FMX, Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Transmedia takes place this year from April 23th till the 26th in Stuttgart. At the impressive Haus der Wirtschaft divided over 8 halls you can listen to up to 289 different speakers from the industry. The theme this year is ‘lean, smart, agile’ and discusses developments and innovation in the area of production, distribution and finance, with virtual production, cloud computing, crowd funding, open source and procedural animation as hot topics.
AKV|St.Joost is present for the first time at the School Campus, to promote the master and bachelor course. It is a great place to network: schools like Gobelins l’Ecole de l’Image, Hochschule Luzern Design & Kunst, Media Design School (New Zeeland), University of Hertfordshire (UK) and The Animation Workshop (Denemark) also have a booth. Besides the school campus there’s also a market with studios like Escape Studios, Framestore and Method Studios that are scouting for talent.
Some of the things we got out of the presentations we had the chance to see:
The presentations of Rhythm & Hues on ‘Life of Pi’ and Weta Digital on ‘Iron Man 3’ show that VFX studios clearly are responsible for most of the film. The director is another link in the chain. When you see the level of detail in the ‘digital double’ of actor Robert Downey Jr., the moment that virtual and live action are interchangeable does not seem far away (and the prize of Best Director becomes problematic…).
In his talk about ‘The Croods’Markus Manninen from Dreamworks explains how Virtual Production grew out of the wish to streamline contacts between different departments. He shows how motion capture can be used during the making process to improve the story: both director and animators look at motion capture tests together, so decisions can also be made together and earlier on in the process.
Pixar’s newest short film ‘The Blue Umbrella’ is also shown. Sashka Unseld’s presentation shows in between all this technical talk that intimate stories still matter most. In the end the audience just wants to be moved by an engaging character. With painted backgrounds the film refers to the historic Disney way of making animation. A lot of people from the audience waited in line patiently for a signed poster.
We are looking forward to next year!