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Former Exploits Valley High student contributes to Oscar win

Grand Falls-Windsor native Jesse Forsey was part of the team that won an Academy Award for “Blade Runner 2049” last week.
Grand Falls-Windsor native Jesse Forsey was part of the team that won an Academy Award for “Blade Runner 2049” last week. - Jordan Maloney

Artist encourages others to take the risk

GRAND FALLS-WINDSOR, NL – Grand Falls-Windsor native Jesse Forsey helped contribute to the recent Oscar win for “Blade Runner 2049.”

The film won Best Visual Effects at the 90th annual Academy Awards ceremony.

“Every department in each studio has their own specific job,” said Forsey. “We get to work on a shot-by-shot basis, and we all contributed a little bit to each shot that's in the film.”

Forsey's employer, Framestore, does post-production in Montreal and was one of four companies that worked on visual effects for the film. Forsey himself does RotoPaint work, prepping the shots before they are computer-generated.

“There was a shot in the beginning of the movie with an eye,” said Forsey. “There was mascara on it, and they wanted us to completely reconstruct the eyelashes to get rid of the mascara. Instead of re-shooting that, we had to do it digitally. That was something that I myself actually worked on. It was really cool to see the first shot of the movie be something that I worked on for months.”

Forsey said it was great to have his work rewarded with an Oscar win, of all things.

He attended Exploits Valley High in Grand Falls-Windsor and was in Alberta when he decided he wanted to work in the film industry.

“I wasn't really sure what I wanted to do when I first got out of high school,” said Forsey. “I just knew I wanted to go into the arts.”

He decided to go to Vancouver because of the work in film production in the city. He attended Vancouver Film School to study the basics of film and figure out what direction he wanted to take in the industry.
Eventually, Forsey attended Lost Boys Studios and specialized in visual effects. It was there he was trained for RotoPaint work.

“It's a really hard path to look down especially when you're in high school in Grand Falls,” he said. “There isn't a whole lot to do with the film industry in Newfoundland. There are some shows that are filmed there, but as far as visual effects go, there isn't a lot you can't do inside of an office digitally.”

Forsey noted it’s difficult to succeed in the field of arts, but said it's possible if you set your mind to it. In the beginning, Forsey didn't know visual effects was a job he could make money in.

“You need to push yourself, find all the right people and take chances,” Forsey said. “Just really push forward, because that's what I did. I just took every single opportunity I had, I took so many different risks when it comes to moving all around the country.”

Forsey had some advice for young students looking to follow in his footsteps.

“Just follow your heart and go for exactly what it is you want to go for,” he said. “Looking at it and being younger, it's hard to see yourself getting there. But it takes time, and it takes a lot of effort. You're going to have a lot of people tell you that it's not going to work out for you, but if you put the work in you'll end up doing something pretty cool, like maybe winning an Oscar.”

Forsey couldn't discuss his upcoming projects because of non-disclosure agreements, but Framestore is working on Marvel's Avengers: Infinity War (Part 1) and Deadpool 2 in 2018, among many others.

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