Modus, The History of America, Digital Effects, and President Obama

Posted on April 29th, 2010 in Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

We are always excited when finally a feature that we have contributed to with our digital effects is distributed in movie theatres or on TV. After months of hard work we can sit back, relax and enjoy the show. One of the latest projects we were involved in is the TV documentary America : The History of Us. We collaborated with our partners in the UK, Jellyfish Pictures to help relate the history of the United States using all sorts of digital animation, transitions, set extensions and full landscapes.



This 12-part miniseries for the History Channel premiered last Sunday, following a massive campaign. Already the numbers are impressive, the first night of this special broadcast becoming the highest rated and most watched TV show for the network.

Part of the enjoyment of our involvement in shows like this is to check out all the following in the media; in this case it has been extremely well received. But the best publicity feat about The History of Us is certainly it’s announcer: President Obama, with a special introduction kicking off the series. That was quite a surprise!


You can watch the trailer from President Obama here.

VFX Online Townhall Meeting

Posted on March 18th, 2010 in CG Community,Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais


An interesting happening will take place on March 29th; the VFX Online Townhall Meeting where an “open discussion of a visual effects industry in transition” will take place online as a free, virtual meeting. Already the interest is very high in the community, and signups are happening at a rapid pace.

This panel is set up by Lee Stranahan, a former visual effects artist and writer for The Huffington Post who posted a hugely popular article a while back: Open Letter To James Cameron: Fairness For Visual Effects Artists. His views on how the VFX industry is working hard to attain proper recognition and acceptable working conditions in a world where digital effects movies top the box-office stirred many conversations. The recent abrupt closing of two highly respectable digital studios, Image Movers Digital in San Rafael and C.O.R.E. Digital in Toronto has kept this topic a hot subject.

The panel will feature Chris deFaria -Vice President, Warner Bros. Pictures, Jefferey A. Okun – Visual Effects Society Chair and visual effects supervisor and Scott Ross – Co-Founder of Digital Domain & former CEO of Industrial, Light and Magic.

I have already signed up.

Multiple job openings at Modus FX

Posted on February 14th, 2010 in The Company,Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

With many deliveries and new projects starting up, we are in hiring mode at Modus FX. Available positions include :

  • CG Character / Creature Animators
  • Experienced Animator for a full length CG feature and animation for feature film VFX; Autodesk Softimage (XSI) working environment, but we are looking for raw talent from any software background.
  • Set Dresser for layouts
  • Set dresser/modeler TD for set dressing in a full length CG feature; Autodesk Softimage (XSI) environment.
  • Creature TD / Rigger
  • Experienced Creature TD for creature rigging in our numerous feature projects; Autodesk Softimage (XSI) environment.
  • 2D Compositors
  • Experienced 2D compositors for numerous projects, VFX for feature film and full length CGI features. Nuke working environment.

All positions are available immediately. Apply at

Good luck!

Job opening : VFX Coordinator

Posted on October 26th, 2009 in The Company,Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

New VFX projects are underway at Modus, we have jobs with immediate availability, including:

VFX Coordinator

  • Management of information and project data;
  • Client contact for project following and communications with production staff;
  • Management of schedules and set deliveries;
  • Knowledge of postproduction / digital effects organization;
  • Billingual French and English, spoken / written;
  • Team spirited and excellent communicator, both written and spoken.

Send your resume and questions to

Thanks and good luck!

Modus FX is hiring…

Posted on October 21st, 2009 in CG Community,The Company,Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

Modus is growing… We have a lot of open positions, for example : VFX producer.

Key duties :
– Bidding projects and script breakdowns
– Manage clients and their expectations
– Attend client and production meetings
– Work closely with the VFX, CG and Comp Supervisors
– Work closely with the coordination and project management staff
– Monitor project status and budget

Please send your resume to

Thanks and good luck!

