Terrence Masson Talks SIGGRAPH 2010
TM: We started with the Technical Papers Fast Forward: a highlight of the show every year and starts off the conference, and it's a brilliantly funny and informative way to blast out lots of content in a very short period of time. So we're doing it for two nights this year, Tuesday and Wednesday, and it will go through a similar jury process as the other programs and we already have plans to expand it next year for 2011 in Vancouver. And we've got people brought in from all the major studios around the world.
BD: So what are we likely to see?
TM: You'll sit down and everyone will get two minutes to describe a video or power point of their shot and the story behind the shot -- and that's part of the judging criteria: it's not just who can do the greatest whatever. It's what went into producing the shot and that gives them the chance to physically present their shot, and discuss the challenge given to them and how they failed on their first attempt and finally came up with a wicked solution that had never been tried before or how they [relied] upon their prior experiences in a real life situation to influence this thing…And then at the end they got shoved to the back of the shot and it was only on screen for four frames and I worked for nine months to do that.
TM: Yes, there are more papers this year by broadening the scope of interest in the community. The bar was not lowered. But we have about 40% more and we're going to have a great number of really fantastic, varied Technical Papers this year. You should talk to Tony DeRose, the Technical Papers chair, of Pixar, to get more details.
BD: What can we expect from The Computer Animation Festival, now that a variation on the Electronic Theater, the Evening Theater, was reintroduced last year in New Orleans?
TM: We did indeed have the Electronic Theater named the Evening Theater, with the consistent content every night for a shared experience, after listening very intently to our attendees' survey, so we brought back the ET, but whether we call it the Electronic Theater or the Evening Theater has not been firmly defined yet. But that's coming imminently. But the extremely significant thing about CAF in 2010 is that Isaac Kerlow, our CAF chair, asked me: "Why is our deadline so early?" And I told him that every CAF chair, including me, has asked the same question, and the only reason given has been for scheduling reasons. But being the hard-ass that I am, I told him that I didn't have a good answer for that but I was going to get one. And it turns out that, by working really closely with our contractors, we were able to very carefully but successfully move the deadline back about two months.