The FMX 2013 program is taking shape. Europe’s most renowned conference on digital entertainment, which takes place two weeks earlier than last year, adopts the slogan “lean, smart and agile” and focuses on the ongoing paradigm shift in the animation, effects, games and transmedia industries. It zeroes in on how smart technologies, adaptive approaches and flexible strategies are shaping the business, allowing for integrated storytelling, affordable workflows, accessible budgets, independent initiatives, new players and global success. Highly esteemed industry professionals explore this change in various presentations, workshops, masterclasses, on the Marketplace, the Recruiting Hub and the School Campus. What’s more, FMX focuses on VFX highlights such as Life of Pi and Cloud Atlas and animation adventures such as The Croods. In continuing its successful cooperation with the popular International Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart and the business platform Animation Production Day, FMX transforms Stuttgart into a meeting point for professionals, digital artists and decision-makers from all over the world.
The importance of the paradigm shift
The paradigm shift presents the industries with new challenges while offering interesting opportunities at the same time. At this year’s FMX, presentations take a closer look at how the ensuing demands of versatility and flexibility allow for new distribution models, different ways of financing, adaptive workflows, innovative strategies and more. In the light of this paradigm shift, last year’s subject of “Cloud Computing” is a recurring theme, complemented by presentations on “Cloud Gaming” and curated by Ludwig von Reiche, Managing Director/Senior Director of Business Development at NVIDIA ARC. Moreover, FMX takes up last year’s focus on “Virtual Production” in a dedicated track by curator David Morin, Chair, Joint Technology Subcommittee on Virtual Production and Chair, Autodesk Film CTO Advisory Council.
More Games, more Transmedia
Last year’s trends prevail: FMX attaches great importance to the subjects of Games and Transmedia. Compared to technically oriented events such as SIGGRAPH, FMX discusses current developments from the perspective of artists and content developers across the industries. Subjects under discussion include multi-platforms as well as questions concerning production and distribution. Moreover, this year’s program features the presentation series “Games: Visual Arts,” curated by Joseph Olin, as well as talks on “Game Cinematics” (curated by Dominic Cianciolo, NetherRealm Studios) and other track highlights span from “Game Characters” by Henry LaBounta(Microsoft) to “Real-time Rendering” by Wolfgang Engel (Confetti). Inga von Staden (Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg) curates the track “Indie Games” and the program series on Transmedia experiences which concentrates on the central theme “Building Worlds.”
Animation: Wild and technical
The prehistoric adventure The Croods, which will be released in March, counts among this year’s most anticipated animation highlights. The DreamWorks Animation production focuses on the world’s first family, the last survivors of their kind. While Eric Tabellion (R&D Dreamworks) discusses the use of different lighting techniques in The Croodsand other films, Visual Effects Supervisor Markus Manninen gives a broad overview over the animation process. Wildness is a theme that permeates other animation tracks at FMX as well – the “Wild ‘n’ Strange” series, curated by Andreas Hykade, is dedicated to offbeat indie highlights far from mainstream.
VFX: Literary adaptations “Life of Pi”, “Cloud Atlas” and more
VFX are at the heart of FMX. The tracks “Virtual Humans Forum”, “VFX in Commercials” and “Simulation” discuss VFX along with two dedicated presentations on two current VFX highlights based on literary works. First there’s Life of Pi: Bill Westenhofer, Visual Effects Supervisor at Rhythm & Hues, speaks about his team’s work in Ang Lee’s popular literary adaptation of Yann Martel’s bestseller that is Oscar-nominated in the category “Best Visual Effects” as well as ten further categories. Furthermore, VFX Supervisor Guillaume Rocheron illustrates the film’s impressive storm sequences that were created by the capable hands at MPC. What’s more, FMX sheds light on the international co-production Cloud Atlas, the literary adaptation of David Mitchell’s cult novel, directed by Tom Tykwer and the Wachowski siblings. Florian Gellinger, VFX Supervisor at rise fx, who contributed important shots of the spectacular car crash, aircraft explosion and other scenes, explains their role in the film’s production.
FMX, ITFS and APD
In 2013, FMX and the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS) further continue their long-standing, successful partnership. The world’s biggest festival for animated film, which celebrates its 20th edition this year, takes place parallel to FMX, from April 23-28. The popular festival invites directors, production companies and distributors to Stuttgart to present their animated features. ITFS offers all visitors including FMX attendees the opportunity to enjoy the latest and greatest animated films as part of their evening program. The renaissance of stop motion techniques is one of this year’s core themes. Curated by Barry Purves, this program includes the presentation of several Oscar-nominated films. What’s more, the host country India gives insights into the Indian animation community and introduces Reliance – the production company that took over Digital Domain last year; Anand Gurnani is the curator. Together FMX and ITFS host the Animation Production Day (APD), a business platform for the animation industry, on April 25 and 26. Once again, Stuttgart proves itself a central meeting point for professionals, companies, artists and attendees from all over the world and confirms Baden-Wuerttemberg’s significance for the national and international film industry.
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