VFS Grads Leave Their Mark on Star Wars and The Revenant

By VFS Web Team, on January 11, 2016

It’s safe to say that two of the biggest films of 2015 were Star Wars: The Force Awakens and The Revenant. Albeit very different, these blockbuster hits have at least two things in common: Domhnall Gleeson and Vancouver Film School alumni.

Fresh off the Golden Globes, The Revenant took home awards for Best Motion Picture (Drama), Best Director (Alejandro Inarritu), and Best Performance by an Actor, which earned Leonardo Dicaprio a trophy and a heartfelt standing ovation. Leo may not have an Academy Award yet, but the virtuoso is sure to be nominated for an Oscar this year and he’s predicted to win. All it took was the risk of hypothermia and eating a raw bison liver! #Dedication

In case you haven’t been following our social media channels these past few months, Acting Essentials and Acting for Film + Television grad Grace Dove (yes, that's her in the poster above!) was cast as Leonardo Dicaprio’s wife in the film. How’s that for a big screen debut? She's been plenty busy these past couple of weeks, attending the premiere in LA and talking about her experience on set. But that’s not all we have to be excited about. A crew of talented alumni from Makeup for Film + Television, 3D Animation + Visual Effects, Classical Animation, and Foundation Visual Art + Design offered up their talents, helping bring the visual splendor of the film to life. They are:

Brandi Boulet (Special Makeup Effects Artist)
Cynthia Rodriguez del Castillo (Digital Compositor)
Christine Peterson (Senior Compositor)
Shivas Anthikkat (Digital Paint Artist)
Jason McKeeman (Senior Creature Technical Director)
Mike Nickiforek (Sculptor, Mold Maker, Silicone Prosthetics Fabrication)
Dean Mangion (Matchmove Artist)
Shawn Walsh (Visual Effects Executive Producer)
Ferda Ayaokur (Matchmove/layout TD)
Jagdeep Saggu (Paint & Roto)
Gudjon Kristjansson (Compositor)


Star Wars: The Force Awakens – a space opera more beloved by fans than Santa Claus is by children -- picks up the story of the originals 30 years later. Directed and co-written by JJ Abrams and starring a young, spirited cast (Daisy Ridley, John Boyega, and Adam Driver), the film tugged at millions of heartstrings, giving fans exactly what they wanted: a glorious, epic throwback. Who didn’t yell out when Chewie and Hans Solo showed up on screen together? Or when Princess Leia walked in with her hair down and her rank up?

We were stoked to congratulate Vancouver Film School alumni involved in the film, and we want to do it again. The force was wide awake with these graduates from 3D Animation + Visual Effects, Classical Animation, and Sound Design for Visual Media:

Maximilian Gordon Vogt (Character Modeler)
Michael Stewart (Digital Compositor)
Cedric Lo (Lead Animator)
Shivas Anthikkat (Digital Paint Artist)
Jon Borland (Foley Editor)
Ryan Clarke (Senior Compositor)

Congratulations, all! We couldn't be more proud!

*If we've missed any alumni in this post, please email us at social@vfs.com and we'll be happy to update!