Professional Lighting & Production - Winter 2017 - Page 43

Phil Cane By Andrew King F rom stacking projection televisions atop one another and feeding them with a controllable scaler/router to working with some of the thinnest, lightest, highest-resolution displays cur- rently on the market, Phil Cane has been at the leading edge of video technology for live events for close to 30 years. Now, Cane is a senior technical director with Toronto’s MultiVision Inc. (MVI), one of Canada’s leading suppliers of video display equipment and services for a variety of applications. Over the years, he’s been all across North America and into Europe and Asia for a myriad of events and installs – awards shows, corporate events and product launches, major festivals, and more – as part of a long and accomplished career rooted back in rural Ontario. “I was born in Cobourg, ON – that beautiful small town upbringing you see on TV,” Cane shares before joking, “Of course, we couldn’t wait to get out of there.” He says he benefitted from a robust technical education program at his high school, which offered courses in electricity, electronics, broadcasting, drafting, machine shop, woodwork, and welding – all of which he’s put to use to some degree throughout his career. “Remember when you complained to your teachers that you would never need to know this stuff?” he asks rhetorically. “Well, I use it all the time. Ohm’s Law still applies.” Cane then went to Toronto’s Humber College and studied film production. Part of his studies included two hours of TV production instruction each week. The first job he applied for out of school was in TV production, and he’s been “on the edges of it ever since.” After working for a few years as a program manager with now- defunct communications company Maclean-Hunter in various markets, in 1989, Cane took a position with Multivision Electrosonic – the predecessor of MVI – as a project coordinator. At the time, the company had both rental and permanent install divisions, and Cane was involved with the latter, working on boardroom, theatre, and museum projects. “Some of my personal highlights were the Saturn V Visitors Center at Cape Canaveral and the Southampton Princess Hotel amphitheatre in Bermuda,” he shares. “Both were long-term projects that were very cutting edge at the time.” In 1995, he moved over to the rentals division, which specialized in video walls using the aforementioned TV stacks. That brought Cane and his colleagues all over the world for virtually every type of event imaginable. “We had the world by the tail,” he fondly recalls. “I did many jobs during that time – video wall programming, engineering and sales support, staging… I have quite the collection of past business cards that trace what the emphasis was at the time.” In 2000, MVI split off from Multivision Electrosonic and invested heavily in LED screens. “That put us on the leading edge again,” offers Cane, “and since then, we’re doing similar shows – just much bigger and much brighter.” Some of his more current projects include work on the new set of CBC’s nightly newscast, The National. “It was a month-long project with a variety of LED screens in different configurations, all controlled by an integ