Modus FX creates digital worlds for Mr. Nobody, winner of the Osella for Best Technical Contribution at the 66th Mostra in Venice

Posted on September 13th, 2009 in Movies,Software,The Company,Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais


Sylvie Olivé, Production Designer on Mr. Nobody receiving the Golden Osella for Best Technical Contribution

Today, Modus FX announces having delivered 121 digital visual effects shots for the feature film Mr. Nobody, recipient of the Golden Osella for Best Technical Contribution at the 66th Venice International Film Festival. The film was produced by Pan-Europeenne, co-produced by Integral Film, Lago Film, Christal Films Productions and Toto & Co. Films, directed by Jaco Van Dormael, with visual effects supervision by Louis Morin. The film is also an Official Selection at this year’s Toronto Film Festival.

Despite recent slow-downs in the film industry, Quebec’s expertise in digital-effects production holds strong. All 500 visual effects shots for this sci-fi fantasy movie were produced in Quebec by Quebec companies. Modus FX was entrusted with complex sequences which could not be captured on film, involving the digital reproduction of entire cities, villages and other-worldly settings. Modus also worked on several complex transitions between the different worlds and multiple lives of Nemo Nobody.

Modus’ post-production contributions involved 37 digital artists and technicians across a six-month period. A long list of software, including Autodesk’s Softimage and Maya, Side Effects’ Houdini and The Foundry’s Nuke, and the creation of a multitude of innovative in-house tools, programs and techniques was required for the 121 shots delivered.

Co-founded by VFX industry veterans Yanick Wilisky and Marc Bourbonnais, Modus FX offers a full range of digital production services for film, television and new media. Boasting a 12,000 square-foot studio to house its team of seasoned artists, Modus FX has quickly become an industry leader, working on high-profile projects for clients and distributors such as Sony Pictures, TF1, Discovery Channel, Warner Bros. Interactive, BBC-1, and The History Channel.

Modus FX Around the World

Posted on September 10th, 2009 in The Company,Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

When you think you can just work on a few contracts and deliver nice images with cool digital effects in the comfort of your studio, suddenly you need to send personnel all around the world for on-set VFX supervision and coordination… Luckily we have great people ready to go on remote locations and be our eyes and ears; here is what is happening around the globe…

Shooting in Tasmania :


Martin is on top of Wellington Park overlooking Hobart, Tasmania

Martin Pelletier, our artistic director/look developer, is currently supervising the on-set VFX of a 4-week shooting happening in Tasmania. Setting up communication schedules is not easy, with a 10-hour time difference. Combined with the hectic schedules of film shoots, you have to be ready to chat at weird hours every day… and night.

Supervision in London :


Éloi, probably looking for a good pint o’lager in London, England

Éloi Brunelle is currently in London, England in preparation of a large-scale documentary, a joint venture we are working on with the fine folks at Jellyfish Pictures. Éloi is going through some previz and special techniques for the project, getting ready for the shooting in a few weeks… in South Africa.

With all this going on, thank goodness for Skype, Flickr and Instant Messaging.

THE VES Production Summit and how Visual Effects Artists are Disregarded

Posted on July 26th, 2009 in CG Community,Movies,Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

Digital effects artists and technicians are still struggling to find their rightful place in the motion picture industry. VFX are perhaps still not fully understood by our colleagues in the other trades of cinema. Probably a subject to address in more details later; for the moment, some interesting comments from Visual Effects Society Chairman Jeffery Okun in today’s San Francisco Chronicle:

“Visual-effects artists in general are treated like interchangeable parts,” Okun says, “and are not regarded as an equal to the cinematographer, the editor, the writer or the production designer.”

…and farther down :

“The perception is that visual effects are driven by really smart computers with cool buttons that make things go faster or look better,” Okun says. “There’s a lack of understanding that the process is driven by artists.” The film industry’s faster-cheaper mantra has caused “tremendous stress and strain”

You can read the full article here.

Also mentioned in the short article, the Visual Effects Society is preparing this year’s Production Summit in Los Angeles where all areas of the industry can convene to discuss the challenges they face in an effort to open communication and move the industry forward.

The VES Production Summit will take place on October 24.

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