Features First – Dan Lyon

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Selfie with Telefilm Feature Film Executive Dan Lyon? Heck yes!


Dan Lyon is Telefilm Canada’s Regional Feature Film Executive, for the Ontario & Nunavut regions and he came in to chat with us today about the feature film landscape in Canada.

He reminded us how lucky we are to live in Canada by comparing the realities of filmmaking in the United States and how blessed folks in LA believe we are to have access to funding from the federal and provincial governments. As the hour went on, Dan had each of us explain our projects to him, in essence pitching him in a practice style. He had a lot of notes for everyone in the group and, since we mock-pitch real Toronto producers tomorrow, it was great to have him tune up our pitches. This is a guy who gets pitched to many, many times every month.


Another point that Dan made which does seem to keep coming up is the importance of casting. Obviously, having a name on your film is going to play a major part in the saleability of your project, but it’s also important to not cast someone just because they have a lot of buzz right now. It can be a lot more powerful to cast someone from the comedy world if you’re working on a comedy, or from the sci-fi genre if you’re working on a sci-fi, etc.

Big thanks to Dan for helping us all out today at #FeaturesFirst!

Follow Dan on twitter @DANDYLYON1

And don’t forget to check out Scott’s blog from today all about distribution!


About the Author:

Matt Watterworth a is a 28-year-old filmmaker in Alberta, Canada. He graduated from the SAIT Polytechnic Film & Video Production Program in 2008 and followed that up with 4 years learning from the brilliant minds at one of Canada's top ten production companies. He claps better than anyone you know and, tragically, still wishes to be Batman.
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  1. Irene Hamilton  March 31, 2014

    Good, good morning to you hard working guys and gals! This comment (from Dan Lyon)…. ” lt’s a lot more powerful to cast someone from the comedy world if you’re working on a comedy”…grabbed hold.

    In my presentation (whenever that happens) I am going to suggest people I believe would fit my CAST list..

    Matt and Scott, I like the set up of your blog. Including pictures ( Features First). It gives the follower(s) inclusion.

    Yes, we are lucky to live in Canada!

    Later, Irene.


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