Join us May 27 for THE LAUNCH EVENT: An In-Person Discovery Experience!


VFS has been launching creative careers since 1987. May 27, we’ll be opening our doors to show you just how VFS prepares our students for working in the creative industries like nowhere else on Earth. You'll get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of life on-campus with facility tours, including embedded studios like Beyond Capture, and an exclusive opportunity to hear from alumni who are powering massively successful films, TV shows, and video games.

You'll also have a chance to participate in creative experiences, receive an on-the-spot portfolio review or live audition, and speak with an advisor about our new Launch Scholarship, which offers full-tuition scholarships for three exceptional students to train in animation, film, design, game, and beyond.


Event Details:

Date: Saturday, May 27, 2023
Time: 12:30 p.m. – 5:30 p.m. PDT
Location: 151 W Cordova St, Vancouver, BC V6B 1E1
Cost: Free






Register today to reserve your spot

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VFS will be hosting three separate industry panel discussions at the Launch Event. These talks feature VFS alumni and faculty across the Film & Television, Animation, and Games & Creative Tech industries, all here to discuss how they launched their passion into successful careers working on some of the biggest media titles.



How the Game is Changing: Press Start on a Career in Game & Creative Tech

At 1:30 – 2:30 p.m.

Hosted by: David Hinds, Game Design Faculty

Join us as David Hinds, Game Design Instructor, moderates a panel with three alumni working in games to discuss how VFS set them up for accomplished careers in this exciting and fast-moving industry. We’ll hear from sound designer Michael Kent, game writer and narrative designer Ariadna Martinez, and game designer Leanne (Lan) Roed about their journey from VFS students to working on some of the world’s biggest game franchises.


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Michael Kent

Senior Sound Design Supervisor at PlayStation Studios | God of War Ragnarök, Horizon Forbidden West, Mass Effect

Michael Kent has made significant contributions to the gaming industry as a sound designer since 2003. His work on BioWare titles like Neverwinter Nights, Mass Effect and Dragon Age set high standards that he continues to exceed on recent titles like Demon's Souls and God of War Ragnarök.


Ariadna Martinez

Senior Writer at Sucker Punch | Horizon Forbidden West, Dead Rising

Ariadna Martinez is a game writer and narrative designer from Buenos Aires. She previously wrote on fan-favourite series such as Dead Risingand Horizon for Capcom and Guerrilla Games, respectively. She is now a Senior Writer at Sucker Punch, the studio best-known for Infamous and Ghost of Tsushima.


Leanne (Lan) Roed

Senior Game Designer at Blackbird Interactive | Minecraft Legends, I Was a Teenage Exocolonist, Cribbage with Grandpas

Leanne (Lan) Roed has been making games for over ten years. In addition to projects at several studios in Vancouver, she’s developed two indie games during that time. Cribbage With Grandpas, her most recent indie project, has been featured on the Apple App Store and was nominated for IndieCade 2017.




Animating for ALL: Why Animators Are Needed Everywhere

At 3:00 – 4:00 p.m.

Hosted by: Arthur Gonzales, 3D Animation & Visual Effects Faculty

Later in the day, we will be hosting three award-winning VFS animation alumni to discuss the ins-and-outs of working in the animation industry. Hear from Andrew McCartney, Jay Roxas, and Marcela A. Silva about how their education in VFS’s studio environment prepared them to step into their careers right away, and opened doors for them to work on hugely successful projects from HBO, Marvel, Netflix, and Disney.


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Andrew McCartney

Animator at Wētā FX | The Last of Us, Spider-Man: No Way Home, Stranger Things

Andrew McCartney is a veteran animator whose credits include Spider-man: No Way Home, Deadpool 2, Game of Thrones, and The Last of Us. In 2019 he earned a VES Award for his work on Lost in Space, and he won the YYC Best Animated/Documentary award at 2010 Calgary International Film Festival.


Jay Roxas

Animation Lead at Steamroller Studios | Avatar: The Way of Water, Snowpiercer, WandaVision

Jay Roxas has worked all around the industry on massive franchises such as Jurassic World, Star Wars, and The Avengers. He was an Animation Lead for Finch, which won the VES Award for 'Outstanding Animated Character' and was part of the Oscar-winning VFX/animation team of Avatar: The Way of Water.


Marcela A. Silva

Acting Lead Compositor at Wētā FX | Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3, Peacemaker, Obi-Wan Kenobi

Marcela A. Silva is a compositor with over 11 years in the VFX industry. She’s worked on over 40 films and TV series, including Guardians of the Galaxy vol. 2 and 3, Peacemaker, and Kong vs. Godzilla. Her work on the last season of Game of Thrones earned a VES Award for outstanding environment work.




Launching Your Big Screen Career in Today’s Film Industry

At 4:30 – 5:30 p.m.

Hosted by: Omari Newton, Head of Acting for Film & Television

For our final panel discussion of the day, VFS Heading of Acting for Film & Television Omari Newton will host three alumni working in very different roles in film and television. Production Designer and Art Director Roger Fires, Director Gary Hawes, and actor Michael Taylor will explore how they’ve applied their education from VFS to their careers, and getting to work both behind and in front of the camera.


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Roger Fires

Production Designer: Violent Night, Nobody; Art Director: Lost in Space, Deadpool 2

Roger Fires is a Production Designer fueled by his love for storytelling and film. He has worked on major productions like Fifty Shades of Grey, Lost in Space, Colossal, and Deadpool 2 as an Art Director, as well Psycho Killer, Violent Night, Nobody, and Hypnotic as Production Designer.


Gary Hawes

Director: The Good Doctor; Assistant Director: Interstellar, Juno

Gary Hawes has directed multiple episodes of The Good Doctor, receiving the 2022 Leo Award for Best Direction in a Dramatic Series for the episode “Waiting,” and 2nd Units on Disney and Fox shows. As an Assistant Director, he’s worked with legendary filmmakers on films such as Juno and Interstellar.


Michael Taylor

Actor: The Good Doctor, Firefly Lane, Two Sentence Horror Stories

Michael Taylor is an actor, writer, and musician. He has been performing since age 12 in theatre, before moving into film and TV with a featured role on a Star Wars Battlefront TV spot. His credits include The Good Doctor, Firefly Lane, Two Sentence Horror Stories, and various independent films.






The Launch Event is your best chance to experience VFS's world-class leading campuses for yourself. Step into our 270º Green Screen room, go beyond inside the Beyond Capture mo-cap space, see how sets are built in our black box studios, and so much more. You’ll also get a glimpse at the access VFS offers to state-of-the-art equipment like the 4K Sony Pro FXW-FS7 camera and industry-standard software in the 3D Animation & VFX Render Farm. Once you see it, you will believe the VFS advantage.

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