The Think Tank Story

Think Tank was created from a spark. The spark from within that urges a person to do more, to do something that they feel passionate about, something that consumes them until they start on that path and follow their purpose in life. For Scott, that spark ignited with the dawn of Jurassic Park. In 1993 CG was still in its infancy but when velociraptors were introduced to the big screen, a new age came to the film industry. Just as Star Wars had redefined FX and Sci-Fi in 1977, Jurassic Park set a new standard for animation in film. Pixar soon followed suit with Toy Story in 1995 and from there, CG revolutionized how we watch film to this very day. For Scott this was the moment he had been waiting for. After starting a sport fishing camp in British Columbia at just 19 years old, Scott then went on to flex his entrepreneurial muscles in several other projects but there was still something missing. A creative outlet.

What started as filling a void, soon turned into a blossoming career. Scott attended a small college in Vancouver called CDIS. In an age where the internet was not available to the average person, Scott trained as a 3D Character Animator in a classroom equipped with the bare essentials. As a pioneer program, the handful of enthusiastic students worked off of small silicon graphics workstations and Softimage software. Upon completion, Scott was quickly scooped up by Mainframe Entertainment, a company that had just been enjoying the success of the world’s first all CG television series, Reboot. In the 7 years following, he worked on 10 different series as an Animator, CG Animation Supervisor and Lighting Supervisor. Recognizing his success, CDIS asked him to return in 1997 to teach the new crop of budding stars, where his love of teaching arose.

Meanwhile, in rural Southern Alberta, Joseph Bullock was contemplating a career in Programming. As someone that was drawn to technology, this was something that appealed to him, but after a short stint into his degree, he came to the same conclusion Scott did: that to find fulfillment and hone in on his ingenuity, he needed a creative outlet. Staying in the same vein, Joseph packed his bags and headed to Vancouver to join the CDIS campus where his passion for technology and creativity were married into one field.

During his education at CDIS, Joseph crossed paths with Scott. As if by fate, Joseph found himself working at Mainframe with Scott and they became fast friends, working together on Hotwheels for Mattel. When Joseph got a job offer in Marseille, France, Scott couldn’t resist and got himself hired on the project as well. Despite all the fun they were having working in an industry they loved, there was always a question hanging in the air: what next? While in France, Scott was able to think about his future and his next move; upon returning to Canada he shared his idea with Joseph.

That idea was the seed that was to become Think Tank. Scott had a vision of a school, a school not driven by profit but by developing great talent by being accessible and forward thinking. A school that was truly student centric, molding the artists into industry-ready professionals and directly connecting them with a network of industry professionals. Joseph was inspired and a partnership shortly ensued.

From that day forward, they lived and breathed Think Tank. They took their idea and started constructing it from the depths of their imagination; everything had to be designed, written, planned and built. Little by little their idea started to bear fruit; the website came into being and the now infamous “brain in the jar” logo was chosen to represent their campus. Upon returning to Canada in early 2005, they hit the ground running and set about planning the physical build of the school and recruiting students for their first semester. Most importantly, they needed their home base, their lair for learning, they needed a campus. But what building could house the vast amount of creative potential that would be crammed into one place? After quite a quest, they had their answer. A 100 year old heritage building nestled near Lonsdale Quay ended their search.

Initially, Think Tank started as three classrooms and a theatre on the lower floor. In 2009, when the program was gaining popularity and Think Tank needed more space to accommodate all their students, Think Tank expanded to the middle floor. There was just one problem, architectural elements prevented them from their original schematic, but Joe had a vision and they decided to get creative. They proceeded to tape out and build their new floor plan scheme. As this was a budding school, and Joe and Scott could not afford professionals, they built the second floor lovingly with their own hands, enlisting the help of a few strong and tactile students. It blossomed into the Jules Verne submarine theme that you see today, complete with extra classrooms, a common area and a drawing theatre and stage.

Just like CG and VFX industries are constantly pushing boundaries and innovating new industry precedents, Think Tank Training Centre is ever-evolving and including these new innovations in their curriculum. They have gained popularity organically through the proven success and satisfaction of the students’ education and experience; with the majority of alumni moving directly into a career after graduation. The campus program was, and continues to be, sold out a year in advance, so Think Tank needed to devise a way to continually share their knowledge while maintaining the high quality training that they are known for. Cue the birth of Think Tank Online in 2017. This program is being developed and refined with every term and we are excited to be able to offer it to students, no matter where home is to them. Additionally, our campus is also ever evolving, with renovations to a new reception area underway featuring a “plane crash in the jungle” theme, and another site expansion in the near future. We are excited about the story we are telling and we are thrilled for you to be a part of our journey.

Think Tank is always evolving. We have been doing really great with not much of an effort for marketing. The growth has been happening through referrals and organically. Our program is often sold out, so we had do something to be able to share the knowledge with more people and as a result Think Tank Online has been born. As of June 2017 Think Tank Training Centre will be offering training live, for more information please check this page out.

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