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SPARK FX '10
January 27 – 31, 2010

Vancouver International Film Centre
1181 Seymour Street
Vancouver, Canada


Gigabyte Sponsor


Telefilm



Megabyte Sponsor


Vancouver Economic Development Commission



Kilobyte Sponsor


BC Film



Byte Sponsors


Digital Domain Vancouver


MPC


3vis


Annex Pro



Friends


Visual Effects Society


Visual Effects Association of BC


Graphic Designers of Canada


Women In Games


 
SPARK FX '10
Celebrating Innovation & Inspiration
January 27 – 31, 2010

The floodgates are open. Tickets are on sale now - please spread the word and let your friends know. We've got some classic family films like E.T. and The Wizard of OZ, as well as a mix of classic and recent effects laden popcorn chomping fun.

We've got 8 films, more than 30 speakers taking part in 17 presentations, a party, a mixer, hundreds of industry attendees and, of course, T-Shirts! SPARK FX 2010 is helping to start the year off with a bang (along with that other winter party).

We have an unbelievable line-up of industry speakers led by ILM veteran John Knoll. We've got film makers talking about their work on virtually every big effects film of the past year including Avatar, District 9, Transformers 2, GI Joe and half a dozen more. If you're eager, you can buy a pass now for full access to all the main speaking sessions. The pass is $250 for the full 3-day conference, 2 party tickets and a T-shirt - a fantastic deal for the high calibre speakers we're bringing to town!

If you're coming from out of town, please take a look at the deal we've arranged for you to stay at the Sheraton Wall Centre, a 3 minute walk from the theatre. Mark your calendars and break out your sci-fi costumes - the party starts January 27, 2010. See you there!


SCHEDULE

DAY 1WEDNESDAY - JANUARY 27, 2010
6:30 pmEVENT
"Opening Night Industry Mixer"
7:30 pmPRESENTATION
"Creating the World of Pandora for Avatar "
with Daniel Lemmon
9:00 pmFILM
"The Fifth Element (1997)"
DAY 2THURSDAY - JANUARY 28, 2010
8:30 amRegistration
9:00 amOPENING KEYNOTE
"An Interactive Keynote Session with VFX Industry Pioneer John Knoll"
interviewed by Habib Zargarpour & Henry LaBounta
12:30 pmPRESENTATION
"D9: Manufacturing an Alien Arsenal"
with Winston Helgason, Simon van de Lagemaat & Marc Roth
2:15 pmPRESENTATION
"A Case Study of G.I. Joe"
with Chris Harvey
4:00 pmPRESENTATION
"From Miniatures to Digital"
with Matt Gratzner
5:45 pmPRESENTATION
"A Creative Journey through the Galaxy of Star Trek"
with Roger Guyett
7:00 pmEVENT
"Thursday Dinner"
7:15 pmFILM
"E.T. (1982)"
9:30 pmFILM
"The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)"
DAY 3FRIDAY - JANUARY 29, 2010
8:30 amRegistration
9:00 amPRESENTATION
"VFX in Motion Graphic Design"
with Danny Yount
10:45 amPRESENTATION
"2012: It's a Disaster"
with Darren Poe, David Stephens & Stephan Trojansky
12:30 pmPRESENTATION
"Water, Fire, Destruction & Explosions"
with Chris Horvath & Robert Bridson
2:15 pmPRESENTATION
"ILM Visual Effects for Avatar"
with John Knoll
4:00 pmPRESENTATION
"The Evolution of Modern Concept Art"
with Dylan Cole
5:45 pmPRESENTATION
"Conceptual Sculpting using Zbrush"
with Meats Meier & Ryan Kingslien
7:15 pmFILM
"Jaws (1975)"
9:30 pmFILM
"King Kong (2005)"
DAY 4SATURDAY - JANUARY 30, 2010
8:30 amRegistration
9:00 amPRESENTATION
"Battlestar Galactica: Then"
with Gene Kozicki & Glenn Campbell
10:45 amPRESENTATION
"Battlestar Galactica: Now"
with Gene Kozicki, Derek Ledbetter & Pierre Drolet
12:30 pmPRESENTATION
"Revenge of the Robots"
with Jeff White
2:15 pmPRESENTATION
"Necessity is the Mother of All Inventions"
with Geoffrey Hancock, Guillaume Rocheron, Nick Cannon, Ollie Rankin, Randy Goux & Sean Lewkiw
4:00 pmPRESENTATION
"Managing the Ever Evolving Business of Visual Effects"
with Shannon Blake Gans
5:45 pmPRESENTATION
"Creating the World of Pandora for Avatar"
with Daniel Lemmon
7:30 pmEVENT
"The Visual Effects Bake-Off: The Road to Oscar®"
with Carlye Archibeque
9:30 pmEVENT
"SPARK FX Conference Closing Party"
DAY 5SUNDAY - JANUARY 31, 2010
2:30 pmFILM
"The Wizard of Oz (1939)"
7:00 pmFILM
"Sin City (2005)"
9:20 pmFILM
"Watchmen (2009)"


PASSES

Speakers and Panels

The Speakers and Panels pass gets you into all the speaker and panels sessions in the main hall. You also get a festival T-shirt and 2 tickets to the festival party.

1An Interactive Keynote Session with VFX Industry Pioneer John Knoll
2SPARK FX Conference Closing Party
1SPARK FX 10 T-Shirt

OPENING KEYNOTE

Thursday - January 28, 9:00 AM
An Interactive Keynote Session with VFX Industry Pioneer John Knoll
interviewed by Habib Zargarpour & Henry LaBounta

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

John Knoll is a Visual Effects Supervisor at Industrial Light + Magic who possesses a film background coupled with an advanced understanding of digital technologies. This distinctive combination has made Knoll a much sought-after supervisor with three Academy Award(R) nominations for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace, which earned him a BAFTA nomination, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, in which he was also honored with a BAFTA nomination. In 2005, he completed work on the final installment of the Star Wars series: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. In 2006, Knoll completed work on the sequel to the Pirates of the Caribbean films: Dead Man's Chest for which he received both a BAFTA and an Academy Award(R). Most recently, he was the ILM Visual Effects Supervisor on James Cameron's science fiction epic Avatar.

John Knoll joined Industrial Light + Magic as a technical assistant in 1986 and worked as a motion control camera operator before creating some of the ground breaking digital effects for The Abyss. Since that time, he has been promoted to Visual Effects Supervisor helming the visual effects on more than twenty feature films and commercials. In 1987, Knoll teamed up with his brother who was working on his Doctoral Thesis in computer vision at the University of Michigan to create Photoshop, the groundbreaking digital imaging software and flagship product of Adobe Systems.


Sponsored by

Davis LLP


PRESENTATIONS

Wednesday

Wednesday - January 27, 7:30 PM
Creating the World of Pandora for Avatar
with Daniel Lemmon

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Weta Digital Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Lemmon presents a unique behind-the-scenes look at the making of the visual effects blockbuster film Avatar. From Look Development of the world of Pandora to the creative and technical challenges of Avatar Character Development will be shared. Dan will also discuss the shaders and lighting models used to create this stunning film. The audience will also learn about shot production challenges including stereo 3D related issues. Come and learn about Weta's approach to the creative challenges and the artistry behind the tools and techniques that made this film possible.

