MONTREAL — Lost Boys Studios’ Montreal School of Visual Effects (Campus D’Effets Visuels), which recently marked its first full year in operation, has successfully placed a number of students into VFX industry positions. The Montreal School’s (https://lostboys-studios.com) first group of students – those who graduated in October 2018 - are now working at studios that include Meduzart, Mill Film and MPC. The School’s second group of students, who began training in November, will graduate on May 2nd.
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, along with other creative combinations of the arts and sciences that comprise this field.
The School’s first program was spearheaded by instructor Sean Lewkiw, who brings over 20 years of VFX production experience to the role, having worked as an artist, manager and VFX supervisor. Lewkiw’s credits include VFX work on a number of blockbuster movies, including The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Golden Compass and Transformers: Age of Extinction. His strong knowledge of SideFX Houdini is highly beneficial to Lost Boys’ students, as he’s used this software since its inception.
In Montreal, the school is planning to offer an accelerated ‘Compositing’ program in the near future. 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, including work on The Hunger Games, Oz the Great and Powerful, Spider-Man and Terminator 3.
Lost Boys Studios opened its first school in Vancouver in 2006 and has instructed over 300 students to date. The Montreal location was inspired by the sucess of its students and feedback from local studios, which were receptive to the idea.
“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,” explains Ria Bénard, senior educational administrator at Lost Boys. “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.”
Cinesite honored Lost Boys’ student Jhih-Yuan Lin, who was among the very first group of students to attended the school’s Montreal location, with a $1,000 scholarship upon his graduation in October 2018.