FROM ‘UMBRELLA ACADEMY’ TO ‘HANDMAID’S TALE’: INSIDE ONTARIO’S VISUAL EFFECTS BOOM

The rise of pricey, VFX-heavy streaming projects in Ontario has presented the province's postproduction industry with seemingly limitless opportunity, with no shortage of cutting-edge creative work.

Toronto-based SpinVFX handles the elaborate effects work on Netflix’s 'Umbrella Academy.' (Courtesy of Netflix)

The rise of pricey, VFX-heavy streaming projects in Ontario has presented the province’s post-production industry with seemingly limitless opportunity to stretch creative talent beyond the classic mix of police and medical dramas and soaps.

As sound supervisor on Hulu critical darling The Handmaid’s Tale, Jane Tattersall was tasked with creating a bold, dystopian audio environment for the totalitarian Republic of Gilead in the upcoming third season. “The [streamers] raise the bar because they have confidence in you,” says Tattersall of MGM execs. “And, in turn, we’re made to work harder and push the envelope.”

John Rakich — whose recent Ontario location manager credits include Netflix’s Mark Millar superhero series Jupiter’s Legacy and monster-hunter thriller October Faction — jokes that he and others have become fixtures in the streaming giant’s family. “It’s very rare to see something being made here that’s not for a streaming service — even the CBC’s Anne With an E. Somehow we’ve all ended up working for Netflix.”

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