Okay, now that THAT’S out of the way, Yes, I did attend something of an open house a few months back and I did talk to someone who worked at VFS who gave me the tour, and let me explore on my own, attend a few seminars, and even got to play a video game where I was a savage chicken attempting to kill medieval villagers. But when VFS invites me out to these things, how can I pass the opportunity to cover an event? Usually if I’m bogged down with work more than usual. But today, I make an exception. Some of these interviews on tap can wait, they’ll be published in the coming weeks. For now, I’ll tell you all about this great Open House event for a school a few of my writers both current and former have gone to and even close personal friends have attended it as well. I ought to give some shoutouts to Jordan Parlee who informed me of the event, Elena who gave me the tour, all the nice staff I got the pleasure of meeting, and the interesting people I met there as well. And here we go!
Once the doors flung open, I found myself browsing the narrow halls of VFS taking quick glances at rooms, and waiting for my tour guide, Elena to show up. Eventually after wandering aimlessly I took a seat and decided to wait for one of the seminars when Elena finally arrived a bit later than usual, but I took up her offer of showing me the VIP tour of VFS because even though I took it before at a scholarship event, this one went a little further behind the scenes and even showed me some rooms I haven’t seen before. I’ll get into those later.
The tour started with checking out Animation Concept Art in Room 114. They spoke about how concept art is use for more than animation like set design, props, environments, and how it fits into more than just animations. After walking past the film production room, the 3D Animation and Visual Effects rooms, and the audio room, I got to check out Room 102, which was for Foundation Visual Art and Design. I learned that’s where everything is offered and allows for students to choose where they want to go when they’re unsure of what to pursue. The class offers lessons in VFX and film, life drawing and portraits, and other concepts. The Senior Instructor explained to me how all stages of the course have an organic flow and at the end of the year, all the students get to do an elaborate art show complete with pitches. The next stop of the tour was in the VR/AR Design and Development Room (108) where I got to check out some fun games involving mixing music and grabbing orbs and jellyfish. VR looks like a complicated process to set up, but a course at VFS will have you making stuff within 8 months. Next to I was brought to the lower level, where I got to witness a Omari Newton giving aspiring voice actors a speech on breaking into the VA industry. I then got to see the deepness and intensity of a 360 green screen room which felt like being in an optical illusion. There was also a cool mocap (motion capture) demonstration by some VFS alumni and instructors who gave me a private show featuring two military cartoon types escaping the enemy troops. The most interesting thing about the studio is lots of students from different programs collaborate together on projects from time to time. After touring the prop room, some student film sets, and a few other rooms, Elena took me back upstairs to Room 106 where I met an instructor who educated me on the writing program, being only a year long, allowing you at first to write many different formats. By 3rd term, you get to decide what you want to write for a living. Interesting how a lot of people who take that course end up writing things they never would consider before. Eventually, I decided to head off on my own and explore Game Design over in Room 109 to get a refresher of the last time I was in there for a bit too long. I then took a good look at the Makeup Design Table outside Room 111 and got to see some cool detailed masks. There was even a chair and table set up where one of the artists was applying prosthetics to actors and letting them walk around campus in elaborate costumes. This seemed like an anime episode I just rewatched last month. On my last stop in the tour (or second-to-last most likely) I stopped into Room 103 and learned some quick simple stuff about the complexities of Classical animation and how they taught digital hand drawing in the course. After a bit of that, I helped myself to some of the free refreshments and left. I’ve said VFS moves Very Fast when it comes to Studies, and this Open House really gave me a lot of info, maybe even more than the last one I attended, but I enjoyed it and highly recommend anyone check out the possibility of attending if they get the chance.