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AMPIA Elects New Board and New Board Chair

By October 25, 2016Uncategorized

The Alberta Media Production Industries Association (AMPIA) is pleased to announce the results of its recent Board elections, held at the Annual General Meeting in Calgary on October 22. Michael Jorgensen (Myth Merchant Films) has been elected as the new Chair of the Board and will serve a two-year term. In addition, there are three new incoming Directors who will each serve a one-year term: Alex Gault (DeepMarkit, Calgary), Missy Geffen (Geffen Media, Edmonton) and Dave Chan (Giant Sandbox /GameCamp Edmonton). 

“The Nominating Committee extends sincere thanks to everyone who was willing to stand for election,” says Norm Bishop, Chair of the AMPIA Nominating Committee. “We appreciate their commitment of time and energy on behalf of all AMPIA members”.

“It’s an honour to have been elected as Chair of AMPIA,” says Michael Jorgensen. “I look forward to working with our new Board to address some of the very important challenges facing our industry, and finding new and better ways to share Alberta’s stories with Canada and the world.”

Michael takes the reigns from long-standing AMPIA Chair Joe Novak, who was elected in 2012 and has served two terms as Chair. “I would like to thank Joe for the years of service and dedication he has brought to AMPIA and to the entire Production Community in Alberta. I know Joe will continue his involvement in our industry through his work with the CMPA and other organizations. We wish him well in his future endeavours.”

Board Chair: 

Michael Jorgensen

Vice-Chair North:
Missy Geffen

Vice-Chair South:
Tom Cox

Helen Schmidt

Norm Bishop

David Benson
Neil Campbell
Dave Chan
Larry Day
Mike Frislev
Alex Gault
Dylan Pearce
Ron E. Scott
Mike Shields



MICHAEL JORGENSEN is an Emmy® award-winning filmmaker and network storytelling consultant in both the fiction and nonfiction genres. As a producer, writer and director, his films have earned him more than 80 international, national and regional awards. During the late 80’s and early 90’s, Michael garnered five titles as WCNPA Television Photojournalist of the Year. In 1992, he was one of the first journalists into war-torn Somalia prior to the UN-sanctioned “Operation Restore Hope.” Since then, Michael has acted as a network storytelling consultant and helped launch the world’s first weekly science program, Discovery Channel’s “Daily Planet.” Michael is the only filmmaker in history to be granted access inside a classified U.S. Department of Defense weapons competition. Battle of the X-Planes earned Michael his first Emmy® for best long form news and current affairs documentary. He has produced, written and directed numerous primetime specials for National Geographic, Discovery Channel, History, PBS, ZDF Germany and Arte France. Some of his network credits include the Gemini®-nominated Secrets of the Dinosaur Mummy, Hunt for the Mad Trapper, Hitler’s Stealth Fighter and Lost Nuke. As the supervising producer of the landmark Discovery Channel series, Mars Rising, Michael negotiated access to NASA, Russian and European space agencies to tell the story of the people working on the first human mission to Mars. Michael has been a judge for the Academy of Television Arts & Sciences Emmys® since 2010. In addition, he also teaches fiction and nonfiction screenwriting in Digital Cinema Production at NAIT. In 2014, his feature-length theatrical documentary, Unclaimed, opened to international acclaim and was long-listed for an Oscar®. Michael is a member of the Canadian Media Producers Association, The Giant Screen Cinema Association and the Producers Guild of America. Currently, Michael is working on the IMAX® film Rise of the Super Titan and the feature length drama Blazer.


MISSY GEFFEN spent the past 30 years working in Film and Television, Missy has had the opportunity to work as a Writer, Producer, Creative Director and Executive Producer on productions for some very recognizable name clients. Clients includes ESSO, Shell Canada, UTI Worldwide, Proctor & Gamble, Ford, GM, Telus, Orient Express, Baja California Sur Tourism, the Alberta Government, and with Advertising Agencies across North America, Australia and New Zealand.

The scope of productions runs from Television Specials, Documentaries, and Informational Videos, to Radio commercials and New Media/Web based productions. Where her real expertise lies is in the production of TV commercials for regional, national and international clients. She was Creative Director for ITV’s award winning multi media road safety campaign– “If You Drink then Drive You’re A Bloody Idiot” and “Speed Kills”.

Missy began her career at CFRN TV Edmonton (now CTV) and moved to CITV (now Global- Edm) and became the Executive Producer for ITV’s national production company “Apple Box Productions”. She has been on the Board of Directors for the Advertising Club of Edmonton and chaired the ACE Awards for 2 years. Missy is now the Executive Producer and owner of Geffen Media Inc. A major focus of Geffen Media is to assist to develop new talent in the production industry.


