On saturday, I’ve returned from FMX 2011 (16th Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Interactive Media) in Stuttgart, Germany, where I went to promote the course I’m currently studying at University of Glamorgan. Luckily there was 5 of us, so we were able to take turns in the booth and still see most of the program which was literally packed with unmissable events. Friday in particular.
The conference was very well organized and even though Haus der Wirtschraft is a beautiful building, well suited for this kind of event, it couldn’t absorb the amount of people who wanted to see the all the different presentations. This made it practically impossible to see two subsequent presentations in different rooms and I missed a few for the same reason. In addition to that when I wanted to see multiple ones, in a same room, I couldn’t leave my place for a few hours, as it would have been grabbed by some VFX hungry vulture straight away.
Our stand was attracting a surprising amount of attention but frankly, i wouldn’t dare to say whether it was thanks to the quality of our work, or just because we were right next to Animation Mentor stand. (BTW as a side note: the hype around Bobby Beck (Animation Mentor co-founder) was extraordinary. Seriously, the poor fella had dozens of fans around him all the frickin’ time. I wonder whether he could at least go to toilet without people jumping around him.) Another way of promoting our course was the presentation we’ve had on thursday. That went really well, we’ve shown all we wanted to show and we’ve said all we needed to say. However I wish there wouldn’t be Pixar recruitment presentation happening at the same time. That was probably the reason why the amount of people watching the presentation was barely a two digit number. I’d say around 15-20 at most.
I really enjoyed chatting to everybody in the recruitment hub, especially the guys from The Mill, Method, Double Neg and Framestore. On the other hand, I was expecting a bit more from the Trade Floor which seemed a bit empty to me
Evenings were quite enjoyable as well. We’ve drank quite a bit of exquisite german beer, while exploring the local food and getting to know fellow fmx visitors. A thursday evening which started with a text: “we are in the bowling bar having a beer with Ed Hooks…” and ended up by a tough ride on a last train to hotel was certainly the one to remember.
One thing is for sure. I’ve already marked next year’s FMX into my calendar (8.-12. may 2012) and I’ll do all I can to attend it again. It’s worth it.
This are the talks I managed to see over the week
- Look Developments for “The Owls of Ga’Hoole” (Matt Jones, Grant Feckelton – Animal Logic)
- Building and Lighting of “Rio” (Andrew Beddini – Blue Sky Studios)
- Lighting and Rendering of “Tangled” (Mohit Kallianpur – Walt Disney Animation Studios)
- Physically Based Shading at ILM (Ben Snow – ILM, Christophe Hery – Pixar)
- Combining Ages – “TRON: Legacy” (Matthias Wittmann – Digital Domain)
- Cadbury’s Spots v. Stripes (Anthony Boor & Stefano Salvini – MPC)
- VFX for Commercials (Robert Holmes & Mike Champan – The Mill)
- An Unpredictable Life (Ben Cowell-Thomas – Nexus Productions)
- The Future of VFX Industry (Scott Ross – VES)
- Filmakademie TD Session (Volker Helzle – Institute of Animation)
- Virtual Humans Panel Discussion
- Dobby & Kreacher (Nico Scapel – Double Negative)
- From Pitch to Screen (Phillip Hunt – Studio AKA)
- The Making of “Despicable Me” (Pierre Coffin – Illumination Entertainment)
- Chaos Theory: Making More than One Movie at the Same Time (Bill Polson – Pixar Animation Studios)
- Cinematography at Pixar (Sashka Unseld – Pixar Animation Studios)
- “Megamind” – The Creative Process (Phillipe Denis – DreamWorks Animation)
- Animating “Tangled” (Clay Katis – Walt Disney Animation Studios)