When Moises Lucero was finishing up high school in Winnipeg a couple of years ago, he was having a really hard time making up his mind about what to study once he graduated. With a passion for the entertainment and creative media arts, he was trying to decide between going into film production or animation.
So, to help him figure out his next academic steps on the way to establishing a career, he decided to enroll in one of Vancouver Film School’s Summer Intensive programs, which start on July 10. The week-long instructional programs offered a solid intro to a wide range of entertainment and creative media arts over the summer.
In just five days, Lucero found his future calling.
“It made me a lot more passionate about the things that I can do in animation,” Lucero said.
He enrolled in the full-time, one-year Animation program at VFS, and graduates this year. Earlier this month, Lucero began working as a junior animator at award-winning Atomic Cartoons, which produces several popular children’s television shows, including Max and Ruby, The Angry Birds Movie, and Mariachi Zombie.
The VFS Summer Intensives didn’t just help Lucero discover his true passion for animation, but the program was also a low-cost and low-risk way to explore what VFS had to offer. His fee for the five-day Summer Intensive was applied to his tuition in the full-time animation program, so he felt that he really had nothing to lose.
“The Summer Intensive for animation runs the gamut,” Lucero told Cartoon Brew. “It baptizes you into the course that you want to take or you’re interested in taking.”
VFS offers five areas of specialization within its three animation programs — and students in the Summer Intensives are exposed to all of them, according to Ted Gervan, Vice President of Education. “They can learn about the subtle differences between animation, concept art, 3-D animation, visual effects, and classical animation,” he said.
Open to anyone 16 years and older, VFS Summer Intensives also offer students a chance to work with talented artists studying other fields, as well. For example, film production students collaborate with others in the acting program in real studios, such as the Hotel Griffin, inside the school’s grand 155,000-square foot Gastown campus.
“They’re going to be using our post lab, our theater, and our production design classroom,” Gervan said. He emphasized that these programs offer everything students need to hone their skills and prepare for advanced study and careers in the animation, film, TV, video game, and mobile industries.
“Participants have the opportunity to explore VFS’s premier full-time programs and career opportunities in British Columbia’s creative economy in a fun, interactive, low-risk, and low-cost format,” Gervan said.
And, it all happens in just one, fully immersive week.
“Students take the intensives for all kinds of reasons,” Gervan added. “Some are casually interested in film and media, and are looking for something to explore further. Others have made a strong commitment to learning a trade, getting their first job, and in many cases our intensives attract those seeking a career change. For some students, the intensives are the first step in a life-changing journey.”
He describes the Intensives’ education style as “ensemble teaching.” “It’s not one teacher in a classroom in each of these programs,” Gervan explained. “They’re working as a team.”
There’s also an opportunity for students to make friends and network in VFS’s state-of-the-art Gastown campus. “I always tell students who are pursuing postsecondary training options to learn as much as they possibly can prior to enrollment,” Gervan said. “Taking an intensive provides a realistic look at what it is like to study at VFS. Often it gives participants the confidence they need to make an informed decision about postsecondary study.”
And that’s why Lucero over at Atomic Cartoons recommends the VFS Summer Intensives. “It really sold me on animation,” Lucero said. “It inspired me.”