TOM COX is Managing Director of Calgary-based SEVEN24 Films. His productions span thirty years and include award winning feature films, dramatic series, mini series and television movies.

Current productions include Wynonna Earp, a supernatural series for Syfy, and Heartland, a family drama series now in its tenth broadcast season on CBC.

Previous series credits include Young Drunk Punk, Wild Roses, Dynosapian, The Shoebox Zoo, Tom Stone, North of Sixty and The Ray Bradbury Theatre. Television movie and mini series credits include Borealis, Burn Up, Mayorthorpe, Waking Up Wally, and After the Harvest. Feature film co-productions include Brokeback Mountain, The Assassination of Jesse James by the Coward Robert Ford and Resurrecting the Champ.

Tom is a current board member and past Chair of the Alberta Media Production Industries Association and the Canadian Media Production Association. He is a member of the Banff World Media Festival board of directors, and past Chair and board member of the National Screen Institute. He has served on the Alberta Film Advisory Council and the Premier’s Council on Culture. Tom is a recipient of the Queen Elizabeth II Diamond Jubilee Medal in recognition of his contribution to the arts.


HELEN SCHMIDT is a member of the Anaïd Productions team in Edmonton since 1995, Helen Schmidt oversees all aspects of business affairs and accounting for Anaïd. She is responsible for production financing, budgeting and cost control as well as overall corporate operations and has served as Executive Producer on The Liquidator, Hail Mary, The Quon Dynasty, X-Weighted, Family Restaurant, and The Rig.

A Certified Management Accountant, Helen is distinguished in the field of accounting by her advanced understanding of Canadian film financing and its related issues enabling Anaïd Productions to earn an impressive reputation with investors, broadcasters and distributors alike. She started her accounting career with the Alberta Government, then moved to the private industry for several years prior to joining Anaïd. Helen is active in her local community and has used her financial acumen to benefit numerous non-profit organizations by serving on committees and volunteer boards.


NORM BISHOP was born and raised in Edmonton, Alberta, Norman received his B.A. in 1977 and his LL.B. in 1980 from the University of Alberta. Norman’s practice specializes in intellectual property, franchising, commercial leasing and entertainment, and he is a registered Trade Mark Agent for Canada and the U.S. In addition, he is an Associate Member of the Patent and Trade Mark Institute of Canada.

Norman is an enthusiastic supporter of the arts, and has served as a director for the Northern Light Theatre and the Edmonton Art Gallery. Currently, he sits on the Board of Directors of the Alberta Motion Picture Industries Association. Norman is best known for his love of playing rock and roll, and for his total lack of interest in the game of golf. He also enjoys hiking and skiing with his wife and three children.


DAVID BENSON – Freelance Productions Ltd. has been serving the communication needs of Canada’s foremost broadcast and corporate clients for over 25 years. At the helm is the Award winning David Benson, a veteran television Producer, Director, and Writer whose documentary production credits include: Hail Mary 11 x 30 min Doc Series for City TV, The Rig (Seasons I & II 13 x30), Lights… Camera.. Alberta, Behind the Screen 1 x 60, Chasing the Sun (Season I 13 x 30), Island of Faith, Adoption Stories, and Canadians in Kentucky. David has worked with a range of television broadcast clients including, CTV, Alliance Atlantis, National Geographic, OLN, Rogers Sportsnet, TSN, ESPN and TBS, just to name a few. He also has a rich and diverse background of directing and cinematography for sports programs including segments for several Winter and Summer Olympic Games, the 1996 World Figure Skating Championships and the 2003 Heritage Classic Hockey Game. With this experience, Freelance Productions also brings a team with depth in business and legal affairs, production, and post-production, which enables the ability to produce and facilitate quality, fact-based programming for broadcasters worldwide.

NEIL CAMPBELL has been in the movie industry for over three decades. He has spent his time in the fields of distribution & exhibition with Sony Releasing – formerly Columbia Pictures – and Cineplex Odeon Films, and is currently the COO/Partner of Landmark Cinemas of Canada Inc., the third largest Canadian exhibition chain, based in Calgary, serving Western Canada. His passion for the movies began while watching Saturday matinees at his hometown’s single screen cinema. Neil also serves on the boards of the Motion Picture Theatre Association of Canada, the Calgary International Film Festival and the Motion Picture Pioneers of Canada. His passions and joy are found in his family and on the big screen.

