After doing my presentation on shadows, I discovered it is probably best to use the NVIDIA SDK for Cascade Shadow Mapping as my project base. I just need to add a bunch of animate-able objects, then I will implement other shadow rendering techniques, like drop shadows which look worse but perform much better than the current shadow map implementation. Pic of the Demo:
My presentation on various rendering techniques can be downloaded here
Alternatively you can get just the slides
A short video of the Nvidia Cascade Shadow Mapping demo is included near the end of the presentation.