LOS ANGELES — Access:VFX (www.accessvfx.org), a non-profit coalition consisting of leading visual effects, animation and games studios, has announced the launch of a new West Coast chapter. The global non-profit is building upon its mission to promote diversity within the VFX industry by expanding to the US West Coast and providing practical tools for up-and-coming creatives that are essential to succeed in the industry. These tools include mock interviews, reel reviews, virtual events and e-mentorship opportunities.
Led by co-chairs Kathleen Ruffalo, recruitment manager, USA at Framestore, and Ann Hoang, head of people & culture, LA at The Mill, the West Coast chapter’s first steps will be to promote initiatives such as its Slack mentoring scheme, industry apprenticeships and awareness-building events. It will also partner with local schools and organizations within the LA community. With other founding members that include FuseFX, Ghost VFX, Luma Pictures, Pixomondo and Zoic Studios, the chapter hopes to extend its outreach to not only students within LA and the surrounding communities, but those already working in the industry that have been furloughed or laid off due to the current pandemic.
“I’m thrilled to be involved with the launch of the West Coast chapter of Access:VFX — a long-awaited addition to the Access network,” says Ruffalo. “With the current climate, there’s never been a better time to encourage inclusion and diversity within the VFX, animation and games industries, which have historically struggled with a lack of representation of people from minority backgrounds.”
Established in 2017 to encourage diversity under its four pillars of Inspiration, Education, Mentoring and Recruitment, Access:VFX is an industry-led coalition of 50 leading media and entertainment companies in the US, UK and Canada. The new West Coast chapter joins Access locations that include Montreal, New York and Chicago.