Attractions September Article

Barry Cason, filmmakerBarry Casson’s The Power of Visual Selling, a guide for anyone who is looking at making a film or video for their business or organization. Barry is a long time producer in Victoria who has worked on every thing from in-house productions to feature films. The book is well organized and walks you through all of the steps in making a film or video, really any film or video as all the steps are explored.

What qualifies Barry to write such a book? His 25+ years as a filmmaker or his work on productions like Take Off!, with Phyllis Diller, do help. Casson started his career taking photos of the band he was in with David Foster, documenting their tour of Britain. He found that he enjoyed taking pictures enough to take some courses and ended up working as a photographer for the Victoria Colonist and The Victorian newspapers. After a few more courses in filmmaking he moved on to CHEK TV and started teaching night courses at Camosun College in film and video making. His classes got bigger and led to opening the Victoria Motion Picture School sixteen years ago.

Thinking ahead is paramount to a successful production and Barry’s book is a key to doing just that because every part of the making of a video is spelled out. In short, everything you need to know to make a video that will sell. While the book is aimed at people making commercials and convention sales tools for corporate video, there is a lot of good advice for those getting into the industry or those wanting to make films themselves.

Development and pre-production shows you everything involved in the planning process. Production tells you what to expect when you’re on set with the director and Post-production walks you through the editing tricks of the trade that will polish and perfect your show. Then distribution will help you find the right audience and make the money that is the point of the course in the first place. In the end a Glossary of terms that you’ll encounter during yourbarry cason's art of visual selling partnership with the producer and his cast and crew.

I’m sure that once you’ve read the book you’ll have a few ideas for productions yourself, if you didn’t already. If nothing else you’ll have a far better understanding of the world of film and video production and how the all the procedures involved fit together to generate the best end product.

So how do you get your hands on a copy of Barry’s great book? You can order it from form his website at, or from Casson himself at one of his many seminars.

Summer has been hectic for Nanaimo’s Spotlight Academy as the instructors themselves have been busy. Adrian Hough obtained a role on Revolution Studios’ remake of John Carpenter’s The Fog, which was partially shot in Cowichan Bay. Hough played the priest, Father Bobby Malone, played by Hal Holbrook in the 1980 version, which starred Jamie Lee Curtis and Janet Leigh. Hough has also secured a recurring role in the Winnipeg shot Falcon Beach for ABC and Global.

Jacqui Kaese spent a couple of months on the mainland working on the set of Whisper by Gold Circle Films, makers of My Big Fat Greek Wedding and more recently, Slither, a sci-fi feature in which Bart Anderson had a major role. Kaese’s role on set was to coach two child actors, Arizona’s Blake Woodruff and Vancouver’s Erika Shaye Gair for their roles in the film. Woodruff plays the kidnapped child who may be less innocent than he seems. During production Scott Bernstein, Universal’s Vice President of Production, complimented Kaese on her work.

Just recently Kaese has been booked again to coach Colin Ford on Brightlight Pictures’ computer-game based Dungeon Siege. Work starts next Monday (August 15th) at the medieval village Dungeon Siege has built a in Beecher Bay between Sooke and Metchosin, and it is a $60 Million Production starring Matthew Lillard (Hackers, Scooby-Doo) and John Rhys-Davies (Lord of the Rings, Indiana Jones).

With Kaese and the rest of the instructors busy, Maria Darling, a top agent from London England, is using her wealth of experience to do an excellent job of running the office.

emma campbell
Many of Spotlight Talent have been busy this summer, mostly with commercials. Sharron Bertchilde played a grandmother in a Mattel spot, and Stephanie Watkins got a principal role in a Burger King commercial. Amy Mc Cartie just wrapped "Project Sun" for Sun Microsystems, while Don Dunbar was called back for another Sizzler ad. Little Emma Campbell got work on a Fisher Price commercial, and Jackson Warris shot a spot for Ore Ida French Fries, a company known for its Tater Tots and owned by Heinz. Don Willson enjoys being a senior in the Vancouver Island lifestyle as his credits demonstrate; he has been cast for Centrum Silver again, due to his ever-fit look.

For the first time Spotlight Talent has booked an advertising campaign that covers television, print and Internet. The promotion is for Ivanhoe Cambridge’s Woodgrove Centre at Nanaimo’s north end. Suburbia Advertising hired Don Willson, Taylor Brown, The Wood Family, Stephanie Watkins, Bianca Jade, Emma Campbell, Kia Vosper, Levi Alexandre, Megan Champoux, Donna Hawthornthwaite and the members of her five to seven year old tee-ball team.

Spotlight also got Kristina Ruddick on the cover of an upcoming book, and Sharron Bertchilde booked a print job with Oceanside Village Resort in Parksville.

With personal congratulations Jacqui Kaese recognizes some of Spotlight Academy’s previous students who have gone far beyond their Vancouver Island roots. Justin Chatwin played a lead in Steven Spielberg and Tom Cruise’s War of the Worlds. Twenty-Two year old Chatwin played Datkota Fanning’s older brother Robbie. Other former students include Sophie Hough and Erika Shaye Gair, in The Wicker Man, Blake Woodruff in Cheaper by the Dozen 2 and Quinn Lord in The L Word. Hough also landed a large principal role in the TV series Intelligence. Twelve-year-old Cameron Bright of Nanaimo, just finished filming a guest starring role on two episodes of Stargate SG-1 and is cast in the role of Leech in X-Men 3, shooting in Vancouver and Victoria. Shaun Sipos just wrapped production of The Comeback Season in Alberta with Ray Liotta, who is now appearing in Dungeon Siege.

If you are interested in learning about Spotlight Academy and how you can begin your journey as an actor, contact Jacqui Kaese at

Jacqui kaese, cameron bright
Speaking of X-Men 3, there’s been a lot of development since last month. Filming in Victoria is wrapped and shooting at the Vancouver Film Studio continues. Conner Widows, Luke Pohl and Shauna Kain have joined the cast all reprising their roles of Jones, X-Kid and Siryn from X2. Also back is Bryce Hodgson as Artie; in the comics he’s a best friend with Leech, who is being played by Cameron Bright. Shohreh Aghdashloo joins the cast as Dr. Kavita Rao. The Oscar Nominated Actress, for House of Sand and Fog was most recently seen in Kiefer Sutherland’s 24 TV series. The latest information can always be found here at

Don McCaskill has been an entertainment writer for over six years, having written for Attractions, Extreme FM, The New VI and Dimension Magazine.

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