Faculty

Our faculty are veteran professionals with experience at the forefront of the industry, boasting credits on the hottest and most well recognized franchises, products and entertainment properties.

3D Animation & Visual Effects

Colin Giles

Head of Department

Colin has over 17 years' experience as a Character Animator, Animation Director, and Designer, with credits in traditional and computer animation. His credits include work for Cartoon Network, Disney Interactive, and HBO.

 

Craig Shiells

Pipeline Supervisor

 

Casey Kwan

Creative Director

Casey has devoted himself to the computer animation industry for 20 years. For the last five years at VFS, he has focused his experience as a Production Designer, CG Supervisor, and Art Director, to shape VFS's industry-focused curriculum.

 

Keith Blackmore

Instructor

For his entire life, Keith Blackmore has been a passionate voice, a cheerleader, an advocate, for visual effects and all things animated in Vancouver.

As an active member of the local SIGGRAPH chapter and the Conference Chairman for the SPARK Animation and SPARK FWD festivals, he has presented, interviewed and moderated at many conferences and studios in Vancouver. Keith has taught animation and VFX history at the Vancouver Film School for 20 years. When he's not teaching about animation, you’ll find him watching it while eating his morning cereal.

 

Myriam Casper

Instructor - Editing

Myriam Casper is a documentary filmmaker, editor, and photographer. Since 2003 she has mentored 3000+ student short films & animations at Vancouver Film School.

In 2007, Myriam was a Producer for Channel M television and Cinematographer & Editor on Mosaico TV, a series of documentaries about Portuguese colonies.
 
Extremely passionate about photography, traveling, meeting people and their cultures, Myriam brings back these experiences to share with students in her photography class.
 
Myriam has studied New Media at VFS and photography in Stamford, England.

 

Jesse Irvin

Instructor - Modelling

Jesse Irvin has been teaching Modeling and Animation at VFS for more than 10 years. He also spends time on private contract work animating, rigging, shading, texturing and lighting. He is an expert in digital sculpting, with a virtuosity in anatomy, form, proportion, and story.

 

Francois Van Eeden

Instructor

 

Jamal Knight

Senior Instructor - VFX

 

Kristine Baz

Instructor

 

Brett Vanderkist

Instructor

 

Guilherme Trevisan

Instructor

 

Acting Essentials

Jennifer Clement

Head of Department

Jen has acted in over 100 theatre, film and TV projects in the course of her professional career. She has been teaching for ten years, sharing her years of experience, and passion for acting, with her students.

 

Mattie Shisko

Senior Instructor

Mattie undertook her formal training as an actor in Sydney, Australia, and has more than 27 years' experience as a teacher, performer, actress, and filmmaker. She has been with VFS since 2002.

 

Rondel Reynoldson

Instructor

Rondel has worked as an actress for more than 20 years, and brings a genuine love and curiosity for the craft of acting to her teaching. She's worked in over 50 television and film projects ranging from local independent films to Hollywood blockbusters, such as Man of Steel

 

David C. Jones

Instructor - Improv

David works as a corporate entertainer and was the Entertainment Manager for the 2010 Olympics. He has acted in commercials, web-series, and independent films, as well as directing and acting in plays. He has also won some awards.

 

Alison James

Senior Instructor

Alison has been acting, directing, and teaching for over 11 years. She played the coveted role of “Nurse Tiffany” in New Zealand's primetime clinical drama Shortland Street, which is still shown in over 70 countries.

 

Bill Marchant

Creative Specialist

Bill's feature film Everyone won Best Canadian Film at the Montreal World Film Festival and was nominated for four Leo Awards. Along with numerous roles in Canadian television, Bill has written and directed short films and plays.

 

Darren Borrowman

Production Manager

Darren is a bit of a Swiss Army knife when it comes to filmmaking. Directing, producing, editing, shooting - you name it. His credits include Smallville, X-Files: I Want to Believe, numerous award-winning shorts, director of the indie feature Do Something With Your Life and producer/editor on the brand new Charlotte’s Song.

 

Kim Tough

Program Manager

 

Kirsten Gauthier

Production Coordinator

 

Kris Neufeld

Program Coordinator

 

Acting for Film & Television

Jennifer Clement

Head of Department

Jen has acted in over 100 theatre, film and TV projects in the course of her professional career. She has been teaching for ten years, sharing her years of experience, and passion for acting, with her students.

 

Bill Marchant

Creative Specialist

Bill's feature film Everyone won Best Canadian Film at the Montreal World Film Festival and was nominated for four Leo Awards. Along with numerous roles in Canadian television, Bill has written and directed short films and plays.

 

Nancy Sivak

Instructor

Nancy has been a professional actor in Vancouver for over 25 years. She has worked on the stage, as well as in television and film. Her involvement in the world of independent film has taken her to film festivals around the world.

