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Mark Bénard | VFX Educator, Producer & Supervisor

About

Along with shaping the direction of the school, Mark Bénard provides instruction, supervision and personal mentoring within all of Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects Programs, replacing lecture-based classroom training with a focus on project-based learning and mentorship. A pioneer of Vancouver’s VFX Industry, bringing over 18 years of studio, on-set and supervisory experience from projects across the globe. Carrying the honour of being the Visual Effects Society (VES) | Vancouver Section’s Chair of Education & Technology, Bénard stands out as a leader in VFX Educational Development. As an influential contributor to the VFX Industry he holds annual responsibilities as a judge for the Visual Effects Society Awards and the Silver Screen Awards. Bénard is the primary decision-maker on the VFX Curriculum.

TV & Film Productions Credits

Follow through to the Internet Movie Database

IMDB Credits

History

In 1996 Mark Bénard began his career as an independent visual effects (VFX) artist in Vancouver’s newly developing industry and soon attracted the attention of Sir Richard Branson’s Virgin Digital Studios. Together they created the internationally acclaimed Lost Boys Studios, one of Canada’s top 3D animation and visual effects boutiques, recognized for its innovation and creativity. While operating Lost Boys Studios, Mr. Bénard was known for his hands on approach to management, working alongside his team as a Visual Effects Supervisor, Producer and Artist on hundreds of award winning film, television, game cinematic and commercial productions.

After 10 years running an award winning studio, Mr. Bénard transitioned the business towards visual effects training. A direction chosen after noticing the failure of standard education models in producing job ready VFX artists. Traditionally young artists would compete for limited studio entry level positions, slowly mastering their craft over several years under the guidance of senior artists. Mr. Bénard developed a curriculum that embraced mentor driven project based learning carefully designed to reduce the lengthy development time down to one year. This method produced an accelerated pathway to grasping the complex skill requirements of VFX Production and have resulted in his graduates enjoying an unprecedented 98% placement rate.

Mr. Bénard believes in staying current and is actively involved with continually evolving the curriculum. As a veteran in his field Mr. Bénard was nominated Education and Technology chair for the Visual Effects Society Vancouver section from 2011-2015. In 2013, listening closely to industry feedback, Lost Boys developed two new programs specifically focussed on the VFX crafts of Compositing and Effects. Mr. Bénard considers specialized craft/trade based, industry certified training, is to be the future of visual effects education and will continue to develop programs to reflect this.

Professional Memberships & Associations

Visual Effects Society | Vancouver Section
Board Member - Education & Technology Chair
Annual VES Awards - Nominee Voting Member
ACM SIGGRAPH | Vancouver Section
Member
Academy of Canadian Cinema & Television
Canadian Screen Awards - Visual Effects Category Chair
Screen-Based Media Industry - Education Advisory Committee
Board Member

Vancouver - Land of Movie Magic

  • Practical training in the field of visual effects has eluded traditional education models. With the visual effects industry, innovation and adaptation is key. Boutique training institutions such as Lost Boys allow for the constant evolution and nimbleness required to be the pre-eminent School of Visual Effects.
    Mark Bénard | VFX Educator, Producer & Supervisor
  • Project based learning is the key to learning a complex craft such as Visual Effects. Emphasis must stay on the creative problem solving process with fundamental technical skill development in strong support.
    Mark Bénard | VFX Educator, Producer & Supervisor
  • An inspiring work space full of like minded and supportive fellow explorers creates a natural learning environment.
    Mark Bénard | VFX Educator, Producer & Supervisor
  • Career training requires a close partnership between education and industry. Our near perfect placement rate is a testament to our commitment to stay on the cusp of relevance.
    Mark Bénard | VFX Educator, Producer & Supervisor

