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Vancouver Film School - What you need to know!

Updated: Aug 17, 2023

This month, we had the opportunity to get a little bit more in depth knowledge from our friends at VFS, one of the best film and VFX schools globally. With students from all over the world, the success of this institution in turning the potential of its students into great success stories is overwhelming! If you are interested in studying anything related to film, this interview is for you 😃

Tons of people know about VFS and it’s their dream to be able to study in your institution. However, some people just started their journey in film and are researching schools. Could you please tell us about VFS and what you do?

In 1987, Vancouver Film School introduced the world’s first true immersion film program. Today, VFS is Canada’s premier post-secondary entertainment arts institution, offering an immersive curriculum in film, animation, design, and beyond. VFS is known for providing high-quality education in accelerated time frames and offers 15 industry-integrated programs in which students graduate in 12 months as in-demand, industry-ready creative professionals. VFS alumni are consistently credited with the highest-grossing films, television shows, and games worldwide, in a global industry set to generate US$2.1 trillion in revenue in 2022.

When it comes to the film and the video game industry there are many paths people can take, and sometimes it’s hard for people to choose one. Is there any specific program you would recommend for students to take at VFS? If so, why?

VFS offers preparatory programs that help guide their career paths before they commit to a full-time program. Foundation Visual Art & Design allows students to learn entry-level techniques in film, animation, and design. These skills prepare them for both film and game programs & industries. Another option is to develop creative skillsets & portfolios through VFS’s part-time workshops and certificate courses. We call this CONNECT, and there are 20+ unique offerings to get students started.

The industry in Vancouver is growing. Disney has opened a new Studio, Sony is expanding, Weta just announced that they will open a studio here as well... Would you say this is the right time for people to step into this industry?

The right time to ente r the 3D & VFX industry is NOW. Vancouver is the #1 global animation hub, home to over 60 studios, and an animation education also opens doors in the #1 entertainment industry: video games. After graduating in just one intensive year, VFS students are hired & working immediately while other students in traditional programs will still have years left in their education. At VFS, we remain in lockstep with the industry, continually evolving to match industry standards & demands. The transition from VFS to an industry career is seamless.

You have been around for a while now, could you tell us what impact you think VFS has had on the local industry?

VFS has more grads working in the film/game/tech industries than all other schools... combined. VFS grads are consistently hired because studios know what their skill level is and that they learn in an industry environment. This is what VFS bases our entire model on. VFS grads also go on to start their own incredible companies right here in Vancouver, such as Hootsuite, Unbounce, East Side Games, Vision Critical, and more.

One of the most difficult decisions students have to make is choosing the right school, could you tell us some of the benefits for people who select VFS as their alma mater? Is there any extra support for international students?

As mentioned above, if you want to join the entertainment arts industry, why not learn at the school that teaches the way the industry works? If you join Film Production, you are behind the camera on day one. VFS has more one-on-one teacher hours than most. VFS has access to the software, hardware, and equipment that students will use in their industry careers. What’s more, they learn alongside other industry disciplines, making contact with Sound Designers, Makeup Artists, Writers, and beyond. These are invaluable relationships that will last their entire career.

Again – students graduate from VFS in just 1 year; a hard year, but 1 year nonetheless. By the time their friends who went to a traditional 4-year school are graduate d, VFS grads will have been working for 3 years, and might even be in the position to hire them!

VFS is here to support all its students. We are very much an international school. Our student population is 45% international. Our students come from all over the world, including Latin America, Korea, China, and India. We have our own dedicated International Advisors who assist throughout the entire enrolment process. Once students are in their respective programs, Student Resources are very well equipped to handle the needs or concerns of our international students. We also have a preparatory program English for the Creative Arts that allows international students to learn foundational creative knowledge while working on their English skills.

As you know, we are an international student magazine, and plenty of our students are concerned they might have fewer opportunities than local students just for coming from another country. What are your thoughts on this?

Though VFS appreciates the challenges facing international students, we are an international school and value our students and their experiences. We work very hard to train our students to be prepared for what the industry is like now. To us means, this means they’ll be qualified no matte r where they come from! In today’s market, even remote work has become the norm, content is in such high demand that the ‘artist’s’ work means everything. VFS also has many options for those who wish to get their accelerated post-VFS degree and be eligible for a post-graduation work permit. We call these our Pathway programs.

Last but not least, is there any message you would like to give to international students?

We are very proud at VFS to say that our students are gifted artists from all over the world. It makes us who we are. It is the reason why we have admissions offices globally and why we have overseas campuses in Shanghai and Dubai. Coming to VFS means a topnotch education in whichever industry discipline students prefer, in a globally recognized industry hub. It also means students will be surrounded by like-minded creatives from around the world with perspectives that they may not have been previously introduced to. We are ALL storytellers, and we love to hear, see, and experience all perspectives and artistic growth.

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