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Bill Mechanic, Jeff Miller To Speak At VES Production Summit

The Visual Effects Society announced today that Bill Mechanic will be the Keynote Speaker at the second annual VES Production Summit.

Bill Mechanic

Press Release from Visual Effects Society

Los Angeles, October 12, 2010 -- The Visual Effects Society announced today that Bill Mechanic will be the Keynote Speaker at the second annual VES Production Summit.  Mechanic is an independent producer of both live action and animated features and former Chairman and CEO of Fox Filmed Entertainment.  Jeff Miller, President of Worldwide Post Production and Operations for The Walt Disney Studios, has also been announced as a Featured Speaker at the daylong event.  Previously announced as a Featured Speaker is Dr. Rich Terrile, NASA/JPL Astronomer and Evolutionary Computation Designer.

In addition to the Keynote and Featured Speakers, a number of extraordinary industry leaders are confirmed as panelists for the VES' Production Summit 2010.  The industry-wide event will convene a unique consortium of leading creatives, executives and visionaries who will take a close look at the issues of globalization, technology and distribution, and how they impact business decisions everyone will have to make in order remain viable in the coming future.

There will be sessions on post production / virtual production, marketing an ‘aha’ technology moment into an industry standard, evolving and changing roles in the film and visual effects industries, and the globalization of the overall industry with the only constant being change.  The day-long event will be held on October 23rd at the Ritz Carlton Hotel in Marina del Rey.

Eric Roth, VES Executive Director, commented, "With technological and economic changes coming at us fast and furious, everyone will want to have their “to-do” lists handy so that they can survive and thrive in the coming years.  Having such successful industry veterans as Bill Mechanic and Jeff Miller complete our speaking roster indicates how highly respected the Visual Effects Society has become.  The future is now and it’s through this lens that we will look at the state of the business.”

Jeff Miller

Panelists include:

*    Michael Bravin - Vice President, Market Development, Arri Inc.*    Rob Bredow - CTO, Sony Pictures Imageworks*    Lynwen Brennan - President and GM, ILM / Skywalker Sound*    Eric Brevig - Director*    James Chressanthis, ASC - Cinematographer / Director / Producer*    Tony Clark, ACS - Co-Founder / Director, Rising Sun Pictures*    David Cohen - Reporter / Feature Editor, Variety *    Jon Ferguy - Co-Owner, Sohonet / Director*    Michael Fink - President, Visual Effects Worldwide, Prime Focus Ltd.*    Warren Franklin - CEO, Rainmaker Entertainment, Vice Chair, DigiBC*    Jenny Fulle - Founder and Visual Effects Producer, The Creative-Cartel*    Dan Germain - WW Strategic Business Dev., DVS Digital Video Inc.*    Carolyn Giardina - Media and Entertainment Journalist *    Michael Jaszberenyl - Founder, Colorfront, Budapest*    Ed Jones - CEO, Reel FX Creative Studios*    John Kilkenny - Executive VP, Twentieth Century Fox*    Shane Mahan - Co-Owner, Legacy Effects / VFX Supervisor*    Don Parker - CEO / Co-Founder, Shotgun Software*    Wally Pfister, ASC – Cinematographer / Director*    Cliff Plumer - CEO, Digital Domain*    Ron Prince - Editor, British Cinematographer / Managing Director, Prince PR*    Seth Rosenthal - President, Tweak Software*    William Sargent - Chief Executive and Co-Founder of Framestore*    Olcun Tan - Co-Founder / Head of R&D, Gradient Effects*    Jonas Thaler - SrVP Post Production, Anschutz Film Group/Walden Media

Sessions include:

DOES IT COME WITH WHEELS? How Pushing the On-Set Tech Envelope Affects Your BusinessMajor industry identifiers are telling us to change. Pre-postproduction is now a common term on-set. Smaller, faster, cheaper technology, aggressive timelines, unrealistic budgets and unrelenting competition are all prompting us to do something different. With the proliferation of the digital cinema/HD cameras, the post industry is now much closer to actual content capture. With all this technology creeping nearer to the director and cinematographer, we’re heading toward an unprecedented intertwining of relationships between creatives, technologists and manufacturers.

IT’S SO COOL! How an ‘Aha’ Moment Offers New Business OpportunitiesCreativity arises from various starting points. We will take a look at individuals and companies who have unleashed their creativity and generated solutions which allow filmmakers and fellow artists greater fluidity in telling stories. R&D is a challenging and expensive proposition. There is no return on investment unless the product is used or sold in the marketplace and becomes an industry standard. Find out the motivation behind companies that stick with R&D on new and uncharted technology.

TOMORROW'S PRODUCTION RENAISSANCE: Adapting to Ever-Changing RolesAs pre-production, production and post-production methods blur, so too do traditional craft roles. Today more than ever, the roles of executives, visual effects professionals, production designers, animators, cinematographers, editors and even wardrobe and makeup artists are starting to converge. How can one maximize their creativity in this new infrastructure? How does one move fluidly between narrative, hybrid and animation? And what do creative professionals need to know as the entire process shifts to a more blended world? What roles will be part of production in the future and how early in the process do such decisions need to be made? How does all this change impact business decisions?

THE MADONNA APPROACH: The Only Constant is ChangeThe industry is in a state of flux. Traditional barometers are being knocked about by globalization, creative mandates, technology advances and financing challenges. The list is long. 3D – shoot in 3D, convert to 3D or remain in 2D, and how to capitalize on the trend. International Opportunities and Tax Incentives – open satellite offices or partner up with another company abroad. Animation v. Hybrid v. VFX – better to remain with one core service or diversify to attract more business. The Hub Approach – become or remain a behemoth company or offer centralizing management of outside services. Creating Your Own Content – assessing risks, rewards and new distribution options. Standardization – files, formats, pipelines, positions. Company Size – does size matter. Niche Expertise – be the ‘go to’ company with one great strength or diversify your company’s skill sets. Being Green – is addressing environmental concerns financially feasible. The panel will discuss a myriad of topics and look at how companies and individuals can stay relevant, make good decisions and stay ahead of the next trend.

For more information and to register go to

About the VESThe VES is a non-profit, professional, honorary Society dedicated to advancing the arts, sciences and applications of digital visual effects and to upholding the highest uniform standards and procedures for the visual effects profession. Headquartered in Los Angeles, the VES is a global organization and has Sections in Australia, London, San Francisco and Vancouver.

The VES is the entertainment industry's only official organization representing the extended community of visual effects practitioners including supervisors, artists, producers, technology developers, educators, PR/marketing specialists and studio executives. Its over 2,000  global members contribute to all areas of entertainment from film, television and commercials to music videos, games and new media. The VES strives to enrich and educate its members and the entertainment community at large through many domestic and international events, screenings and programs. Visual effects professionals constitute a vital creative force in content creation and are literally shaping the future of entertainment.

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