mark benard

Founder & VFX Supervisor of Lost Boys

Bridging the Gap - Education & Industry

A pioneer of Vancouver’s VFX Industry, Benard brings over 20 years of studio, on-set, and supervisory experience from projects across the globe and applies this knowledge to advancing the field of Visual Effects education.  Along with shaping the direction of the school, Benard provides instruction, supervision and personal mentoring within all of Lost Boys | School of Visual Effects Programs.  As a veteran in his field, Benard was nominated Education & Technology chair for the Visual Effects Society Vancouver section from 2011-2015. In 2013, listening closely to industry feedback, Lost Boys made the switch from general Visual Effects studies to pioneer highly specialized programs more reflective of modern Studio Pipelines. Benard considers specialized craft/trade based, industry certified training, to be the future of visual effects education and will continue to push development in this direction.

History

In 1996, Mark Bénard began his career as an independent visual effects (VFX) artist in Vancouver’s newly developing industry. News of his innovative and pioneering work 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. While operating Lost Boys Studios, 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 of running an award-winning studio, 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. 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.

TV & Film Production Credits - iMDB Credits

*Follow through to the Internet Movie Database

Select Media

Over 20 Years of Entrepreneurship & Visual Effects Excellence

Business Recognition

Top 40 Under 40
2003
Business in Vancouver Magazine
Ernst & Young
2004
Entrepreneur of the Year Nomination
BC Export Awards Finalist
2002
New Media & Entertainment
Top 10 of BC's 50 Fastest Growing Companies
2002
Business in Vancouver Magazines
Rising Star of Animation
1997
Animation Magazine
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Creative Awards

International Monitor Award
2000
Bacardi // Best Visual Effects
Emmy Nomination 2001
Outstanding Special Visual Effects (Stargate SG-1)
New York Festivals
2001
Best Animated Film
Leo Awards
2004
Best Visual Effects Feature Length Drama
FIAP Advertising Award
2000
GNP Insurance / Best Computer Animation Commercial
Gemini Nomination
2001
Best Visual Effects Series (Stargate SG-1)
Circulo Creativo Advertising Award
2000
GNP Insurance / Best 3D Animation
Northwest International Film Festival
2001
Best Animated Film
Mobius Advertising Award
2001
GNP Insurance / Best Computer Animation
3D Festival Nomination
2003
Best Gaming Cinematic // Need for Speed: Hot Pursuit 2
Crystal Screen Awards
2003
Coca-Cola Beat "Tornado"
Vancouver Island Short Film Festival
2006
Best Technical Production // The Orchid & The Rose
Houston Worldfest Gold Award
2006
Animation // The Orchid & The Rose
Leo Nomination
2007
Best Visual Effects Feature Length Drama
Mistics
2008
Science, Technology, & Innovation Nomination
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A VFX Supervisor Supporting Your Projects

Industry Testimonials

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.
Gavin Templer
Head of FX Pipeline TD | ICON Creative Studio
I had the pleasure of being one of Mark's students at Lost Boys Learning. 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. I highly recommend him as a teacher.
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John Lipskie
CG Lead | Zoic Studios
Mark is an awesome mentor and also a stellar person. As anyone who has ever worked with him or studied at Lost Boys will tell you, he a great professional and, along with Gillian, has structured the best project based learning program that you could ever hope for.
Georgios Kyparissous
Lead FX TD | Industrial Light & Magic
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