The Visual Effects Society in partnership with the Québec Film and Television Council, have created Reignite Yourself, a five-part webinar series to destigmatize mental health and provide industry support. The episodes cover a spectrum of issues around mental health, including handling stress and anxiety, dealing with high-pressure situations, maintaining work-life balance, empathy, handling negative feedback and creating a growth mindset through confidence building and motivation. This video series is the first initiative of the VES’ new global Health and Wellbeing Committee co-chaired by Emma Clifton Perry, VES 1st Vice Chair and Philipp Wolf, VES Montreal Chair.
Weekly episodes feature conversations with acclaimed VFX practitioners sharing real-life experiences, including Chris White (VFX Supervisor, Weta Digital), John Dykstra (Academy Award-winning special effects pioneer), Kaitlyn Yang (VFX Supervisor, Alpha Studios), Monica Lago-Kaytis (Producer/CEO, Frogbot Films) and Mark Osborne (Director, Netflix), and mental health specialists Dr. Melanie Bilbul (Psychiatrist, CHUM), Dr. Amal Abdel-Baki (Psychiatrist, CHUM), Dr. Drea Letamendi (Clinical Psychologist, UCLA Student Resilience Center) and Camille Charbonneau (Mental Performance Consultant)
“We have to be diligent about putting in the same amount of time on improving our mental health, as we did on improving our visual effects skills, in order to enhance our work environment and drain toxicity. I’d like to take the visual effects industry to a level of (mental) healthiness that I’d feel good to let my future kids follow this path, if they wish to pursue visual effects.”
– Kaitlyn Yang, VFX Supervisor, Alpha Studios
“The stresses of our industry can affect our mental health, physical health, family, and relationships. We need to acknowledge mental health with the same importance we apply to safety on-set and in the office place.”
– Chris White, VFX Supervisor, Weta Digital
“Visual Effects is a high pressure work environment. It is critical to relieve that pressure intermittently with physical and psychological relaxation … Mental exploration and recreation outside of the work environment is part of the mental maintenance that will prevent burnout.”
– John Dykstra, ASC, Acclaimed Visual Effects Artist