So I got into Vancouver Film School...


Two things:

  1. I’m accepting pending on if I make a deposit for the scholarship. I have to say that this school has been on my #1 spot for schools. My adviser is about to send me the forms I need to make the deposit. I’m super excited but the thing is, it almost feels TOO easy to get in. Maybe I’m just not confident enough with my art skills but I am super happy and excited that I got in.

So are there any opinions on VFS?

  1. Is there anyone here planning on attending VFS in August 2016 that needs a roommate? I should probably say that you should be okay with a lesbian roommate before agreeing to be my roommate.


It is actually pretty easy to get in. I am pretty sure they accept anyone with really basic skills (like I did at that time) and the money.

I am not saying it is a bad school. In 2007-08, there were some good teachers and bad ones. Depending on how much your scholarship is, you might also want to consider cheaper alternatives.


I think I can afford it. Would you say that this school was helpful for you and your career?


Honestly, no. VFS did not help my career.I mostly started building my skill sets after I left the school. But then again, I was a big slacker back then.

I don’t know where your current skills stand, but I would not recommend it if you are at a beginner level as one year is just not enough time even if you are willing to work hard. It’s just my personal opinion. The nice reels you see from VFS are from students who already do good work.

Since you said you can afford it, then go for it! But don’t go there expecting to learn some secret stuff that would transform your work. If you remove the awesome people you get to meet, it’s basically digital-tutors level stuff with a 50k tuition.

P.S: I assume you are an animator, have you looked at animation-mentor / ianimate?


I find these remarks unrepresentative. @Fumetsu, if you didn’t start building skill while at VFS then perhaps that is why you have a negative (unhelpful) perspective. Perhaps you ought to elaborate on your experience instead of using vague criticism.

In my opinion:
[li]The programs are highly immersive and demanding. You cannot expect to be on the sidelines and reap from the experience.
[/li][li]Across the programs offered instructors are industry practicing professionals. This insight should help students learn whats important and learn more of the who’s who of local industry
[/li][li]VFS brings in industry mentors and professionals to speak and provide valuable insights
[/li][li]To my knowledge, most programs provide students an opportunity to present projects to industry professionals, thus providing networking experience and experience pitching themselves for work.

This is much more than “Digital Tutors for a 50K tuition”. As for it not helping one’s career, no school can guarantee a successful career placement. However, I have spoken with various department heads and instructors which has demonstrated to me that VFS is looked upon highly for recruiting talented individuals.

@serenatheanimator, as for feeling TOO easy to get I think you should feel privileged. There is a large amount of applicants from all over the world and the competition is high. VFS is constantly expanding to meet demand and currently has an extremely high percentage of foreign enrolment.

Hopefully this is of some helpful perspective.


serenatheanimator is a name I’ve used for websites for a few years, but recently I’ve been wanting to do 3D modelling for environments instead. I’ve looked into Animation Mentor but I don’t think it’s my top choice


That is my opinion based on my experience there, Jason. I am pretty sure I am allowed to have one. Is it necessary for it to be a glowing review for it to be representative and helpful?

As someone who went there as a complete beginner several years ago, I did not learn anything that I haven’t learned from online courses (in fact I have learned a LOT more attending courses like the ones they have here on Cgtalk), hence the “Digital-tutors” comment. That was not meant as an insult to any of the instructors and I agree that I should have probably worded it differently.

Since you wanted something not very vague, here it goes:

My one year at VFS was split into 6 terms, where the first three terms you attend classes touching everything from modelling to compositing. You pick a specialization during term 3 and have the remaining three terms working on your reel and you have a VFX specific mentor assigned to you. The part I liked about it was that you get a real world “dailies” like experience every few weeks. Since lighting was supposed to be a part of the “VFX” stream, that is where I went after my third term.

The instructor, who no longer works there, thought it was a good idea to spend several, I repeat, several weeks teaching us to match a live action plates camera in maya and other basic match move stuff. As a lighter, none of those lessons helped me prepare for the career I would have today.

