections and rapport with the individual artists, and continued communication with them afterwards, overseeing their work and progress.

In the fall of 2019, the position for department lead became available and I was presented with the promotion. I’ve been in that role since.

How did your time at Humber prepare you for what you’re doing now?

Humber did a fantastic job of preparation me for my career.

The education I received allowed me to build a portfolio that helped me acquire the position in the first place.

The outreach to former students and industry professionals prepared me by helping set up an in-depth network of resources and contacts. This helped me understand the importance of communication and references. It was a Humber grad I met through this networking that recommended me for the position at Mr. X, helping me secure the job.

Studio tours and guest speakers hosted by the professors gave me insider knowledge about the workings of the industry, and supported everything the instructors were telling us. Humber also helped prepare me with useful pointers on how to set up my demo reel, website, and resume to stand out more than other applicants.

Find out more about Fadi Sara on IMDB and read the articles where he and his team were featured: 

https://www.thefocus.com/news/ad-astra-fall-brad-pitt-mr-x-fall-from-space

https://www.thefocus.com/news/ad-astra-brad-pitt-fall-mr-x-visually-chaotic

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Grad Spotlight: Ross Munro

Grad Spotlight: Ross Munro

Tue, January 21, 2020

Ross Munro graduated in 1986 from the Film & Television Production Program. We asked Ross about his journey from Humber student to filmmaker.

What are you doing now and what was your career path to get here?

After gaining valuable experience in all facets of film work, I decided to specialize in Screenwriting and, a few years after graduating, found myself writing and directing my first feature film "Brewster McGee" which was shot on 16mm black and white film. Over the next several years, I continued my filmmaking journey here in Vancouver with my documentary short "Broken Palace" as well as my most recent feature film "A Legacy of Whining" (which I also acted in). I have just completed (along with my Producer/wife Maria) our new documentary "European Tour '73".

Tell us some of your favourite Humber memories.

The memories that I cherish most from my time at Humber are of the many great friendships that I made with my fellow Humber film students and the amazing (and sometimes nerve wracking) moments we spent getting our film projects across the finish line in time!

Also, upon arriving at Humber College, I immediately found the offices of the campus newspaper "The Humber Voice" and became the film critic for the paper for the next three years. This allowed me to received a press pass to cover the Toronto International Film Festival which was enormously exciting ("Hey! Is that Roger Ebert getting on the elevator...!).

How did Humber help you get where you are now?

I think the best thing about studying film at Humber College was how well it prepared me for real life in the film world. Just like in the film business, we had to learn how to exist and get along within a group of fellow crew members and be able to respect and listen to each other's creative ideas and to balance and be productive amongst all the different personalities and viewpoints involved. Also, the course's expectation of having us learn all the different functions and duties in the film world gave us a very well-rounded and valuable opportunity for some incredible hands-on learning.

Share a tip for upcoming filmmakers.

I think it's important for potential filmmakers to get a solid understanding of their craft - whether it's going to film school or learning online or especially going to as many movies as possible - that's key. When I went to Humber, I used to jump on a bus downtown almost everyday after class and see as many movies as I could (they used to have a collection of very cool repertory movie houses that featured amazing film titles from North America and around the world!).

Also, I think it shouldn't be overlooked just how important it is for filmmakers to get out and meet as many like-minded individuals as possible (yes, that dreaded word "networking"!). Making a film is a social experiment at all times and you will need as many people pulling in the same direction as you as possible. Get out of your comfort zone and start being part of your chosen community! Help other filmmakers on their sets, support other filmmakers and creatives - the love will make its way back to you!

Watch the trailers for Ross's films "A Legacy of Whining" and "European Tour '73".

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Grad Spotlight: Keisha James

Grad Spotlight: Keisha James

Tue, January 21, 2020

Keisha James's work is easy to find - just take the TTC to Dundas station.

Keisha graduated from Humber's Film & Media Production Program in 2018 and we caught up with her to find out more about the project.

Your work is prominently displayed at Dundas station in Toronto. Tell us more.

This is the end result of a year-long artist residency with VIBE Arts and RBC called "Desire Lines". VIBE is a non-profit organization delivering free arts education workshops to marginalized youth across the GTA, and as one of the emerging artists on the roster I was incredibly happy to be a part of this project. I produced a short film, the stills of which are being displayed alongside my headshot and poster on the TTC Pattison panels for one month in Dundas station.

Along with that, I am currently working on my next short film, which is being produced through another program at VIBE. I am an artist in the NExT program, which is a mentorship opportunity specifically for young, Black artists. I will be filming my project next month, which will then be exhibited at a gallery with an opening reception sometime in March.

What other projects have you worked on since leaving Humber?

I produced a short documentary/proof of concept for a future, longer film; I applied for and received a grant from ArtReach for a project I will be running this summer involving workshops and a gallery; and in general have been planning my next film projects.

I also work as a freelancer, so I have continued to do freelance editing and filming since graduation, as well as working as a contract facilitator at some non-profits in the city, as I am passionate about working with and mentoring youth through arts education opportunities.

How did your time at Humber prepare you for what you’re doing now?

I made some of my closest friends while at Humber, and I still work with my crew today. It feels good to be able to collaborate with each other outside of the school setting, and it's great when I'm able to pick who I want to work with.

Photo credit: Aniqa Rahman.

