Search form

FMX Adds Focuses on ‘Jim Button,’ ‘The Rain’ and More

Conference announces plans for panels, new app, collaborations with IFTS.

LUDWIGSBURG, GERMANY -- From the German fantasy production Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver and the Netflix original The Rain, through the latest software tools to the production management behind the scenes of VFX and animation projects, FMX 2018 covers animation, VFX, games and immersive media.

On April 6, the FMX 2018 App will be released, enabling its users to be up-to-date with the FMX program and to create their individual schedules.

The event also has released the sixth installment of its trailer series, Behind the Beard.

Newly announced highlights of the program include a spotlight on Jim Button and Luke the Engine Driver (Jim Knopf und Lukas der Lokomotivführer), a live-action movie based on the classic German children’s book of the same name by Michael Ende. Director Dennis Gansel will be joined by the movie’s production VFX supervisor Frank Schlegel, José Manuel Weil (ScanlineVFX), Juri Stanossek (Mackevision), Andreas Giesen (RISE) and Jan Adamczyk (Trixter) to shed some light on the visual effects of the movie.

The track Managing Change, curated by Hahn Film’s CEO Imke Fehrmann, will offer insights into the daily business behind the scenes of VFX and animation projects, presenting solutions and case studies for young and seasoned professionals. On stage will be Pam Marsden, head of production at Sony Pictures Animation; Fiona Walkinshaw, global joint managing director, film at Framestore; and Nicole Hearon, associate producer at Walt Disney Animation Studios.

The track World Crafting, curated by Inga von Staden (Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg), will explore how imaginary worlds are built in a team as a base for live-action and animation series as well as computer and tabletop games. Esben Toft Jacobsen, creator and visual supervisor of the upcoming Netflix original The Rain will illustrate how world building works by using The Rain and animated films as examples. Simon Jon Andreasen (The National Film School of Denmark) will share his findings from exploring the great world builders from the past and the present. Mariusz Szypura (Telehorse) will talk about how he created a unique and fascinating steampunk universe. Felix Mertikat (King Racoon Games) will elaborate on the entire process of story world creation, from the initial idea to the final project, by referring to his game Tsukuyumi – Full Moon Down.

Many world-renowned intellectual properties started as simple ideas in the heads of young, independent artists who then developed them into story worlds for a big audience. The track From Indie to IP will present some of these projects while also discussing how IPs can be protected. Aardman Animations' co-founder David Sproxton will share the story of how Shaun the Sheep went from having a minor role in Wallace and Gromit to a global franchise in the space of ten years. Director and producer David Silverman, best known for his work on The Simpsons, will elaborate on the hit series. Thomas Meyer-Hermann and Julia Ocker (both FILM BILDER) will talk about Animanimals, a successful kids’ series about quirky animals that is based on a funny short film. Moreover, acting trainer Ed Hooks and Brian Gabriel, legal correspondent at Cartoon Brew, will discuss strategies for developing and protecting intellectual properties.

Tools of Tomorrow, curated by Volker Helzle (Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg), provides a vivid perspective of the next generation of software tools for animated movies and visual effects. Dan Golembeski and Doug Sherman (both DreamWorks Animation) will shed some light on the challenges of building a highly scalable, multifunctional and production-friendly feature animation pipeline on a core infrastructure comprised of microservices. Jasper Brekelmans (Brekel) will share some insights into the use of consumer depth sensors, recording Vive/Rift tracking data and how a HoloLens can be used on a highend mocap shoot. Simon Clavet (Ubisoft) will present a technique called motion matching which was recently used while producing Ubisoft’s fighting game For Honor. Farhez Rayani will explain how Soba Productions created the animated short film Sonder by using Unity.

FMX’s long-term partners from the Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart can be visited at the marketplace, where they will welcome visitors together with MFG Baden-Württemberg. Aside from that, Side FX will have a company suite and workshop. Foundry will offer a company suite as well, and CGTrader and StarVR will be part of the marketplace. Esri, Microsoft and Teradici will share their knowledge during their workshops.

From April 24-29, FMX event partner Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film celebrates its 25th anniversary with the latest animated films and most innovative projects in the games, transmedia and VR sectors. Among the projects: the GameZone at the Kunstmuseum Stuttgart and the Games-Pavillon with the main topics Games & Architecture and e-Sports, studio presentations by some of the world’s leading animation studios, such as the Oscar-nominated studio Cartoon Saloon from Ireland (The Breadwinner, producer Angelina Jolie), as well as lecture highlights such as the making of Isle of Dogs presented by production supervisor Angela Poschet.

Also, ITFS and FMX will hold a joint screening of the stop-motion film Early Man, presented by Aardman Animations’ co-founder David Sproxton.

Tickets for FMX 2018 are available in the online ticket shop at

Source: FMX

Thomas J. McLean's picture

Tom McLean has been writing for years about animation from a secret base in Los Angeles.