 

Cara McDowell

Senior Instructor

Cara has been coaching actors, teaching drama, performing, and directing for over 20 years. Recent credits include the lead in London Assurance, Sandy from Asymmetry, and Ava in For the Country Entirely. Favourite directing credits include Oleanna and Ashes to Ashes.

 

Darren Borrowman

Production Manager

Darren is a bit of a Swiss Army knife when it comes to filmmaking. Directing, producing, editing, shooting - you name it. His credits include Smallville, X-Files: I Want to Believe, numerous award-winning shorts, director of the indie feature Do Something With Your Life and producer/editor on the brand new Charlotte’s Song.

 

Alison James

Senior Instructor

Alison has been acting, directing, and teaching for over 11 years. She played the coveted role of “Nurse Tiffany” in New Zealand's primetime clinical drama Shortland Street, which is still shown in over 70 countries.

 

Kim Tough

Program Manager

 

Matt Fentiman

Instructor

With more than 15 years of experience in the entertainment industry, Matt is a proud member of Vancouver's film and theatre community and has appeared in dozens of locally produced feature films, short films, TV episodes and plays.

 

Kurt Evans

Instructor

Kurt has appeared in dozens of TV shows, commercials and films including, X-Files, Ties that Bind, Arrow, and Tomorrow People, and had recurring roles in iZombie, Supernatural, Battlestar Galactica, Level Up, Sanctuary, and Exe’s and Oh’s. His stage credits include the Jesse Award-winning The Best Restaurant in the World… Ever and Burn This. He is a writer and director for works including the award-winning short film Hula and Back to One, and has been an acting coach and teacher for more than 15 years.

 

Rondel Reynoldson

Instructor

Rondel has worked as an actress for more than 20 years, and brings a genuine love and curiosity for the craft of acting to her teaching. She's worked in over 50 television and film projects ranging from local independent films to Hollywood blockbusters, such as Man of Steel

 

Kirsten Gauthier

Production Coordinator

 

Kris Neufeld

Program Coordinator

 

Animation Concept Art

Colin Giles

Head of Department

Colin has over 17 years' experience as a Character Animator, Animation Director, and Designer, with credits in traditional and computer animation. His credits include work for Cartoon Network, Disney Interactive, and HBO.

 

Jay Senetchko

Instructor

Jay apprenticed with Gideon Flitt and Odd Nerdrum. He received an honourable mention in the 2013 Kingston Portrait Competition, was shortlisted for the Kurt Beers 100 Painters of Tomorrow, and was published in The Nerdrum School.

 

Keith Blackmore

Instructor

For his entire life, Keith Blackmore has been a passionate voice, a cheerleader, an advocate, for visual effects and all things animated in Vancouver.

As an active member of the local SIGGRAPH chapter and the Conference Chairman for the SPARK Animation and SPARK FWD festivals, he has presented, interviewed and moderated at many conferences and studios in Vancouver. Keith has taught animation and VFX history at the Vancouver Film School for 20 years. When he's not teaching about animation, you’ll find him watching it while eating his morning cereal.

 

Mike West

Instructor

 

Ken Henderson

Senior Instructor

 

Denny Lu

Instructor

 

Jesse Schilperoort

Instructor

 

Garnet Syberg-Olsen

Mentor

 

Kiersten Eagen

Mentor

 

Classical Animation

Colin Giles

Head of Department

Colin has over 17 years' experience as a Character Animator, Animation Director, and Designer, with credits in traditional and computer animation. His credits include work for Cartoon Network, Disney Interactive, and HBO.

 

Dieter Mueller

Instructor

Dieter launched his career as a freelance animator at International Rocketship, and over his 20+ years there, he directed numerous commercials and won awards. His short film The Butterfly was nominated for a Palme d'Or at Cannes.

 

Jim Inkster

Instructor - Digital Ink & Paint

Jim began his career as a cell painter in 1995 on Gary Larson's Tales From the Far Side II. He moved to Mercury Filmworks as Paint Supervisor and Composite Supervisor on a variety of children's series.

 

Keith Blackmore

Instructor

For his entire life, Keith Blackmore has been a passionate voice, a cheerleader, an advocate, for visual effects and all things animated in Vancouver.

As an active member of the local SIGGRAPH chapter and the Conference Chairman for the SPARK Animation and SPARK FWD festivals, he has presented, interviewed and moderated at many conferences and studios in Vancouver. Keith has taught animation and VFX history at the Vancouver Film School for 20 years. When he's not teaching about animation, you’ll find him watching it while eating his morning cereal.

 

Adam Rogers

Instructor - Life Drawing / Colour Theory

Adam has five solo and seven group exhibitions to his credit. His honours include the Society of Illustrators 43rd Annual Exhibition, Ozzie Awards for Magazine Design Excellence, and a Graphex Award for Editorial Illustration.