Find out more about Keisha at @keishajamesvideo and @thebrokegallery on Instagram. Her current project is on Instagram at @wtdtyfilm. You can also read more about the VIBE Arts projects here:
https://www.thestar.com/news/gta/2019/12/27/vibe-arts-brings-emerging-artists-work-to-ttc-subway-stations.html
https://www.toronto.com/news-story/9781496-vibe-arts-brings-emerging-artists-work-to-ttc-subway-stations/

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Humber Lakeshore Wins at Adobe Creative Jam

Humber Lakeshore Wins at Adobe Creative Jam

Tue, November 26, 2019

Four students in Humber’s Advertising & Graphic Design program won first place in the 2019 Adobe Creative Jam.

Competing in a field of 72 teams from six college, Team “A-Block” -- comprised of Nicolas Diaz, Emily Little, Julia Laing, and Chelsea Speck – created an app to address academic integrity. Check out some images of the app here.

The Adobe Creative Jam is a design challenge that asks students to create a visual or motion design concept based on a theme revealed at the event. After three hours and no rules, the teams present their work to the jury in front of a rapt audience. The 2019 Jam drew over 300 students from Sheridan, George Brown, Seneca, OCADU, Algonquin College, and Humber.

Congratulations to all the students who competed, and especially to Team “A-Block”!

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Students design data for future airport installation

Students design data for future airport installation

Thu, October 17, 2019

Students in the Graphic Design and Web Design and Interactive Media programs had one day to design a physical installation for airports across Canada.

The project is part of the Global Affairs Canada division of the Federal Government and aims to highlight the support Consular Services offer to Canadian travellers.

The hackathon event took place in the Barrett Centre for Technology Innovation and started with an introduction to the design challenge and a briefing call with the client where students were provided the information, materials and inspiration they needed to start their projects.

“When a client is involved, the experience is holistic and involves every aspect of working in the field,” says Bianca DiPietro, program coordinator of the Graphic Design program. “The dynamic between client and student is much more professional and holds a certain level of recognition.”

DiPietro and David Neumann, program coordinator of the Web Design and Interactive Media program say the opportunity for their students to work with real-life clients is great exposure—allowing students to communicate effectively, problem solve and work collaboratively with others.

The students gathered in small groups to design a concept while working with their faculty and advisors to complete their project proposals by the end of the day. Faculty will review the submissions and select up to eight concepts based on uniqueness, creativity and execution. The selected submissions will be shared with Global Affairs Canada to consider the concepts further.  

For one group, their concept is a three-dimensional, hollow hemisphere that resembles a globe and features data and information within it. User-friendly to all ages, the globe can be tilted or spun around to allow users to see inside the globe and learn about Consular Services. 

“Projects like this give validation to the program and show trust in us as working professionals by allowing us to have our work showcased and potentially have our work attached to the Government of Canada,” says Gizaham Jones, third-year Graphic Design student.

Using different skills and methods, a Web Design and Interactive Media group’s concept includes movable Plexiglass panels. With infographics and data printed or engraved onto the materials, the installation will allow natural light in airports like Toronto Pearson Airport to reflect onto it. The concept also features QR codes and Near-field communication (NFC) codes, which lead users to find more information on the government’s website using their smartphones.

“Being able to have clients give you an open-ended project to work with is a great way to get your creativity and development moving and apply what we’ve learned so far,” says Paul Cudmore, second-year Web Design and Interactive Media student.

The hackathon is part of Humber’s Data storyLAB, which is an innovative hub for data-driven storytelling. Based out of the North Campus, the storyLAB will produce year-round research and partnership opportunities for student learning and engagement.

“StoryLAB is an opportunity for students to pair with reporters, developers and coders to discuss the influence data can create in different journalistic settings. The lab demonstrates how data can transform and impact politics, social justice, and the day-to-day lives of Canadians,” says DiPietro.

Humber’s storyLAB and The Pulitzer Center on Crisis Reporting recently created a storyLAB Data Journalism Grant to support independent data-driven journalism. 

For the inaugural grant, Humber and The Pulitzer Center are accepting proposals for stories related to Indigenous lands and property rights. The grant will provide up to $10,000 for a freelance journalist or team of journalists to explore a related story from a data-driven perspective.

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This article, by Alysia Burdi, was first published by Humber Today on September 20, 2019. Read the article in it's original context.

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BDES Student Wins First Place at the Boundless 2019 Competition

BDES Student Wins First Place at the Boundless 2019 Competition

Thu, June 13, 2019

Anushka Jadwani, a student the Bachelor of Design, has won first place in the Boundless 2019 Competition, the 7th annual Enabling Change competition.

For this year's competition, DX invited students studying in all design disciplines to submit proposals that develop creative solutions focussed on the accessible navigation of public spaces. Anushka's winning project was called “Connexus”, and the concept was a set of wearable bracelets for young children or older adults with cognitive impairments. The bracelets helped ensure caregivers were able to monitor the safety and location of their ward and help provide directional support and a feeling of security for the wearer.

Anushka and her team came up with the initial concept during a class project earlier this term, where BDES students hosted an ideation session with Fontys students in March. Anushka then refined this concept as part of her class project, submitted it to the competition and won! She was awarded $1500, and her work will be on display at the Design Exchange.

Congratulations, Anushka, on this stellar achievement.

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UX Design Students Present at UXInsight Conference in the Netherlands

UX Design Students Present at UXInsight Conference in the Netherlands

Thu, March 22, 2018

User Experience Design Students, Maureen Ariza Paredes and Jenna Mussar, attended the international UXInsight Conference in the Netherlands in March.

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