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Success Stories

Entrepreneur Focuses on Film Industry
Dennis Wood, President and Founder of Cinevate

Dennis Wood, President and Founder of Cinevate, at his North Cumberland Street operation.

Cinema and innovation is what Cinevate Inc. of Thunder Bay is all about. With five patents pending,
the unique business is on the cutting edge when it comes to inventing new products for small and
independent filmmakers around the world.

Dennis Wood, president and founder of Cinevate, recalls how four years ago he began experimenting with video technology in order to capture family memories, but he soon ran into stumbling blocks with his equipment.

“I bought a video camera and I had a problem with it,” said Wood. “It wasn’t so much mechanical, but rather an issue about quality. Video always looked like video.”

The former federal government systems analyst and teacher turned to Internet forums to discuss possible solutions to improve the look of his videos. He began experimenting with depth-of-field adapters and developed his own design after many hours of work in his garage.

“I developed an adapter that did not lose a lot of light,” he explained. He made a dozen of the adapters and offered them up for sale on-line. Within five hours, all sold for $550 each to buyers in Australia, Spain, the US and Canada.

“I call them the Beta dozen,” said Wood, who graduated with a Bachelor of Science, a Bachelor of Education and completed a two-year Leadership Development Program at Lakehead University.

That adapter evolved into the Brevis35 HD imaging 35mm lens adapter, Cinevate’s flagship product. Today, the company averages $2 million in annual sales and ships about 70 per cent of its products to the US, 20 per cent to Europe and about 10 per cent within Canada. Products have been shipped as far as Iceland, the Philippines, Africa, Australia and New Zealand.

About 85 per cent of the company’s products are manufactured locally. One of its major Thunder Bay partners is Rudnicki Industrial Inc., a Port Arthur custom machine shop. While Cinevate’s target market is small- to medium- sized independent film companies, Wood sees the company expanding into a larger market.

“There are feature films being made with our equipment,” he said. “We’ve launched five new products in the last four months and have another five coming out shortly.”

Toronto-born Wood has lived in Thunder Bay for 40 years and has no plans to relocate his growing business. “I like living here,” said Wood. “We have a readily available crew of highly skilled people. My family enjoys the outdoor recreational opportunities that Thunder Bay has to offer and my daughters have a very high quality of life.”

For more information about Cinevate, visit www.cinevate.com 

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