VFS Online Industry Talks


What does it take to succeed in the creative industry? Get invaluable advice and insight with VFS Industry Talks, our exclusive Q&As with some of the top creative minds working in film, television, design, animation, and video games today. Watch our past events below.


Featured Video

Kevin Smith: Filmmaker & VFS Creative Ambassador

From VFS to Indie Stardom and Beyond: Filmmaker Kevin Smith talks about getting his start at VFS and going on to become a celebrated writer, director, and producer. Find out what it takes to build a creative career and how industry professionals such as Smith are adapting in an era of digital delivery.


Past Talks

Andy Walsh: Illustrator and Concept Artist

The Importance of the 'Pivot' as a Concept Artist: Andy Walsh, a Freelance Illustrator & Concept Artist, discusses creating concept art for impressive titles like 'Space Jam: A New Legacy', 'American Gods', and 'The Walking Dead' franchise, the state of concept art in the global creative industry, and the importance of creating your own opportunities & maximizing your success as an artist.

Kevin James Bennett: Makeup Artist

From Winning Emmys to Building Makeup Brands: Emmy Award-winner Kevin James Bennett, a Makeup Artist with 25+ years of experience in the entertainment industry and nearly 4 decades building brands with L’Oreal, Johnson & Johnson, P&G, and more, discusses the notion of ‘building success from failure’, the importance of re-learning & re-training throughout your career, and navigating (and conquering) every sector of the makeup industry from retail to corporate, education, entertainment, & beyond.

Hanna Hall: Actor and Intimacy Coordinator

A Journey from Forrest Gump's 'Jenny" to Intimacy Coordinator: Hanna Hall, Actor and Intimacy Coordinator in the entertainment industry, discusses her early years as an actor in Forrest Gump (Young Jenny Curran) and more, discovering what truly brought joy to her career, and her 15-year journey from Production Secretary to an Intimacy Coordinator on Netflix’s Tall Girl 2.

Sarah Ennis: Global Director of Innovation & Strategic Partnerships | Intergalactic Agency Inc.

'The Art of Possible' in the VR/AR Industry: Sarah Ennis, Global Director of Innovation and Strategic Partnerships at Intergalactic Agency Inc., discusses jump-starting one’s career in virtual & augmented reality, the importance of getting involved with VR/AR as a designer, and ‘the art of possible’ behind making dreams come true for some of the most noteworthy global brands from SXSW to Microsoft to META.

Isaac Taleno: Lead Motion Designer | Disney

Perseverance and Pursuit of Creative Passion: Isaac Taleno discusses his remarkable journey from taking a VFS summer intensive to leading a team of motion designers at The Walt Disney Company. In this Industry Talk, Isaac explores how persistence, consistency, and pursuing what you love will get you to where your dreams lie.

Robert Fewkes: Executive Producer & Entertainment Development | LEGO

How to Develop 'Made for Kids' Content: Executive Producer at LEGO Group, discusses the process of developing content for kids, the most effective media platforms, and how to produce and deliver consumable content.

Jesyca Durchin: Senior Producer | Warner Bros. Discovery

Empowering Your Audience with Inclusive Game Design: Jesyca discusses how game developers can broaden their audience through fostering inclusive workspaces, creating moments that remind players of real-world play, and empowering players though wish fulfillment.

Pedro Allevato: Director, Visual Artist, & Motion Design Animator

Developing a Style that has Netflix and Marvel Knocking: Pedro discusses how falling in love with process allowed him to develop a personal style that has studios lined up to work with him.

Shakun Batra: Director, Writer, and Producer

From Business School to Headlining the Hindi Film Industry: Shakun discusses following your passion for film, the process of writing & directing your own stories, and breaking into the industry as an Indian Filmmaker.

Kraig Wenman: Screenwriter

From VFS to Screenwriting in Hollywood: Screenwriter Kraig Wenman discusses the “how to’s” of being a Screenwriter in Hollywood, his horror stories about getting fired & rehired, and how struggling artists can survive without a “day job.”