 

Marv Newland

Instructor - Story Concept/Film/Film Final Concept

Marv began his career in animated features with the creation of his 1969 short, Bambi Meets Godzilla. He designed, directed, and created animation for TV commercials, and has been honoured with numerous award wins and nominations.

 

Mark Pudleiner

Senior Instructor

 

Digital Design

Christopher Quine

Senior Instructor/Program Lead

Christopher has created Interactive Cinemas and Exhibits for clients ranging from The Smithsonian Institute to Dr. Robert Ballard, discoverer of the Titanic. He was Interaction Designer for mobile media projects at The Banff Centre and helped design Rockheim; The world's first Interactive Rock and Roll Museum in Norway.

 

Nida Fatima

Senior Instructor/Industry Relations Lead

Nida Fatima is a storyteller, motion graphics artist, and educator. She received her Bachelors in Fine Arts at the School of the Art Institute of Chicago, and now works in Vancouver. Nida has worked on motion and interactive projects for major brands that include Science World, Air Canada, Telus, BC Children's Hospital, Parks Canada and Vancouver Aquarium.

 

Dougal Muir

Instructor - Branding

Dougal is an experienced designer and creative director who uses his talent for translating difficult concepts into powerful, seductive messages to help organizations speak to their audiences simply and clearly about what they do.

 

Jadyn Aguilar

Industry Mentor

 

Wells Stringham

Industry Mentor

With a background in marketing and design, Wells has spent nine years honing his UX and graphic design skills with clients ranging from entrepreneurs to multi-ministry government groups.

Wells has created user-centered designs and strategies across mobile, desktop, SEM, and email for clients including Delta Dental of Washington, the Government of Saskatchewan, Variety – The Children’s Charity, BC’s Environmental Appeals Board, BC’s Provincial Health Services Authority, the City of Vancouver, and Electronic Arts.

 

Sergio Toporek

Instructor

Sergio has produced art for more than 70 CDs and worked with Sony, Warner, BMG, Atlantic Records, Universal, and EMI. His art has been exhibited in galleries in Mexico, Canada, and the USA, where he has also given workshops and conferences.

 

Joe T

Industry Mentor

 

Charlotte Falk

Instructor

Charlotte Falk is an independent designer and educator. She is a graduate of the Master of Architecture program at the University of British Columbia and the Bachelor of Design program at the University of Alberta (having majored in Industrial Design and Visual Communication Design). Her multi-disciplinary design practice includes architectural interventions, furniture design, visual communication design, site-specific installations and art direction.

 

Mark Raham

Industry Mentor

 

Red Borrowman

Instructor

Red Borrowman is an instructor, film composer and vocal coach who specializes in school release form and permitting policy lectures at VFS.

 

Matthew Coady

Instructor

When he’s not writing about himself in the third person, Matt can be found teaching code at VFS, writing code for Unbounce or dreaming about code in bed. A big movie buff as well, Matt is currently sitting at more than 1,860 movies (he’s got a list). He can regularly be found drinking "Hot Cinnamon Sunset" tea from Waves.

 

Keiron Simons

Instructor - Team Building

With a background as a counsellor and a lawyer, Keiron Simons has worked as a mediator and trainer for more than 20 years.  His mediation practice focuses on (re)building work teams and other relationships – both in the workplace, community, and within families.  As a trainer, Keiron works with organizations ranging from not-for-profits and civil societies to corporations and government.  In addition, Keiron is the conflict resolution and harassment advisor for Capilano University.

 

Bradley Smith

Industry Mentor

Bradley is a senior interaction designer at Habanero Consulting Group, working with clients and project teams to create visually appealing, easy-to-use portals and applications. He works with the rest of the UX team to develop and analyze requirements, create wireframes and interaction design flows, gather inspiration, produce mockups, prototype, craft content strategy, and conduct usability testing. Beyond UX, Bradley is a referee and a lover of technology, food, wine, tea, cycling, soccer, and nature.

 

Ricard Adrianza

Instructor

A hands-on creative visual designer with a background in advertising, communications and music. Since completing his education in the VFS Digital Design Program, Ricard has been working as an Art Director in Vancouver’s hitech industry, focused on creating brands and scalable interactive experiences with high quality graphics for desktop and mobile. Ricard has worked with brands like: Converse, SC Johnson, William Grant & Sons, Glenfiddich, Grant's, Balvenie, General Mills, Red Bull, Movistar, Blackberry, Bodegas Pomar, Empresas Polar, PepsiCo, SABMiller, Gary Go, Henry Stephen, AstraZeneca, Merck, Kaiser Permanente, Sanofi-Aventis, Novartis, Genentech, among others.

