Vancouver’s animation and visual effects market is a growing industry. Year after year you will see more and more films being produced in Hollywood North, many of which feature VFX or digital animation. There is a lot of career opportunity within the field, and the numbers keep growing. Vancouver is already home to some of the biggest animation studios in the film industry today, and smaller ones continue popping up as demand increases.


If you want to begin a career in Animation, 3D Animation, or Visual Effects, here are some Vancouver based companies you should look into.




One of the biggest of Vancouver’s various studios. They handle both feature animation as well as VFX, and have helped make some huge titles including: Guardians of the Galaxy, Spiderman: Homecoming, Suicide Squad, Hotel Transylvania, the Smurfs, the Angry Birds Movie, Alice: Through the Looking Glass, and many more!


Upcoming: Spiderman: Into the Spider-Verse, Smallfoot




Aside from their work in 3D Animation, Bardel is a top contender for Vancouver’s classical animation market. They have worked with some of animation’s biggest names including Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, Disney, Warner Bros, and Dreamworks.


Classical Animation: Rick and Morty, Teen Titans Go!, Harmonquest


3D Animation: Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles, Puss in Boots, Dinotrux




ILM is a visual effects studio with an expansive and impressive resume. Their VFX has graced films such as Skyscraper, Ant Man and the Wasp, Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom, Star Wars: The Last Jedi, Avengers: Infinity War, Black Panther, Thor: Ragnarok, and many, many more! Aside from VFX, ILM also handles concept art and visual development.


Upcoming: Captain Marvel, Bumblebee, Aquaman




MPC is a massive company that covers film, advertisements, and much more.  With studios all over the globe, including Vancouver, Montreal, London, New York, LA, Amsterdam, Shanghai, and Bangalore, MPC is responsible for blockbusters such as Wonder Woman, Justice League, and the new Mummy starring Tom Cruise.


Upcoming: The Lion King, Shazam!, Godzilla: King of the Monsters




Formerly known as Mainframe Entertainment, Rainmaker Studios is responsible for some of the most nostalgia inducing 3D animated shows your mind can fathom. Running for a little over 20 years, Rainmaker developed shows such as the original Reboot, Beast Wars, as well as one of the many Spider-Man series. They also dipped their fingers in feature-film with the video-game based Ratchet & Clank, Escape from Planet Earth, and the WWE collaboration Surf’s Up 2: Wavemania.


Upcoming: Reboot: the Guardian Code, Spy Kids: Mission Control




Imagine Engine is a world-class VFX studio whose portfolio features films like Deadpool, Jurassic Park: the Lost World, District 9, Chappie, and so many more. The company has been around since 1995, and is considered one of the top studios in Vancouver.


Upcoming: Crimes of Grindelwald, Kin, Sacred Lies




Titmouse is a full-service animation studio. With locations in Vancouver, LA, and New York, Titmouse has worked with companies such as Adult Swim, Nike, Netflix, and many more. The studio makes lots of content for mature audiences, creating shows like Big Mouth, Metalocalypse, and Son Of Zorn. Titmouse has also made feature films, music videos, virtual reality, commercials, and even worked on some titles in the Guitar Hero video game series.


Upcoming: T.O.T.S, Moon Girl and Devil Dinosaur, Foxy Trotter




Zoic is a digital FX studio with locations in Vancouver, New York, and L.A.. They have great experience working in television, film, and advertising. They also dabble in video gaming and virtual reality.


Most Recent: The Adventures of Sabrina, Avengers: Age of Ultron




Atomic Cartoons is a full service animation studio that has been around since 1999. They have worked on shows such as Atomic Betty, Counterfeit Cat, Johnny Test, World of Quest, and many more.


Most Recent: Princess Wear Pants, 101 Dalmation Street, Super Dinosaur




Founded in 1989, Stargate specializes in digital production and special effects. Stargate Studios has seven major studios all across the globe. Locations include Vancouver, Toronto, L.A., Atlanta, plus international countries such as Malta, Germany, and India.


Most Recent: The Happy-Time Murders, Black Klansman, NCIS, The Walking Dead


If you’re interested in InFocus Film School’s 3D Animation & Visual Effects or Compositing for VFX programs visit for more information.

VIFF 2018 films top 10 ten

by Johnny Papan


The Vancouver International Film Festival has been showing the latest and greatest of homegrown and international cinema since 1982.


This year’s festival runs from September 27 through to October 12, utilizing ten of Vancouver’s finest venues including the Orpheum, Rio, and Vancouver Playhouse to showcase some of the world’s most anticipated upcoming films.


With an Official Selection spanning several genres from all over the globe, this year’s VIFF is not one to miss out on. Out of the many great films to choose from, here are our top 10 picks for VIFF 2018.

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Art of Production Design Grand Budapest Hotel Wes Anderson

The Grand Budapest Hotel (2014)

Written by Johnny Papan


The art department is in charge of the decorative, tangible visual aesthetic of cinema. It’s responsible for how a character dresses, why they dress that way, what their house looks like, what their job-cubicle looks like, etc, etc.


