Vancouver Film School opens largest motion capture studio in Canada

Graham Qually, president of Mimic Performance Capture, in the new facility | Tyler Nyquvest

Vancouver looks to expand its Hollywood North repertoire by adding Canada’s largest performance capture studio to its  resumé.

Vancouver Film School (VFS) and partner Mimic Performance Capture Inc. made a joint investment of $1,500,000 to build a new 36, 000-square-foot studio in the heart of downtown.

Equipped with 40 Vicon Vantage camera’s valued at $25,000 each and three 40-foot stunt beams engineered to hold 3,500 pounds, the studio rivals some of the industry’s top facilities.

Located in the basement of a Gastown building leased from the City of Vancouver, the facility will be available for all students to use for final projects, which are a culmination of years of intensive production work.

“We’re excited to be collaborating with VFS; the school produces the highest calibre of graduates, and we’re looking forward to helping shape these future industry leaders,” Graham Qually, president of Mimic Performance Capture, said in a press release.

When the space is not being used by students, production companies will rent it for film and gaming development and other performance capture-related projects. 

Vancouver's only other performance capture studios belong to Animatrik, a virtual production studio in Burnaby, and Electronic Arts (Nasdaq:EA), which has already reached out to VFS due to overbooking at its facility.

“If you talk to the collection of visual effects and animation companies around town, of which Vancouver has one of the largest in the world, they are scrambling for talent,” said Jon Bell, managing director for Vancouver Film School. “They can’t fill positions quick enough.

“I have been part of the film industry for the past 20 years and every year globally it has grown, and it continues to be strong and grow here within Canada.”