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Spark Animation ’12 Unveils Program Lineup

Spark CG Society is pleased to announce this year’s impressive line-up of speakers and films for SPARK Animation ’12.

Vancouver, BC – Spark CG Society is pleased to announce this year’s impressive line-up of speakers and films for SPARK Animation ’12. This 5-day festival (Sept. 12 to 16) and 2-day industry conference (Sept. 14 & 15) features speakers from both local and internationally acclaimed studios, including Weta Digital, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM), Dreamworks Animation, Sony Pictures Animation, Laika, and Walt Disney Animation Studios, to name but a few.

Talks will cover such topics as creating memorable characters from concept to completion, successfully combining animation, visual effects and live-action in filmmaking; envisioning, pitching and producing animation for TV, and a behind-the-scenes look at some of the most exciting animation films of recent times, including never before seen footage.

Friday, September 14, 9:00 AM marks the opening speaker session “Animation at Industrial Light & Magic” with ILM Animation Supervisor Hal Hickel. Having worked on and received Oscars for Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest, ILM’s critically acclaimed first feature animation, Rango, and currently in production on the highly anticipated Guillermo del Toro monster movie, Pacific Rim, Hal will be sharing his experience, insights and anecdotes. For tickets and events, see

Additional highlights include the Saturday 15, 9:00 AM technical talk on “The Art and Science behind Paperman. This presentation by Walt Disney Animation Studios delves into the groundbreaking technique created to seamlessly merge computer-generated and hand-drawn animation for their breathtaking, yet to be released, short film Paperman.

Closing an inspiration-packed two days, Joe Letteri, Partner and Senior VFX Supervisor of Weta Digital, will speak on Saturday September 15, 5:00 PM about “Virtual Production: Combining Animation, Visual Effects & Live-Action Filmmaking." A pioneer in the industry, Joe has raised the bar in visual effects with his work on films such as King Kong, Avatar, Rise of the Planet of the Apes and Tintin. Having breathed life into both monsters and men, and currently in production on The Hobbit, Joe has keen knowledge of what it takes to successfully marry different elements in CG.

In terms of films, SPARK Animation presents a full range of impressive content, featuring both traditional and CG animation. Highlights include the North American premiere of the documentary Pablo, detailing the life of acclaimed title designer Pablo Ferro; the Canadian premiere of award-winning stop-motion Toys in the Attic; the British Columbia premieres of the Oscar-nominated A Cat in Paris, the award-winning feature A Letter to Momo, and the documentary, The Nature of Frédéric Back, about the life and work of seminal animation filmmaker Frédéric Back.

The Spark Animation ‘12 Conference is organized by SPARK CG Society. The SPARK Animation ’12 Festival is organized in partnership with the Vancouver International Film Center (VIFC). All festival and conference events will take place at the Vancity Theatre from September 12 to 16.

Spark Computer Graphics (Spark CG) Society's mission is to ignite creative and collaborate fire by fostering inspiration and innovation within Vancouver's animation and computer graphics community. To do so, Spark CG Society presents leading artistic and technological advancements via conferences, film festivals, and events. This provides local professionals the opportunity to expand their knowledge, business and craft through exposure to high-caliber content and networking opportunities, while enabling the international community exposure to British Columbia as a hub for animation, visual effects, and technology.

Spark Animation ‘12 is generously sponsored by Terabyte Sponsor - Province of British Columbia; Megabyte Sponsor - Annex Pro; Kilobyte sponsors: Spectrum HR Law, Weta Digital, British Columbia Film + Media, Vancouver Economic Commission; Screening Partners – Society of Graphic Designers of Canada/BC Mainland, Consulat général de France à Vancouver, Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH.

Source: Spark CG Society

Jennifer Wolfe's picture

Formerly Editor-in-Chief of Animation World Network, Jennifer Wolfe has worked in the Media & Entertainment industry as a writer and PR professional since 2003.