Sonali Dutta: Look Development Artist | Image Engine

Artist on Emmy-Winning The Book of Boba Fett: Sonali discusses how to break into the 3D & VFX industry, being a mentor for Women in Animation, and working on unforgettable titles like 'Hawkeye', 'Obi-Wan Kenobi', and 'The Book of Boba Fett'.

Catherine Winder: CEO & Executive Producer | Wind Sun Sky Entertainment Inc.

Creative Storytelling for Canada's Entertainment Industry: Catherine discusses working with iconic brands, creating unforgettable work for top-tier studios such as LucasFilm Animation, Fox, & HBO, and building a successful career in the creative media arts.

Claire Hummel: Concept Artist at Valve

The Importance of Versatility as an Artist in Video Games: Claire discusses the future of the video game industry, how to successfully wear many hats, and working for the studio behind the 'Half Life', 'Left 4 Dead', and 'Portal' franchises.

Prem Gill: CEO of Creative BC

Deepening Your Understanding of BC's Creative Ecosystem: Prem discusses BC’s brand-new Creative Pathways program, the massive cultural shift in Canada, and the importance of understanding BC’s creative ecosystem.

Alwyn Hunt: Co-Founder of The Rookies

How the Rookies Helps Curate your Professional Career: Alwyn discusses the importance of preparing for your career while in school, finding platforms for your work to be seen, and how The Rookies can ultimately serve as a launchpad for your creative career.

Robyn Haddow: FUI Motion Graphics Designer | Spider-Man: Homecoming, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol.2, The Flash

How to Design the Interface of the Future for Major Motion Pictures: Robyn discusses the future of interactive design in feature films, creating unique cinematic experiences through the use of screen graphics, HUDs, & holograms, and working with some of Hollywood’s biggest production companies.

Jermaine Hargrove: CEO, Co-Founder | Small Town Animation Studios

Building An Animation Studio for Change: Jermaine Hargrove, CEO & Co-Founder of Small Town Animation Studios, discusses building an independent animation studio from the ground up and creating IP's focused on diversity, equality & inclusion.

John Musker: Former Animator, Director | Walt Disney Animation Studio

Bringing Animated Dreams to the Big Screen: Disney veteran John Musker discusses his four-decade career with Walt Disney Animation Studio, including making the transition from animator to director, and directing some of the most memorable films in animation history, from 'The Little Mermaid' to 'Moana'.

The Shipment: Award-Winning Short Film (2018)

The Genesis of a Sci-Fi Hit: Director Bobby Bala, actors Aleks Paunovic & Omari Newton, and producer Ana Carrizales gather for a roundtable discussion on the collaborative nature of film and the trials & tribulations of making the modern sci-fi hit "The Shipment".



Giorgio Vezzini & Dani Kogan: Lead Audio & Technical Sound Designer | Larian Studios

The Foundation of Sound in Games: Larian Studios' Lead Audio and Technical Sound Designer discuss the intersection of sound design & games, and how sound is a fundamental feature of modern video games.


James Baxter: Director of Character Animation | Netflix

Learn What I Teach Animation Professionals: Legendary animator James Baxter (Beauty and the Beast, The Lion King) talks about teaching professional animators, staying true to one’s passion, and drawing some of cinema’s most-beloved characters, from ‘Belle’ to ‘Rafiki’.


Briana Buckmaster: Actor | Supernatural

How Acting Reveals Who You Really Are: Actor, singer, and voiceover performer Briana Buckmaster, better known for her recurring role on CW’s Supernatural, discusses getting her start in VFS student films, bridging acting for stage & screen, and building resiliency as an actor.


Kahing Chan: Animator & Designer | Sony Pictures Television Japan

Understanding VFX's Role Within a Film Production: MORE VFX founder and award-winning animator Kahing Chan discusses how up-and-coming animators and VFX artists can hit the ground running to deliver work that stands out.