Selected Production Credits:
VFX Supervisor, Producer or Artist

Awards & Recognition

Film
  • Normal - Ravenwest Films Inc.
  • The Orchid & The Rose - Lost Boys Entertainment Inc.
  • The Score - Screen Siren/CBC TV
  • Finding Neverland - Miramax
  • What the Bleep Do We Know - Captured Light
  • The Snow Walker - Infinity Media Inc.
  • Air Bud IV - Keystone Entertainment/Miramax
  • Frank Was A Monster Who Wanted to Dance - Lost Boys Entertainment/Vanguard Films
TV Series
  • Stargate SG-1 - MGM Television
  • Gene Roddenberry’s Andromeda - Fireworks/Tribune
  • The Outer Limits - MGM Television
  • Poltergeist: The Legacy - MGM Television
Commercials
  • Toyota - Conill Saatchi & Saatchi
  • Listerine - J. Walter Thompson
  • DHL - IMAX Productions
  • Delaware Punch (Coca-Cola) - Lowe Lintas
  • Corona - Leo Burnett
  • Pepsi - BBDO
  • Bacardi - Z Publicite
Game Cinematics
  • LA Rush - Midway Games
  • The Hobbit - VU Games/Sierra Entertainment
  • Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit II - Electronic Arts
  • SSX 3 Tricky - Electronic Arts
  • Sega Soccer Slam - BlackBox Games
  • Anarchy Online - Funcom (Norway)
  • NHL Rock the Rink - Electronic Arts
Creative
  • 2007 Leo Nomination, Unnatural & Accidental, Best Visual Effects, Feature Length Drama
  • 2006 Houston Worldfest Gold Award, The Orchid & The Rose, Animation
  • 2006 Vancouver Island Short Film Festival, The Orchid & The Rose, Best Technical Production
  • 2004 Leo Awards, The Snow Walker, Best Visual Effects, Feature Length Drama
  • 2003 Crystal Screen Awards, Coca-Cola Beat “Tornado”
  • 2003 3D Festival Nomination, Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2, Best Gaming Cinematic
  • 2001 Emmy Nomination, Stargate SG-1, Outstanding Special Visual Effects, Series
  • 2001 Gemini Nomination, Stargate SG-1, Best Visual Effects, Series
  • 2001 Mobius Advertising Award, GNP Insurance, Best Computer Animation
  • 2001 28th Annual Northwest International Film Festival, Frank Was A Monster Who Wanted to Dance, Best Animated Short
  • 2001 New York Festivals, Frank Was A Monster Who Wanted to Dance, Best Animated Film
  • 2000 International Monitor Award, Bacardi Limon Campaign, Best Visual Effects
  • 2000 FIAP Latin Advertising Award, GNP Insurance, Best Computer Animation, Commercial
  • 2000 Circulo Creativo Advertising Award, GNP Insurance, Best 3D Animation
Business
  • 2008 Mistic – Science, Technology, & Innovation Nomination
  • 2004 Ernst & Young, Entrepreneur of the Year Nomination
  • 2003 Business in Vancouver Magazine, Top 40 Under 40 Entrepreneurs
  • 2002 Business in Vancouver Magazine, BC’s 50 Fastest Growing Companies (No. 10)
  • 2002 BC Export Awards Finalist, New Media & Entertainment
Gavin Templer - Alumni & VFX Creative Director
Mark's years of experience, both as an instructor and as a member of the VFX Industry truly help to elevate his students to their greatest potential. Anyone looking to be professionally prepared for a career in visual effects would be hard pressed to find anywhere better than Lost Boys Studios with Mark Bénard.
Rajavel Loganathan - Alumni & Visual Effects Artist
He is a very influential Mentor, helping us with ideal inputs to make our shots look stunning. He gave us more freedom and support in executing our projects. I very much loved working with him. Thanks for making learning Visual Effects more fun and easy.
John Lipskie - Alumni & CG Lighter
I had the pleasure of being one of Mark's students at Lost Boys. During that time, I have come to respect Mark not only for his creative approach to teaching but for his commitment to his students. He is a very talented visual effects artist with years of production experience that his students greatly benefit from. A resourceful, enthusiastic, and dedicated mentor. His diligence, energy and sense of humour is contagious.
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