Ender’s Game in Theatres Today

The highly anticipated sci-fi action/adventure film, Ender’s Game, is in theatres today! With the human race threatened by an alien attack, brilliant young Ender Wiggin is recruited by the Interntional Military to lead the battle that will determine the future of Earth and the survival of the human race.

The film features the work of nearly two dozen grads from 3D Animation & Visual Effects, Classical Animation, Film Production, Foundation Visual Art & Design, and Writing for Film & Television, including:

Abdullah Ecirli, Lead Compositor
Adam Tate
, Visual Effects Production Assistant
Alex Gabriel
, Effects Artist
Ali Aboud Al Ghifari
, Digital Compositing Lead
Anna Tonrungroj
, Digital Compositor
Chelsea Whittet
, Effects Artist
Daniel Lorenzo Alvarez
, Rigger
Eric Zhang
, Texture Artist
Inki Jo
, Lighting Artist
Jody Wilson
, Associate Production Manager
Jorge Gonzalez de Cossio, Modeler
Kenji Kosugi
, Junior Effects Artist
Marc Roth, Senior Visual Effects Artist
Nathan Budarick, Rigger
Oliver Seemann
, Matt Painter
Ricardo Bonisoli

Samson Wong, Lighting
Stephanie Warner, Layout Coordinator
Wanda Kwok, Roto/Paint Artist

Check out the trailer:

More Spookiness Courtesy of VFS Grads

We’re only one day away from Halloween – and today we have three spooky shorts to share with you to keep the festivities going!

Warning – these shorts contain mature subject matter. Viewer discretion is advised.

Mortyfied – A comedy/horror short from Andrew Riley (Writing for Film & Television).

XI – Unique and haunting imagery from Madelaine Rumball (Foundation Visual Art & Design and Digital Design).

Pedi Nan – A thought-provoking piece on mortality from Sondley Valbrun (Classical Animation).

Great work, guys!

VFS Instructors and Alumni Team Up and Strip Down

A group of VFS instructors and alumni have teamed up for the ABCs of Death Search for the 26th Director Competition! “M” is for Messiah was created by Borrowtime Films, an independent production company formed by VFS grads (and current VFS instructors) Bob Woolsey (Writing for Film & Television) and Darren Borrowman (Film Production).

“This is the kind of thing you can only do as an alumni project,” says Nicholas Humphries, who directed much of the film while also playing a naked cult member. “Luckily, I knew we had access to all the right people from my time at VFS as an instructor.”

Other grads on the project include Lindsey Mann (Entertainment Business Management), Sarah Elizabeth (Makeup Design for Film & Television), Jesse Hill (Sound Design for Visual Media), Amanda Roop (Foundation Visual Art & Design and 3D Animation & Visual Effects), Victor Matanawi (Foundation Visual Art & Design & Film Production), Mark Hogan (Film Production), and Michelle Ferguson, Romuald Hivert, and Mayumi Yoshida (all from Acting for Film & Television).

In total, that’s 11 VFS grads from eight programs!

“M” is for Messiah is currently in sixth place based on audience votes. If the film maintains a top six placing through the end of voting on November 14, it could be included in the final anthology feature film, The ABCs of Death 2, and receive international distribution courtesy of Magnet Releasing. M is for Messiah was shot overnight on location in Chilliwack, BC and is currently the only submission in the competition from Vancouver.

We warn you, the film is for mature audiences only – complete with cult sacrifice, mass suicide, and full frontal nudity. You can watch and vote for the film here.

Best of luck, guys!

Update: January 8, 2014M Is For Messiah has been announced as one of the shorts being showcased in the ABCs of Death 1.5 lineup, a spin-off of the competition that features the producers’ favourite submissions. Read more on Fangoria and Bloody Disgusting. Great work, everyone!

Get Your Exclusive All Access Pass to the VFS Open House Weekend!

This November, join us for the VFS Open House Weekend and experience what it’s like to be a student at VFS! Go behind the scenes and learn everything you need to know about kick-starting your entertainment career.

For two full days, we’ll be opening up our campuses in Downtown Vancouver and sharing what makes VFS so special and how YOU can be a part of it.

Don’t miss this opportunity to:

  • Meet alumni, current students, faculty, and staff
  • View student work
  • Watch live demonstrations
  • Explore our campuses
  • Learn how you can get the career you’ve always wanted

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Makeup Design for Film & Television
Foundation Visual Art & Design
Film Production
Animation & Visual Effects

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Writing for Film & Television
Digital Design
Sound Design for Visual Media
Acting for Film & Television
Game Design

For more information on the VFS Open House Weekend and to register, visit us online or call 1.800.661.4101.