 

Grigor Cheitanov

Program Manager

 

Simon Hardy

Advisory Board Member, VP Brand Experience at FCV

Simon is responsible for overseeing FCV’s Design, Brand and Content, leading and inspiring teams to arrive at solutions that engage customers and deliver results.

As an award-winning Creative Director, Designer and Copywriter with deep international experience across all digital, print and TV, for world famous brands like Starbucks, Nike, lululemon athletica and EA Sports, Simon advises students on building powerful portfolios.

 

Film Production

Michael Baser

Head of Department

Prior to arriving at VFS, Michael enjoyed a successful career in American prime time television and film for over 35 years. He has worked as a Writer, Producer, or Executive Producer on iconic classics, such as The JeffersonsThree's Company, and Full House.

 

Houman Eshraghi

Senior Instructor – Production Design

Houman Eshraghi is a designer, artist, and illustrator.  In the past, he has worked with various Design and Architectural agencies such as Karim Rashid NY.  He has also worked extensively in preproduction of TV and Film with Directors and Production designers to previsualize actions scenes as well as sets.  His interior design and architectural experience have prompted work as a set designer and overseer of many complicated sets in past, present and future environments.

Houman has worked in the Art Department for productions such as Lost in Space, Arrow, Deadpool 2, Wayward Pines, The Flash, iZombie, and many more. 

 

Rodrigo Rocha-Campos

Senior Instructor - Cinematography

Rodrigo has been teaching cinematography for over 12 years, nine of them at VFS. His thesis film, The Resurrectionist, from Florida State University received the 2005 Heritage Award for its outstanding cinematography from the American Society of Cinematographers. To date, he has shot numerous short films as Director of Photography, however, he’s currently developing a new career path of producing and directing projects in experimental screen dance.

 

Jayme Pfahl

Senior Instructor - Producing

Jayme has been involved in the film industry for almost 25 years. With a background in economics, theatre marketing and publicity, he is a versatile and skillful manager of both people and money, as well as having a keen creative eye. Jayme has extensive producer credits ranging from TV comedy, drama, feature films and documentary to reality-based television and game shows, as well as major event planning and app development.

 

Andrew McEvoy

Instructor - Writing

A graduate of the University of Victoria Creative Writing program, Andrew McEvoy has written fifteen feature films, three complete series bibles, and holds producer credits in film, episodic television, and video games. His script, The Pixelated Man, was the winner of the Slamdance Screenplay Competition and was subsequently developed through James Cameron’s Lightstorm Entertainment. He has worked as a story editor, has twice been a Praxis Fellow, as well as a Praxis Story Editor Intern, and also spent a decade in the camera department working on various features, MOWs, and TV series as a member of IATSE 669.

 

Rudy Thauberger

Instructor - Writing

Rudy Thauberger has written feature screenplays, short films and teleplays, most notably the feature films, The Rhino Brothers and Chicago Heights. He has published short fiction and game design articles and been shortlisted four times in the 3 Day Novel Contest. He worked as a story editor on several short films and features, including the award-winning short film, Dead Hearts. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia.

 

Arlein Perez Garcia

Instructor - Post Production

Hailing from Mexico City, Arlein Perez Garcia has spent more than ten years in the television and film industry. Holding positions in post production and editing, her resume includes a wide variety of genres, cinematography styles, and other such fundamentals in film. Inspired by storytelling, Arlein’s creativity thrives through various media side projects as well as feature productions.
“Keep your memories in your heart and let them speak.”

 

Paul Jensen

Instructor - Film Theory

A six-time Instructor of the Year and Best Course winner, Paul’s committed passion for cinema has labeled him a "walking encyclopedia." His experience as 2nd AD and assistant editor on the feature-length film, Sweet Amerika and his work as story editor has helped him pursue his own writing and directing career.
Visit his website for more on Paul's thoughts, or watch his web series The Two Pauls, and interview on film and video games on Arcademia.

 

Nick Humphries

Senior Instructor - Directing

Nick has an MFA in film production, and is the award-winning director of more than 70 short films, features and digital series. His work has been distributed internationally on DVD, broadcast, and VOD.

 

Kevin Lee

Instructor - Sound, Cinematography, Editing

Kevin has been the owner of an independent video production and post-production studio since 1981, and has produced, shot, or edited hundreds of corporate, documentary, and educational productions. He has experience working in all forms of motion media from 1-inch videotape to the latest digital formats and codecs. Kevin has a solid academic and technical background as an electronics graduate of BCIT, and has been a part of the evolution of video and television production utilizing everything from Betacam to RED. Kevin is an experienced colourist and is currently instructing in Post Production as well as Production Sound.

