Vancouver: Wonders Start Here

The video embedded below is the result of tireless efforts by Entertainment Business Management grad Jenny Bourne and an extremely talented team of Digital Design grads including Jeanette Seah, Matt Simon, Nate Slaco, Shawn Hight, Chris Harrell, and Kasey Lum.

Sponsored by Microsoft Canada, the Vancouver Economic Development Commission, the BC Technology Industry Association, and the BC Innovation Council, ‘Vancouver: Wonders Start Here’ was initially inspired by a conversation between Vancouver-based technology executive, marketer, and entrepreneur Ian Bell and the Site Director of the Microsoft Canada Development Centre, Dennis Pilarinos.

They wanted to show off the city’s technological prowess and investment opportunities, and thought the best way to do that would be to put together a team of Vancouver’s strongest young talent to exemplify what we’re capable of.

Ian turned to Vancouver Film School for help in assembling a roster, singling out Jenny Bourne as the Project Manager and Associate Producer at the heart of it all. Though she is completely swamped in her post-VFS life, Jenny took some time out to talk about the video.

How did you get involved?

I was contacted by Sebastien de Castell [Director of Strategic Program Development and Acting Head of Film Production at VFS] who told me about the contract opportunity and that VFS was on board as a mentor in order to provide support and a career opportunity to a select group of talented grads.

Ian Bell and Dennis Pilarinos pitched a preliminary concept to us and then we were told to go and recreate the concept with a production plan and pitch it back to them. Once we got the green light, we worked fairly independently while executing the various stages. Throughout the process, weekly meetings were held with the stakeholders (Dennis and Ian) so that they could provide additional direction and feedback.

I am so thankful that I was involved in this project, as I was fortunate enough to work with some inspiring and talented Digital Design grads and I almost doubled my contacts in the industry.

Can you explain what your role was and the work it entailed?

My official titles were Associate Producer and Project Manager, but I was given a lot of additional responsibilities outside of those job descriptions, which really helped me learn and grow. It took me one step close to being a bonafide Producer, which is my eventual career goal.

My roles included, but were not limited to the following: developing the concept with the team, pitching the concept, supporting and leading the team of designers, working with accounting, preparing and maintaining the budgets and schedules, sourcing resources for all stages of production (cast, additional crew, props, equipment, and software), and dealing with the majority of the legal clearances.

A simplified explanation is that a Producer or PM is basically the designated worrier and the job description is always in flux based upon each project’s requirement. Basically, you have to do what it takes to get it done and get it done right!

Why do you think Ian Bell reached out to VFSers like you to work on this project?

Ian was really passionate about the project and the underlying motivation for using VFS grads was to show what kind of talent this city and institutions such as VFS are producing. The concept of the video highlights Vancouver’s most successful technical and creative companies, which have thrived due to the concentrated talent here in the city. Ian wanted to use the video to attract much needed outside investment and support for those in the industry.

Vancouver is unique in that there are so many innovative people and companies, but we lack the crucial financial backing that many other leaders in the industry possess.

What do you think is the point of creating a video like this?

Well, the point was two-fold: first, to promote the local talent and companies here in Vancouver, and second, to promote the up-and-coming generation of talented designers (and producers ) while providing recent grads with the invaluable experience of working with a client such as Microsoft!

Thanks for the insight, Jenny! And congrats to all the Digital Design graduates who participated in this awesome project.

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