By MCN Editor

John Gill appointed CEO of National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI)


Winnipeg, MB – The board of the National Screen Institute – Canada (NSI) is pleased to announce the appointment of respected executive John Gill as the Chief Executive Officer (CEO). He will assume the position on April 4, 2011.

“John comes to NSI with a wealth of experience and a breadth of industry connections,” said Brad Pelman and Raja Khanna, co-chairs of the NSI board of directors. “He brings a fresh perspective to the type of film, TV and digital media productions that can be successful in the marketplace and what skills are needed to create them. His ability to work with the leaders in our industry will help him and the NSI staff develop the most innovative and market-driven training programs in the country.”

A graduate in film studies from Queen’s University, with a Master of Business Administration from the Richard Ivey School of Business at University of Western Ontario, Gill has both the passion and the business skills to lead NSI as the organization develops new strategies to meet the training needs of Canada’s emerging screen professionals. Gill is a media executive and consultant with over 20 years proven experience in programming and scheduling educational, cable and digital television. While at Alliance Atlantis Communications and TVO, he led creative professionals and built effective teams responsible for the development and programming of many hours of original drama and documentaries across several channels. Most recently, his independent consulting work has allowed him to work with a variety of organizations across the country including Rogers, S-VOX, the S-VOX Foundation, and the Knowledge Network.

“I’m excited to join NSI and to work with their talented board and staff,” said Gill. “They are passionate about developing training that will create careers for writers, directors and producers working across many platforms in the film and TV industry. I’m looking forward to exploring the opportunities and to leading NSI as we create the best professional development curriculum for the Canadian industry.”

About the National Screen Institute (NSI)

NSI is widely known for its prestigious training programs for Canadian writers, directors and producers working in film, television and digital media. Most programs are part-time so students keep their day jobs while they train. Participants do not have to relocate – intensive training happens in one place and participants return home to work with a mentor for the rest of their program. All training is delivered by senior industry experts. NSI also runs a year-round online short film festival.

The National Screen Institute – Canada operates with ongoing funding from Core Funders: Manitoba Culture, Heritage and Tourism, the City of Winnipeg through the Winnipeg Arts Council; Benefactor: Shaw Media; Patrons: Telefilm Canada, CTV and the CTV/CHUM Benefits; Builders: Rogers, The Brian Linehan Charitable Foundation; Contributors: NBCUniversal, Women in Media Foundation, The Government of Canada, The Manitoba Government; Friends: ZoomerMedia, Centre for Aboriginal Human Resource Development Inc. (CAHRD), The Winnipeg Foundation.

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It shows how out of it I was in trying to be in it, acknowledging that I was out of it to myself, and then thinking, “Okay, how do I stop being out of it? Well, I get some legitimate illogical narrative ideas” — some novel, you know?

So I decided on three writers that I might be able to option their material and get some producer, or myself as producer, and then get some writer to do a screenplay on it, and maybe make a movie.

And so the three projects were “Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep,” “Naked Lunch” and a collection of Bukowski. Which, in 1975, forget it — I mean, that was nuts. Hollywood would not touch any of that, but I was looking for something commercial, and I thought that all of these things were coming.

There would be no Blade Runner if there was no Ray Bradbury. I couldn’t find Philip K. Dick. His agent didn’t even know where he was. And so I gave up.

I was walking down the street and I ran into Bradbury — he directed a play that I was going to do as an actor, so we know each other, but he yelled “hi” — and I’d forgot who he was.

So at my girlfriend Barbara Hershey’s urging — I was with her at that moment — she said, “Talk to him! That guy really wants to talk to you,” and I said “No, fuck him,” and keep walking.

But then I did, and then I realized who it was, and I thought, “Wait, he’s in that realm, maybe he knows Philip K. Dick.” I said, “You know a guy named—” “Yeah, sure — you want his phone number?”

My friend paid my rent for a year while I wrote, because it turned out we couldn’t get a writer. My friends kept on me about, well, if you can’t get a writer, then you write.”
~ Hampton Fancher

“That was the most disappointing thing to me in how this thing was played. Is that I’m on the phone with you now, after all that’s been said, and the fundamental distinction between what James is dealing with in these other cases is not actually brought to the fore. The fundamental difference is that James Franco didn’t seek to use his position to have sex with anyone. There’s not a case of that. He wasn’t using his position or status to try to solicit a sexual favor from anyone. If he had — if that were what the accusation involved — the show would not have gone on. We would have folded up shop and we would have not completed the show. Because then it would have been the same as Harvey Weinstein, or Les Moonves, or any of these cases that are fundamental to this new paradigm. Did you not notice that? Why did you not notice that? Is that not something notable to say, journalistically? Because nobody could find the voice to say it. I’m not just being rhetorical. Why is it that you and the other critics, none of you could find the voice to say, “You know, it’s not this, it’s that”? Because — let me go on and speak further to this. If you go back to the L.A. Times piece, that’s what it lacked. That’s what they were not able to deliver. The one example in the five that involved an issue of a sexual act was between James and a woman he was dating, who he was not working with. There was no professional dynamic in any capacity.

~ David Simon