Every choice made by the art department is in service to subtly giving audiences a deeper look into the world and characters.


“Generally speaking, I start with the character,” explains Charles Whiteway Wilkinson, who has worked both as a professional industry Production Designer and Art Director. “I think who’s room is this? Who are they? What do they do? Do they have kids? Are they single/married? Old/young? From here I determine the era, colours, quality of furniture, artwork, photograph, etc.”


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Animals in Film Leo the MGM Lion

Leo the MGM Lion


Who doesn’t love animals in film? Whether to delight or to scare, animals have played some of the most iconic roles. Where would we be without Lassie or Airbud? Or the nameless horde in Birds?


So let’s say your script includes animals. You can’t expect them to act like your human actors and likewise can’t expect to treat them as such. The rules surrounding animal performers can seem daunting at first, but this guide will break filming with animals down into a manageable process.


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women in film female filmmakers

by Petar Petrov


When people think of successful women in the film industry, the first image that comes to mind is probably something along the lines of a talented actress which is like a robust tool in the hands of a master director. And even though that’s a vocation many would kill for, women filmmakers have long shown women are not only capable of being a film’s driving force, but in fact, they can drive it to places many men would have a hard time reaching.


Here is our selection of the top 5 women filmmakers:

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Oscars 2018 Nominees Director great gerwig guillermo del toro jordan peele

By Johnny Papan


The Academy Awards were created to recognize excellence in the hard-working world of cinema. Embarking on its record 90th ceremony this year, the Dolby Theatre in Hollywood, California will be hosting the movie industry’s brightest stars as they walk the red carpet in hopes of capturing that illustrious golden Oscar-statue. The Oscars bring attention to every aspect of film—from story to technical and creative execution—and give everyone from the director to the (usually under-recognized) sound editor a chance for well-deserved recognition.


This year features an eclectic mixture of cinematic stylings from directors, writers, actors, cinematographers and film crews from all walks of life. Hollywood blockbusters are in competition with indie-darlings, creating intrigue for those who want to know whom the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences deems the most deserving of the Oscar.


Three filmmakers are in a special spotlight this year, as their visions as both writer and director have also put each of their films in contention for best picture, each completely unique from one another. Guillermo del Toro, Greta Gerwig, and Jordan Peele have captained three of the most talked about films of the last year. It’s no surprise they’re all up for the same three Oscars: Best Picture, Best Screenplay, and Best Director. Here is a comparison of the trio.

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how to write romance romantic film titanic

by Johnny Papan


Ahh, Valentine’s Day. A time dedicated to all the lovers out there, making things special for “just us.” Moments are filled with candle-lit dinners, flowers, chocolate gifts, and, for the last few years, watching the newest installment of the Fifty Shades series, leading to a sales boost in adult shops across the country.


Watching a romantic film is one of the most popular choices among young couples for a Valentine’s Day date. They fulfill the fantasies we often can only dream of experiencing, which is why romance has become an integral part of cinema. Main focus or subplot, the element of love has found a place in almost every movie of any genre.


So what makes a romantic film? Is it merely a tale of two beings looking into each others eyes and falling into an embrace? If it’s not that easy in reality, it certainly can’t be that easy in film.


Most lovey-dovies follow similar structures that help us as an audience connect and fall into the journey of our heartfelt characters. In order for a romance film to work, we need a simple ingredient: characters that we want to be together in the end.


Here’s how you can write a romance that pulls on the heartstrings.

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stranger things child actor on set

by Julia Courtenay


Child actors deliver some of the most riveting and moving performances on screen, as we’ve seen from Harry Potter to Matilda. Currently, the young cast of Stranger Things has charmed millions of viewers with their performances on the hit show.


But movie sets are difficult, complex work environments even for adults. Because children are particularly vulnerable to being taken advantage of, there are rules to protect children in TV and Film in BC. Producers must be aware of these rules when hiring child actors in BC.


The following covers most of the basic considerations but should not be taken as legal advice.

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foley sound effects performance rowing boat on water

by Julia Courtenay


Foley—the addition of sound effects in post-production—is probably one of the most under-appreciated arts in film production.


The sound effects designed by Foley Artists are often as mundane as footsteps, keyboards, kettles etc. but they can stretch to the gory sounds of tearing flesh and crunching bones, to the sound of alien life forms and futuristic technology.

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By Kryshan Randel

30 Favourite Films of 2017


For most of the year, no film came close to the best that television had to offer. Brilliantly conceived shows such as THE HANDMAID’S TALE, LEGION and parts of TWIN PEAKS: THE RETURN outdid anything on the big screen, especially in the script department, and it seemed like television was the new cinema. But then fall arrived, along with the majority of this list, and great films made a swift comeback. As usual, my preferred taste for dark comedies and thrillers/horror films is apparent, but my documentary favourites (except for HONDROS) are safe for everyone. Here are my top films of 2017.

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