FatBelly VFX founder Shannan Louis
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Posted on Sunday, September 13th, 2020 Leave a comment

From the publication:

Vancouver, BC – When Shannan Louis launched FatBelly VFX earlier this year, she didn't expect COVID to completely mess up the world as we know it, but she was uniquely prepared.

Louis is no stranger to working on visually stunning, cutting-edge projects. He has run studios such as CoSA VFX and Psyop Film and Television, a leading visual effects company with offices in Los Angeles and New York, and has worked on projects that include the action. Thriller The Accountant starring Ben Affleck and the popular series "The Walking Dead", "Lemony Snicket – A Series of Unfortunate Events" and "The X Files".

With FatBelly VFX, she wanted to create a studio that would blow the industry by taking a holistic approach that aims to create an environment that empowers the team, as well as building social awareness and a culture of giving back.

Since the start, FatBelly has worked intensively on projects such as the second season of “Another Life” for Netflix, and more are in preparation.

The visual effects industry is especially known for busy schedules and high burnout rates. Instead, their studio, which is headquartered in downtown Vancouver, will offer more remote working opportunities and give parents the option of working from home either permanently or just a few days a week. "When kids are sick from home school, it means parents don't need sick days," explains Louis. "You can work from home while keeping an eye on your children."

This greater flexibility also means women, who are often forced to leave the industry after having children, can stay engaged. “We have to be adaptable and open to new approaches,” she says. A mixture of personal work and team culture building in combination with flexible remote work is the way to the future.

To streamline this process, FatBelly needed to use scalable, highly secure, and cutting edge technological solutions such as the cloud-based Arch Platform Technologies.

Louis' vision for FatBelly is to create a corporate culture that empowers and engages employees and gives back to their community. "It's also a smart business move," she says. "By creating an environment where people can do their best work, employees are happy and customers are happy." It's a win / win. "

With FatBelly VFX, Louis was also interested in getting women who work in VFX into creative positions. "There are only a small handful of female VFX supervisors in Vancouver," she says. "It's a male-dominated industry and for that to change we need to create opportunities for women to achieve equality." In order to achieve this goal, FatBelly is committed to women artists from the very beginning of their careers to offer them opportunities when jobs open up.

The studio has also partnered with VFX's Lost Boys School to provide their students with an 8-week internship with the studio. However, FatBelly is committed to working with talented artists of all genders and races.

To honor its community and foster a culture of giving back, FatBelly selects a different nonprofit each calendar year to raise funds internally and donate on behalf of the company at the end of the year. For 2020 the recipient will be the Downtown Eastside Women’s Center.

FatBelly also implements various internal initiatives. This year the team decided to learn sign language in order to continue breaking down barriers for people with disabilities.

“It's so easy to focus a lot on VFX and forget about the world around us,” explains Louis. “It is such a comprehensive industry that it is important that we remember other people and also stay connected to our community, which is why I implemented the above initiatives. "

A “FatBelly” means that people are in good hands both inside and outside the studio. "As a business owner and person, I feel that it is my responsibility to give something back to the community around me. I want others to benefit from it and also have 'FatBellies'."

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