FIFA 14 Hits Shelves Today

FIFA 14, the latest edition in the soccer video game series from EA, is being released in North America today. A group of VFS grads from Game Design, Foundation Visual Art & Design, 3D Animation & Visual EffectsSound Design for Visual Media, and Entertainment Business Management worked on the game, including:

Brad Dyck, Embedded Audio Quality Assurance Tester
Eloy Hernandez, Quality Assurance Tester
Fonda Louie, Associate Animator
Garrett Metcalf, Senior Quality Assurance Tester
Ignacio Vallejo, Quality Assurance Tester
Kramer Solinsky, Quality Assurance Tester
Luc Labelle, Lead Quality Assurance Analyst
Mattheus Pitillo, Quality Assurance Tester
Melissa Stacey, Quality Assurance Team Lead
Noushin Bardi, Assistant Test Coordinator
Rob Starr, Lighting & Environmental Artist
Trevor Da Silva, Development Support
Warren Zahari, Assistant Modeler

Take a look at the trailer:

Great work, everyone!

You’re a 90-Second Video Away from $3 Million in Scholarships!

Inspire us and we’ll inspire you.

VFS is excited to announce the launch of the My Year Video Scholarship Contest! Create a 90-second video based on a line from the VFS Manifesto and qualify for full and partial scholarships, valid for any of our 13 programs.

What you need to do:

  • Register for the competition at My Year Video Scholarship Contest.
  • Create a 90 second video based on one line from the VFS Manifesto that inspires you.
  • Upload your video to YouTube.
  • Once your entry is approved, share your video with friends and family to increase your chances of winning.

What you can qualify for:

  • 10 Full-Tuition Scholarships
  • 1 Full-Tuition Social Sharing Scholarship
  • Up to 50 Partial-Tuition Scholarships
  • 3 Full-Tuition Early Bird Scholarships
  • Up to $500,000 Partial-Tuition Early Bird Scholarships

Early Bird deadline is September 15, 2013.

Final deadline to apply is October 15, 2013.

The sooner you submit your video, the higher your chances of being awarded a scholarship through the Early Bird and Social Sharing voting.


Do you know someone who would benefit from this incredible opportunity? Spread the word!

Questions? Check out our FAQ page.

The Quest Continues With Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters

Over 35 VFS grads from 3D Animation & Visual Effects, Classical Animation, Digital Character Animation, Foundation Visual Art & Design, Film Production, and Makeup Design for Film & Television worked their magic on the recently released Percy Jackson: Sea of Monsters.

Our grads worked on various areas of the film, with credits ranging from Special Effects Makeup Technician and Production Assistant to Digital Compositor and Visual Effects Artist.

The fantasy-adventure film is a sequel to 2010′s Percy Jackson & the Olympians: The Lightening Thief and tells the story of a group of friends on a quest to protect their home.

Great work, everyone!

Elysium and the VFS Connection

Elysium, the highly anticipated new film written and directed by VFS grad Neill Blomkamp, is in theatres tomorrow. This is Neill’s follow-up to the incredible success of the Oscar-nominated District 9, a film he directed and co-wrote. Not only does Elysium look amazing, but it features the work of an astounding 76 VFS graduates from seven different programs!

About Elysium

“In the year 2154, two classes of people exist: the very wealthy, who live on a pristine man-made space station called Elysium, and the rest, who live on an overpopulated, ruined planet. The people of Earth are desperate to escape the crime and poverty that is now rampant throughout the land. The only man with the chance to bring equality to these worlds is Max (Matt Damon), an ordinary guy in desperate need to get to Elysium. With his life hanging in the balance, he reluctantly takes on a dangerous mission – one that pits him against Elysium’s Secretary Delacourt (Jodie Foster) and her hard-line forces – but if he succeeds, he could save not only his own life, but millions of people on Earth as well.”

Neill Blomkamp

Neill graduated from the 3D Animation & Visual Effects program in 1998. A native of South Africa, he moved with his family to Canada at 17 and, soon after, enrolled at VFS. Since then, he’s become one of the industry’s hottest young filmmakers from the success of District 9. Neill shared his thoughts with us in 2009 after its release.

VFS Grads

The 76 grads who worked on Elysium:

  • were students at VFS as early as 1992 and as recently as 2012.
  • hail from over a dozen countries around the world, including Canada, USA, Mexico, Austria, Finland, Dominican Republic, Singapore, Brazil, Italy, Serbia, Pakistan, South Korea, India, Japan, and South Africa.
  • hold credits that include Director, Writer, Visual Effects Producer, First Assistant Director, Special Effects Makeup Technician, Animator, Senior Lighting Artist, Compositor, and Digital Modeler.
  • work for companies like Image Engine, Method Studios, The Embassy, MPC, and MastersFX.