 

Deborah Dimitroff

Instructor - Assistant Directing

Deborah has worked in the Vancouver film industry for more than 15 years, bringing her talents to the DGC assistant directing department on more than 140 television episodes and 11 feature films and MOWs. Independently, she is an experimental filmmaker whose films have screened in festivals in North America and Europe.

 

Justin Bergler

Instructor - Cinematography

After graduating from VFS in 1994, Justin began his career in film production, working full-time between the camera, lighting and editing departments before eventually focusing on the camera department.  This took him on jobs around the world and allowed him to work with every major camera system used in the industry. Justin has worked on music videos, commercials, television, documentaries and feature films.  Along the way he has worked under many talented Cinematographers, including two that went on to win Oscars.

 

Keiron Simons

Instructor - Team Building

With a background as a counsellor and a lawyer, Keiron has worked as a mediator and trainer for more than twenty years. His mediation practice focuses on (re)building work teams and other relationships – both in the workplace, community, and within families.  As a trainer, Keiron works with organizations ranging from not-for-profits and civil society, to corporations and government.  In addition, Keiron is the conflict resolution and harassment advisor for Capilano University.

 

Robert Riendeau

Instructor - Cinematography

Robert is a National Film Board of Canada (NFB) award-winning filmmaker, whose work behind the camera has also earned him multiple AMPIA nominations for cinematography. With many years of professional production experience under his belt — including in the areas of VFX, motion graphics, time-lapse cinematography, pre-vis, and creative visual design — Robert loves sharing his knowledge and offering solid mentorship to students choosing a career path in the entertainment industry.

 

Brian Casilio

Instructor - Writing

Brian has worked in script development in the film industry for the past 25 years as an independent screenwriter, story editor, script analyst, and screenwriting instructor.  He has contributed his expertise to such films as HannaWrecked, and A Simple Curve, and he has provided script coverage on more than 1,000 projects for clients like Telefilm Canada, BC Film, and Superchannel.

 

Foundation Visual Art & Design

Shane Rees

Head of Department

Prior to VFS, Shane served as head engineer at Western Post Production. Shane has been recognized with a Leo Award for his film work, and three nominations for his work in television. He has worked on many of the TV shows produced in Vancouver, including Smallville, The Dead Zone, and Jake 2.0.

 

David Leith

Senior Instructor

David is a fine art photographer and digital artist with a background in music composition and performance. His work has been exhibited and published for more than 20 years in North America and Europe.

 

Chad Costen

Instructor

Chad's background is in illustration and props production. His talent — in costume design, creature effects, and puppetry — is also evident in his storytelling, from his feature film, The Coming (2009), to his web series, GAIA (2013-14).

 

Jeremy Todd

Instructor - Art and Creativity (Art History)

Jeremy is an interdisciplinary artist, teacher, writer, and curator. His work focuses on the construction of cultural memory and its socio-political effects. He has taught undergraduate studio, art history, and critical theory.

 

Ryan Peter

Instructor - Life Drawing

Ryan has participated in recent exhibitions at Or Gallery, Vancouver and Susan Hobbs, Toronto. He was a finalist for the 11th annual RBC Canadian Painting Competition, which exhibited at the Musée d'art contemporain de Montréal.

 

Jay Senetchko

Instructor

Jay apprenticed with Gideon Flitt and Odd Nerdrum. He received an honourable mention in the 2013 Kingston Portrait Competition, was shortlisted for the Kurt Beers 100 Painters of Tomorrow, and was published in The Nerdrum School.

 

Dylan Moore

Instructor

Dylan started working as a freelance cartoonist in high school and began animating soon after. In Vancouver studios he’s done everything from effects on animated commercials to lead animation on various TV shows.  Independently, he’s animated music videos, promos, and animated segments in live features and under his banner, Outhouse Cartoons, wrote and directed the feature-length animated film, The Case of the Midnight Murderer, and writes and draws the web comic, Cowman.

 

Leigh Badgley

Instructor

 

John Meadows

Instructor

John premiered his first feature film, Wisegirls (starring Mira Sorvino and Mariah Carey), at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and has worked extensively as a screenwriter and story editor in Canada, Australia, England, and the US. John has also written for video games, including Avatar and Lost.

 

David C. Jones

Instructor

David works as a corporate entertainer and was the entertainment manager for the 2010 Olympics. He has acted in commercials, web-series, and independent films, as well as directing and acting in plays. He has also won some awards.

 

James Marsden

Instructor

James Lauder Marsden is Vancouver-based multidisciplinary designer, artist and instructor. Over the past seven years he has taught in Design Programs at Vancouver Community College and Vancouver Film School, as well as the Essentials Program at Emily Carr University of Art + Design. As the Creative Director at LAUDER Creative he has worked closely with clients like Telus, BCCDC, Health Initiative for Men, Vancouver’s Queer Film Festival and UBC, creating digital and print collateral with a focus on thoughtful art + creative direction.

