Trebas Students Come to the Rescue on Second Harvest Hero Day!

Posted on February 4th, 2016 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Trebas Students Come to the Rescue

If you happen to walk through the hallways at Trebas Institute today, you might come face-to-face with a very real superhero. In fact, you may even encounter hundreds of heroes during your commute on the TTC, or perhaps while running an errand at a local business. This is because many of Toronto’s companies, TTC stations, PATH locations, schools and more are participating in Second Harvest’s Hero Day!

Trebas students dressing for the cause on Hero Day.

Trebas students dressing for the cause on Hero Day.

Trebas students dressing for the cause on Hero Day.

What is Second Harvest Food Rescue?

Founded in 1985, Second Harvest is the largest food rescue program in Canada. The organization works hard to collect surplus food, which is donated by local food retailers, manufacturers, restaurants and caterers. Once collected, the food is delivered to over 220 community agencies throughout the city of Toronto. In addition to supplying nutritious food like fresh fruits and vegetables, frozen meats, milk and beyond to those in need, Second Harvest also reduces pollution by diverting such foods from landfills.

Since their start, Second Harvest has prevented 50 million pounds of greenhouse gases from affecting the air we breathe. And, with the help of their 12,000 volunteers, the organization is also responsible for delivering over eight million pounds of food in the past year alone!

What Hero Day is All About

While these masked do-gooders don’t quite fit the description of the heroes seen in today’s films—as they don’t have super powers, probably can’t fly, and haven’t been bitten by radioactive spiders—they are heroes nonetheless. Hundreds of masked and caped heroes dressed in bright green are currently travelling the city to spread the word about Second Harvest. They are also collecting donations so the organization can successfully rescue excess food that is set to go to waste and deliver it to those in need. In fact, with every $5 raised, 10 nutritious meals are delivered.

This Trebas Film & Television student is prepared to rescue surplus food.

This Trebas Film & Television student is prepared to rescue surplus food.

How You Can Get Involved

If you’d like to get involved in this worthy cause, or if you’re looking for a good reason to dress up as a superhero, you can join Second Harvest on Hero Day by volunteering to raise funds at various TTC stations and PATH locations.

Alternatively, if you’d like to get involved without dressing up, you can simply head to your closest TTC station and give your donation to the first hero you spot!

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Event & Venue Management Students Capture Comiccon

Posted on March 24th, 2015 - Written by: Trebas Toronto

Current Event and Venue Management students Antonette Gunn, Jennifer Bonar, and Jennifer Smith volunteered during their March break at Comiccon Toronto – March 20-22.

trebas

All three students had a role assisting with registration, greeting, crowd control, customer service, answering questions about the event from excited fans, and anything else asked by the organizers.

Located in the Metro Toronto Convention Centre, Comiccon always hosts unique exhibitors, presentations, workshops and celebrity guests, and over 150,000 people attend over the three-day period.

Comiccon

“What a great experience,” was the general consensus from all three students. Jennifer B noted, “I have always heard about these events in the past. By the end of Saturday, I was completely swept up in the energy and excitement of it all.”

Antonette stated similar feelings, “What an incredible event, and we got to be part of it all – such amazing costumes, I wish I could have dressed up as well!”

“I think overall the event was very well-done. I have never seen so many kids dressed up. At one time I think I saw at least 20 little girls dressed like Elsa (the princess from Frozen). It was great to see everyone having such a great experience,” commented Jennifer S.

“Can’t wait for next time to do it all over again. The lack of sleep was worth it!”

 

By Marilyn Wasney, Department Head, Event and Venue Management Program 

 

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Entertainment Careers and the TIFF

Posted on September 17th, 2013 - Written by: Josée Daigneault

Entertainment Careers and the TIFF

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For ten days in September, Toronto really is the centre of the universe – at least, for film aficionados. The Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF), now celebrating its 38th year, has become the world’s most important film festival after Cannes. Running from September 5th to 15th, the TIFF is dedicated to presenting the best of international and Canadian cinema, with an abundance of screenings, lectures, discussions, workshops, and industry networking opportunities. A total of 366 films from 70 different countries are scheduled to be screened this year, including 146 world premieres.

