Durham College and Yowza Digital Inc. announce research agreement to create new transmedia production process

Initiative will enable students to gain critical experience in design, animation and production

August 19, 2010

Oshawa, Ont. – Durham College announced today a research agreement with Yowza Digital Inc. (Yowza), a Toronto-based digital media company that will see the creation of a new transmedia production process that will enable Yowza to become more competitive in the international animation marketplace and give students the opportunity to gain valuable experience in the animation process.

Eight Animation students from the college’s School of Media, Art & Design (MAD) have been selected to participate in the pilot project, which is being led by Yowza’s senior directors and animation staff and MAD Professor Peter Hudecki, with support from the Durham College Office of Research Services and Innovation and the Colleges Ontario Network for Industry Innovation (CONII).

The students are working in full collaboration with Yowza Directors and staff on the production of fully animated interstitials – short, animated segments that serve as a bridge between full-length programming.

“Durham College is thrilled to announce this agreement with Yowza Digital Inc.,” said Debbie McKee Demczyk, director, Office of Research Services and Innovation, Durham College. “It clearly reflects our commitment to creating work placements for students to gain research experience, have access to industry professionals, build their professional portfolios and leverage their marketability in competitive industries. This exciting initiative will also give them the opportunity to assist a leading-edge digital media company with determining a new working model for its production process and a chance to make valuable industry contacts and potentially secure employment post-graduation.”

The results of the study will help Yowza decide whether the platform is sustainable by measuring the factors that influence its success and sustainability. If successful, the company will have a new intellectual transmedia property that can be used for international sales.

“Yowza actively seeks to mentor new industry talent,” said Pete Denomme, executive producer, Yowza Digital Inc. “We are excited about our opportunity to work with Durham College’s talented students to guide and foster their introduction to the industry.”

Funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation, CONII is a consortium of more than 20 Ontario colleges dedicated to helping business and industry stay competitive in the global economy.

Durham College joined the network in September 2009 with several of the consortium’s research areas tied directly to its current and future programs in areas including alternative and renewable energy, construction, digital media, environmental technologies, health and life sciences and manufacturing and materials.


About Durham College
At Durham College, the student experience comes first, an approach it has taken for more than 40 years. Through a vast range of market-driven programs that are taught by exceptional professors with real-world experience, students develop the skills required to meet the ever-changing needs of employers and the job market. Moving forward, Durham College’s expansion plans will see its Whitby campus grow by 40,000 square feet. Phase 1 of the construction features an energy-neutral living laboratory for new technologies and education that will serve the growing needs of the emerging energy sector. Phase 2 of the expansion will create additional classroom and laboratory space to support new program development, and Phase 3 will be a food centre designed to house culinary arts programs; a food and agricultural component; a food processing centre and agriculture and science laboratories. Durham College has more than 7,000 full-time students, thousands of part-time students and more than 1,400 apprentices. For more information, visit www.durhamcollege.ca or call 905.721.2000.

About Yowza Digital Inc.

Yowza Animation Inc. is a leading provider of traditional animation for feature films, television and commercial productions. Claude Chiasson, a well-respected clean-up artist and overseas supervisor with over 15 years of experience in the traditional animation arena, specializing in high quality feature films, television series and commercials, established Yowza Animation Inc. in Toronto, Canada in 1996.

Shortly after Yowza Animation Inc. was founded, Roger Chiasson, renowned animation director (who animated on such feature films as “Hercules”, “The Hunchback of Notre Dame” and “Who Framed Roger Rabbit”, to mention a few), left Disney Studios to join his brother Claude at Yowza Animation. Yowza’s first projects were highly successful CD-Rom interactive games for Disney Studios. After almost two years of providing animation and clean-up services in this arena, Yowza Animation Inc. was well positioned to set its sights on more high profile projects.

Yowza Animation’s first foray into feature films was the successful Warner Bros. feature film, “The Quest for Camelot” (released in 1998), for which they were credited with clean-up. Over the ensuing years, Yowza Animation gradually achieved a more expanded role, including layouts, animation, clean-up and F/X in such feature films as “Osmosis Jones” and “Looney Tunes: Back in Action” for Warner Bros., “Titan AE” for Fox Feature Animation, and “101 Dalmatians II” a direct-to-video feature for Disney TV.

Since the inception of Yowza Animation Inc., Claude Chiasson and Roger Chiasson have continually ensured that Yowza Animation Inc. developed and maintained a reputation for delivering top quality animation to all its clients, whether the traditional animation was for feature films, direct-to-video, commercials, television series and specials.

Yowza expanded actively into the digital animation arena, through the set up of Yowza Digital, with Executive Producer Pete Denomme joining the team. Since that time Yowza Digital, has completed several television spots and two animated series pilots. Through various platforms, such as Maya, Softimage, Opus and Flame, the artists of Yowza Digital are able to work in any medium needed. Yowza Digital is in development of proprietary content on a kid’s series side.

Media contact for Durham College:
Michelle Roebuck
Communications, Marketing and External Relations
Durham College
905.721.2000 ext. 2197

Media contact for Yowza Digital Inc:
Heather Walker
Head of Business Development
Yowza Animation Inc.


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