NOTE: This presentation will be repeated on Saturday afternoon. Conference pass holders must select which one they want to attend when picking up their passes.


Thursday

Thursday - January 28, 12:30 PM
D9: Manufacturing an Alien Arsenal
with Winston Helgason, Simon van de Lagemaat & Marc Roth

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Much of the work that went into last year's sleeper hit District 9 was done in Vancouver, including the massive finale sequence. Embassy Visual Effects were already well known for their work in Iron Man and their famous series of Citroën commercials before they were approached to tackle the alien exosuit. Join Simon, Winston and Marc as they showcase their work from the film. They'll be covering the on-set capture of HDR images and visual effects supervision, the difficult work of rigging such a beast and then animating it, the mysterious art of look development and how to fix it in comp when all else fails. Come and see just how the grit of Soweto was crossed with the talent of Vancouver to make the magic of D9.


Thursday - January 28, 2:15 PM
A Case Study of G.I. Joe
2000 km - mach 11 - 700 million microscopic metal eating nanomites - and 4K
with Chris Harvey

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Every production has its challenges, but what happens when you are asked to create 4K images with 700 million microscopic metal-eating nanomites? Add in jets flying at mach 11 through fully digital environments (both in the air and on the ground) on a pipeline that not only spans across the globe, but also must function as if the artists were working in the same building. Working as the Visual Effects Supervisor on GI Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Chris Harvey overcame these challenges and lived to share them with us. Join us as Chris provides an overview of the technical and artistic process, as well as shares some of the trials and tribulations that went into completing the aerial sequence in the film's climatic finale. In this presentation, Chris will also provide details of their workflow from LookDev and R&D, through previs to post, and outline some of the pipeline and tools they had to develop to ensure the seamless integration of shots. Discover some of Prime Focus's tips, tricks and tools used to construct the vast digital environments and the extreme high volume particle effect on shots containing nanomites.


Thursday - January 28, 4:00 PM
From Miniatures to Digital
Visual Effects and the Art of Cinematic Storytelling
with Matt Gratzner

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

In film today, visual effects are the most predominant tools utilized in the art of cinematic storytelling. From the dawn of film to approximately twenty years ago, visual effects were achieved primarily practically. Whether employing the use of miniatures, practical photography or hand rendered matte paintings and animation, these were the tools used to visually achieve the illusion of something fantastic or real.

Matthew Gratzner, director, VFX supervisor and co-founder of New Deal Studios will discuss how traditional, practical effects can successfully be combined with digital effects to heighten the reality, illusion and excitement of filmmaking.


Thursday - January 28, 5:45 PM
A Creative Journey through the Galaxy of Star Trek
with Roger Guyett

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Roger Guyett, VFX Supervisor and 2nd Unit Director of Star Trek, will describe his journey through the many phases of the film's production. Starting from the earliest meetings with director JJ Abrams during pre-production, to the reality of getting the VFX shots completed at ILM during a very short post-production period, Roger will examine the highly collaborative process of modern filmmaking and share some of his creative influences.


Friday

Friday - January 29, 9:00 AM
VFX in Motion Graphic Design
with Danny Yount

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Main titles have been seen by many motion graphic designers as a high art - a chance to merge the discipline of film storytelling, animation and graphic design. But what happens when designers dabble with visual effects? Do they really know what the hell they are doing? Danny Yount will discuss his work at Prologue Films in main title design and share why visual effects is so important to graphic design and graphic design to visual effects.


Friday - January 29, 10:45 AM
2012: It's a Disaster
with Darren Poe, David Stephens & Stephan Trojansky

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Roland Emmerich is known for directing epic films with spectacular visual effects, and his most recent blockbuster 2012 features destruction on a scale never before imagined. Beginning with a giant fissure that forms on an airport runway and ending with Los Angeles sliding into the ocean, Digital Domain was tasked with creating and then destroying incredibly detailed CG environments - all from a plane's point of view as it flies amidst an earthquake. Traditionally this sort of work would be accomplished through the use of models, but 2012 required a level of scale that could only be achieved digitally. This session will cover the techniques developed to enable complex simulations that allowed artists to work quickly and creatively, ultimately giving Emmerich freedom to direct the destruction and realize his enormous vision on screen.

Stephan Trojansky will talk about how Scanline VFX created more than 100 shots with massive fluid simulations on 2012. Scanline's work included key visuals of the movie where the aircraft carrier John F. Kennedy destroys the White House, a cruise ship capsizes, as well as the end sequence of the movie when the tidal wave reaches the Himalayas, causing a massive avalanche on Mount Everest. The presentation will focus on how Scanline's proprietary fluid simulation system "Flowline" used 4800 cores of simulation power combined with 1.2 petabyte of disk-space to complete the work.


Friday - January 29, 12:30 PM
Water, Fire, Destruction & Explosions
with Chris Horvath & Robert Bridson

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Chris Horvath and Robert Bridson are two preeminent experts in the field of physics-based animation. Chris Horvath currently works at Industrial Light & Magic and has most recently worked on the films Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, Transformers and Avatar. Robert Bridson is a computer science professor at UBC who has worked at many facilities developing code that has been employed on a number of major feature films including Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, 2012 and Inkheart. Most recently, Robert wrote the book "Fluid Simulation for Computer Graphics," and co-founded Exotic Matter, a graphics company making physical simulation software for the film industry.

High-Resolution Simulation of Fire, Destruction & Explosions

Chris Horvath will discuss the use of GPUs and other recent developments in the directable, high-resolution physical simulation of fire, destruction and explosions. Chris will show how different techniques were used to accomplish effects from Harry Potter & the Half Blood Prince, Transformers 2: Revenge of the Fallen and Avatar.

Particles, Level Sets and Meshes... Oh My!

Robert Bridson will discuss how water simulation has motivated the development of many geometric methods for representing and working with the shape of a liquid. Achieving a smooth, highly detailed and consistent surface, with flexible and fast algorithms, is still a huge challenge. Robert will walk through recent progress on a variety of fronts, from particles to level sets to triangle meshes.


Friday - January 29, 2:15 PM
ILM Visual Effects for Avatar
with John Knoll

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

John Knoll will present ILM's work on James Cameron's Avatar. Starting with how ILM became involved in the project, John will relate stories about the production and the challenges of creating imagery for this innovative film. Topics will include the creation of environments, working with stereo plates, synthetic fire and big explosions.


Friday - January 29, 4:00 PM
The Evolution of Modern Concept Art
with Dylan Cole

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Dylan Cole will present recent examples of his work, including Avatar, and discuss how concept art has changed over the last five years. Based on his own experience as both a Matte Painter and Concept Artist, Dylan will provide an overview of how the line between the art department and visual effects has blurred.


Friday - January 29, 5:45 PM
Conceptual Sculpting using Zbrush
with Meats Meier & Ryan Kingslien

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Zbrush has matured into an excellent tool for concept artists and designers. Ryan Kingslien and Meats Meier will take you through their processes of using Zbrush to imagine and create creatures and objects. Conceptual modeling is done without the worry or focus of perfect geometry, instead with a pure focus on form and techniques used to discover possibilities in design. Zbrush allows for very fast imagining of shapes and forms, which aids the designer in experimenting with many ideas and styles when creating conceptual 3d artwork. Ryan and Meats will demonstrate many of their techniques to efficiently create and control the geometry, from creation to final color and detailing.


