Region’s Post Biz Booming

The main post-pro-production outfits in Montreal and Toronto are booked to the limit right now, thanks to the heavy volume of shooting in both cities. In Toronto, most post houses deal more with American clients who come to the city to lens TV series and MOW’s, while Montreal post-production companies rely more heavily on homegrown, French-language projects.

Magnetic Enterprises, one of the top post-production outfits in Toronto, enjoyed a busy year, mainly due to the influx of business from the U.S.

Magnetic president Doug McKenzie admits favorable exchange rates are one reason U.S. producers have been flocking to Toronto during the past few years, but he argues there is more to it than that. He says Americans also benefit from the established production community in Toronto, and local companies provide a significant amount of business for Magnetic.

“The more important factor is that we have a strong and vibrant production industry right here in Toronto,” McKenzie says.

“We benefit from both sides of the border.

“One trend is that there are tighter budgets, so we’ve had to find out how to get more on the screen for less, and we’re pretty good at doing that.”

Dome Prods, of Toronto also has a wide gamut of post-production services, everything from audio post to video editing, and the company also relies on a mix of Canadian and U.S. clients.

“It’s been very busy since last spring,” Dome manager of sales and client services Jens Olsen says. “Wherever the dollar stretches furthest is where production will go.”

CORE Digital Pictures is a newer Toronto post company that specializes in crafting digital animation and special effects for features and TV shows. The company was formed by a group of Toronto animators and directors who came together during the making of the Atlantis-produced “TekWar” series. Indeed, CORE’s CEO is “TekWar” author and “Star Trek” alumnus William Shatner.

One of the leading post-production facilities in the country is AstralTech’s recently opened one-stop shopping outlet for technical services. The 61,000-square-foot complex, located in downtown Montreal, contains a sound post-production center, dubbing studios, processing and printing equipment, editing suites and a motion picture lab.

AstralTech, a division of Montreal-based Astral Communications, dubs more than 70 features annually, mostly providing French versions of Hollywood pics for studios such as Warner Bros., MGM and Fox. AstralTech’s revenue this year is expected to exceed $15 million, company officials say.

It’s also been the best year in the past five for Supersuite Postproduction in Montreal. The company handles post on top French-lingo TV shows shot here.

Covitec, also of Montreal, is involved in a range of production and post-production activities, including videocassette duplication, 2-D and 3-D animation, and video editing. Local production accounts for 75% of Covitec’s business.

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