The 18th VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy gets ready to present its biggest program ever of top animation, VFX, VR and game industry experts.
There’s an old adage I often whisper to myself while sitting restlessly through yet another less-than-compelling “epic” entertainment experience: “Never have so many, done so little, with so much.” But when it comes to spotlighting the tremendous talent toiling behind our industry’s cameras, both real and virtual, the annual VIEW Conference, now in its 18th year, brings to mind a less cynical, more positive adage: “Never have so few, done so much, with so little.” Unlike other events I attend, the VIEW Conference seems to defy the laws of gravity and economics, each year leveraging a meager resource base to pull together a bustling week filled with an impressive array of top professionals representing major studios, schools and technology vendors from around the world.
With the 2017 VIEW Conference just around the corner, running October 23-27 at the Torinoincontra conference in Turin, Italy, a glance at the schedule fully demonstrates this year’s program is their biggest collection yet of workshops, panels and presentations. The skilled and tireless efforts of festival director Dr. Maria Elena Gutierrez, primarily working solo, once again cobbling together hard-to-come-by government and private funds along with the support of numerous studios, schools and organizations, has put together a conference lineup sure to inspire, entertain and educate even the most seasoned artists, animators, game developers and storytellers.
More than 50 speakers are confirmed, lending their expertise to a diverse landscape of creative and technical topics from animation, visual effects, games, VR and numerous areas of computer graphics -- this year’s VIEW Conference promises four full days of non-stop exchanging of insights, perspective and know how. With lots of espresso, pasta and breadsticks.
Maureen Fan, CEO and co-founder of leading VR company Baobab Studios, is back again this year, along with Baobab CCO Eric Darnell and CTO Larry Cutler. According to Fan, who with Darnell and Cutler, will be talking about various aspects of immersive storytelling in VR, “The VIEW conference is the premier conference for CG professionals to access the very top creative talent in the CG world. I don't know of any other conference that draws such an exclusive list of star creative power.”
VIEW 2015 presenter Mark Osborne, the twice Oscar-nominated director of The Little Prince and Kung Fu Panda, is also back, set to talk about his celebrated stop-motion / CG hybrid feature as well as lead a Masterclass, Great Stories Come from Great Characters. Notes Osborne, "The VIEW Conference is an incredible event because of all the quality time with the other creators and filmmakers that Maria Elena gathers for this week of great talks and endless inspiration!"
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs 2 co-director Kris Pearn, who has presented at VIEW numerous times, is back as well, teaching a Masterclass on storyboarding as well as presenting on story in animated film. For Kris, “VIEW is my favorite festival of the year. The collection of artists, film makers, and storytellers that attend is a wonderful mix of personalities. The setting is beautiful. Everyone is accessible. It’s a fabulous place to meet, network and talk with the best in the best! I can’t wait to see old friends and meet new ones in 2017.”
While it’s easy to focus heaps of attention on the big film talks this year…well…it’s impossible not to focus heaps of attention on the big film talks. The roster is more than impressive. Weta Digital’s four-time Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Joe Letteri will present War for the Planet of the Apes. Oscar-winning VFX supervisor John Nelson will present Ridley Scott’s highly anticipated Blade Runner 2049. Oscar-nominated VFX supervisor Christopher Townsend will present Marvel’s Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2. Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Scott Stokdyk, as well as Weta Digital’s Motion Picture Academy Technical Achievement Award-winning VFX supervisor Martin Hill, will each present Valerian, City of a Thousand Planets. Two-time Oscar-nominated Star Wars animation maven Rob Coleman, head of animation at Animal Logic since 2012, will present The LEGO Batman Movie. Two-time Oscar-winning VFX supervisor Bill Westenhofer will present Wonder Woman. Oscar-winning animation supervisor Hal Hickel will present Rogue One: A Star Wars Story as well as a workshop of creative photorealistic digital humans.
Hate to sound like the old Ginsu Cutting Knife commercial, but wait, there’s more!
Additional presentations are scheduled throughout the conference by key artists on films like The Emoji Movie, Boss Baby, Smurfs: The Lost Village, Logan, The Jungle Book, The Breadwinner, Cars 3, Kubo and the Two Strings, Red Hands, The Invisible Boy: Second Generation and Loving Vincent. Each speaker will bring their unique experience and perspective to talks about how dedicated teams of artists apply story, design, visualization, animation production and post-production expertise with state-of-the-art technology to bring a creator’s vision to life.
Tracks of tech-focused Masterclasses, workshops and talks run all week, covering the gamut of game engine, VR and animation-production tools, techniques and pipelines. Additionally, a number of dedicated educators from schools such as SVA, Escape Studios, SCAD and USC will speak on a variety of key topics involving creativity, design and the use of technology to tell good stories.
The VIEW Conference always delivers on what it promises, and this year promises to be bigger and better than ever. Come to Turin and join in the festivities.
You can find the complete program of industry speakers, workshops, panel discussions and exhibitions on the VIEW Conference website.
AWN’s set of VIEW 2016 Conference video interviews, highlighted by discussions with Zootopia director Byron Howard, The Jungle Book VFX supervisor and 2nd unit director Rob Legato and Marvel executive vice president of VFX and post production Victoria Alonso, can be seen here. Additionally, you can watch AWN’s entire 2015 VIEW Conference interview series, which includes interviews with Jorge Gutierrez, Mark Osborne and Ben Snow, as well as the 2014 VIEW Conference interview series, which includes interviews with Glen Keane, Rob Coleman, Alvy Ray Smith and Scott Farrar.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.