DAVE CHAN has always had an interest in computers and audio. After many years working at a computer store he decided to expand his horizons and obtain a Microsoft certification. At the same time he was taking his certification he helped start a LAN event known as Fragapalooza. He invited the owners of BioWare (then a relative unknown) to demonstrate Baldur’s Gate at the event. Ray Muzyka was impressed with the job he had done for Fragapalooza, so when he finally got his Microsoft certification he ended up working at BioWare in the IT department. The owners were aware of his audio background and offered him a chance to make placeholder sounds for MDK2. They liked the sounds so much they wanted him to do the whole game. The rest, as they say, is history.

Since then he has been an active member in the Game Audio Network Guild since its launch in 2002 and is a co-chair of the Voice Actor Coalition sub-committee of GANG, a group that was organized to help the industry deal with issues involved with creating voice over for games. He has spoken at the Game Developers Conference, the Toronto Audio Engineering Society and been a Voice Over Demo Derby judge at PAX 2013. In 2004 he struck out on his own to form Giant Sandbox. Since then he’s been doing independent audio contracting. He’s been fortunate enough to work on AAA titles like Prey, Splinter Cell and Mass Effect as well as smaller indie projects and casual games like Sally’s Spa, Clue and the Office Jerk games. He was asked by Aaron Marks to contribute to the second edition of The Complete Guide to Game Audio and contributed a section describing his experiences and process. Sound design, voice acting, audio in games in are a passion of his and that’s why he’s involved with organizations like GANG, the AIAS and the IGDA so that he can pass on his knowledge and experience to others in the industry. Recently he was the Audio Director of Hinterland Games working on their first title “The Long Dark” and is currently freelancing.

LARRY DAY is President of Pyramid Productions, an independent film and television company he formed in 1983. His recent feature documentaries include Playing with Fire about Theo Fleury, Goalie, the Clint Malarchuk story, Girl on Fire featuring Carissa Hendrix,@nenshi4mayor, Born Blue: The Guyana Project and many others. He has produced dozens of television series, 27 Biographies for A&E, wildlife specials for National Geographic and three specials for W5. Pyramid’s current broadcast clients include Bell, Shaw, Rogers, SuperChannel in Canada and Nat Geo, Reelz, and Scripps in the U.S.

Larry has degrees in English, Education and Journalism. Before setting up his own company he worked as a political reporter with CTV in Ottawa, anchor and news director in Calgary and manager of business development for the WIC Network. In 1983, Larry created The Movie Show, which ran for more than 2,500 episodes over 14 years and was seen in 70 countries. As a composer, Larry has two SOCAN awards. He sits on the boards of several nonprofit organizations in Calgary.

MIKE FRISLEV is co-founder & Chairman of Calgary based Nomadic Pictures along with Chad Oakes. Since its inception in 1995 Nomadic has completed over 50 productions including the movies “The Incredible Mrs. Ritchie”, “Boot Camp”, “Last Rites of Ransom Pride” “45RPM” and “Trapped Ashes”. Mike Frislev and Chad Oakes also produced the miniseries “Broken Trail”, television series “FARGO” and “Hell on Wheels”. Mike has been the proud recipient of numerous awards, including Golden Globe, Emmys, Producer’s Guild of America, Television Critics as well as several Rosie Awards. Michael is an active participant in the local and international film communities, sitting on various producer based committees. He has served on the AMPIA Board since 2007.

ALEX GAULT is a software and media entrepreneur with extensive experience launching and managing businesses in Canada and the United States. Currently, Alex works as Vice President of Marketing and Sales for DeepMarkit, a producer of videogame advertising solutions used by business customers in the United States, Canada and China. Formerly, Alex Gault served as Vice President of Product Development and Client Services for Mobovivo, a leading developer of multi-platform premium video and game solutions for media companies. During his tenure with Mobovivo, Alex worked on projects for TimeWarner, ESPN, Intel, SONY, eOne, the Hollywood Reporter, AXS TV, Epitome Pictures, CPAC, Cineplex and other leading media brands. Projects with Mobovivo included second screen apps, video apps, gaming apps, and interactive websites featuring streamed video and games.

Before moving to Calgary, Alex lived in San Francisco, where he helped launch three digital media start-ups – in the elearning, intellectual property and social media sectors Before getting into the software business, Alex served as Publisher of Whole Earth magazine and Director Point Foundation, the magazine’s parent non-profit.

