The visual effects (vfx) industry in Montreal is booming. Currently the 4th largest global centre for vfx, with an estimated $278 million in contracts for over 187 local and foreign projects, the Montreal industry has been expanding steadily since 2009, with an annual growth rate of 27%.
Quebec studios have crafted over 21,634 VFX shots for a number of large-scale film productions, including Star Wars: Rogue One, Arrival and Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Men Tell No Tales, as well as Versailles and American Gods, produced for television.
Counting nearly 40 companies and more than 3,000 industry professionals, Quebec has sealed its status as a world-renowned hub of skill and creativity.
effectsMTL, the largest international conference for the VFX & Animation industries on the North American East Coast, is back for its third edition on September 6-7 at Palais des Congres. And this year is expected to reflect the growth the industry has seen since last year.
“We teamed up with the QFTC (Quebec Film and Television Council), the association for all the visual producers, and we decided to create effectsMTL because there was a need for this type of event for the local industry, which now employs close to 3,000 people,” Serge Landry, effectsMTL Director told MTLinTECH.
“The visual effects industry has been booming since 2009 with the introduction of the tax credit. Just last year there were 187 productions that were done in Quebec for visual effects and animation, and $278 million in awarded contracts. We felt there was a gap in service to this industry. That’s why my company, Connection Events, decided to create the event back in 2015.”
Sessions this year include a ‘Women in VFX’ panel chaired by Natasia Schumacher of Montreal studio Atomic Fiction, and two panels about the hiring process moderated by Pierre-Luc Labbée, the founder of rhum.
“We have an increase in the number of sessions from last year by about 35%. So we have broader content that covers many aspects of visual effects and animation, including gender equality and the presence of women in the industry, but also tips and tricks for the young professionals or students that are trying to get a job.”
One element we have this year that’s interesting for this crowd is the rhum Cafe, which will be a mentoring area. So the younger professionals can sit and chat with the senior professionals, to review their portfolio, or their resume, and how they present their work, or even to get tips and tricks for what they’re currently working on.
“We are also trying to bring in some international speakers. We succeeded in getting somebody from Weta Digital in New Zealand to talk about War for the Planet of the Apes, and we have somebody from Pixo Mondo coming to talk about Fast and the Furious.”
Last year’s event attracted around 1,100 attendees, and at least 1,200 people are expected this year. That includes the 200 or so people that will be attending the business lounge for B2B meetings with producers from Paramount, Netflix, and Fox. More than 260 companies in total are anticipated, as well as representatives from 12 different countries.
“I think this is an event that will become more and more visible on the international level. This year it’s already grabbing a lot of attention. But we hope that eventually Effects MTL will become a yearly event that all professionals worldwide will attend.”