 

Jennifer Lewis

Instructor

Jennifer has been working with sound for more than 30 years across linear and non-linear media. From Electronic Arts Canada to Relic Entertainment (THQ Canada), projects included Need For Speed, James Bond 007, NBA, NHL, SSX, Company of Heroes, Warhammer 40k.  She also contributed to some of the earliest virtual reality projects while at The Banff Centre for the Arts. Maple Syrup Sound is her latest venture, which provides sound design to clients everywhere.

 

Kelsey Kirvan

Instructor

Kelsey is a long time veteran of the media industry, having worked in radio, television, advertising, film and animation. He has served in a wide variety of capacities including writer, director, technical director and producer. His work has been featured on numerous outlets, including the Comedy Network, CTV, City TV, and MTV Canada.

 

Game Design

Chris Mitchell

Head of School of Creative Technologies

Chris is an educator and industry veteran with more than 10 years' experience as an award-winning writer and game designer. He is one of the first people in the game industry to receive a nomination from the Writers Guild of America.

 

Mike Hayes

Instructor - Game Art

Following more than a dozen years as an artist in games production, Mike has now transitioned to teaching his craft at VFS. Working on game franchises such as Need For Speed, Sleeping Dogs and Battlefield, Mike has had the opportunity to work with some great teams and amazing people. His passions include a love of automotive culture (racing, tuning and lifestyle), animation (Pixar, Disney and Miyazaki) as well as a long history of playing and designing games.

 

Glen Hamilton

Instructor - Project Management

Glen has managed more than 20 titles on a wide range of gaming platforms, from first-gen Super Nintendo and Xbox 360/PS3 to mobile. He worked at Hothead Games as a producer on the DeathSpank series, which was awarded the IGN Editors' Choice Award and Top 3 Action-RPGs on PS3.

 

Willy Campos

Instructor – Unity

Willy is a respected Unity expert that has been programming since 2003 in a wide variety of companies including serious companies like Exxon and in games working on the Warhammer franchise. Willy is recognized as a specialist for networking in games and frequently consults for game companies on the subject.

 

Derek Tam

Instructor

Derek is a designer with a long history as a designer and lead designer at many companies including Microsoft, Electronic Arts and Gree working on things as varied as Marvel properties like the Hulk to mobile games.

 

Joel Ponzio

Instructor – Level Design

Joel is an Unreal Engine expert with ten years experience as a software developer with ten years expensive whose work as a level designer has been profiled by Epic Games in their yearly student sizzle reel. Joel has designed both digital games and physical experiences for escape rooms.

 

Makeup Design for Film & Television

Stan Edmonds

Head of Department

Stan has been a motion picture makeup artist for more than 30 years. He worked with Clint Eastwood on his Academy Award-winning film, Unforgiven, and has served as head of department on films like I, Robot, and The Butterfly Effect.

 

Elissa Frittaion

Senior Instructor

A member of IATSE 891 since 1996, Elissa has been a make-up artist for over 20 years. As a long time staff member she has helped shape the program and as an Instructor, she has helped guide more than seven hundred students through to graduation.

 

Charlie Grant

Instructor - Prosthetic Construction Techniques

Charlie has worked on more than 70 film and television productions, and has enjoyed every one. He is currently in three departments at IATSE (Makeup, Props, and SPFX), as well as a puppeteer in UBCP. Charlie's credits include Jumanji, The X-Files, and The Fly 2.

 

Linda Gill-Chrone

Instructor - Makeup Technique

Linda has worked in film for more than 35 years (including nine at VFS). She is a member of IATSE 891 and worked on The Black Robe, Alive, Christopher Columbus (with Marlon Brando), and Adventures In Babysitting (with Elizabeth Shue).

 

Anya Ursula Ellis

Instructor - Makeup Technique

Anya has enjoyed a freelance career as a makeup artist and hairstylist for more than 25 years in Canada, the US, and Europe. She's worked in fashion, film, television, and commercials, with artists from Isabella Rossellini to Aerosmith.

 

Amy Van Wormer

Instructor

Since completing her makeup diploma program in 2003, Amy has had a steady career. After starting out on small theatre productions, she began working in film and television in 2005, with credits including Fear The Walking Dead, Star Trek Beyond, Arrow, Percy Jackson: Sea Of Monsters, and The Twilight Saga: Eclipse. Amy’s experience on both big and low-budget productions has given her an approach to makeup artistry that is based on collaboration, improvisation, and an overall love of the craft on and off the set.

 

Crissy Renaud

Instructor

Crissy is a graduate of the VFS Make-up Design Program from 2007! Since then she has worked steadily within the industry combining her artistic and technical talents on a wide variety of projects in local FX shops. Some of her credits include; Tron: Legacy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , Tomorrow Land and Star Trek; Beyond. When not working in the FX shop, Crissy is now bringing her experience and expertise to our students.