Saturday

Saturday - January 30, 9:00 AM
Battlestar Galactica: Then
with Gene Kozicki & Glenn Campbell

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

In 1978, the original Battlestar Galactica premiered on ABC-TV and introduced new technologies and techniques to the world of television visual effects. The post-Star Wars audience had much higher expectations of effects production than previous television dramas had faced, and the production crew of the original series rose to the challenge in both design and execution, giving us the iconic Galactica herself, viper and Cylon fighters, the much copied bouncing red "eye" and dozens of ships in the rag tag fleet. The sense of speed they managed with the launch tubes is still impressive to this day. We start our series of two Battlestar Galactica talks with a dialogue between Glenn Campbell (Area 51 and former BSG original series crew member) and Gene Kozicki of the Visual Effects Society (VES) as they talk about the making of the 1978 series, and share a host of clips, photos and even some home movies!


Saturday - January 30, 10:45 AM
Battlestar Galactica: Now
with Gene Kozicki, Derek Ledbetter & Pierre Drolet

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

In 2005, a new envisioning of Battlestar Galactica was created, and as in 1978, the visual effects were pioneering. The decades between the two series saw revolutionary changes as computers took over the industry, but sometimes, the more things change, the more they stay the same. In the second of our two part Battlestar Galactica series, we present a panel discussion on the magic of the new Battlestar Galactica, how it is produced today, and how that relates to the production of yesteryear. Panelists will include Gene Kozicki from the Visual Effects Society (VES), Derek Ledbetter (VFX Compositor, Universal Studios) and Pierre Drolet (Lead CG Modeler on the new BSG). Come and see the difference 27 years can make.


Saturday - January 30, 12:30 PM
Revenge of the Robots
Creating bigger robots & more destruction for Transformers 2
with Jeff White

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Associate VFX supervisor Jeff White will shed light on the production of Transformers 2 at Industrial Light & Magic. In his talk, Jeff will cover what they learned from the first film and how they had to push beyond expectation for the second. He'll also cover the challenges of creating robots for the IMAX format as well as the numerous artistic and technical challenges of shot production.


Saturday - January 30, 2:15 PM
Necessity is the Mother of All Inventions
Proprietary Software for VFX
with Geoffrey Hancock, Guillaume Rocheron, Nick Cannon, Ollie Rankin, Randy Goux & Sean Lewkiw

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Join CIS and MPC as they share some of their latest technologies developed during visual effect productions. Technologies conceived when all other "off the shelf" products just weren't cutting edge enough to meet the demands of providing creative control within tight schedules. The new tools discussed played important roles in the success of films such as Harry Potter, Invictus and 2012.


Saturday - January 30, 4:00 PM
Managing the Ever Evolving Business of Visual Effects
with Shannon Blake Gans

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Join Shannon Gans, co-founder and CEO of New Deal Studios, in an exploration of what it means to run a 21st century visual effects and film production studio. Shannon will cover such topics as best practices when starting a business or branding yourself as a freelance artist, setting your vision based on your core values and building company culture. In addition, she will discuss meatier topics such as working with accountants and attorneys, creating your own economy and building your company's brand.

For 14 years, Shannon Gans has stood at the helm of New Deal Studios, providing the most dazzling, iconic moments in blockbuster films including The Dark Knight, The Aviator, Watchmen and the upcoming Scorsese film, Shutter Island.


Saturday - January 30, 5:45 PM
Creating the World of Pandora for Avatar
with Daniel Lemmon

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Weta Digital Visual Effects Supervisor Dan Lemmon presents a unique behind-the-scenes look at the making of the visual effects blockbuster film Avatar. From Look Development of the world of Pandora to the creative and technical challenges of Avatar Character Development will be shared. Dan will also discuss the shaders and lighting models used to create this stunning film. The audience will also learn about shot production challenges including stereo 3D related issues. Come and learn about Weta's approach to the creative challenges and the artistry behind the tools and techniques that made this film possible.

NOTE: This presentation will be repeated on Saturday afternoon. Conference pass holders must select which one they want to attend when picking up their passes.



EVENTS

Wednesday

Wednesday - January 27, 6:30 PM
Opening Night Industry Mixer

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Please come and join us at the CityTV Atrium of the Vancouver International Film Centre for an industry mixer to kick of SPARK FX '10.


Thursday

Thursday - January 28, 7:00 PM
Thursday Dinner

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)


Saturday

Saturday - January 30, 7:30 PM
The Visual Effects Bake-Off: The Road to Oscar®
with Carlye Archibeque

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Each year the Academy nominates three films for Achievement in Visual Effects. The road to the nominations is one of the Academy's most interesting awards processes. First all of the eligible films are whittled down to a list of 15, then to a list of 7. This year's 7 films are: Avatar, District 9, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, Star Trek, Terminator Salvation, Transformers Revenge of the Fallen and 2012. Each of these 7 films then participates in the annual Bake-Off, where the Visual Effects branch members of the Academy watch a 15-minute "best of" reel for each film and vote for the year's nominations. Once the nominations are announced on February 2nd, the entire Academy voting body weighs in to decide which one will be the winner of the 82nd Academy Awards(R), Achievement in Visual Effects.

Join us as we explore the process, talk to the possible nominees and present clips from some of the 7 Bake-Off films.


Saturday - January 30, 9:30 PM
SPARK FX Conference Closing Party

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

It wouldn't be SPARK without a party! We'll have music by Electropical and a full on night of food and fun. There'll be beer and wine included with your ticket, and as usual, dozens and dozens of people from the visual effects industry, both locals and visitors. Get a chance to meet some of the speakers, and then dance your booty off! Leave the car keys at home or take advantage of the comlimentary non-alcoholic drinks for drivers. Hope to see you there!

ABSOLUTELY NO MINORS



FILMS

Wednesday

Wednesday - January 27, 9:00 PM
The Fifth Element (1997)
France // Dir.: Luc Besson // 126 min. // 35 mm // PG

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

It's fast, it's furious, it's fun, it's The Fifth Element. Jean-Paul Gaultier designed over 900 costumes for this film (some with very little cloth) and the production design is as fun as the action. Gary Oldman plays the evil Jean-Baptiste Emanuel Zorg while Bruce Willis is a taxi driving army vet named Korben Dallas who - like so many other Bruce Willis characters - somehow ends up in the middle of everything when a mysterious woman (Mila Jovovich) drops in on him.

Syd Mead commented on how much he loved the sense of fun in the design of this movie - a world where hover-cars screach their tires when they take off - not unlike the shutter click of a digital camera. Sound Effects Editor Mark Mangini was nominated for an Academy Award for his work on this film, and there's a really cool use of music during a fight scene late in the film where one character's singing is used as a score for the other character's fight sequence.

Karen Goulekas and Mark Stetson led the visual effects team that created all the ships, cityscapes and interplanetary travel graphics, winning a BAFTA and several other honours for their efforts.


Thursday

Thursday - January 28, 7:15 PM
E.T. (1982)
USA // Dir.: Steven Spielberg // 115 min. // 35 mm // G

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Iconic, hugely popular and well regarded to this day, Steven Spielberg's E.T., is both a classic children's film and a classic science fiction film. Columbia pictures must still be kicking themselves for passing on this as it was at one time the highest earning film ever made, and it was done on a budget of only $10 million - small even for 1981.

