Montreal houses local offices of major multi-national visual effects facilities headquartered in the U.K., including Cinesite, Double Negative, Framestore and MPC, and also has a strong roster of local companies, including Folks VFX, Mels, Raynault VFX and Rodeo FX in addition to American companies like Atomic Fiction and Reel FX.
“We have always fostered a strong tradition of local artistry, but because the industry wasn’t that large, many practitioners pursued their careers elsewhere in the world,” says Grysole. “With our massive growth spurt, it feels like the industry has finally tapped into the creative kernel that has long existed here. Given the caliber of local VFX talent and the added draw of tax incentives, Montreal is benefiting from Vancouver’s success, which has spread across the country.”
This French/English bilingual Section currently boasts approximately 110 members, most doing visual effects work in the film industry on VFX blockbusters or feature animation. An estimated 40% of local VFX practitioners have relocated in Montreal from France or elsewhere in Canada, and also from all over Europe and the U.S., making for an eclectic and rich multicultural community.
The dynamic Section management team, co-led by Grysole and Section Co-chair David Bitton, is focused on membership growth and building a programmatic calendar of educational events around the craft. It currently hosts popular monthly film screenings for its members, due in large part to its partnership with Technicolor.
The Section also hosts two major annual events that serve as opportunities to recruit prospective members and raise the profile of the VES. The Fall Cocktail has become one the Section’s signature events where members, guests, artists and industry influencers convene and socialize. Last year, the Section teamed up with EffectsMTL – the flourishing east coast VFX and feature animation conference – to tap into the diverse audience of attendees for its Fall Cocktail.