Whether you’re already at school, looking to find a new school or even considering moving overseas to study, nothing beats hearing from the students themselves! We speak to David Koss, a first year student at Lost Boys Studio now doing his practicum at The Embassy VFX, about the ins and outs of studying at Lost Boys Studio in Vancouver, Canada.

The Specifics

What’s the name of your school?  

Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects

What’s the name of the neighbourhood?

Kensington-Cedar Cottage

Closest train station or public transport option?

Lost Boys is located in between Commerical/Broadway & Nanaimo Skytrain Station.

How long have you been there?

1 year.

Why did you choose to study here?

Mostly because of its reputation. I emailed a few alumni and they confirmed everything positive I had heard about the school. Another big reason was because the class they offered was so focused on a single aspect of visual effects (compositing) instead of being a generalist course.

Group Project: Blade

The Scene

The first thing you see when you walk outside your school?

The Skytrain.

The closest shop outside your school is:  

Chance Cafe. Cozy little place to have a coffee.

Your school is great, but you wouldn’t mind a bit less:

Stairs! There’s a lot of them.

The unofficial uniform of your school is:

People wear whatever they want most of the time, but the staff has started doing “Weta Wednesdays”  where they wear their Weta T-shirts all day. Besides that, I’d have to go with...hoodies! It can get a little chilly in the studio, especially when you pull an all nighter.

A mandatory stop for anyone new to your city:

Earnest Ice Cream. They have some seriously good ice cream.

A common myth about your school is:

It is said that Ganz (one of the teachers) is unable to wear anything other than plaid shirts. I know this isn’t true though because I saw him wearing a suit for graduation once. He sure does wear a lot of plaid though. We asked him about it once and he said it was so that people could use it for tracking markers if he was ever being filmed. Now that’s dedication!

A massive night out for students at your school is likely to be:

Order some pizza, grab some beer, and watch a movie on the projector. Or if we are celebrating something like a birthday, usually we go out to a restaurant together.

Mark Bénard explaining Green Screens

The Superlatives

You won’t find a better place to eat than at:

Loku, on Commercial Drive. Really good Japanese food.

The strangest thing you’ve ever seen at your school is:

The corgi butt mouse pad that I got for our “Pirate Gift Exchange” during Christmas. It comes down to that, or when we did our face castings - seeing everybody with their faces covered in paper mache. It’s a tradition of sorts that every student has a cast made of their face and gets it hung on the wall somewhere in the school.

One thing you’d never change about your school is:

The atmosphere of the school is something I would never change. It becomes your home after a while, and the people there are like your extended family. Everyone there has a common interest in making awesome VFX, and there's a certain enthusiasm that the teachers and staff have that makes you want to learn more.

But one thing you wouldn’t mind seeing changed is:

The vending machine. It eats your money faster than you would believe, and sometimes it doesn't even give you what you wanted. For real, that thing is pure evil. But sometimes if it feels charitable, two things fall out for the price of one.

Someone gives you $1M to pimp out your school. You use it to:

Install a fire pole so that you could quickly slide from the top floor to the ground floor with only a minor risk of serious injury or death. Besides that, there’s not a whole lot the school is missing. Maybe I would build a Tim Horton’s right across the street since there aren’t any within walking distance. I need my double double and some timbits!

Author: Visual effects Compositor, David Koss is from Tecumseh Ontario, and moved to Vancouver BC to attend Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects to jump start his career. David is now doing his practicum at The Embassy VFX.

You can find David Koss on LinkedIn and his own website.

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