E.T. himself - now considered cute, even adorable - was thought ugly at the time he was created. Spielberg described him as "something only a mother could love," and the makers of M&M's refused to allow them to be used in the film because they thought E.T. would frighten children. Reese's Pieces were used instead to lure E.T. to Elliot's bedroom, seeing sales go through the roof. This was an influential moment in product placement history.

E.T. was nominated for 9 Academy Awards®, and winner of 4 including Best Visual Effects for Carlo Rambaldi, Dennis Muren and Kenneth Smith. Sir Richard Attenborough's Gandhi beat it out for Best Picture that year, sparking him to say "I was certain that not only would E.T. win, but it should win. It was inventive, powerful, wonderful."

In the words of Roger Ebert "This is not simply a good movie. It is one of those movies that brush away our cautions and win our hearts."


Thursday - January 28, 9:30 PM
The Day the Earth Stood Still (1951)
USA // Dir.: Robert Wise // 92 min. // 35 mm // G

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

The Cold War may not have spawned as many films as WWII, but it certainly has spawned many interesting and thoughtful films, including 1951's The Day the Earth Stood Still. Seen as having "certain subversive elements" at the time for having themes of world peace and government cooperation, as well as allegorical references to the resurrection of Christ, the film drew some unwanted attention from the censors at the Motion Picture Association of America. At their insistance a line was added to the film to make it clear that only the "Almighty" could resurrect people permanently. Apparently the American censors were terrified of powerful godless aliens.

The story is set in Washington DC, but actually principal filming was done entirely on a backlot in Los Angeles, and then combined with plates from a second unit that ran around Washington shooting background footage - the films stars never left L.A. Frank Lloyd Wright helped to design the spaceship and Melbourne Arnold built the robot.

Come join us as Klaatu brings his message of peace and stern warnings against war and violence. "Klaatu barada nikto."


Friday

Friday - January 29, 7:15 PM
Jaws (1975)
USA // Dir.: Steven Spielberg // 124 min. // 35 mm // PG

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Get out of the water and into the theatre for cinema's original summer blockbuster, Steven Spielberg's Jaws. It's all about the shark, or sharks - 3 giant mechanical great whites collectively named "Bruce" by the crew who built them, led by Joe Alves and Bob Mattey. One of the most remarkable things about this film was that there are virtually no post effects here. It was all captured in camera with a combination of the mechanical sharks and latex moulded body parts. Fortunately, Bruce was unreliable, and Spielberg was forced to be creative, using the yellow buoy attached to the shark by a harpoon and cable as a suspenseful stand-in, creating an atmosphere dripping with fear dread.

Scenes of live sharks were filmed in Australia, where a dwarf diver was placed in a small-scale cage to create the illusion that the sharks were enormous. Unplanned footage of a shark destroying the empty cage was incorporated into the story line, completely changing the ending for Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfus) who was originally supposed to die in the cage.

Apart from its remarkable practical effects, Jaws was also used to pioneer the technique of wide distribution where the film is release in hundreds (and now thousands) of theatres simultaneously. This mechanism gives the studios much more control over marketing and hype surrounding a release, making Jaws the grand-daddy of all summer blockbuster films.


Friday - January 29, 9:30 PM
King Kong (2005)
New Zealand - USA - Germany // Dir.: Peter Jackson // 187 min. // 35 mm // 14A

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Two years ago we screened the original King Kong, which was a landmark piece of visual effects cinema that inspired and informed countless later films. Well there's really no more direct a descendant than this, Peter Jackson's 2005 remake.

Hot on the heals of the Lord of the Rings trilogy, Jackson turned the combined might of Weta Digital to the creation of the epic ape. Andy Serkis of Gollum/Smeagol fame was enlisted again as the performance capture talent to bring Kong to life. He eventually travelled to Africa to study mountain gorillas up close in the wild in an effort to learn their ways. With the development of prosthetic limbs to alter his body proportions and centre of gravity, Serkis slowly mastered the art of ...uh... aping. The results are astounding, and led to Richard Taylor and his team winning the 2006 Academy Award for Visual Effects.

A project this big is never going to come off without a hitch, and in this case it was money and duration. Universal executives were so worried as costs rose during production that they screened an early cut of the unfinished film. They came out of the screening as enthusiastic backers, and eventually bankrolled the project to the tune of $207 million - a record at that time. Later they became concerned as the film ran to 200 minutes, and again, a screening reassured them.

Come join us for an epic tale of adventure, the wonders of nature and the hubris of man, King Kong.


Sunday

Sunday - January 31, 2:30 PM
The Wizard of Oz (1939)
USA // Dir.: Victor Fleming // 101 min. // 35 mm // G

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

It was 1939 and MGM was ruling over what may have been the seminal year of Hollywood's Golden Age when they released a film staring Judy Garland and directed by Victor Fleming, The Wizard of Oz.

The head of Special Effects at MGM, A. Arnold Gillespie had his hands full with flying rigs, miniatures and wind effects including a fabulous tornado. The makeup and mat painting work were also ground breaking, and the film was honoured with an Oscar nomination for the effects work, losing to The Rains Came. However, being state of the art in 1939 came with a few risks to the talent. The orignal Tin Man, Buddy Ebsen, nearly died as his lungs gradually became coated in aluminium powder from the makeup. He was replaced by Jack Haley who was never told why Ebsen became ill, but fortunately the source was discovered and the producers very quietly changed the makeup from a powder to a paste - again without telling the actor why. Margaret Hamilton (the wicked witch) suffered burns to her face in an accident filming the munchkinland scenes and her emergency treatment was complicated by the heavy copper-based makeup she was wearing.

Despite those and many other trials and tribulations involving a revolving door of directors and writers, the film was in theatrical release less than a year after it began filming, premiering on August 12, 1939 in that hotbed of cinema, Oconomowoc, Wisconsin. Incidentally, Flemming directed another film that year as well: Gone With the Wind.


Sunday - January 31, 7:00 PM
Sin City (2005)
USA // Dir.: Robert Rodriguez // 124 min. // 35 mm // 18A

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Critically and popularly acclaimed for the strength of its storytelling and visuals, many people don't realize the landmark importance of Sin City's effects work. This was one of the first motion pictures to be primarily green screened - almost all of the the sets are digital creations, with only 3 having been constructed by hand.

Director Robert Rodriguez worked extremely closely with author Frank Miller on the creation of this richly atmospheric film noir compilation of 3 stories from Miller's dark graphic novel series. The ensemble cast is a veritable "who's who" with Bruce Willis, Clive Owen, Benicio del Toro, Rutger Hauer, Elijah Wood, Jessica Alba, Nick Stahl, Rosario Dawson and many others. Quentin Tarantino even directed a scene in the film for the lofty fee of $1.

After having been less than impressed with the results of Robocop Miller was skeptical of collaborating with Hollywood again, so Rodriguez shot the short "The Customer is Always Right" and flew Miller in to screen it. He was suitably impressed, and the piece lived on as the opening sequence of the film, and is echoed again in the prologue.