Her credits: Tron: Legacy, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes , Tomorrow Land, Star Trek Beyond, Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events - tv,  The Flash –tv, Bates Motel –tv, X- Files -  film/ tv 2009, 2015, 2017

 

Programming for Games, Web & Mobile

Christopher Mitchell

Head of School of Creative Technologies

Chris is an educator and industry veteran with more than 10 years' experience as an award-winning writer and game designer. He is one of the first people in the game industry to receive a nomination from the Writers Guild of America.

 

Scott Henshaw

Senior Instructor

Scott has been in the software industry for almost 25 years.  After 12 years as a producer/director on a number of award-winning new titles for Electronic Arts, he branched off to run his own development company, producing HTML5 games before coming to VFS.

 

Willy Campos

Instructor – Unity

Willy is a respected Unity expert that has been programming since 2003 in a wide variety of companies including serious companies like Exxon and in games working on the Warhammer franchise. Willy is recognized as a specialist for networking in games and frequently consults for game companies on the subject.

 

Sound Design for Visual Media

Shane Rees

Head of Department

Prior to VFS, Shane served as head engineer at Western Post Production. Shane has been recognized with a Leo Award for his film work, and three nominations for his work in television. He has worked on many of the TV shows produced in Vancouver, including Smallville, The Dead Zone, and Jake 2.0.

 

Brad Hillman

Senior Instructor - Post-Production Sound

Brad has worked in every aspect of film sound and has mixed nearly 1,000 hours of film and TV productions. His honours include a Gemini Award, three Gemini nominations, Genie Award nominations, and a Cinema Audio Society Award.

 

Curtis Wright

Instructor

Curtis has worked out of several studios with film and TV in town, including Sharpe Sound, Dick and Rogers, NGX Interactive, and Sound Kitchen. He recently completed all sound design elements for an interactive piece featured in Manitoba Museum.

 

Gary Bourgeois

Instructor

Gary is a professional educator, programmer and musician He has extensive experience in music performance and generative music programming and composition.

Gary came to VFS in 1994 after six years with Annex Professional, where he served as a Sales Representative/Consultant for MIDI/Digital Audio and a Certified Avid Product Specialist. At VFS, Gary designed and implemented the Audio curriculum, and was appointed Director of New Media Studies in 1999. In 2001, Gary was responsible for designing the original version of the Sound Design For Visual Media program.

 

Rob Hunter

Instructor

Rob has more than 20 years of audio post-recording, music recording and mixing experience. He has a long list of credits in film and television on projects, such as Journey to the Center of the Earth 3D, The Butterfly Effect 3: Revelations, Just Friends, City of Ember, Summerhood, Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Storm Hawks, League of Super Evil, Robson Arms, Terminal City, Kink, and the documentary, Expelled: No Intelligence Allowed. His awards include a Genie nomination and a Leo Award for Best Sound Editing for The Snow Walker, and Leo nominations for Dragon Boys, The Love Crimes of Gillian Guess, Murder Unveiled and Drawing out the Demons: A Film About the Artist Attila Richard Lukacs.

 

Dorian Pareis

Senior Instructor

Dorian Pareis is a veteran Sound Designer with a diverse background in both Game and Linear audio.  At Electronic Arts he has contributed to the FIFA, NBA, NHL, UFC, Need for Speedand Skate franchises. Early in his career in local Post Production facilities DBC and Post Modern, he worked as an editor on Documentaries, Feature Films and TV series.  In the position of Lead Audio Designer he has shipped games by both Microsoft and Ubisoft, most recently at Ubisoft’s Reflections studio in the UK on Tom Clancy’s The Division 2.

 

VR/AR Design & Development

Mary Lim

Program Lead

Mary Lim is responsible for the development and launch of VFS’s VR/AR Design & Development program. Mary holds a Master’s degree in Education and boasts more than 10 years’ experience teaching in-person and online, developing curriculum, and creating teaching materials. Her expertise also includes lesson planning, professional development, and the use of technology in the classroom. A two-time nominee for VFS’s Outstanding Contribution staff award, Mary is passionate about helping industry experts effectively communicate their skills to the next generation.

 

Amir R. Tamadon

Instructor

Amir R. Tamadon is a VFS Classical Animation graduate and also holds a Bachelor of Animation, 3D Animation and Applications in Virtual Reality. He is the Co-Founder and CTO of VRSquare, providing 3D visualization and VR/AR development for the industrial, automotive, and aerospace sectors. His clients have included Honda Canada, TED Talks, Williams and White Inc., and Lions Gate Technologies.

