VANCOUVER’S VFX HUB HUSTLES TO FEED GLOBAL CONSUMER HUNGER FOR CONSTANTLY EVOLVING CONTENT

A trip to the gigantic Beyond Capture Studios space leads to a starring role as an evil robot for reporter.

It’s Wednesday at 10 a.m. and I’m being urged to unleash a malfunctioning, murderous inner-robot rage on an innocent astronaut. The backstory is that daily relations between the two of us are copacetic and collaborative. Now, my robot wants to crush, stomp and kill.

This is harder to do than it sounds — made more difficult due to the fact that this robot hasn’t yet had his coffee.

My opponent is Max Harvey, who works in marketing and communications at the Vancouver Film School, and we’re in the Beyond Capture motion-capture studios that shares space in the VFS building. A cavernous, high-ceilinged and blindingly white room, the 32,000-cubic-foot space is state-of-the-art, wired up with 40 specialized cameras feeding into customized computers we aren’t allowed a close look at.

It’s a soundproof, high-tech facility with adjacent rooms holding over 50,000 props. There is a wardrobe area to outfit anything you might want to digitize for a project, from babies and animals to, yes, even reporters. A workout space featuring a note from a past client proclaims: “Thanks for the abs.”

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