FTLComm - Winnipeg - July 13, 1999
With the need to replicate the TMSS Graduation video for 1999 Faster Than Light Communications took the master tape to MidCan Media Productions in Winnipeg where at one run, all fifty tapes were duplicated in this suite of machines. The tapes were then labelled, put in custom sleeves and shrink-wrapped for deliver. This is only one of the services offered by this company. Since we pitched in with the labour and supplied the tape, that operation cost us $3.90 per tape.

But while we were there, we had a peak into the ever expanding infrastructure of media productions. Companies like MidCan are developing across the country including Regina and Saskatoon, as more and more attention goes toward producing better television commercials, documentaries, animation's and even full length feature movies. MidCan has a full length movie in its final stages and their ten part mini-series on the Pan American
games called "Panamania" aired on CBC each Sunday has been distributed throughout the countries participating in the games.

There is a lot that goes into making quality video and film productions as the viewer has grown extremely sophisticated and expects to see on their television, everything that we have come to see from Hollywood With the continued expansion of television niche marketing with cable channels of all kind,s the market place is hungry for more and more material.
MidCan provides a service to independent and network producers who have shot their footage and come to MidCan to produce the marketable product. The suite on the left (above) is where things begin, the rough first cut and conceptualisation process begins in this room and in many cases moves directly to the room above right, where the footage is remastered directly from video to video to make the production. This is called "lineal" editing because the video is taken from its components and recombined to make it look the way it will be seen. Connected to this suite is a sound booth to add the voice over and sounds the are needed.
Much more can be done when computer technology enters into the picture and many productions rely upon what is known as non-lineal editing. In this process, the video or film made to video, is digitised and moved to hard drive arrays and then various components of the material are recombined using an Avid editing suite like the one seen above left. We are looking into the room from the producers desk, the director's chair is on the right and the editor works from his screens on the left. You will notice the presence of audio speakers in the rooms because good sound is one of the most important components in a successful production. (The TMSS grad video was made using this technique all computer non-lineal editing using FTLComm's Macintosh computer and the new "fireWire" technology)

The picture above right is the audio editing suite which also relies upon computer technology to accomplish the task of producing just the right combination of sound effects, music and dialogue to produce that snatch of reality the view will experience. This sound suite has just been upgraded to produce surround sound.
In addition to these elegant editing facilities MidCan has a full sound stage that can be used to create needed footage and this same stage can be used to make the sound effects for a production. A full art and animation suite is part of the business with creative people to do the work. The company has a newly developed multimedia production department underway and all of this is in addition to its outstanding rental business for the cameras, microphones and other portable machinery that goes into making video and film projects. Networks and independent production companies rely upon this kind of support company, to have ready for them, the resources, both in equipment and personnel, to do the job all on time critical "need it yesterday" schedules.