Beyond the glamorous red carpet galas and celebrity-spotting contests, it is an exciting and educational destination for students pursuing careers in entertainment. The festival has been known to launch careers and generate buzz for new releases, but it attracts more than star-chasers and actors. Many Canadian independent filmmakers descend on the city, both to present their movies that have been accepted into the festival and for the opportunity to learn from and pitch scripts to industry heavyweights.

Presented by STUDIO, TIFF’s first year-round industry program, Adapt This! is a three-day professional development conference on the art of adapting literature to the film format. Programming in the spring included workshops on professional development, pitch preparation, and acquisitions. Festival sub-sections, such as TIFF Kids or one of many other TIFF features, offer several specific networking gatherings, which are an ideal opportunity for aspiring individuals in film production programs to meet the directors and producers that are actively recruiting for future productions.

In the entertainment industry, where who you know can be almost as important as what you know, long and lucrative careers are made by constantly networking. Some say it is network or not work. The film and video industry is a heavily connected place, and the better connected you are, the more in-demand you’re likely to be. Film festivals are the best place to discover new trends and new faces, re-establish connections and learn about new projects. Networking is a social game. Earn contacts by discussing common interests, respectfully asking for advice, or helping others (hoping they will one day return the favor).

Aspiring filmmakers can develop a demo reel to prove your worth. Remember to keep it short and sweet, top-loaded with the best content at the beginning to capture attention, prioritizing content over effects, and at the ready before anyone even asks. Utilize the technical and human resources from your film school in Toronto to make it as professional as possible. Sound quality is often overlooked among budding directors, but it can make all the difference in making an engaging viewer experience. Make friends and work with other students at your school in audio engineering courses. Start schmoozing!

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Speaking from the Podium

Posted on September 27th, 2012 - Written by: Josée Daigneault

Should you speak from the podium or wander with a wireless lapel microphone?

Many presentation experts tell presenters to get away from the podium because it’s too restricting and the presenter will be more casual with the audience by being on the floor rather than the stage (among other reasons). Those same presentation experts don’t seem to understand about how open microphones work with different sound systems.

First off, when it comes to sound system configurations and room designs, there are many possible combinations and wireless lavalier mics don’t work well with all combinations. Some systems are in the ceiling, some at the front left and right of the room, some in the middle of the stage, etc. Some rooms are dead-sounding, some lively and bright, some have low ceilings and some have flutter echoes (those repetitive echoes between hard, parallel surfaces – clap your hands in any room to find them).

Second, when it comes to presenters and public speakers, there are many different loudness levels, clarity and dynamic properties of the human voice. So, if a person doesn’t speak loud enough or very clearly, wireless lapel microphones won’t do much good. A presenter needs to be loud and clear, especially with wireless lapel microphones, because the microphone is under their chin and not directly in front of them.

A good podium microphone has the advantage of being directly in front of a speaker’s mouth as well as being perfectly stationary, in an optimal, fixed position, away from loudspeakers; any roaming microphones will present problems if they are too close to a loudspeaker.

Let’s look at the advantages of being behind a podium versus being on the floor in front of the audience:

Presenting from behind the podium

  • ·         you can hide your notes
  • ·         you can have a computer screen right in front of you
  • ·         the microphone is right in front of you
  • ·         there are no batteries to ever worry about
  • ·         a podium light can illuminate your face so you are visible from the back of the room
  • ·         you are a foot or so higher than the audience, so everybody can see you
  • ·         you can take your shoes off (okay, I threw that in just for a laugh!)

Presenting from the floor, in front of the stage

  • ·         wireless lapel mics may feedback when too close to a speaker
  • ·         you are not lit properly, sometimes (in larger rooms)
  • ·         if you don’t project and enunciate, people at the back won’t hear you well
  • ·         if you move your head to the side, you will be further away from the mic (because podium mics are right in front of you, you will never forget they are there; not so with lapel mics)
  • ·         if the batteries on the body pack die, well…
  • ·         if you make a point by hitting your chest, you will hit the mic
  • ·         your wardrobe or jewelry can hit the mic intermittently
  • ·         if you put it on your lapel, it is off centre, and therefore you are more likely to be ‘off mic’
  • ·         if you forget you have it on, you might be in the bathroom with a live mic!!

