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A couple weeks back, the Smokebombers made the trip to Canada’s Wonderland, the country’s largest theme park, for some good ol’fashioned team bonding. While the idea of dropping 306 feet on rides such as the Leviathan was not exactly everyone’s idea of fun, it’s safe to say that we all…
It’s generally pretty peaceful here at Smokebomb HQ, but every once in a while someone comes in and rocks the boat. This time, it was our returning summer intern Paige who managed to stir things up. Paige has many talents – she’s a fantastic researcher, can whip up almost anything…
Smokebomb Entertainment is an award-winning digital media production company creating groundbreaking original transmedia projects and engaging convergent extensions for television. Combining world-class storytelling, integrated 2nd screen experiences and innovative social campaigns, Smokebomb builds compelling storyworlds for tweens and the 16-34 demographic. We are the digital arm of production and distribution company Shaftesbury.
Recent projects include the award-winning Totally Amp’d – the world’s first App series for tweens on iOS, the International Emmy-nominated Murdoch Mysteries: The Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, the buddy road trip comedy Backpackers for CW Seed and CTV and State of Syn, an innovative transmedia 3D motion comic with Jewel State (Firefly; L.A. Complex) David Hewlett (Stargate SG-1, Stargate: Atlantis).
Jay Bennett is an Emmy Award® winning leader in the global digital landscape whose unique creative vision has been appearing on screens of all sizes for almost a decade. A regular speaker on digital and transmedia entertainment Jay has created and produced numerous award-winning productions and applications. From the world’s first App series Totally Amp’d – named a ‘Killer App’ by Wired Magazine in 2012, to the Emmy nominated live-action comic hybrid Curse of the Lost Pharaohs, to the award-winning transmedia storyworld State of Syn, to the buddy road trip comedy Backpackers.
A touchstone of his work has been blending storytelling with innovative technologies and social strategies, bringing a 360° approach to mainstream audience engagement. International clients include Disney, BBC, CW, Astral, UKTV and CTV.
Jay holds a Bachelor of Arts from the University of Victoria. He has worked in India, the UK, the Netherlands andCanada and has had further media training with the National Film Board of Canada the Canadian Film and Television Producers Association and the CFC.
Ted has 18 years experience making interactive media, for the past decade focusing primarily on digital work for the film and TV industry. He has produced dm projects for all major Canadian and several international broadcasters, including, Disney, Cartoon Network International, BBC and an array of TV and film producers from around the world. His projects have garnered several notable award nominations and wins, including; three International Emmy Award nominations and two wins, two Rose D’Or Wins, Gemini, Banff and Webby awards. He has worked as a TV and documentary producer and writer, and was involved in the startup of Sheridan College’s Screen Industries Research and Training Centre at Pinewood Toronto Studios, an industry ‘playground’ for advanced entertainment technology.
As a VP and partner in the tech startup, the Augmented World Engine Co., he worked in close collaboration with the Ryerson Faculty of Engineering, the University of Ontario Institute of Technology and the Seneca school of animation developing the most advanced augmented reality product in the world.
In her role as associate producer, Steph works on the development of new materials for Smokebomb’s original slate of projects. Recent responsibilities include acting as supervising producer on State of Syn, the 3D science-fiction motion novel and its companion transmedia extensions, and coordinating the social media launch of the Digi Award-winning mobile App Totally Amp’d, as well as on convergent properties Murdoch Effect, a web extension of Murdoch Mysteries season five, and Switch, the webseries companion to season three of The Listener on CTV.
Prior to her work at Smokebomb, Ouaknine was a drama development intern at Shaw Media. By night, she produces and directs independent theatre, and has worked for such companies as Interpunch in France, New Actor’s Colony Theatre in Muskoka, Player’s in Montreal, and Alumnae in Toronto. She is a graduate of McGill University and Sheridan College.
As Social Media Manager for Shaftesbury’s innovative digital media division Smokebomb Entertainment, Hayden is responsible for creating strategies for and managing all of Smokebomb’s social media channels, both corporate and project-based, and conceiving and producing assets for the various channels. Hayden works to build relationships with influencers on multiple social media platforms and also hosts Smoking Hot News, a digital entertainment news vlog that can be viewed on Smokebomb’s YouTube channel. In January 2014, the International Academy of Web Television Awards recognized Hayden in the category of Best Interactive and Social Media Experience for her work on the sci-fi digital series State Of Syn.
Hayden has been with Shaftesbury since 2008, most recently in the role of Community Cultivator at Smokebomb. Prior to that, she was the Sales & Marketing Coordinator for Shaftesbury, where she organized the schedules of Shaftesbury/Smokebomb executives for multiple international sales markets and assisted in the production of marketing materials for all sales properties. She studied Communication Studies at Wilfred Laurier University, and is currently working towards a certificate in Graphic Design at George Brown College. In 2013 Hayden executive produced the #52Project, where she filmed, edited and promoted one music video a week in collaboration with the Toronto singer/songwriter Soles.
