Montreal Offers Expert Work in Digital Effects for Movie Production - Variety

Posted on November 2nd, 2009 in CG Community, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

An interesting poll was published in Variety last week. Film industry insiders rated their favorite filming location using different criteria related to movie production. Montreal did not make the high list, but a very special honor was given to our VFX community… Read more below;
Here is the North American filming locations top 5 :

  1. California - Los Angeles and environs, San Diego, San Francisco and spots throughout the state
  2. New York - Manhattan, the rest of New York City plus upstate locations
  3. New Mexico - Albuquerque, other cities and remote areas
  4. Chicago - Prototypical urban America
  5. Louisiana - New Orleans, other cities and parishes

And the international locations top 5 :

  1. Morocco - Cities and landscapes
  2. France - Paris, Provence and the Dordogne region
  3. Prague - Center of Central European filmmaking
  4.  Spain - Madrid, Barcelona and the Canary Islands
  5. U.K. - London, Edinburgh and elsewhere

In the honorable mentions, Sydney, Montreal and Toronto are featured for Best Production Resources. Here is what the poll had to say about Montreal :

“Montreal offers expert vfx work, spurred by tax breaks. High-profile films including The Golden Compass and Indiana Jones 4 might shoot elsewhere but still use Montreal’s talent pool for effects.”

Kudos to our good friends from Rodeo FX, who participated on both features! I can only agree when it come to foreign film shootings having its VFX produced in Montreal; it certainly represents the vast majority of our projects here at Modus.

You can read the full article here.

THE VES Production Summit and how Visual Effects Artists are Disregarded

Posted on July 26th, 2009 in CG Community, Working in CG, Movies 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.

Mr. Nobody Original trailer

Posted on May 27th, 2009 in Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

Thanks to Philip, here is the original English trailer for Mr. Nobody. Still low rez, but certainly transcends the beauty and finesse of the film. Some VFX are seen in the trailer, but fortunately the majority of the work is kept for the big screen!

Mr. Nobody trailer

Here is also the direct link :

Mr. Nobody trailer

Posted on May 24th, 2009 in Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

A trailer for the feature film Mr Nobody just appeared on the Web! Not very good quality, and dubbed in French. The movie is in English so a new version might appear soon.


Our first VFX demo reel

Posted on March 6th, 2009 in The Company, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

Patience is a virtue… And you need it in this industry. The downside of working in VFX is that you have to wait a long time before you can show your work. Usually the public release of the material we are currently working will happen months after we finish our work!

Right now our first VFX demo reel is available from our website, featuring work from Screamers : The Hunting and Les corbeaux. We’ll have more stuff in May with the film release of Mr Nobody!

Check it out here :

Click on “Reel”

Happy Holidays

Posted on December 19th, 2008 in The Company, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais


2008 is almost over, and it was quite a year for Modus FX. Here are three of our major projects that were completed during the year:

Screamers 2

  • To be released on DVD on Feburary 17, 2009.
  • 122 VFX shots in this sci-fi horror movie, including CG characters, digital set extensions, digital FX and comp effects.

European TV movie (Title TBA)

  • TV thriller for TF1 in France, to be aired in Q1 2009.
  • 256 shots of CG characters, crowd simulations, sky replacements and other comp effects.


  • Feature film to be released in 2009.
  • 130 VFX shots in a modern fantasy tale. CG characters, complex digital environments, particle simulations and heavy comp work.

Modus FX delivered over 500 VFX shots these past few months. Not bad for a young company that had only a few folding chairs and a couple of laptops just this January…

So after a year of hard work, all our staff will take a well-deserved break for two weeks during the holidays.

Thanks to all that contributed, worked or offered support to Modus since its beginning. Merry Christmas, happy New Year and we’ll see you in 2009!

A VFX Shop in my Tub

Posted on February 11th, 2008 in Working in CG, Technical, Movies by Marc Bourbonnais

Still on location… Not too many CG characters in this movie, but scripts can change… And after a few discussions with the director and producer, a new shot concerning CG critters set in moody lighting was added. All the other shots involved props, so matching the lighting would be easy. But with this new shot, I would definitely need a shading sphere*. Shooting starts in a couple of days. What to do?

Simple. Get a cheap, round light fixture (4.50 $). I prefer neutral grey than pure white; grey primer will do just fine (4 $). Because it needs a lot of coats and I did not want to go back in forth from the studio shops, I made my own paint shop in my hotel bathroom…. Don’t tell the hotel managers.

The trick is to spray enough coats of paint to get a nice even look, while keeping the paint fumes out of the hotel corridor. I found it safer to do it at night. And voilà! A nice grey shading sphere for under 10 bucks!


* For the non VFX-savvy folks reading this, a shading sphere is just a flat colored sphere that is used to capture the lighting, shadows and some color bleeding on a movie set. You move it around in spaces where CG characters will be inserted later as the camera is filming, so it gives you a visual cue to start building your CG environment. In the same fashion, white spheres are also used, as well as chrome balls for highlights.

Patrick Bissonnette, Line Producer at Modus

Posted on November 26th, 2007 in The Company, Working in CG by Marc Bourbonnais

It’s quite a challenge to make effects for film. To get results in an efficient manner, every project needs a line producer to keep production going at a solid pace. Patrick Bissonnette is now our in-house line producer at Modus.

His vast work experience ranges from management to administration and marketing. His solid business skills combined with his great team spirit will add a new depth to our core team. He has been with us for a few days now and his presence is already a strong benefit for Modus.

I can also say he is by far the most knowledgeable film buff I’ve met. His interest in anything about motion pictures outgrows anyone I’ve met in our industry.

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