fmx/09 in Stuttgart, Germany - A Closing Report
Alex McDowell, renowned production designer (WATCHMEN, CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, MINORITY REPORT) and long-standing FMX partner, has coined the term "immersive design". He even founded the 5D Conference to explore and discuss not just the new, globalized teamwork within a virtual workspace, but also the creation of contributive virtual worlds to further the visual opportunities and habits. This year in Stuttgart was the premiere of the European division of the 5D Conference. The top-class panel stressed their ambitious goals even in the title: Imagination, Creation, Construction, Perception and Interaction.
Despite the rapid pace of innovation, FMX finds it important to take the time to reflect upon the technical and artistic conditions in which we advance. The audience seemed to agree as the greatest interest was given to the pioneers of animation -- first and foremost the four-time Oscar winner Richard Edlund, the VFX veteran Harrison Ellenshaw (TRON, STAR WARS, SUPERMAN) and the equally ironic and impressive speakers of the series Early Days in France.
fmx/forum: the right concept for moving times
The fmx/forum can be described as FMX's high-traffic market place. Workshops, demos and masterclasses transfer in-depth knowledge and education. Visitors could inform themselves about innovations in hardware and software at the booths. fmx/recruiting drew talents together with international companies on the lookout for capable teams while schools, students and alumni presented their work at the fmx/talents.
The durability of this talents concept proved itself, despite the first year of the global financial crisis. Thanks to the expanded cooperational model School Campus, for example, approximately 1,000 students from 32 European schools became a future-bound element of fmx/09. Further circles were drawn by the School Offerings with partner institutions from as far away as California, China and New Zealand.
Further good news can be reported from Recruiting: unbroken engagement of companies such as Sony Pictures, Lucasfilm/LucasArts, Aardman Animations and Crytek, long lines leading to the Recruiting Desks and -- most important of all -- smiles everywhere. Whoever was searching for new team members was definitely at the right place. And in light of economic hard times, many companies confirm that highly qualified personnel is their greatest capital.
Strong Partners, strong Input
Many renowned institutions have contributed their input, ideas and contacts into the fmx/09 program -- both internationally and regionally. First and foremost, FMX collaborated with its oldest and most trusted partner, the International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) as well as its newest partner pop open within the new Kreativraum Stuttgart. The parallel offerings had both an inspiring and overwhelming effect -- so much so that even die-hard animation fans were driven to their limits. The combi-ticket for both ITFS and FMX turned out to be the secret star of both shows.
The FMX shares deep roots with the MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg. MFG Innovation dedicated its energies on Visual Computing with two full series of talks highlighting the Visual Computing Cluster, which it also founded, and the Symposium Best of Eurographics, dedicated to the European academic association of the same name. MFG Film Funding contributed to the series Financing & Brands.
The Medienboard Berlin-Brandenburg, the film fund from Germany's capital, launched a brand-new series. The talks presented the vibrant, young production and service scene located in Berlin and Potsdam.
Animation Production Day (APD 2009) -- In Tune with the Industry