During the 2015-2016 school year, Alex co-produced a six-month TV/film workshop for a team of Calgary School Board students, funded by Telus. During the workshop, a team of student interns learnt the basics of film and TV production, and produced the first episode of Botz, the premier of a forthcoming TV series about Robots now being broadcast on Telus Optix’ VOD cable channel.

Alex is a member of the Alberta Film Advisory Committee, Trustee and Vice President of Marketing for the Princess Patricia’s Canadian Light Infantry (PPCLI) Foundation, and a Director of EACH Foundation. For several years, Alex served as a board member of Digital Alberta, the Cultural Human Resources Council and the Canadian Interactive Alliance.

DYLAN PEARCE has directed six feature films, ten award-winning short films and has worked extensively with virtual reality and 360-degree stereoscopic filmmaking. His films have been screened worldwide from theatrical to festivals, TV and VOD. He most recently directed the award-winning 40 Below and Falling 3D, which included a VR experience. 40 Below and Falling 3D, is Canada’s first 4K 3D feature film with a VR experience, and has earned him a 2016 Canadian Screen Award nomination for best directing. Dylan’s latest feature in development, Iron Dogs 3D won the 2015 Best Pitch award at the Stereo Media summit in Belgium this past year. Dylan is currently directing three VR short films and is exploring VR storytelling in trans-media. Dylan’s depth of work in the stereoscopic VR field has led him to work closely with 360/180-camera developers and VR headsets creators.

RON E. SCOTT is an award winning drama Showrunner with over twenty years of industry experience. After graduating Vancouver FilmSchool in 1993, he founded Prairie Dog Film + Television and has since become a prominent figure in the world of independent television production. He has been involved in creating four scripted series and his projects have been nominated for over 120 Awards, including; Best Dramatic Writing and three nominations for Best Dramatic Series at the Canadian Screen Awards.

Scott has appeared on George Stroumboulopoulos Tonight, Entertainment Tonight, and has been featured in Playback, Globe and Mail, The National Post, Huffington Post, The Hollywood Reporter, TV Guide and on the cover of both Avenue the DGC Montage Magazines. As a prolific producer and innovator, he has contributed to over 190 episodes of TV that have broadcast globally, and most recently the fifth season of the groundbreaking 1-hour drama series Blackstone now streaming on Netflix in 190 countries worldwide.

Scott is a member of the ACCT, CMPA, DGC, WGC, AMPIA, the Aboriginal Filmmakers Program at the NFB, and the Metis Nation of Alberta. He serves on the board of the Alberta Media Production Industry Association, the Alberta Film Advisory Council, as well as the Alliance of Aboriginal Media Professionals, and has acted as a consultant with the Banff Television Festival, Telefilm Canada and the Alberta Foundation for the Arts. He has been honoured with the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee Medal, as well as, both an Achievement in Artistic Direction Award and an Ambassador of the Arts Award at the Mayor’s Celebration of the Arts. Scott was also the recipient of the prestigious 2015 Indspire Award for the Arts.

MIKE SHIELDS started out as a singer/songwriter, with two albums and songs on the Canadian charts, Mike fell in love with film and television while shooting his various music videos with his aspiring film making friends. As their careers grew, Mike grew as a composer, and rapidly became an industry veteran. He has scored twenty-three feature films and numerous shorts. Feature highlights include John Fawcett’s world-wide cult favorite “Ginger Snaps”, “Lucky Girl” – the first of six features for CTV, one of which being“100 Days in the Jungle” – a movie directed by Sturla Gunnarsson, which earned him a “Gemini” award, Robert Cuffley’s “Turning Paige” for which he was nominated for a “Genie”, “The Nutty Professor” for The Weinstein Company, Sundance smash “Tucker & Dale Vs. Evil”, and documentary feature “Unclaimed”.

Mike just finished his fifth season of the edgy and revered drama “Blackstone”. His other television work includes the international series “Final 24”, the comedy “Moose TV” for Showcase, “Fixing Dinner” for the Food Channel, “So Chic” for Slice, CBC’s “From The Hip” and “David Suzuki’s World”, “Battle For Baghdad” and “Battle for the Arctic” for CBC’s “Doc Zone”, 3 seasons of “Oil Change” for Sportsnet/NHL, and award winning Myth Merchant Film’s “Hunt for the Mad Trapper” for Discovery Channel, and “Hitler’s Stealth Fighter” for National Geographic Channel. His commercial client list includes ATB, Marks, Lotto 6/49, Lotto Max, Western Max, Ford, Toyota, Telus, Epcor, ATCO, and Subway.

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