Elysium Official Trailer

An Interview with Neill Blomkamp

An Interview with Matt Damon

The World of Elysium – Official Featurette

The Tech of Elysium – Official Featurette

What the Critics are Saying

“Blomkamp again proves to be a superb storyteller.” Scott Foundas, Variety

“A brainy sci-fi effort that doesn’t skimp on its blockbuster requirements, and delivers one of the most satisfying films of the summer.” Kevin Jagernauth, The Playlist

In the News

  • The Province – Neill Blomkamp Talks Elysium, Matt Damon, Jodie Foster, and What’s Wrong with Hollywood
  • WiredElysium’s Director Thinks His Hellish Paradise Is Our Future. Let’s Hope He’s Wrong
  • The Wall Street Journal – What Inspired Neill Blomkamp’s Elysium
  • Entertainment Weekly – Journey to Elysium: How Matt Damon and the Director of District 9 Turned a Timely Thriller About Haves and Have-Nots into a Gripping Sci-Fi Thriller
  • Entertainment WeeklyElysium Inspired by Director Neill Blomkamp’s Arrest in Mexico
  • Entertainment Weekly - Elysium First Look! 6 Supersized EW Exclusive Photos
  • A.V. Club – Read This: Neil Blomkamp Talks Elysium, Future Films, and Michael Bay Fandom
  • Ottawa CitizenElysium Director Neill Blomkamp Chooses to Orbit Outside of Hollywood

Learn More about Elysium

Speak with a VFS Advisor

Want to learn more about the intense VFS student experience? Connect with a VFS Advisor to discover how to make 2014 your year to launch a rewarding career in the entertainment industry.

Alumni Credits

3D Animation & Visual Effects

Adam Marisett, Animator
Alec Geldart
, Rotoscope Artist
Andy Martinez Calzadilla, Texture Artist
Barry Poon, CG Asset Supervisor
Bernhard Kimbacher, Lead Compositor
Biren Venkatraman, Senior Lighting Artist
Brendon Morfitt, Modeler
Brian Burritt, Lighting Artist
Casey Rolseth, Visual Effects Artist
Christopher Bott, Assistant TD
Claudio Jimenez Palomar, Visual Effects Data Coordinator
Cynthia Rodriguez, Rotoscope Artist
Dan Mayer, CG Supervisor
David Skorepa, Texture Artist
Denny Bigras, Animator
Derek Stevenson, Matchmove Artist
Donald Altamirano, Matchmove Artist
Eric Zhang, Texture Artist
Freddy Chavez Olmos, Compositor
Hugo Brunet, Matchmove Artist
Ian Heathcock, Rotoscope Artist
James Roberts, Lighting Artist
Jami Gigot, Texture Artist
Jani Viitanen, Technical Assistant
Jeff Tetzlaff, Modeler
Jessica Wan, Compositor
Jesus L. Yapor, Compositor (also a Foundation Visual Art & Design grad)
Jose Yapor, Visual Effects Artist
Kiran Menon, Rotoscope Artist
Kyle Botha, Lighting Artist
Lisa Nolan, Visual Effects Artist
Luis Fernando Centurion Figueroa, Roto/Paint Artist
Luke Spence Byrd, Matchmove Artist
Marc Roth, FX Animator
Marcela A. Silva, Roto/Paint Artist
Marco Leone, Roto/Paint Artist
Mei Chu, Roto/Paint Artist
Mike Rhone, FX Animator
Muhammad Marri, Texture Artist
Neill Blomkamp, Director/Writer
Nicholas Smolyn, Layout Artist
Patricia Binga, Animator
Patrick Nanton, Lighting Artist
Paul Copeland, Modeling Lead
Peter Rabel, Rigging Artist
Rakesh Sandhu, Texture Artist
Rhea Darch, Matchmove Artist
Riley Liao, Senior Roto Artist (also a Foundation Visual Art & Design grad)
Robert Bourgeault, Lighting Lead
Ryan Lim, Lead Modeler/ Concept Artist
Sandra Balej, Compositor
Sara Cameron, Motion Capture Systems Operator
Sean Lewkiw, CG Artist
Shawn Walsh, Visual Effects Producer
Shivas Thilak Anthikkat, Roto/Paint Artist (also a Classical Animation grad)
Sirak Ghebremusse, Roto Artist
Stephanie Pocklington, Digital Modeler
Thiago Teles Trilux, Roto Artist
Yuta Shimizu, Look Dev

