Systems Administrator



Celebrating over 25 years in the industry, Scanline VFX specializes in creating complex visual effects for high end, block buster feature films with studios worldwide: Vancouver, Los Angeles, Munich, and Stuttgart. Founded in Germany, the company expanded to Los Angeles in 2007 and opened the largest studio in beautiful Vancouver, British Columbia in 2011. In 2015 it won the Emmy for Outstanding Visual Effects for their work on Game of Thrones. Scanline VFX has received multiple Academy Award Nominations for Best Achievement in Visual Effects: 2014 for Iron Man 3 and in 2010 for its work on director Clint Eastwoods Hereafter. We are also well known for our proprietary, in-house fluid effects software Flowline, for which it received a 2008 Scientific and Technical Achievement Academy Award.

Senior Systems Administrator

The Senior Systems Administrator reports to the Head of IT for our Vancouver and Los Angeles studio locations. Day-to-day tasks include basic help desk support via a ticketing system supporting 350+ users, and responding to alerts and emergencies in a quick and timely manner. Additional responsibilities of a senior system administrator include technical design, planning, and implementation of new systems, recommending the redesign and configuration of existing systems and system applications, and identifying methods, solutions, and project leadership and management in order to provide a high level of service to the customers of the department.

Provide organization-wide high level technical support
Assist in addressing business and technical needs
Design, build, implement, maintain and enhance system infrastructure across multiple hardware and software platforms
Mentor and oversee development of teammates
Respond to incidents and emergencies

A bachelor’s degree in a computer information systems, computer science, engineering, physics or mathematics
5+ years experiencing in a similar role, or 2-3+ years’ experience as a systems administrator in visual effects.

Experience with, and advanced understanding of:
Windows, Mac OS X and Linux systems.
virtualized environments
storage clusters
networking theory and practice (VLANs, link aggegation, routing)
common network services (e.g. DNS, DHCP, SMTP, CIFS, NFS)IPSec & SSL VPNs
internet standards

Basic understanding of:
imaging systems
project management tools

Ability to:
work independently and in a team
work flexible hours
work effectively under pressure
learn quickly
write Bash and Python scripts for systems automation
accurately communicate complex or complicated ideas

Experience with, and advanced understanding of:
visual effects or post production
render farms
high performance, distributed computing and storage
high availability architecture
EMC Isilon Clusters
Avere FXT Clusters
VMWare ESXi Clusters
Intel, Cisco, Extreme and Juniper 1GbE and 10GbE networking equipment
multiplatform software development with C++, Python and Java
network security

Intermediate knowledge of the following software:
Autodesk RV
Autodesk Shotgun
Autodesk 3DS Max
Autodesk Maya
Adobe Creative Suite
The Foundry Nuke

Basic understanding of:
Color theory
Data center design

Must be able to lift heavy objects (approx… 25 lbs)Must be able to work evenings, at times; longer hours and weekends (rotating on call)

+Extended Medical
+Disability Insurance
+Dental Insurance

HOW TO APPLY: independently and in a team


Lemme get this straight - the same guy must have a Comp Sci degree, AND knowledge of Maya, Max etc? I don’t know of any such people - do they exist??!


Yes, the VFX industry is full of such people. Most of them occupy the role of technical director, either in regards to pipeline, or more specialized niches such as lighting, rigging, and FX.


Lol, its still a bullshit job advert though. The job maybe real, but expecting to find someone that fulfills all the criteria and who would want to work for scanlinevfx is a little ambitious. People fulfilling the requirements would be on mega-bucks at other companies and not required to work weekends or lift “Heavy” objects.

Although, I think everyone has a basic understanding of “Color theory”.


Eh, most people have a price. For the right offer they might be able to snag someone who meets their criteria.


Maybe, but its an incredibly volatile-industry. I don’t understand how someone would meet those requirements and be out of work and think that ScanelineVFX was the one for them unless they’d already been made redundant from a similar company. They could have a much more secure job with their qualifications. ScanlineVFX is hiring an entire companies worth of people at the moment.


OK, I wasn’t aware of that.

How does one prepare for a role like this? Like, when you enter University, do you do CGI, or do you do Comp Sci? Or do you do TWO Bachelors’ or something??!!


You graduate with a proper degree (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics), or, as the job advert lists “Computer information systems, computer science, engineering, physics or mathematics” and look for a job. If you’re not prepared to travel, you’ll pretty much take anything that isn’t minimum-wage and so you could end up as systems-administrator for a company with more realistic entry-requirements. Whilst on the job you’d learn a bit about the software people were using etc and I wonder if

the “Intermediate knowledge of the following software:” has a very different meaning from how we would construe “Intermediate-knowledge”. Intermediate-knowledge for a systems-administrator, but not knowledgeable from the point of view of actually being able to use the software to create something.

VFX houses are like headless-chickens. Whilst they could create their own films etc, they don’t and instead rely on contracts to work on the films of others. Like actors, this means that VFX houses are frequently “Unemployed” and so every few years lots of people are made redundant. Then, upon securing a new contract, there is a period of mass-hiring. Its a bit like musical-chairs. So you’d kind of want a 3 year contract at $150,000 if you stayed system-administrating in a senior-role for a VFX company because of the lack of job-security, the extra knowledge required about the software-apps and having to be on-call to work weekends etc. However, you’d be mad to work at such a company, for such a position, if you had a STEM degree. Money isn’t everything.


For a system admin intermediate knowledge means that he is able to support the application in a demanding studio environment. The admin has to have good technical knowledge about the applications, their requirements and specific needs and problems. You don’t have to be any kind of artist.
The requirements are pretty normal imo, at least for a senior position that pays adequately.