I agree VFS, like many other schools do have some talented instructors who work in the industry who either do part time lessons in the evening or are full time mentors. But have a look at these two profiles (only picking two out of the many):

They are also very talented and the training that they sell would be as good as anything you can get from any talented instructor in our industry. Your argument of VFS having talented instructors working in the industry make it sound like they are unique to VFS.

You also seem to ignore the fact that I too am a so called “industry professional”.

I too have had the opportunity to look at several reels and to speak to heads of departments / people in charge of recruiting and I cannot recall one instance where the topic of which school the candidate went to was brought up. Or an instance of “hey, this one went to X school, let’s look at his/her reel!”. There is definitely a bias towards certain prestigious universities if you are a pipeline TD or work in R&D, and people tend to have a second glance at that, but VFS is not one of them.

So how can something be regarded highly, when that “something” is not a factor at all in this industry? A good reel from VFS is the same as a good reel from anywhere else. It would not hold higher weight just because it is from VFS.

But the reality is that even with the best instruction in the world, the time that you have at a course like the one year program at VFS, can only get you so far to get that entry level job and the bar at which “entry” level starts is being raised every year.

I agree with you, networking is a great thing when you attend a school. But then again why is this unique to VFS? If you attended no school at all or went to a different school with a different set of industry professionals, you are still networking. if you had a good reel and went to a Siggraph job fair, wouldn’t you still be putting yourself in front of the right people?

Look at networking from an international students perspective which you say makes up the majority of students at VFS. Let’s assume he / she is from the US. They go to Canada, work really hard for that one year to come out with a reel that is good enough for an entry level job. Do you really think networking to be the biggest factor in landing him/her the first job? The 3-4 american students you have per class isn’t big enough of a network to land you a job back home especially when they too are looking out for their first gig. But even if you manage to find someone who could recommend you back home, unless its a very small shop, recruitment does not work that way. Each studio have their own procedures for recruitment. To me personally, the real networking only starts when you start a job.

There is a large amount of applicants from all over the world and the competition is high. VFS is constantly expanding to meet demand and currently has an extremely high percentage of foreign enrolment.

Unless things have changed dramatically, VFS like most other private schools, is not at all competitive to get in. Seems like a very biased opinion, Jason. The admissions standards at all of these private schools are a joke and no where near the same standards as used by schools like filmakadamie or Gobelins. I was able to secure this admission that you say one should feel “privileged” with less than a days work doing some really bad drawings in Flash.

Again, I stand by my previous statement. One year is just not enough time if you are a beginner. Regardless of where you go … But at the end of the day, you should do what you want to do! :wink:

serenatheanimator is a name I’ve used for websites for a few years, but recently I’ve been wanting to do 3D modelling for environments instead. I’ve looked into Animation Mentor but I don’t think it’s my top choice

I just looked at your Cgtalk portfolio, and I don’t say this to offend you, but I think you need more time to develop to get anything out of a one year program like VFS. If you are determined to go there, then I would advice you to start working hard right away before you go there in 2016.

I started out in a similar position as you, and although I had a bad experience at VFS, I did work hard to eventually end up working at places that I always wanted to work! I did no networking either to get that first big job. Here is my linked in profile: I hope this gives you some kind of motivation :slight_smile:

Having said that, if you haven’t made up your mind yet, I’d advice you to look at longer route options like SCAD/USC/Brigham young in the US or Bournemouth / Hertfordshire in the UK.

Any school/uni you can think of from MIT to some random college, there will always be people who has had good and bad experiences. I am one of those people who had a bad experience and to me the education made no difference in my career. But, I am sure you can go through all of the positive and negative aspects of VFS and decide if it is right for you.

And if this helps you at all, none of the job interviews I’ve had asked me anything about my education! And I’ve worked at some good studios:) It really doesn’t matter where you go to school or if you’ve been at all.


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