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Lost Boys Studios' Montreal School of Visual Effects Marks First Anniversary of Operation with Successful Industry Placements of Initial Students
- Monday, Apr. 22, 2019
School's Class of 2019 will Graduate on May 2nd
Lost Boys Studios’ Montreal School of Visual Effects – Campus D’Effets Visuels – has just marked its first full year in operation, and has successfully placed its initial students who have completed classes there into VFX industry positions. The announcement was made today by Lost Boys Studios School of Visual Effects Co-Owners and Directors: Mark Bénard (VFX Supervisor) and Ria Bénard (Senior Educational Administrator).
The Lost Boys Studios School of Visual Effects has been ranked the # 1 school for VFX training in Canada – and as the # 2 best VFX school in the world (as voted upon by the Rookies VFX industry group). Lost Boys has also been cited as one of the Top Ten schools in the world for Visual Effects training by The Hollywood Reporter.
The Montreal School’s first group of students – those who graduated in October 2018 - have since been placed, and are now working, at Meduzart, Mill Film, and MPC. The School’s second group of students - those who began their training in November 2018 - will be graduating on May 2nd, 2019.
Lost Boys’ Montreal School currently offers an Effects Artist (FX Artist) Certificate course through an accelerated, five-month program. The course specializes in the craft of simulated phenomena and effects for the film, animation, and gaming industries, while also training students in highly advanced Houdini workflows. Effects taught within this program include digital destruction, creating environmental phenomena, particles, pyro and fluid simulation, and other creative combinations of the arts and sciences that comprise this field in visual effects.
The Montreal School’s first program was spearheaded by instructor Sean Lewkiw, who brings over 20 years of VFX production experience to the role through his past work as an artist, manager, and VFX Supervisor. Lewkiw’s impressive credits include VFX work on huge blockbuster movies such as: The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Golden Compass, and Transformers: Age of Extinction, to name a few. His strong knowledge of SideFX’s Houdini is highly beneficial to Lost Boys’ students, as he’s used this software since its inception, and has worked closely with Side Effects in demonstrating the power of Houdini within emerging VFX markets around the world.
The Montreal School is planning to offer an accelerated Compositing program in the very near future as well. This course will be led by Fortunato Frattasio, formerly Head of Learning and Compositing Instructor at Technicolour; former Compositing Instructor with Montreal’s NAD; and previously the Owner and VFX Supervisor of Wesley Studios in Culver City, CA. He has numerous compositing production credits that include The Hunger Games, Oz the Great and Powerful, Spider-Man, Terminator 3, and many more.
Ria Bénard: “In 2013, we had a student from Montreal apply to our Vancouver location. Normally, at the end of the program, our students are placed in a practicum within a working VFX studio, so on this student’s behalf, we connected with some of the Montreal-based studios. That student ended up at Framestore, and later moved on to various other studios within Montreal, including MPC and Atomic Fiction (currently Method), and is currently a lead compositor at Scanline.”
She adds, “This student’s success in Montreal inspired us to think about opening a second school there - all of the local studios were very receptive to our idea, as were many members of the area’s general and vocational colleges. In 2016, as more and more studios started to open or expand their companies in Montreal, the city was becoming the second largest and most rapidly growing VFX center in North America. Several of our students began moving to Quebec to work at other studios including, Rodeo FX, BUF, MELS Cinesite, Double Negative, Digital Domain, Moment Factory, Digital Dimension and more.”
“Knowing that Quebec needed more talented artists with all the growth occurring, we made several journeys to research potential locations. In early 2018, we found the perfect location, built out the classroom, and began advertising the program. Our first Montreal-based Effects Artist class began in June of last year, and the local VFX studios have since remained highly supportive, even offering scholarships and employment to our graduates right out of school,” she concludes.
Note: Cinesite honored Lost Boys’ student Jhih-Yuan Lin, who was among the very first group of students who attended the school’s Montreal location, a $1000 Scholarship Award upon his graduation in October 2018.
Regarding the success of the Montreal facility, Mark Bénard explained, “Since we launched our first school in Vancouver in 2006, we have instructed over 300 students. Today, most - if not all - of them are actively involved in creating the most remarkable visual effects currently being featured within popular movies, TV shows, and commercials. Last year, we took it upon ourselves to expand, and to open up our second site – in Montreal, where we were immediately embraced by students and the industry alike. We continue to pursue our goal of training the next generation of the most extraordinary new visual effects artists the world has ever seen!”
About LOST BOYS STUDIOS SCHOOL OF VISUAL EFFECTS
Originally founded in 1997 in Vancouver by Mark Bénard as a Visual Effects service provider for films and TV shows, Lost Boys Studios evolved into a School of Visual Effects in 2006, and has since earned a stellar reputation as one of the leading VFX training facilities in the world. Mark, VFX Supervisor and Director, and Ria Bénard, who serves the award-winning Lost Boys School as Director and Senior Educational Administrator, spearhead a cutting-edge, state-of-the-art program.
Lost Boys offers students from around the globe these four primary courses: Advanced Visual Effects Compositing, Effects Technical Director (FXTD), Digital Lighting Artist (being one of the first schools in the world to offer an intensive, full-time Lighting program using the Foundry’s KATANA), from their Vancouver-based School, and two shorter programs in Compositing and Effects Artist (FX Artist) from their Montreal-based School, which opened in 2018.
Far exceeding industry placement rates of any other school teaching Visual Effects, Lost Boys graduates are the most highly sought out source of new talent within the Visual Effects industry. Known for their highly specialized skill sets, keen problem-solving instincts, and experience with visual effects production culture, Lost Boys’ graduates are trusted to handle challenging responsibilities, and are often moved up quickly into leadership roles.
Recent Lost Boys alumni credits include VFX contributions to such major feature films as Dumbo, Captain Marvel, Alita: Battle Angel, Aquaman, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, and First Man. Former Lost Boys students have been placed within such top VFX and animation companies as ILM, DreamWorks, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Sony Pictures Animation, DNEG, Framestore, Cinesite, Method Studios, Weta Digital, Digital Domain, Scanline, MPC, Rodeo FX, and Animal Logic, among others.
Senior Educational Administrator
Lost Boys School of Visual Effects
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