Jason Mackay: Executive Producer | Collective Bunch

Building a More Inclusive Creative Industry: Collective Bunch founder Jason Mackay discusses how now is the time to confront stereotypes in the industry and to foster equity in hiring practices for film, television, and creative media.


Luca Cresciullo: Producer & Co-Founder | Cyberspline Games

Designing the Gameplay Experience: Cyberspline founder and producer Luca Cresciullo discusses starting a company and the challenges posed by the COVID-19 pandemic, building engaging player experiences, and the importance of collaboration, especially in a remote work setting.


Jennifer Twiner-McCaron: CEO | Atomic Cartoons & Thunderbird Entertainment

How to Build a Creative Team in the COVID-19 Era: Jennifer discusses how COVID-19 pushed the remote model to work, how the explosion of content streams has created new opportunities for creative professionals, and how she wants to ensure new hires have diverse voices and thrive at being storytellers.


Zabrina Matiru: Key Makeup Artist

How to Diversify Your Makeup Skills in a Pandemic: Born and raised in Kenya, Zabrina takes pride in her multicultural upbringing. Her artistic perspective draws from a global aesthetic and her personal objective is the pursuit of inclusivity and diversity within the film industry and beyond.


Jordan Lyle: Multidisciplinary Designer & Creative Director | For The Culture

Designing For The Culture: Jordan Lyle discusses how purpose-driven design and storytelling have the ability to foster community and promote change to propel culture forward.


Ryan Honey: Co-Founder | Buck

Understanding the New Design Landscape: Ryan Honey discusses his approach to design thinking and how different creative disciplines, from animation to game design and VR/AR, can join forces to tackle new challenges and create powerful new experiences.


Gigi Saul Guerrero: Horror Director & Actor

Secrets of Genre Filmmaking: Gigi Saul Guerrero discusses how genre-based cinema differs from traditional filmmaking, how to stay true to tradition while expanding the genre, and how her international perspective has informed her approach to horror.


Lino DiSalvo: Animator, Director, Producer & Writer

A Journey in Animation and the Things I’ve Learned: Lino DiSalvo discusses what he learned from 20 years of experience in the animation industry, how to stay true to your vision, and how to balance expectations and negative input.


Rob Cowan: Blockbuster Producer

Prepping a Movie Production in 2020 – What Does it Take: Rob Cowan discusses current Hollywood production protocols, what the industry has learned from being remote, what has worked, and what hasn’t.


Tian Yuan: Award-Winning Actor, Writer & Director

Bringing a Woman’s Perspective to Chinese Moviemaking: Tian Yuan discusses working in different creative streams, how she is bringing her female perspective to Chinese filmmaking, and how Chinese filmmakers, specifically women, can access the tools and resources needed to tell their own stories.


Mark Breakspear: VFX Supervisor | Sony Pictures Imageworks

VFX – The Good, the Bad & the Ugly: Mark Breakspear discusses the ups and downs of working in the VFX industry, from on-set etiquette to creative problem-solving, working with others, work-life balance, virtual sets, and selective grazing techniques at the craft service table.


Scott Mosier: Hollywood Director, Producer & Writer

Pitching the Idea in an Animated World: Scott Mosier discusses how to pitch an idea in the animation world, what real-time learning means, and understanding the power of people, process, and networking.


Matt Toner: CEO | Biba Ventures

Problem Solving Through Design Thinking: Matt Toner discusses getting his start at VFS, how “busted design” can be beautiful, and what it takes to become a problem solver through design thinking.


Godfrey Mwampembwa (aka Gado): Political Cartoonist

Questioning Through Art: Gado discusses how the techniques he learned at VFS have stuck with him as an illustrator, how artists can use their talent and their art to drive positive social change, and the importance of global connections and giving back.


Cory Barlog: Video Game Developer | Sony Interactive Entertainment

Balancing Storytelling & Design for AAA Video Games: Cory discusses how to balance creative storytelling and game design in the AAA industry, the challenges of large-scale team coordination, and what it takes to be ready as a video game artist for the next generation of gaming platforms.


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