All Good Things Converge at FMX
This year's event boasts a stellar lineup of presentations, panel discussions, workshops, screenings and exhibits -- the visible support from funding partners, industry partners, media partners and technology partners seems as strong or stronger than in previous years, which is no small feat given the current state of the global economy.
A quick perusal of the published schedule finds four packed days of programming. The conference schedule includes tracks covering animation, visual effects, gaming and crossmedia. Some notable animation sessions include presentations by DreamWorks' Simon Otto on How To Train Your Dragon, Disney's Leo Sanchez Barbosa and Mark Hammel on Tangled, Disney's Bruce Smith on Princess and the Frog, Studio Soi's Jakob Schuh on The Gruffalo and Aardman's Bram Ttwheam and Dave Alex Riddett on A Matter of Loaf and Death.
The VFX sessions are truly stunning in their breadth and depth. There are multiple presentations on Avatar, of course, including sessions by vfx supervisor John Bruno and head of layout and animation technologies Shawn Dunn, both from Weta, as well as animation supervisor Paul Kavanagh of ILM. Meanwhile, ILM visual effects supervisor Ben Snow explores the highly anticipated Iron Man 2, vfx supervisor Ben Grossman of The Syndicate / CafeFX presents on Shutter Island and vfx supervisor Dan Kaufman discusses District 9. There are also three presentations on 2012, presentations on Where The Wild Things Are, The Imaginarium of Dr. Parnassus, as well as a session on the stunning work that flows from Poland's Platige Image studio. There are also presentations on content as diverse as the TV crime show Jerry Cotton and digital horned slugs done for the film Splice.
The new crossmedia program, dealing with convergence across film, TV, computers, games and mobile, boasts presentations by legendary vfx supervisor Ken Ralston, of Sony Pictures Imageworks, on Alice in Wonderland and Technicolor Digital's president Tim Sarnoff talking about true global production and distribution pipelines, as well as more than a dozen other sessions.
There are 10 sessions on gaming, ranging from visual story and art direction, to social games and interactive development, presented by representatives from such studios as Electronic Arts, THQ, Sony, Blitz and Rocksteady.
Kevin Todd Haug (Quantum of Solace, The Kite Runner, Fight Club) is presenting a VFX Design and Supervision Masterclass. Author, VFX Specialist and AWN Expert Blogger Joseph Gilland will present "Elemental Magic -- The Art of Special Effects Animation," while the always insightful Ed Hooks returns with "Acting for Animators," a program he presents around the world that should be a requirement for everyone even remotely involved with animation.