Connect with Carrie on Twitter: @CarrieHayden87
Ryan Lussing is a media producer with over 10 years experience developing entertainment properties across multiple platforms, including television broadcast, mobile, and emerging platforms such as Google Glass and other wearable technologies.
As the Executive Producer and Founder of the boutique digital agency, Yellow Bear Studios, Ryan works closely as a Consulting Interactive Producer for Smokebomb Entertainment. Through his work with Smokebomb, Ryan helps develop tech-driven properties, from web to mobile to wearables, and oversees the production of their interactive projects, including producing and directing the award winning iOS and Android game for State of Syn, as well as writing, directing and game designing the first-ever real-time action strategy game for Google Glass, entitled State of Syn: Singularity.
Ryan co-created the animated children’s series Dex Hamilton: Alien Entomologist and served as a writer, producer, and visual-fx director on the 26x30’ 2D/3D animated series which was an official selection for Cartoons on the Bay: International Television & Multimedia Festival, and was nominated for Best Animated Television Production at the 2009 ELAN Awards, and created the original concept for the online Dex Hamilton game entitled Dex Hamilton’s Bug Quest, that was nominated for numerous awards at the 2011 Canadian Video Game Awards, including Best Social/Casual Game.
Sarah MacKinnon has over ten years experience in the Canadian television and interactive digital media industry.
In the role as Manager of Production Affairs at Shaftesbury and Smokebomb Entertainment, Sarah manages the production unit, specializing in film, television and digital media budgeting, financing and tax credit analysis, touching all of the company’s television and digital platform properties during their various stages of development, production and exploitation.
Sarah has most recently taken on an additional role as Post Production Supervisor for Smokebomb Entertainment’s original transmedia projects: “Unlikely Heroes” and “Backpackers”. As well as for Shaftesbury’s most recent Digital Pilot projects: “Space Bacon”, “Rise”, and the convergent extension for Murdoch Mysteries – Season 6: “Nightmare on Queen Street”.
As a part of the Social Media team, Dillon generates various forms of content for all of Smokebomb’s social channels. Working with Social Media Manager, Carrie Hayden, he helps create and execute Social Strategies to engage and expand the fan base of Smokebomb’s numerous intellectual properties. Using the skills he developed while working in Television production and on personal and professional projects he also contributes by writing, shooting and editing video content for Smokebomb’s “Bomb Squad” vlog.
Dillon joined the Smokebomb team in 2013 after graduating from Humber College’s Writing and Producing for Television program in May of that year.
Connect with Dillon on Twitter: @DillonTaylor
One of Canada’s most accomplished producers, Christina Jennings founded Shaftesbury in 1987 and has since built the company into a position of unique leadership and strength as a leading creator and distributor of the highest quality television and multiplatform content worldwide.
Shaftesbury is known for its innovative international partnerships as well as award-winning storytelling spanning including four seasons of one-hour drama series The Listener for CTV and Fox International Channels; and six seasons of the Victorian-era detective series Murdoch Mysteries for Citytv, UKTV, ITV Studios Global Entertainment and new Canadian broadcast partner CBC. Shaftesbury’s extensive slate of programming for kids and families includes the global hit series Life with Derek and its movie follow up, Vacation with Derek. Jennings oversees and serves as executive producer on all of Shaftesbury’s productions.
Shaftesbury’s divisions include in-house digital media group Smokebomb Entertainment, creating companion web experiences and original transmedia projects such as Totally Amp’d and State of Syn; Shaftesbury Sales Company, managing international sales and distribution; and Shaftesbury U.S., the company’s Los Angeles-based development division.
With 15 years of experience at the helm of Youth Culture, Kaaren is a sought-after expert who has been instrumental in creating successful brands, including Vervegirl, which remains the top-ranked teen magazine in Canada and is distributed in over 1,100 high schools and online through Barnes & Noble in the U.S. Youth Culture created the highly successful syndicated study, Trendscan, a report on teen lifestyle, providing valuable data for marketing to youth in Canada for more than 35 national and international brands. Additionally, Kaaren served as executive producer of The Avenue starring Gigi Gorgeous, one of the first reality shows on YouTube, which garnered over 2.5 million views and developed a loyal fan following.
As VP, Sales and Business Development, St. Peters develops and implements global television and digital pre-sales, sales and distribution strategies for Shaftesbury and its digital media division, Smokebomb Entertainment. He also drives partnerships with third-party producers with a focus on acquiring kids, factual and digital content for distribution, and works with digital platforms worldwide to maximize exposure and revenue for Smokebomb’s slate of digital properties.
During his tenure with the company, St. Peters has placed Shaftesbury content in 120 markets worldwide with leading broadcasters and platforms including BBC, Sky, Hulu, HBO, Starz, Disney Channel, Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, KiKA, Super RTL, France Television, Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Food Network, Cooking Channel, Science Channel and National Geographic Channel.
St. Peters joined Shaftesbury in 2005. Prior to joining Shaftesbury, he served as marketing manager at Pearson Education, a leading college publisher. He holds a degree in film studies and communication from the University of Southern California and the University of Ottawa.
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