Lost Boys – Vancouver VFX Studio Tour – Spring 2009

Lost Boys Learning – Vancouver Studio Tour – Spring 2009

The day before spring break we embarked on our second Vancouver studio tour for the class of 2009. We were fortunate to visit four prominent studios, including Miniature Effects, Artifex Studios, Zoic Studios and Technicolor/MPC.

As always, the day began before dawn as Monica, John, Cliff, Dan, JongJun, Kaustubh and I left Courtenay, in our mini-van, and drove to Nanaimo to catch the morning ferry. We crossed the Georgia Strait into Vancouver and headed towards the Commercial Drive area for our first tour.


In a departure from our usual visits to VFX shops, our first stop on the tour was Miniature Effects, owned and operated by Dave Asling. It was a great opportunity for the students to see behind-the-scenes miniature, model and prop work. With over 15 years in the visual effects business, Dave and his team supply visual effects concept consulting, highly detailed mechanically and and electronically functional props, motion-controlled miniature effects, design, engineering and fabrication. They’ve worked for shows such as Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief (in production), Smallville, Bionic Woman, Fantastic Four and X-Men, to name a few.


After lunch at the famed Tony’s Deli on Commercial Drive, we visited nearby Artifex Studios with VFX Supervisor/Owner Adam Stern. Artifex expanded their East Vancouver studio last year and have been hard at work on features including this year’s Defendor, New In Town, Scourge, TV series Impact and Stormworld, and commercials for Nissan and Tourism Mexico.


Next up was Zoic Studios, located at the edge of Gastown, where VFX Producer Patrick Mooney gave us a tour. Zoic Vancouver is a sister studio to their LA operation, and they have been busy with TV series and features. They recently worked on the feature films One Missed Call for Warner Brothers and Pathfinder for 20th Century Fox, and TV episodics Drive and Eureka.


Last on our tour was one of Vancouver’s newest imports, MPC (Moving Picture Company), which has been sharing resources and management with Technicolor the past year or so. Hot on the heels of their work on Watchmen, they were gearing up for effects on the Chris Columbus feature Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief. VFX Producer Persis Reynolds toured us through the facility and talked about their pipeline.

Our next tour will be in early June, a few weeks before our fourth graduating class heads out to enter the workforce. Thanks to all the studios in Vancouver who have been so generous over the years to open their doors to us!



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