My VFX Supervisor kit

Posted on January 31st, 2008 in Working in CG, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

Before going to this 30-day shoot that will take me to next March, I had to get my gear set up. I have to mention this post by Zoic’s Andrew Orlof. It is by far the most elaborate description of what a VFX Supervisor’s on-set luggage should contain, with all the gear neatly pictured (check out the link on Flickr). My own stuff is not as complete and I will not go into such details; so go read it. Now.

As for me, I too got a Tamrac bag, as a backpack because I’ll be moving quite a bit during the month to different set locations and between shooting units. I have another smaller pack for my laptop and documents. Here’s what my main bag looks like, minus the camera of course.


What I have in it:

  • Multi-colored hi-liters
  • Pencils, pens, sharpies, markers, post-its
  • Colored tapes, vinyl and masking
  • Colored spots, markers, single and double-sided tape
  • 18% grey card
  • Short (16’) and long (100’) measuring tape
  • Chrome ball bearing
  • Gloves
  • Flashlight
  • Memory cards, chargers, batteries and extra batteries
  • Tie-wraps and Velcro wraps
  • Camera, lenses, mini-tripod, remote control
  • First aid kit

 In my laptop pack I have

  • USB keys and card reader
  • Extension cord and splitter
  • Ethernet cable
  • Ethernet crossover cable
  • USB TV tuner with cable adapters
  • The current movie script
  • The current call sheet, crew list, schedule, tec survey
  • Our complete VFX bid

On the Road

Posted on January 31st, 2008 in The Company, Working in CG, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

After a few weeks of evaluations, bids and negotiations, we finalized the details of our first major contract. It’s a direct to DVD sci-fi / horror movie. Pretty darn cool I might add!

 I’ll be the VFX Supervisor on set. So I’m now on the road for 30 days on a movie shoot. I’ve been with the crew a week before the start of filming. It’s a first I’m present so early in a production; often the “VFX guy” is dropped in for a couple of days when the shooting is well under way. This time we were invited for the pre-production process so we can plan out the digital effects and yes, modify bits and parts of the action.

It will be the first time I’ll be away from my family for more then a couple of weeks. Needless to say I’m on Skype for a full hour every other night. Keeping tabs with the office is manageable, with e-mails, video conferences, and FTP & VPN access to our internal network.

I’ll see this week what I can and cannot mention about the project. For the moment, every department head is running around finishing their setup before the big show starts on Monday. Lots and lots of production meetings.

Interface[s] Montreal 2008 : Animation and digital effects

Posted on January 21st, 2008 in CG Community, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais


This Tuesday, January 22 will be the first of seven presentations from the 3rd edition of Interface[s] Montreal at the Society of Arts and Technology. The first event will showcase presentations and debates on animation and special effects, featuring:

  • John V. Kennedy, Digital effects producer
  • Benoît Melançon, Director of training in compositing, NAD Center
  • Martin Poirier, Project administrator, Blender
  • Jean-Sébastien Guillemette, Artist, Blender
  • Marc Bourbonnais, President and co-founder, Modus FX
  • Robert Moodie, Technical Director, Pipeline/R-D, Image Buzz
  • Mathieu Raynault, Matte painter and co-founder, Rodeo FX

A first for this year, the night is produced in part by the Quebec Film and Television Council. You can get tickets here.

2008: A Great Start

Posted on January 18th, 2008 in Entrepreneurship, The Company by Marc Bourbonnais

Sorry for the lack of posts, but the new year sure started off with a bang. We’re going through quite a few bids, which is taking a lot of our time. Yes, in fact it’s good news. I should be traveling for a shooting very soon, which should give time to put this blog back on track.

As for our start-up process, balancing finances, construction, hardware and client relations is tricky, but still doable with the correct attitude. We have started getting some management counseling, I’ll write about it soon.

Quebec at the VES Awards

Posted on January 9th, 2008 in Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

The Visual Effects Society is a professional, honorary society, dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences, and applications of visual effects with over 1,600 active members from around the world, including yours truly. The VES will hold its 6th awards show next February. This year 3 nominations are from productions completed in Quebec:

Outstanding Supporting Visual Effects in a Broadcast Program : Marie-Antoinette from Hybride;

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project : Sea Monsters : A Prehistoric Adventure from D.A.M.N. fx;

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Miniseries, Movie or Special : Race to Mars, from Digital Dimension;

Sorry, forgot to mention : 

Outstanding Visual Effects in a Special Venue Project :  Dinosaurs, Giants of Patagonia - 38_011, from Studio Virtuel Concept.

Good luck to all! You can see the complete list of nominees here.

VFX supervisors in film production

Posted on January 4th, 2008 in Working in CG, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

Hi all, quick post to start up the New Year;

Effects Corner (excellent blog by the way) was recently mentioning a nice article in Variety about the increasing level of recognition that VFX supervisors are getting in movie production. Our industry is maturing every day; it’s well known in our business that the sooner we are involved in the production process, the lower our Tylenol budget.