The preview of this year's FMX program is now online!
FMX 2013 - Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia
April 23-26, Stuttgart, Germany
Newsletter #7 - March 2013
Brace yourself, for FMX is about to unleash a VFX storm, an Indie Games tornado and a flood of other highlights ranging from Crowdfunding and Open Source to Animation both mainstream and Wild 'n' Strange. The current and future releases of Pacific Rim, Crysis 3 and the arrival of Ed Ulbrich and bestselling children's book author Cornelia Funke make you jittery? Then you'd better take a seat and read this calmly:
The preview of this year's FMX program is now online!
New Business Models in the VFX Industry
Globalization, the changing risks/rewards of tent-pole VFX movies for studios, subsidies and incentives, low-cost labor markets and other factors have come together to create a perfect storm of pressures on the traditional visual effects business model. Ed Ulbrich, CEO of Digital Domain, gives a "state of the industry" address on the many complex factors at work and potential opportunities that can arise when digital production companies approach filmmaking from an entrepreneurial perspective. Read more here. Going with the flow - Crowdfunding and more
Listen to the crowd and fit your flow - there's lots to learn at FMX. Hannes Ricklefs, Head of Pipeline at MPC and The Mill's Digital Development Director Andy Orrick explain how you keep swimming when the VFX tide is rapidly changing. Moreover, Alex Schwartz, Chief Scientist at Owlchemy Labs (LLC) discusses Shoot Many Robots for mobile devices. The crowd is in charge. Kai Bodensiek (Attorney-at-law at Brehm & v. Moers) talks about (legal) risks and opportunities of Crowdfunding, while Corey Rosen, Head of Creative Marketing at Tippett Studio addresses keys to success. Give a hand to the crowd-pleasers!
VFX is going over the edge FMX is where the final battles are fought. Set Designer William Cheng
tackles sea monsters and the "Jaeger" robots in his presentation on highly-anticipated Pacific Rim (release date: July 12) while Diarmid Harrison-Murray, VFX Supervisor at Framestore, confronts James Bond's near-death experience in Skyfall's title sequence. What's more: Digital Supervisor Mathew Krentz from Look Effects takes it up with the "Boneys," an evolved form of zombies in the romantic zombie comedy Warm Bodies. And it's getting even more existential than that: Chris Kenny, Compositing Supervisor at Rhythm & Hues, talks about the work on Oscar-winning contemplative Life of Pi while Florian Gellinger, VFX Supervisor at Rise FX, speaks about the challenges involved in creating philosophical VFX roller coaster ride Cloud Atlas. Jump on it!
Cornelia Funke is coming! Germany's most successful and most popular author of children's and young adult fiction, Cornelia Funke, comes to FMX to present the Mirrorworld app of her latest Reckless book series (German edition published by the Cecilie Dressler Verlag) together with Producer Andy Merkin (Mirada Studios). Funke, who became famous with her novel The Thief Lord, the young adult series Wild Chicks and her Inkheart trilogy, opens the Transmedia Experiences track with her Mirrorworld keynote. For the very first time, this app provides the users with a visually tangible concept of the world behind the mirror that Funke illustrated with pencil sketches in her book - a world where fairy-tales and myths constitute historical truths.
It's epic: Animated delights
Epic proportions at FMX: In addition to Pixar's latest short film The Blue Umbrella (release date: June 21), Oscar-winning Brave and DreamWorks' brand-new stone age adventure The Croods, FMX attendees can look forward to three presentations on Blue Sky Studio's Epic. Moreover, Andreas Hykade curates the successful Wild 'n' Strange series with indie highlights delightfully off the beaten track: Spanish director Kote Camacho (Txintxua Films) presents his black-and-white film La Gran Carrera, Canada-born Patrick Bouchard introduces his claymation short Bydlo and British director Paul Nicholls (Factory Fifteen) explains his fantasy short Jonah. Moreover, the French film makers Flavie Darchen and Reno Armanet (tigobo Animation) describe their formula of success for their experimental film OA that was awared in Cannes for its music and script.
Gaming favorites - on your marks! It all starts with the player. James Zachary, Animation Director and Lead Animator at LucasArts speaks about "The Future of Character Animation in Games." Stephen Hodes (AMD) pays tribute to one of the gaming world's biggest heroines, namely Lara Croft, with a presentation on the latest Tomb Raider reboot. Matt Aldridge, Lead Character, Weapon and Vehicle Artist at Microsoft, discusses Halo 4, while R&D Principal Graphics Engineer Tiago Sousa,
Lighting Artist Pierre-Yves Donzallaz and Cinematic Artist Hannes Appell illuminate Crytek's popular game Crysis 3. Off to Game Cinematics: Cinematic Director Dominic Ciancolo (NetherRealm Studios) speaks about Injustice: Gods Among Us (release: April 16) and Cinematic Director Greg Mitchell (Epic Games) spotlights current and past cinematic pipelines from the Gears of War series. Get your gear on.
Turning mobile - Indie Games Not the periphery! The program series Indie Games, powered by Swiss Game Culture, is a vital part of FMX. Matthias Loewe, Design Researcher looks at game highlights from the A Maze festival, Author and Game Designer Chris Solarski (Solarski Studio) introduces his latest mobile game Little Paper Boat, and Steffen Grønning (CEO at Beta Dwarf) reveals inside information to future business founders. Other indie pearls: Lea Schoenfelder (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg), Caspar Strandbygaard (who is currently building Kogama) as well as Award-winning Game Designer Eddo Stern (University of California, Los Angeles), Adrian Goersch, Tobias Neukom and Mario von Rickenbach.
New worlds and the Cloud Classics meet newbies: The SIGGRAPH papers are complemented by a talk series on Cloud Computing and more, when VFX Supervisor Ryan Tudhope and Todd Prives, Vice President of Business at Zync, explain Cloud rendering in Flight. Other "cloudy" contributions include Ron Stinson, Director of IT and Operations at Rainmaker Entertainment, Franck Diard, Chief Software Architect at NVIDIA and CTO & Visual Effects Supervisor Rob Bredow (Sony Pictures Imageworks). Finding the source: Bill Polson, Director of Industry Strategy, unfolds the story behind Pixar's decision to go Open Source. What's more, Research Scientist Bernd Bickel (Disney Research Zuerich), engineer Steffen Reichert and Technical Director Michael Laubach (Laika) explore 3D Printing. Just touch it: The Marketplace features Rollin' Safari 3D models from the FMX and ITFS trailers!
Meet the Makers on the Marketplace The Marketplace continues to shape up. For one, there's Ncam that were mistakingly announced to be only partly responsible for the development of a specific virtual production technology used in Scorsese's Hugo in our last newsletter. This information was incorrect: Instead, Nvizage was solely responsible for designing and programming an on-set real-time camera tracking system on Hugo, which they named "Ncam." Other companies on the Marketplace include at2 GmbH, CAD Network, Chaos Group, Escape Studios, faceshift, Golaem, Hafners Buero, Kobold Charakteranimation, metaio, nexonar, PNY Technologies, QOOBEE, RV realtime visions, Technocrane and R&D projects presented by the Gesellschaft fuer Informatik.
Dan Sarto is Publisher and Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network.