15:25 PM

Mohawk Broadcasting grad pioneers new technology on CBC

If you tuned into CBC News Toronto’s election night coverage on October 25 then you probably saw CBC television host Anne-Marie Mediwake use an iPad to control a series of on-screen graphics (watch the app in action below). It was a ground-breaking moment in television that was developed by a Mohawk grad.

Allan Giacomelli is a Senior Character Generator for the CBC and a graduate of Mohawk’s Broadcasting program. With just days to go before the October municipal elections, Allan took an application he’d heard about and used it to give news anchors the ability to control on-screen graphics from a portable device like an iPad in real time, a first in North America. It was also first time that the CBC had employed immersive graphics, where the graphics are layered onto the set. Both CNN and FOX used the same technology a few days later during their coverage of the U.S. mid-term elections.

The anchors like it because it lets them tell the story as they want to tell it instead of having to rely on the control room, said Allan.

Allan graduated from Mohawk’s Broadcasting program in 2007, but his broadcasting career was well underway by then. He started working for the CBC in his second year, doing network presentation, which involves making sure the programs and commercials run when they’re supposed to. From network presentation he moved to the broadcaster’s computer generated graphics department developing on-screen graphics for a host of programs. He left the CBC briefly to work on an animated film called The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything: A VeggieTales Movie for Universal Studios, but was quickly hired back to work in computer graphics.

What’s next?

“Expect a lot innovation from the CBC,” said Allan. “We’re going to take television into the 21st century.”

Want to know more? Watch for Allan’s story in an upcoming issue of Mohawk Magazine.