Sunday - January 31, 9:20 PM
Watchmen (2009)
USA // Dir.: Zack Snyder // 162 min. // 35 mm // 18A

Vancity Theatre @ VIFC
1181 Seymour Street (@ Davie)

Filmed in Vancouver, 2009's Watchmen is yet another example of a film that was waiting to be made - in this case waiting for the technology to create the vision at a practical cost, and waiting for a director to hold the vision of this graphic novel that in 1991 Terry Gilliam thought un-filmable.

Then come 2005 Warner Brothers, having been impressed with Zack Snyder's 300, offered him the script. Snyder's love and understanding of the graphic novel as a medium made him an excellent choice. No simple super hero film, well, at least not until the end, Watchmen looks back over the rise and fall of heroes in an alternate America. The death of The Comedian starts an investigation by his old comrade Rorschach, and the twisted path takes us back through time where we see the dark and the light in these self-styled heroes.

The source material is considered by many a masterpiece of non-linear storytelling, as it dances about in time, space and even plot. The film has been both lauded and lambasted for interpreting the novel so literally, but its visual strength and unapologetic grittiness have helped it grow a huge cult of supporters.



SPEAKERS BIOS

Carlye Archibeque
Outreach Supervisor - C & B scene
(Spider-Man 2...)

Carlye Archibeque is an active member of the Computer Graphics and Motion Pictures community. In 2009, she founded C & B scene, an outreach company designed to bring motion graphics arts, artists and companies together to optimize their visibility in the industry and expand cross-discipline communications.

Carlye began her career at the Academy of Motion Pictures Arts and Sciences and worked in various departments including Academy Archives, Awards Administration, Student Academy Awards, and the Scientific and Technical Academy Awards. In 2002, she worked at Sony Pictures Imageworks where she contributed her services visual effects coordinator for the Academy Award(R) winning Spider-Man 2 (Achievement in Visual Effects) before moving onto the marketing department as senior marketing coordinator and administrator of asset management for their visual effects facility. During a brief hiatus from Sony Imageworks, Carlye worked as the special project manager for the Mixed Reality Research and Development projects at the University of Southern California's Institute for Creative Technology.

Her contribution to the community includes 3 years at the SIGGRAPH Computer Animation Festival as assistant producer in 2007, producer in 2008 and executive producer/chair of the festival in 2009. Carlye is a member of the Visual Effects Society, ACM SIGGRAPH, served as a juror at the 2009 Stuttgart Animation Festival and has presented her lecture on production and history of the Computer Animation Festival at PrixArs Electronica, ArtFutura and the VIEW Conference.


Chris Harvey
VFX/Facility Supervisor - Prime Focus VFX Vancouver
(Avatar, The Twilight Saga: New Moon, Red Cliff, G.I. Joe: Rise of Cobra, X-Men Origins: Wolverine, Dragonball: Evolution, Watchmen...)

Chris Harvey has brought to Prime Focus VFX a wealth of practical knowledge coupled with the real world experience of working on several prestigious visual effects sequences in such films as G.I. Joe: The Rise of Cobra, Superman Returns, X-Men: The Last Stand, The Fantastic Four series and the groundbreaking Journey to the Center of the Earth.

Chris' invaluable background, a mix of technical and artistic abilities has provided Chris unique insights into both realms of our industry, allowing him to innovate and adapt to a multitude of challenges.

An approachable and important member of the Prime Focus Team, Chris' positive, can-do attitude keeps him on the front lines. His enviable ability to motivate the team during stressful situations and remain upbeat is routinely put to the test. His ability to balance creative teams while adhering to the overall vision of the project makes Chris an invaluable asset to both his team and his clients.

www.primefocusworld.com
IMDb.com


Chris Horvath
Digital Effects Supervisor - ILM

Christopher Horvath joined ILM as a Technical Director in 1997. In 2001, Horvath founded visual effects house turned advanced software developer, Tweak Films where he remained for four years. After Tweak, he relocated to New Zealand to work for the effects house Weta Digital, where he worked on such films as The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King and King Kong. In 2007, Horvath returned to ILM as a Digital Artist where he has worked on feature films such as: Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen and most recently, James Cameron's science fiction epic, Avatar.

As a Digital Artist, Horvath is responsible for developing new show specific technologies that push the limits of visual effects. Horvath is originally from Chicago, Illinois and currently resides in San Francisco, California.

ILM.com
IMDb.com


Daniel Lemmon
VFX Supervisor - Weta Digital
(Avatar, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian, Jumper...)

Dan Lemmon joined Weta Digital in 2002 to work on The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers and The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King.

Dan was a Digital Effects Supervisor on Peter Jackson's Academy Award(R) winning King Kong. He worked as Visual Effects Supervisor on Jumper, 30 Days of Night and a number of commercials, including Farmers: Underwater Circus, ckOne:Bottle, and Travelers: Snowball, for which he won a Gold Clio for Visual Effects and a Visual Effects Society Award for Best Visual Effects in a commercial. Dan also worked on I, Robot as a CG Supervisor.

Dan began work on Avatar in May 2008 developing environments and 3D assets and then supervising the integration of new tools into the production pipeline and continued on to oversee over 250 shots.

Before joining Weta Digital, Dan was a CG Supervisor and Digital Artist at Digital Domain in Venice, California, where he worked on the films A Beautiful Mind, The Lord of The Rings: The Fellowship of The Ring, Fight Club, Titanic and The Fifth Element.

He has contributed to 6 Academy Award(R) winning films.

www.wetafx.co.nz
IMDb.com


Danny Yount
Senior Creative Director - Prologue Films

A self-taught designer, Danny Yount has exercised his natural talents to become one of today's top main title designers for film and television, as well as a photographer, commercial director. His work has earned many notable industry awards - TDC, BDA Gold, D&AD Silver, 3 Gold awards from the AIGA as well as an Emmy for his concept, design and direction of the opening sequence of HBO's Six Feet Under, which has been called "television's most gorgeous opening sequence."

At Prologue Films, he has designed and directed many notable main title sequences - Kiss Kiss Bang Bang, which the Hollywood reporter has called "a title sequence worthy of the late Saul Bass," and Iron Man, which was featured in Creativity magazine's Top 5. Danny recently completed work for Guy Ritchie's latest films Rock N' Rolla and Sherlock Holmes.

www.prologue.com
IMDb.com


Darren Poe
Digital Effects Supervisor - Digital Domain

Darren started his thirteen-year tenure at Digital Domain when he joined as a digital artist on The Fifth Element, followed by a stint as digital ocean artist on Titanic. He established his niche as a digital compositor on Armageddon, What Dreams May Come, Fight Club and Supernova, and quickly advanced to compositing supervisor on The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Star Trek: Nemesis, Cinderella Man, Charlie & the Chocolate Factory, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. Most recently, Darren was digital effects supervisor on Roland Emmerich's blockbuster 2012, and he held the same title on projects including Star Trek, Gran Torino and Speed Racer.

www.digitaldomain.com
IMDb.com


David Stephens
CG Supervisor - Digital Domain

David has over thirteen years of experience in the visual effects industry, having earned his first credit as 3D artist on Volcano. Since that time he worked at Blue Sky/VIFX as a 3D digital artist on The X-Files and as R&D supervisor on Star Trek: Insurrection, then moved to ILM as a digital effects artist on Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. David spent several years at Sony Imageworks, beginning with FX R&D on Hollow Man, Evolution, Men in Black II and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers. He advanced to FX Lead on Harry Potter and the Philosopher's Stone, The Tuxedo and The Haunted Mansion, then became FX Animation Supervisor on Open Season, I Am Legend and Watchmen. David joined Digital Domain earlier this year as computer graphics supervisor on 2012 and is currently working on Disney's Tron Legacy.

www.digitaldomain.com
IMDb.com


Derek Ledbetter
VFX Compositor - Universal Studios

Derek Ledbetter is an artist with more than 13 years of experience working in film and television. A professional graphic designer before he entered the visual effects field in 1996, Derek has worked on many top grossing features including Van Helsing, Terminator 3, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen. Since 2007, he has been working with the VFX team on Battlestar Galactica as a Visual Effects Compositor and Match Mover, winning an Emmy with the team in 2008 for BSG episode ''He That Believeth In Me.'' Currently the BSG team is hard at work creating effects for the Battlestar Galactica prequel series, Caprica. A long time fan of the original BSG, he considers working on the new series a childhood fantasy fulfilled.

