George Charles graduated from the Film Production program in 2009. In 2011, he returned to VFS to take the Game Design program, which he completed earlier this year. We caught up with George to learn more about his unique VFS experience and to find out about his current project, forming an indie game company with a fellow VFS grad.
Why did you choose to come to Vancouver Film School to study Film Production?
George: I have always known that I was artistic since I was young. I used to draw single frame comics and try to inject as many stories into them as I could. I was also a bit of a show-off so I liked when other people got enjoyment out of my work.
As I was graduating from high school, I looked at all the post-secondary options out there and found myself not wanting to of sit through classes I had no interest in just to get a degree. The most logical conclusion was to make a living creating thousands and thousands of frames that tell a story. That’s why I decided to study Film Production. I chose VFS as it was the best one in town.
Can you take us through your first few months after graduating from the Film program?
George: To be honest, it wasn’t easy. I learned very quickly that the industry is quite exclusive – especially the fields that I was interested in, production design, art direction, and the director role itself. You have to know people, and you will have many failures before you get a break. But I stood by it for as long as my money and health (eating McDonalds and never sleeping is not healthy) allowed me. I worked on a lot of indie films during that time.
Several years after graduating from Film, you returned to VFS to take the Game Design Program. What inspired you to do this?
George: While I was designing sets and trying to squeeze as much art as I could out of the low to non-existent budgets of the films I was working on, I was also playing a lot of video games. It made me realize that to build a space station for a film would take millions of dollars, but to create one in a virtual space only takes a computer and two programs. As well, the audience for a video game can sit through hundreds of hours of story-telling, whereas film maxes out at about three hours. I realized that game design was going to be the big creative outlet for me, and there was a lot I wanted to create.
Check out the trailer for Forget Me Not Annie, a first person horror puzzle designed by George and three other VFS Game Design students, which has been getting some great online buzz.
What role did VFS play in helping along the way?
George: The connections I made with my fellow students were very useful to keep myself going and my skills sharp long after I graduated. The success of my peers also became a bar I set for myself. The lessons I learned from both the Film Production and Game Design programs were definitely useful. All those mistakes made while at VFS helped ensure that I wouldn’t be making them in the real world!
What projects are you working on now?
George: I am currently attempting to form an indie game company with a fellow VFS grad to create our own full scale role-playing game. Most importantly, we want to be the ones that hire other VFS grads so we can help make their entrance into the industry a little bit easier than ours was. Everyone wants to hire experienced people but no one is willing to give that experience. So that’s what we’re trying to do.
Take a look at George’s website to see more of his work.
Thanks for chatting with us George and good luck with your future projects!