The Computer Animation Studios of Ontario (CASO) is a new association dedicated to promoting and growing the Ontario Animation and Visual Effects industry.
As an advocate for the animation and visual effects industry in Ontario, CASO's initiatives can be broken down into the following areas:
The Computer Animation Studios of Ontario is a newly formed, non-profit association representing Computer Animation and Digital Visual Effects companies located in Ontario, Canada.
CASO's mandate is to promote the interests of its members and to enlist the support of government and private sector partners with an interest in the growth of the computer animation and visual effects industry in Ontario.
1. International Promotion and Marketing
Producers want to be assured that Ontario has a cohesive CG animation and visual effects community and it is important to demonstrate that this is the case. Membership in CASO will play a large role in helping to promote the industry and will also signal to producers that the industry is working together.
While it is important to promote the film and television business, CASO members are not necessarily tied to productions that film locally. CASO is well-positioned to actively promote the interests of the Ontario CG Animation and Visual Effects industry in local and international markets. It is worth noting that other jurisdictions have already managed to do this very successfully. As such, CASO will establish a long term business plan that may include all or some of the following:
- Sending delegations to foreign markets, trade shows and industry events to solicit projects and promote Ontario CG talent and resources;
- Establishing booths at international trade shows (such as SIGGRAPH) to distribute member company demo reels (potentially in conjunction with other Ontario-based organizations);
- Providing a central web site that promotes and defines member CG Animation and Visual Effects companies. CASO will actively pursue contra deals with similar web sites to provide mutual links. This web site must be set up to be 'search engine-friendly' and allow users to access the website using queries such as 'film Ontario';
- Lobbying the necessary government officials to ensure that CASO delegates are included in any relevant foreign trade missions, either provincial or federal initiatives;
- Crafting press releases to promote the high caliber of local talent by extolling the numerous achievements of member companies;
- Targeting advertising in order to promote the Ontario industry in either producer-read periodicals or on industry websites.
2. Industry Statistics and Competitive Advantage
Membership in CASO affords an opportunity for all members to present the 'big picture' of the animation and visual effects industry in Ontario. The sheer number of employees, total employee wages and overall value of the industry in Ontario is invaluable in securing government support and should not be underestimated. Positioning the industry as a coordinated and cohesive group signals to the government that this large industry, one that brings hundreds of millions of revenue dollars to the province each year, is united.
Additionally, CASO is well-positioned to compile and disseminate information about other competitive jurisdictions.