IMDb.com


Dylan Cole
Concept Artist, Matte Painter, Art Director - Dylan Cole Studio
(Avatar, Alice in Wonderland, 2012, Transformers 3, Tron Legacy...)

Dylan Cole is a concept artist, matte painter, and art director who specializes in film, video games, and commercials. He recently finished as Concept Art Director on Avatar for which he designed much of the alien planet, Pandora. His current films include Alice in Wonderland, Tron Legacy and Transformers 3. His recent matte paintings can be seen in 2012 and The Road, as well as Assassin's Creed II.

Within a year and a half of graduating from UCLA, Dylan was off to New Zealand to be a senior matte painter for Return of the King. Since then, Dylan has contributed art to over 50 films including Golden Compass, The Aviator and The Lion, the Witch, and the Wardrobe.

Dylan enjoys teaching workshops at various events and schools around the world and has a line of instructional DVDs from the Gnomon Workshop. He was one of the co-authors of Ballistic's d'artiste: Matte Painting, and recently had the first solo exhibition of his work at the Gnomon Gallery in Hollywood, CA.

www.dylancolestudio.com
IMDb.com


Gene Kozicki
Production Manager - Rhythm & Hues
(The Golden Compass, Happy Feet, The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch & the Wardrobe...)

Gene Kozicki is a Digital Production Manager with Rhythm & Hues Studios in Los Angeles, as well as a Visual Effects Society Board Member. Past credits included Terminator 2: Judgement Day, Titanic, Golden Compass, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor and Gigli (yes, it had VFX in it).

An active member of the VES's Archive Committee, Gene has been rounding up imagery and artifacts representing the history of the Visual Effects industry for a number of years and presenting discussion panels in conjunction with the VES and the American Cinematheque. "I've always been intrigued by filmmaking and movies. And I distinctly remember wondering "How'd they do that" when I went to the movies. As pervasive as VFX are in modern filmmaking, the VES is keenly aware that there is a VFX industry today because the contributions of others who have come before us. We feel it's important to remember those people and their contributions to our industry."

www.rhythm.com
www.visualeffectssociety.com
IMDb.com


Geoffrey Hancock
VFX Supervisor - CIS Vancouver
(Invictus, Twilight, Night at the Museum, I Robot...)

With over 10 years of visual effects experience, Geoffrey Hancock is one of CIS Vancouver's lead digital and visual effects supervisors. Recent credits include Invictus, Changeling and Twilight. Prior to joining CIS, Geoff worked as the digital effects supervisor on Slither for Image Engine, I, Robot at Rainmaker Visual Effects and Santa Claus 2 for GVFX. His broad background in digital artistry includes character animation, film compositing and CG cinematics.

IMDb.com


Glenn Campbell
VFX Supervisor - AREA 51
(Johnny Mnemonic, Dick Tracy, TRON...)

Glenn started his effects career by nearly blowing his face off with home-made fireworks at age 15, and has never looked back. Much of his misspent youth was dedicated to building models and blowing them up in front of a super 8 camera.

In 1978, he managed to somehow enter the Cameraman Training Program, Effects Branch, which placed him as a trainee on such productions as The Wiz, Superman, Buck Rogers, Battlestar Galactica, Close Encounters: The Special Edition and Star Trek - the motionless picture. After graduating, he continued on the Star Trek feature and subsequently fell in with a bad crowd, working on films of ill repute like Blade Runner, Tron, Buckaroo Banzai, Gremlins, Deal of the Century, Spaceballs, Lifeforce, Bill & Ted Go to Hell, City Slickers, Navigator, Mom and Dad Save The World, Johhny Mnemonic and Dick Tracy. His Television credits include Buck Rogers, Galactica, Viper, Wizards and Warriors, several Bud Lite, Duracell , Magnavox TV and Dodge commercials.

In 1995, he joined AREA 51 as visual effects supervisor and recently received his 4th EMMY nomination for Steven Spielberg's TNT miniseries Into the West. He's currently supervising a WWII feature entitled The Glass House and the TV series In Plain Sight, but his other credits include: X-Files, Millennium, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Dark Skies, Space: Above & Beyond, Eragon, D.O.A., and DUNE the mini-series, which surprised EVERYBODY by receiving the visual effects EMMY. The sequel, Children of Dune also won the EMMY for best visual effects as well. EMMY winner he may be, but he's still an old duffer who should probably step aside to make room for all the young talented whippersnappers clawing their way into the industry these days.

www.area51fx.com
IMDb.com


Guillaume Rocheron
VFX Supervisor - MPC Vancouver

Guillaume Rocheron began his career in 2000 at BUF in France where he started as a 3D Generalist /Artist. During his time at Buf he became one of the senior members of the studio involved in many of the projects that transformed the company from a small facility to one of the biggest studios in France.

Guillaume joined MPC in 2005 as a senior TD in the closing stages of Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire. After couple of projects as a lead lighting and lookdev TD, he quickly moved to the role of CG Supervisor on 10,000 BC and GI Joe: Rise of Cobra. Most recently, in spring 2009, Guillaume moved to MPC Vancouver where he is the VFX Supervisor for Percy Jackson.

www.moving-picture.com
IMDb.com


Habib Zargarpour
Senior Art Director - EA Games

Habib Zargarpour currently serves as a Senior Art Director at EA. In this role, Habib is responsible for the visual aspects of the projects including production design and the overall look. Habib has over 12 years of experience in the visual effects industry working on both games and film. Nominated for two Academy Awards(R) in Visual Effects, for his work on Twister and The Perfect Storm while at ILM, his other projects include the pod race sequence in Star Wars Episode I, Star Trek: First Contact, Spawn, and Signs.

Zargarpour combines his film and games experience to find common ground between the two. His most recent project, Need for Speed: Most Wanted, received a Visual Effects Society Award in 2006. Zargarpour graduated with distinction in Industrial Design from the Art Center College of Design in Pasadena in 1992 where he discovered his passion for design in film. He got his start creating vfx for 3D stereo IMAX projects.