Anyway, hope this helps shed some light on the benefits of speaking from behind the podium. There is nothing wrong with speaking from behind the podium. If you must be wireless, a hand held microphone is a great option, because you are pretty much forced to keep it directly in front of you. Cheers!!

Buck Moore, Live Event AV Specialist with direct experience from over 4,000 events

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AV Horror Stories – Venue Equipment and Communication

Posted on July 9th, 2012 - Written by: Josée Daigneault

So, if you’ve read any previous posts or my website at b4ushowit.com, you’ll probably know that I have worked at over 4,000 live events, many hundreds of which have been corporate meetings at hotels and convention centres. I strive for perfection at every event, but it doesn’t exactly work when I get little, if any, prompt co-operation from the banquet staff and on-site AV staff.
 
Lack of prompt co-operation from on-site staff is nothing new and certainly not limited to the event scene in Toronto, where I primarily work. From 2005 until 2009, I had the opportunity to travel around to many different US cities performing the same services as I do in Toronto, which was both an eye-opening experience in that the way things are done in various regions are not that different from what is done where I normally work.
 
In fact, one of the newest and most prestigious venues in Las Vegas (in 2006) had the exact same audio issues as an older in Toronto (one built in 1981). It turns out that the sound systems in both hotels were not working as they should; the former had issues with the way it was set up, the latter simply because of age and neglect. Add to that the attitude of the staff members and one can easily see that these are typical problems that must be dealt with.
 
I will now share a list of AV problems I recently experienced at the older hotel in Toronto:
 
1) All lights are operated by one fader – this doesn’t help with lights just above a screen and doesn’t work very well with the new CFL light bulbs.
 
2) Despite a request to unscrew the lights just above a screen, we were told that it couldn’t be done because they didn’t unscrew. Later on, during the event, the banquet manager brought in a ladder so he could unscrew the lights above the screen, thereby improving the image quality.
 
3) The sound system was noisy with a ground hum or electrical interference – even when nothing was plugged in, it would randomly change levels. When the nearby electrical cords were lightly touched, the hum came and went; it became a matter of tapping the cables to find the quietest hum.
 
4) The ceiling sound system was not patched properly for our event, so the banquet staff took it upon themselves to re-patch when they discovered the error ‘during’ our event. Unfortunately for the audience, this resulted in a loud, sustained high pitch which was constant in one meeting room and intermittent in the other (we were doing two events at the same time). After a few moments, they were able to stop the annoying sound.
 
5) The service corridors were noisy – staff members shouting at each other, loud two-way radios and dishes clanging were a constant disruption which I had to deal with several times.
 
6) The doors to the service corridors were noisy when they closed – if anybody used them during the meeting, it was fairly loud and distracting.
 
Solutions:
First, bring a checklist with you when you do a site visit. Second, here are ways of preventing these situations:
 
1) Ask the hotel manager what the procedure is for unscrewing or dimming specific lights and request access and/or procedures for whatever lighting controls there may be. Any ladders or ‘cherry pickers’ must be used in an empty room after the screen location is decided. The floor plan supplied by the hotel must be walked through on site (and projector tables should also be demanded and placed before the general seating!).
 
2) An AV consultant will be able to test the house sound system right in front of you, so you can be sure it has no obvious problems. Plan for a set of powered PA speakers to be rented as back-up.Ask about EQ settings or external EQ availability, which will really clear up speech sounds.
 
3) If you are using two rooms for a large even, with ‘air walls’ removed, be sure to ask the venue to ‘tie in’ the audio for both rooms, so that all the ceiling speakers work and the signal is not accidentally being sent to another room. This must be done the night before or very first thing right before the event.
 
4) Noisy service corridors are actually pretty common, since there is nothing to absorb the sound in a service corridor. But, the venue could help the matter by ensuring radio silence during events, turning down loud ringing phones, post signage for staff to be as quiet as possible and be adamant about keeping noise levels down during shift changes (staff sometimes congregate in service corridors during shift changes).
 
Any of these situations can be corrected with proper communication, which is sorely lacking in even the finest venues.
 
Buck Moore

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