We are the Studio that Teaches.

The Lost Boys Advantage

Far exceeding industry placement rates of any other school teaching Visual Effects, Lost Boys graduates are the most highly sought out source of new talent within the Visual Effects Industry. Known for their advanced skill sets, keen problem solving instincts, and knowledge of the entire Visual Effects pipeline they are trusted to handle challenging responsibilities and are often moved quickly into leadership roles.

In less than a year you can be successfully employed in a creatively rewarding career within the expanding Visual Effects Industry. Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects has proven to be the strongest, fastest, and most affordable path to your goal.

We are the Studio that Teaches

Lost Boys has it's roots as an award winning visual effects studio. Starting in 1996 as a service studio and then in 1997 with partner Virgin Digital Studios, Lost Boys became an internationally renowned visual effects and animation studio providing award winning content to films, commercials, television series, music videos, and game cinematics. More can be seen under the History page.

We differ from traditional educational institutions with our hands-on, project based curriculum and studio-like classroom environment, with some in the field excursions. Our hours of instruction closer reflect the future working environment, with additional evening time to work on projects. The small class size nurtures a strong learning relationship between students and mentors. This often results in a close knit group of friends who develop team work skills, while recognizing and supporting each others strengths.

Our instruction areas are set up much the same as you might find in any studio, with your own workspace and production class workstation. Students use this area to work on projects and receive one-on-one project discussions with the instructor and teaching assistant. There are also several screening areas including a theater (for large screenings), a recording room (for more personal lectures and screenings), and a student lounge (for smaller groups). For a better idea of our inspirational environment visit our Virtual Studio Tour page.

Getting you to your career goal as efficiently as possible.

Our programs are intensive shorter duration programs designed to immerse you in Visual Effects. We are different by design. Our emphasis is on teaching you a craft, not just software. We teach our students in an environment that mimics a real studio scenario. Teaching primarily using projects which simulate tasks they would be given in the industry. Students are provided a shot or a sequence of shots to complete within a realistic production deadline working under the guidance of an experienced mentor.

Our program is designed for those who know what they want to study and want to transition into a career as quickly as possible while still receiving a superior education. The program is not shorter in duration because it is lacking, it is condensed because there are no unnecessary "filler" classes. To compliment our projects students are provided with fundamental courses as well as lectures and demonstrations from guest instructors and speakers.

As this teaching method is intensive and has hours similar to that of many studios, the program duration is roughly equivalent to 2- 4 year programs at other schools. This helps to prepare student to transition into studios with ease. This unique instructional environment has proven to be successful with a very high placement rate of 98%.

Project-based learning is a dynamic approach to teaching.

Students learn real-world problems solving skills and challenge themselves in new ways. Each project reveals a new craft relevant challenge to overcome under the guidance of an experienced mentor. Unlike most educational methods that are only learning by listening, watching and memorizing, with learning by doing students learn to have greater understanding and better retention of the knowledge. As an added benefit, the flexibility of this style of learning allows students coming from different levels of experience to always stay challenged.

Through carefully designed demonstrations and courses students are shown all the fundamental skills required in the industry and apply/prove those skills through valuable portfolio projects which smoothly increase in complexity as the program progresses. We embrace an open floor plan, encouraging students from both programs to communicate and collaborate on projects. Our schedule is fluid, allowing us the flexibility to add in a last minute guest speaker or studio tour.

One of the major advantages of project work is that students feel better prepared for employment in a studio. They are encouraged to find new solutions to problems they encounter on the different projects thereby continuously learning. This is imperative in an every evolving technology driven field. Learning doesn't end in the classroom, it is a life long adventure!

Tell me and I'll forget. Show me and I'll remember. Involve me and I'll understand! - Confucius

Guided by industry to meet real demands.

We have two decades of experience actively participating in the development of our industry. We listen to the current needs. We anticipate the future demands. The outcome has been the creation two of the worlds top programs to give you your best shot at achieving your dreams of working in feature film visual effects.

Our Program Advisory Committee (PAC) for both the Compositing and FX TD Programs, include some of the top minds in their area of expertise and are met with regularly to help design and shape the curriculum to keep our programs current with industry needs.

Our Alumni are also another valuable resource. We are proud of our alumni and stay closely connected to them, resulting in valuable ongoing ties to industry and feedback to help us evolve the program. They have recently begun a monthly Lost Boys Meet-up held at our school to present cutting edge techniques and tools which is open to all alumni and active students.

We believe as educators it is vital that we stay connected and involved in the industry and contribute what we can back to the growing VFX community.

Our Founder, Mark Bénard is currently the Education & Technology Chair and Ria Bénard is the current Secretary for the Visual Effects Society - Vancouver Section Board. Through the Visual Effects Society they have hosted many industry events at our Studio, including VES Artist Spotlights, Houdini User Groups, VES Board Meetings, and Workshops. Mark and Ria also arrange industry events such as the annual Visual Effects, Animation & Game Development Career Fair and VES Celebration of Animation & Visual Effects(CAVE). They additionally serve on the Screen Based Media - Education Advisory Committee to help advise the provincial government on matters relating to the healthy sustained growth of our sector.

Lost Boys is proud to host and maintain VFXVancouver.com, Vancouver's primary job board for the visual effects and animation sector. Ganz Ramalingam, our Compositing Program Lead, operates and maintains lostboys-vfx.com, an online knowledge repository for all things visual effects and animation. Andrew Lowell, our FX TD Program Lead, teaches workshops, gives artist talks for the Houdini user group and VES. He has also taught for FXPHD to help spread his knowledge and connections.

We look forward to exposing the students to more industry events allowing them to meet professionals and make industry connections as well as strengthen our own.

In the field of visual effects, building solid relationships is key.

Thanks to our long history as leaders in visual effects production, our active industry participation, and our track record of producing the top fresh talent the Lost Boys brand is well known worldwide within the visual effects industry. Our reputation opens doors and builds connections. Through our networks, the VFX Industry will take an active role in your career development. We often have recruiters contacting us to ask when the next class is graduating and if we have any alumni available for work. Studios will often hire several Lost Boys at once, as employers know our student work together well as a team and have the knowledge to succeed.

Lost Boys is selective in applicants and intentionally creates smaller class sizes in order to facilitate strong inter-peer bonds and collaborative work habits. We develop strong personal relationships that last far beyond graduation. All our graduates make us proud and we care about each and every one of them. It is important to us that all our students succeed.

"We are often asked why we offer two focused (Compositing and FX TD) programs. The reality is that in order to achieve the high skill levels required for entry into Visual Effects you need to have a focus. If you want to succeed in professional visual effects studios, you are required to master very specific skill sets.

Not all departments are growing in the same way. "Compositors and FX TD's are in high demand and in limited supply." The industry has spoken and we have listened.

At Lost Boys you learn visual effects from day one with a focus in your chosen program of study. That means you will learn the fundamentals of the entire visual effects production process but always from the relevant perspective of your discipline. Focus, that is a key part of the Lost Boys advantage."

In the Press - Vancouver Magazine!
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In the Press - Vancouver Magazine!

Vancouver - Land of Movie Magic


  • In order to produce a professional visual effects portfolio one needs to begin with production quality background footage. A big part of what makes Lost Boys graduates stand out is our ever ambitious background plates. Costumes, props, SFX make-up, top notch camera gear, and beautiful sets/locations provide us with a production quality rivalling even the highest budget films and TV Series. On top of being a source of creative inspiration and a foundation to build your visual effects upon, filming is a great way to teach you how to appreciate the entire film making process.