IMDb.com


Henry LaBounta
Director of Art - EA Games

As Director of Art for EA Games, Academy Award nominee Henry LaBounta oversees the visual look of many of EA's games. Working with selected teams to set the look and style of the games, he partners with designers, art directors, technicians and producers from visual development through production. LaBounta came to EA via PDI/DreamWorks, where he was Visual Effect Supervisor on Minority Report, Artificial Intelligence: AI and Mission Impossible II. Prior to joining DreamWorks he worked at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) on many feature films including: Twister, Casper and Star Trek VII Generations. In 1996, LaBounta was nominated for an Academy Award(R) and won a BAFTA award for designing the look and techniques for the tornadoes and related effects on Twister.

www.ea.com
IMDb.com


Jeff White
VFX Supervisor - ILM

Jeff White joined Industrial Light & Magic in 2002 as a creature technical director. He is a graduate of Ithaca College's Cinema and Photography program and has a Masters of Fine Arts from the Savannah College of Art and Design. Prior to graduate school, White worked as technical director for Laika Studios in Portland, Oregon.

Since arriving at ILM, he has worked as a Creature Technical Director on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest, Lemony Snicket: A Series of Unfortunate Events, War of the Worlds, and Star Wars: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. Responsibilities on the shows included rigging and enveloping a wide variety of creatures running flesh, cloth and hair and muscle simulations. On Transformers, the blockbuster film nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar(R), he served as the Digital Production Supervisor. Most recently, White served as the Co-Visual Effects Supervisor on the blockbuster sequel Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen.

www.ilm.com
IMDb.com


John Knoll
VFX Supervisor - ILM
(Avatar, Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End, Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man's Chest...)
Oscar

John Knoll is a Visual Effects Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic who possesses a film background coupled with an advanced understanding of digital technologies. This distinctive combination has made Knoll a much sought-after supervisor with three Academy Award(R) nominations for Star Wars: Episode II - Attack of the Clones, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace, which earned him a BAFTA nomination, and Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl, in which he was also honored with a BAFTA nomination. In 2005, he completed work on the final installment of the Star Wars series: Episode III - Revenge of the Sith. In 2006, Knoll completed work on the sequel to the Pirates of the Caribbean films: Dead Man's Chest for which he received both a BAFTA and an Academy Award(R). Most recently, he was the ILM Visual Effects Supervisor on James Cameron's science fiction epic Avatar.

John Knoll joined Industrial Light & Magic as a technical assistant in 1986 and worked as a motion control camera operator before creating some of the ground breaking digital effects for The Abyss. Since that time, he has been promoted to Visual Effects Supervisor helming the visual effects on more than twenty feature films and commercials. In 1987, Knoll teamed up with his brother who was working on his Doctoral Thesis in computer vision at the University of Michigan to create Photoshop, the groundbreaking digital imaging software and flagship product of Adobe Systems.

www.ilm.com
IMDb.com


Marc Roth
Lead CG Artist - The Embassy VFX
(District 9, I Robot, The Matrix Revolutions...)

Emmy-nominated animator Marc Roth has been with the Embassy team since 2004. After completing work on I, Robot and The Matrix Revolutions, Marc has helped deliver dozens of commercials at the Embassy and most recently jumped back into film work with District 9.

www.theembassyvfx.com
IMDb.com


Matt Gratzner
VFX Supervisor · New Deal Studios
(Shutter Island, The Mummy: Tomb of the Dragon Emperor, Hancock, Iron Man...)

Matthew Gratzner, co-founder and creative supervisor for New Deal Studios, is widely respected within the entertainment industry for his artistry and business acumen - a rare pairing of skills, which he balances in every project. Though best known for feature-film effects work on such films as Iron Man, Superman Returns, Hancock, Independence Day, Armageddon, The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Men In Black and Godzilla, Matthew is also recognized as an award-winning multifaceted director, designer, visual effects supervisor, fine artist, leader and entrepreneur. Matthew's work on The Aviator has been honoured with a British Academy Award nomination, a Golden Satellite Award, and three Visual Effects Society Awards. His work for Tom Hanks' HBO series From the Earth to the Moon garnered an Emmy nomination for Special Visual Effects, and his work on the Halo 3 Believe campaign brought him another VES Award, a Clio Award and a Cannes Advertising Festival Gold Lion.

Matthew's integral long-running relationship with the Martin Scorsese's production team and has resulted in memorable scenes such as the horrific plane crash in The Aviator, subtle and "invisible" effects shots in The Departed and eerie environments for the upcoming psychological thriller Shutter Island. He is currently working on his feature film directorial debut on UFO, the feature film adaptation of the classic 1970's science fiction television series.

www.huntergratzner.com
IMDb.com


Meats Meier
3D Artist

Meats Meier is currently a freelance illustrator and animator living in Downtown Los Angeles, California. He taught the first ever ZBrush course at the Gnomon School of Visual Effects, and is the author of the very popular Introduction to ZBrush training DVD produced by the Gnomon Workshop. Meats is also an award-winning digital artist (including two Expose Master awards) with over a decade of experience in a wide range of artistic fields. Meats appears on two feature film credits, Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow and Hellboy as a technical director and compositor. He has also worked as an airbrush lead artist at a video game studio (Beyond Games), and has had a successful career as an independent artist and illustrator. Meier's artwork is on the cover of numerous books, magazines, and web sites and he was honoured with the prestigious "Maya Master" title by Alias at SIGGRAPH 2003. In 2006, Meats helped with the stereoscopic graphics for the cover of the TOOL album 10,000 Days and now continues to work on animations alongside Chet Zar and Camella Grace for their live touring concerts. Meats Meier is certainly the first 3D artist who will make his way through the history of fine art in the 21st century. The strength and the ideas emanating from his paintings remind that of artists like Picasso and Francis Bacon. In his sculpture, Arman's accumulation style and Tinguely's sense of movement transpire. Meats Meier is like a chef in a great restaurant, who saves his ingredients, and when we think the dish is almost finished, starts collecting each of them again, assembling them differently, to create a new object.

www.3dartspace.com


Nick Cannon
Director of Technology - MPC Vancouver

Nick became Director of Technology, MPC Vancouver in June 2009. His prime responsibility is to over see Technology for MPC's international business with a specific focus on Vancouver, a key market for growth for both MPC and the VFX industry. Headquartered in London, and a part of US-based Technicolor, MPC is a world leading post production facility creating high-end visual effects for film studios and advertising agencies.

Prior to moving to Vancouver, Nick held the interim post of Operations Director for Escape Studios; a privately owned business with 40 staff providing computer graphics technology, training and production services to industry, education and individuals. They are also a key outsourcing provider to MPC and Nick's primary responsibility was to work with the management team to improve internal processes and tools to better serve the needs of MPC and the VFX industry as a whole.

From 2003 to 2008, Nick held a range of Technology positions at MPC, London, working his way up to CTO where he was ultimately responsible for ensuring MPC's technology met the needs of the film and commercials businesses. To do this, he led the technical teams across R&D, Systems, Engineering, IT and Imaging to deliver effects for films such as Harry Potter, Batman Begins and Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian.

After graduating in computer science, Nick started his career at Morse providing computer systems to London's Square Mile and before moving to a technical consultancy and project manager post at Yahoo!.

www.moving-picture.com
IMDb.com


Ollie Rankin
CG Supervisor - CIS Vancouver
(Invictus, Harry Potter & the Half-Blood Prince, Watchmen, The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian...)