 

Nick Wilkinson

Instructor

Nick Wilkinson has over 15 years of experience as a certified project manager in manufacturing, logistics, and software development. He has worked with NASA, the Canadian Armed Forces, the World Bank, universities, and tech startups. He is Director of Project Management at TTT Studios, focused on building custom experiences and solutions. He holds a Bachelor of Applied Science (Mechanical Engineering) and Master of Applied Science (Mining Engineering) from UBC.

 

Erik Ross

Instructor

Erik Roystan Ross is a programmer, designer, educator, and technical writer. His design experience includes video games, practical VR applications, and websites. He has developed code for a wide variety of topics including physics, graphics, and network programming. He also maintains a Unity tutorial website and teaches post-secondary part-time. He is currently working on Davigo, a VR vs PC video game.

 

Shane Nilsson

Instructor

Shane Nilsson is an award-winning developer specializing in spatial computing. He co-founded Coal Car Studio in 2015 with the vision of making VR more social. Shane has worked with HTC, Rogers, UBC, and BCIT on crafting immersive experiences. He has experience in both entertainment and enterprise. His projects range from an arcade-scale multiplayer experience to a safety training pilot for WorksafeBC.

 

Writing for Film, Television & Games

Michael Baser

Head of Department

Prior to arriving at VFS, Michael enjoyed a successful career in American prime time television and film for over 35 years. He has worked as a Writer, Producer, or Executive Producer on iconic classics, such as The Jeffersons, Three's Company, and Full House.

 

Rodger Cove

Senior Instructor - Feature Script / Character Essentials

Rodger has been teaching screenwriting for 15 years. His own work includes Hair of the Sasquatch (Calgary International Film Festival, 2008), and The Patio, (the NYC Downtown Short Film Festival, 2014).

 

Aaron Bushkowsky

Instructor — Writing for Film/Dialogue/Feature Rewrites

Aaron has served as a resident writer at Touchstone Theatre, The Playhouse, Rumble Theatre, and the Canadian Film Centre. His short film, The Alley, was nominated for six Leo Awards.

 

Keith Shaw

Instructor - Writing for Film

As head of the writing department at Odyssey Media, Keith developed, wrote, or story edited over 25 productions for the likes of Universal and Disney. In 2004, he won the Banff Television Festival's HD Doc Competition.

 

John Meadows

Instructor — Writing for Film/Pitch/Adaptation

John premiered his first feature film, Wisegirls (starring Mira Sorvino and Mariah Carey), at the 2002 Sundance Film Festival, and has worked extensively as a screenwriter and story editor in Canada, Australia, England, and the US. John has also written for video games, including Avatar and Lost.

 

Kat Montagu

Instructor — Writing for Film/Story Editing/Marketing/Format

Kat has been a screenwriter, script consultant, and teacher for 15 years (she was VFS Instructor of the year in 2012). Kat won the SSHRC scholarship for her historical novel Emperor, and her modern play, The Bed Trick, debuted early 2015.

 

Rudy Thauberger

Instructor

Rudy Thauberger has written feature screenplays, short films and teleplays, most notably the feature films, The Rhino Brothers and Chicago Heights. He has published short fiction and game design articles and been shortlisted four times in the 3 Day Novel Contest. He worked as a story editor on several short films and features, including the award-winning short film, Dead Hearts. He holds an MFA in creative writing from the University of British Columbia.

 

Kelsey Kirvan

Instructor

Kelsey is a long time veteran of the media industry, having worked in radio, television, advertising, film and animation. He has served in a wide variety of capacities including writer, director, technical director and producer. His work has been featured on numerous outlets, including the Comedy Network, CTV, City TV, and MTV Canada.

 

Paul Jensen

Instructor

A six-time Instructor of the Year and Best Course winner, Paul’s committed passion for cinema has labeled him a "walking encyclopedia." His experience as 2nd AD and assistant editor on the feature-length film, Sweet Amerika and his work as story editor has helped him pursue his own writing and directing career.
Visit his website for more on Paul's thoughts, or watch his web series The Two Pauls, and interview on film and video games on Arcademia.

 

Tihemme Gagnon

Instructor

Tihemme is a screenwriter, story editor and creative producer. Her credits include Chaos & Courage, 1491, Timber Kings and Love It or List It: Vancouver. Much of Tihemme's work - including multiple feature scripts written through funded development - reflects her perspective of an Indigenous woman reconnecting with her Assiniboine roots. She has taught writing for film and television at VFS since 2009.

 

Brian Casilio

Instructor

Brian has worked in script development in the film industry for the past 25 years as an independent screenwriter, story editor, script analyst, and screenwriting instructor.  He has contributed his expertise to such films as Hanna, Wrecked, and A Simple Curve, and he has provided script coverage on more than 1,000 projects for clients like Telefilm Canada, BC Film, and Superchannel.