Digital Character Animation

Peta Milacic, Motion Capture Pipeline Engineer

Acting Essentials

Christopher Vivanco, Actor

Film Production

Alana Comeau, Office Production Assistant
Cabral Rock, Visual Effects Associate Producer
Cara E. Anderson, Special Effects Buyer
Dean Barker, Property Master
Gary Hawes, 2nd Second Assistant Director
James Bitonti, First Assistant Director
Marisa Velez, Camera 2nd Assistant
Michael Love, Second Unit Assistant Camera
Neil Impey, Visual Effects Data Coordinator
Shauna Bryan, Visual Effects Executive Producer
Warren Mazutinec, Second Assistant Editor

Foundation Visual Art & Design

Thomas Nugent, Compositor

Makeup Design for Film & Television

Andrea Dulmage, Special Effects Makeup Technician

Digital Design (formerly New Media)

Annabelle Kent, Compositor
Michael Stewart, Compositor

The VFS Summer Intensives Were a Hit

Vancouver Film School’s 2013 Summer Intensives were an amazing opportunity to bring together aspiring artists and designers from so many different disciplines.

In total, we hosted 148 students across 10 different 5-day Intensives. And they came from all over the world: Australia, Brazil, Canada, Colombia, France, Germany, Korea, Lebanon, Mexico, Norway, Spain, Taiwan, U.K., and the U.S!

Our faculty and staff have never been more impressed with the quality of work created in such a short time – from the 12′ by 5′ mural in the Art, Film & Design Intensive; to the produced “Blast Light” episodes in the Entertainment Business Management Intensive (watch them on YouTube); and the Digital Design Intensive’s branding exercise, where participants created a fictional NASA campaign to educate the public about a new Mars Rover mission.

You can check out the photos from all the activities on our Flickr profile, stay connected in the Summer Intensives Facebook group, and sign up for the mailing list for future initiatives.

Did you miss out on all the fun?

You don’t have to wait until next summer to see what VFS has to offer. Connect with an Advisor to learn more about the VFS student experience.

Golden Globe-Winning Screenwriters Visit VFS

Screenwriters Larry Karaszewski and Scott Alexander recently stopped by VFS to speak with our Writing for Film & Television students. The screenwriting veterans, who won a Golden Globe for writing The People vs. Larry Flynt, are in Vancouver producing Big Eyes, which they also co-wrote. Jonathan Willis, Foundation Visual Art & Design grad and current Writing student, shares his take on the visit.

Guest Post by Jonathan Willis

I recently had the opportunity to join my fellow writers for a casual sit down with Golden Globe-winning screenwriters Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski. They are in town producing the latest Tim Burton film, Big Eyes, starring Amy Adams and Christoph Waltz, which they also wrote the screenplay for. This is their second collaboration with Burton (they also wrote Ed Wood), and despite being on set all day, they still made time to spend two hours talking about their careers and offering advice to a room overflowing with hopeful writers.

I was first struck by how down-to-earth and humble these guys are. Both Mr. Alexander and Mr. Karaszewski had plenty of stories and tips to go around.

Some of my favorites included…

  • They broke into the industry with a spec script they wrote for Morris Day. After cold calling his record label, a bidding war ensued for the rights to produce the script.
  • They were some of the first to write feature scripts on spec. Before the writer’s strike in 1988, writers would only put together a script of about forty pages before selling it.
  • Problem Child was their first produced screenplay. It was originally a dark comedy before the studio changed it into a family film that spawned two sequels and a short-lived cartoon show.
  • Big Eyes has been in development for almost ten years. Once Tim Burton was attached to direct, the project was fast-tracked. Christoph Waltz agreed to star the day before he won the Academy Award for Django Unchained.

As for screenwriters, they advised students to write scripts they had a passion for.

  • Writers should write scripts for movies that they themselves have an interest in seeing.
  • Develop a thick skin and get used to rejection. Everybody gets fired at some point.
  • At the end of the day, all that matters is what’s on the page. That being said, be nice to assistants, secretaries and even the guy in the mail room. These people are the gatekeepers to getting your script in front of the agents and executives who can bring it to life.

I’m extremely grateful to Mr. Alexander and Mr. Karaszewski for taking the time to swing by VFS and share their experiences. Hollywood is a rough town, but there is hope and opportunity for tenacious writers with the right touch of perseverance.

A big thank you to Scott Alexander and Larry Karaszewski for spending some time with us, and to Jonathan for sharing his thoughts.