Ollie Rankin is a New Zealand born visual effects practitioner whose career spans more than 10 years. His background in programming, and specifically in the field of artificial intelligence led him into what was then the brand new discipline of crowd simulation, choreographing battle sequences for the Lord of the Rings. Since then he has worked at several other facilities around the world, progressively broadening his purview to encompass most of the 3D side of vfx production. He has been involved in the development and application of a number of other crowd systems, along with more generic animation and 3D pipelines. He currently works as a CG supervisor at CIS Vancouver.

www.cis-vancouver.com
IMDb.com


Pierre Drolet
Lead Modeler - Universal Studios
(Caprica, Battlestar Galactica, Serenity...)

Pierre Drolet is an Emmy Award winning Lead Modeler who has worked on many leading television series, and science fiction films. He is currently working as the Lead Modeler on the new television series Caprica and has received credit as Lead Modeler on various television series including Battle Star Galactica, Star Trek Enterprise and the last season of Star Trek Voyager. He has worked as a CGI Artist Modeler on various movies including Serenity, Star Trek Nemesis, Hell Boy, and TV shows such as Lost, 24, V, Pushing Daisies, and Virtuality. Before joining Universal Studios, Pierre was employed at Eden FX, working on the Surface television series and many other projects.

www.universalstudios.com
IMDb.com


Randy Goux
Digital FX Supervisor / VFX Supervisor - CIS Vancouver
(Tooth Fairy, Invictus, The Matrix Revolutions, The Matrix Reloaded, The Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring...)

Randy Goux has over 13 years experience in visual effects with screen credits as CG Supervisor on various feature films such as Lord of the Rings: The Fellowship of the Ring, Matrix Reloaded and Matrix Revolutions before joining Zoic Studios as the Visual Effects Supervisor on notable features including Serenity and Zathura. In 2006, Randy relocated to Vancouver to help set-up Zoic Studios' BC office where he assumed the role of Creative Director and Visual Effects Supervisor on Pathfinder, One Missed Call, Rush Hour 3 and Get Smart. In 2008, he joined CIS Vancouver as Visual Effects Supervisor on G.I. Joe and Tooth Fairy. Randy recently completed work as Digital FX Supervisor on the Warner Bros feature Invictus.

www.cis-vancouver.com
IMDb.com


Robert Bridson
Professor · UBC

Robert Bridson is a professor in Computer Science at UBC and co-founder of Exotic Matter. His research spans computer graphics and scientific computing, with a specific focus on physics-based animation and related geometric and numerical algorithms. He has co-written software used at ILM, Double Negative and Weta, among others, for cloth and fluid effects in a variety of major films, including a screen credit on Inkheart.

www.ubc.ca
www.ilm.com
IMDb.com


Ryan Kingslien
Sculptor / Instructor

Ryan Kingslien studied traditional art in the certificate program at the Pennsylvania Academy of Fine Arts, Antioch University, and The Gnomon School of Visual Effects. In 2004, Ryan became the very first Product Manager for ZBrush at Pixologic where he worked with programmers and artists to fuse traditional and digital art processes. While at Pixologic, he consulted with fortune 500 companies such as ILM, Sony Pictures Imageworks, Bungie Studios, Ubisoft and Electronic Arts to integrate digital sculpting into their production pipelines. Ryan is currently a resident artist at The Gnomon Workshop where he shares his passion for digital art and teaching.

www.ryankingslien.com


Sean Lewkiw
Digital Effects Supervisor - CIS Vancouver

Sean Lewkiw is a DFX supervisor with over 12 years experience in the industry. Starting out in Sapporo Japan as an animator, he spent almost three year working on Japanese commercials and TV programs. He then moved to Toronto to work as Technical Director on Monster by Mistake for two seasons. Following this, he spent two years at Weta working on the Lord of the Rings series, before moving to London to join Jim Henson's Creature Shop as FX TD and VFX Supervisor on such films as Water Giant and Tomb Raider II. He then joined Framestore CFC where he worked on films including X-Men II and Superman Returns, before joining CIS London as Technical Head of 3D three years ago. He is now at CIS Vancouver, where he has just recently finished Invictus as the DFX supervisor.

www.cis-vancouver.com
IMDb.com


Shannon Blake Gans
CEO / Executive Producer - New Deal Studios
(Shutter Island, 2012, Terminator Salvation, I Am Legend...)

As co-founder and CEO of New Deal Studios, Shannon Blake Gans is the organizational spice of the most dynamic young company in motion picture visual effects.

Raise in a family of entrepreneurs, Shannon enteres the workforce at an early age and dreamed of helming her own company. In 1992, she moved from Florida to Los Angeles to earn a degree from the prestigious entrepreneur program at the University of Southern California.

A love for the arts - and an eye for opportunity in the burgeoning field of visual effects - brought Shannon into partnership with Ian Hunter and Matthew Gratzner in 1995 to form Hunter/Gratzner Industries, a miniatures and mechanical effects company serving the entertainment industry. After overseeing the acquisition of a neighbouring production company's assets, Shannon orchestrated the expansion of HGI and in 2001, New Deal Studios was born as a full-service visual effects production facility. It is Shannon's goal to transform New Deal Studios into the entertainment industry standard for quality and responsibility in product and practice.

Shannon has been featured in Working Woman Magazine and the Christian Science Monitor. Her professional associations include Women in Film, the Visual Effects Society (where she has served on the Board of Directors, on the Executive Committee and as Treasurer), and the USC Advisory Council. Shannon was honoured by her alma mater in 2000 with the Lloyd Greif Centre Alumni Entrepreneur of the year Award, and takes time each year to speak to student groups in the hope of inspiring the next generation of entrepreneurs.

www.huntergratzner.com
IMDb.com


Simon van de Lagemaat
CG Supervisor - The Embassy VFX
(District 9, Iron Man...)

Simon's talent and eye for detail was spotted whilst still at film school. Having applied his considerable skill to the visual effects industry for over 10 years he has produced some stunning work and is core in the Embassy successes resulting in the D&AD, Clio and Cannes wins. Simon was also integral in the shading and look development of The Embassy's work on Iron Man and District 9 and he is also an original Embassy co-founder.

www.theembassyvfx.com
IMDb.com


Stephan Trojansky
VFX Supervisor / Co-founder - ScanlineVFX
Technical Achievement Award

Stephan Trojansky is a VFX Supervisor and Co-Founder of ScanlineVFX. After leading the feature film work of Scanline VFX in Munich for more than 10 years, he moved to Los Angeles to run Scanline's new Los Angeles studio. His feature film credits include 2012, Narnia: Prince Caspian, Iron Man, 300, and many more. Stephan is also leading the research and development of Scanline's proprietary fluid simulation system ''Flowline'', for which he and his development team received a 2007 Scientific and Technical Achievement Award from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.

scanlinevfx.com
IMDb.com


Winston Helgason
VFX Supervisor - The Embassy VFX
(District 9, Iron Man, Max Q, Terminus...)

As one of the initial co-founders of The Embassy in 2002, Winston's 20+ years as a skilled artist has been recognized by D&AD, Clio and Cannes wins, and an Emmy nomination. He VFX supervised sequences on Marvel's hugely successful feature Iron Man and more recently was set supervisor for The Embassy's work on the climatic end sequence of District 9.

www.theembassyvfx.com
IMDb.com





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