By Johannes Walters
Buzzing clouds of animators, visual effects people and creative artists of videogames showed up last week in Stuttgart, Germany, at the Haus der Wirtschaft (House of Trade), where fmx/08 was held: the annual and international conference on animation, effects, realtime and content. Once again, this four-day event, the brainchild of Thomas Haegele, head of the Ludwigsburg-based Animationsinstitut, the animation school department of the Filmakademie Baden Wüerttemberg, seemed to become the international center of all creative people working in the visual fields.
If you attend fmx and are addicted to this world of creative and artistic visual development, you encounter a nightmare of decisions. At least eight wonderful panels, talks or lectures are given simultaneously. So you have to decide which programs you positively can't miss. And the one you choose, of course, will turn out to be the wrong one, as DreamWorks Animation's Shelley Page commented with her customary dry British wit.
More than 6,000 people attended fmx/08 again this year. And more than 400 speakers from 30-plus countries were invited. So this event is still growing strong both by numbers and by complexity. But this certain feeling of a big, friendly family meeting is still there, the chance to meet and speak to everyone you want to.