Vancouver Film School: Production, Animation, Game Design, Acting and more

The Vital Link between Education and Industry

The Animation Advisory Board is a group of select animation professionals who work closely with VFS faculty to structure the program curriculum. The evolving needs of industry frequently create gaps between educators and professionals. Our commitment to work closely with leading professional animators ensures that as an institution we are always adapting. This extraordinary relationship between educators and studios keeps our curriculum current and relevant, and provides students certainty that animation methods learned at VFS prepare them to jump directly from school to studio.

Barbara Dawson | Anne Denman | Hael Kobayashi

Barbara Dawson

CG Scout Inc

With over 15 years experience in the animation and visual effects field with industry heavyweights such as Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Pixar Canada to her credit, Barbara Dawson brings a unique depth of knowledge to her role as the owner of CG Scout Inc. Recruiting. Having worked on the inside of these and other studios for many years in roles such as Producer, Production Manager, and Contract Recruiter, Barbara's knowledge of the process and pipeline of production gives her a unique understanding of the CG visual effects and animation industry.

She started her career in Vancouver at Mainframe Entertainment, moving quickly from PA to Producer on the first all-digital 3D series ReBoot. Her skills in production scheduling and crew management garnered her a position at ILM, where for four years she worked as a Production Manager in the feature pre-production, model, texture and technical animation departments and found her niche in artist management. From 1999 to 2003 she was involved in several productions including AI, Harry Potter, Star Wars, Hulk, Pearl Harbor, Signs, and Men In Black 2.

Barbara began her recruiting career in 2005 with LucasArts and Lucas Film Animation, organizing and managing Vancouver recruiting trips, including arranging the hire of many employees for the new Lucas Animation Singapore studio. This led to her position as a contract recruiter at Vancouver Vanguard Animation studio, hiring for their 3D animation feature Space Chimps, and to her most exciting consulting gig yet: crewing of the new Pixar Canada studio in Gastown. Barbara's tasks involved consulting with Management on pre-production crew hierarchy and roles; crewing artists including personally viewing and selecting all applicants from submitted portfolios and reels; helping to negotiate contracts and packages; facilitating travel and work permits; and evaluating artists during their first few weeks with department heads.

She was hired at Vancouver Film School in 2004 to teach in 3D Animation and Visual Effects, assisting students with interview skills, production planning and concept development, as well as reviewing and critiquing final projects for graduating students.

Now, through her company CG Scout Inc., Barbara continues to nurture her relationships with a world-class roster of studios and schools, providing a gateway for artists and studios in the 3D animation and visual effects realm.

Anne Denman

Nerd Corps Entertainment
Director of HR & Recruitment

Simply put, Anne Denman knows people - talented, artistic, animation people. It is her business and it is what she does best. Anne is Director of HR/Recruitment for Nerd Corps Entertainment, bringing a more "production needs" approach to her work where knowing the artist - their "blue sky" wants, their skills, and sensibilities – helps her find the best fit for Nerd Corps' variety of productions.

Anne's many years in animation began at the world-renowned International Rocketship Limited. There, under the mentorship of the infamous director/producer Marv Newland of Bambi Meets Godzilla fame, Anne met many diverse artists and worked on numerous indie productions including the Annecy Grand Prix winner, Gary Larson's Tales From The Far Side.

From Rocketship, she went to managing Vancouver Film School's Classical Animation department for eight years. Anne's responsibilities included grooming the department to become current while maintaining the integrity of classical animation and its principles. She knew this involved hiring the right people and took great pride in helping build such a strong program and department.

In 2006, Anne became the Director of the Student Program and Manager of Panels and Presentations for the 2007 Platform International Animation Festival in Portland, Oregon. She is delighted to be able to contribute to the Classical Animation department in her new capacity as a member of their dynamic Advisory Board.

Hael Kobayashi

Animal Logic
Group Head of Production

Hael Kobayashi is the Group Head of Production at Animal Logic, the Sydney-based visual effects and digital animation house responsible for the visual effects on Hero, The Matrix, The Matrix: Reloaded, and Moulin Rouge, and many other television and commercial campaigns. In addition, Hael oversees the staffing of creative and technical crews across multiple shows, recruiting, and the training and career development of the studio's expanding ranks of digital artists.

Hael joined Animal Logic following extensive involvement with several leading studios in the U.S. Hael was Director of Digital Artists Production at Industrial Light & Magic, where he held similar responsibilities for artist management as a member of their senior staff. While at PDI/DreamWorks, he held a number of positions including Line Producer, Production Manager, and Production Supervisor and worked on high profile projects such as ANTZ and The Road to El Dorado. Hael has also been an editor and post-production supervisor for several IMAX productions including Valencia, and worked as sound editor for Lucasfilm's Skywalker Sound on hit feature films such as Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Godfather III.

Hael's experience in digital production for the film industry was prefaced by the experience he gained working in the broadcast industry. His credits include Interim Director of Production for KQED (PBS) television; Entertainment and Science bureau chief for MSNBC's The Site; and news producer for NBC in San Francisco. Hael has also served as the Press Office Director for the Toronto International Film Festival.

An active industry advocate for education and training, Hael is a co-founder of the Presidential Scholars in the Arts' film and video program for the National Foundation for Advancement in the Arts in the US. In 2003, he consulted on a curriculum development initiative for digital media education in Singapore. Hael also chaired the education panel at the Australian Effects and Animation Festival in 2002, and served on the careers panel at Siggraph 2004.