BOCES Students Create Movie Magic at Special Effects Company

December 11, 2018

BOCES Career and Technical Education (CTE) students probably don’t imagine blowing up trucks, staging car flips and creating wind effects in their future careers. But that’s exactly what five CTE grads are doing at K-F/X, a Yonkers-based company that creates special effects for movies and television.
Jack Kirshoff, a 2008 North Salem graduate who studied welding and HVAC at BOCES, is now helping his father run K-F/X, and he would like to spread the word that skills learned at the Tech Center can lead you in many different directions.
“Everything I learned at BOCES has come in handy. I’d like to show kids that there’s a lot more that they can do with their skill than just work in that specific trade,” said Kirshoff. “We do gags [film trickery or stunts] for all the major production companies, Sony, Netflix, Amazon.”  In fact, the company is currently working on an exploding dye pack in a stolen moneybag for an episode of “The Blacklist.”
The four other former BOCES students currently working at K-F/X also graduated from North Salem High School: Devin Maggio, who took Film Production in 2002; Jake Hernandez, Auto Body 2008; John Greene, HVAC in 2008 and Zach Maggio, Electric, 2007. K-F/X is currently exploring the possibility of creating ongoing internships at the company for students in a number of programs.
Jack didn’t always plan on working with his dad, but BOCES changed his mind.
“I realized I needed and wanted to do this kind of thing—working with my hands.” He went on to graduate from SUNY Delhi with a degree in welding, learning skills he uses daily.
Kirshoff said he valued the fact that his teachers were all professionals in the trade they were teaching. “You’re learning from people who really know their industry.”
Kirshoff also appreciated meeting a “whole group of kids interested in the same things that you are interested in,” and remains friends with many of them today. “When I got to BOCES I realized that all the kids were just like me – interested in doing real-world work.”
“I wouldn’t have done it any other way,” he says, reflecting on his last two years of high school. “BOCES was fantastic.”