SPARK Animation 2012, the annual conference and festival organized by the Spark CG community in Vancouver is all set to kick-start from Sep 12.
The stellar lineup of conference speakers include opening keynote speaker Hal Hickel and closing keynote speaker Joe Letteri. The event has also got an amazing list of talented presenters from DreamWorks Animation, ILM, Sony Pictures Imageworks, LAIKA, New Deal Studio, Blue Sky Studio, and The Jim Henson Company.
The festival launches with a special opening night film Industrial Light & Magic: Creating the Impossible. Other films include the North American premiere of Pablo, the Canadian premiere of Toys in the Attic, and the British Columbia premieres of The Nature of Frédéric Back, A Cat in Paris, and A Letter to Momo.
Another interesting session is Developing Shows for TV & Eventually Even Getting Them Made with Craig Bartlett. The event also includes Industry mixers for networking
The program line up for the conference includes
FRIDAY – SEPTEMBER 14, 2012
SATURDAY – SEPTEMBER 15, 2012
“Conference Closing Party”
Initially created as an arm to the Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH chapter, the Spark Computer Graphics (Spark CG) Society has organized all the SPARK conferences & festivals, starting with the inaugural SPARK FX ’08 in January 2008 and the inaugural SPARK Animation ’08 in September 2008.
In 2011, the Spark CG team helped build momentum to ensure the success of the SIGGRAPH 2011 conference in Vancouver. In late 2011, Spark CG separated from Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH and now runs as its own separate entity to better serve the local community.
Following is a quick Q&A with Jessica Fernandes who besides other things is heading the Communications from the organizing team at Spark 2012.
When was Spark formed/inaugurated?
The idea behind SPARK began to take form in 2005. After building the idea within the local community and gaining sponsorship support, SPARK FX was officially inaugurated in January 2008 with 1400 entries. The first SPARK Animation took place in 2009; with a total of 7 SPARK festivals & conferences to date.
What are the goals and continued mandate of the SPARK Computer Graphics Society?
SPARK CG Society is all about creativity and community. Our mission has always been to:
- Ignite creative and collaborative fire
- Bolster minds with knowledge and inspiration
- Unleash the thriving potential of the local community
- Create bridges with the international community
There are a number of incredible CG, VFX and Animation conferences that take place around the world every year. However, due to cost constraints, studios often only send executives and HR teams to these. We wanted to give our talented and thriving local CG community access to international content at the same caliber as that seen at the larger conferences. Furthermore, with Vancouver being a hub of different CG disciplines, we wanted to enable networking and collaboration between the various groups, fostering a strong community that would blur the lines between games, animation and visual effects.
What is the focus of Spark 2012?
SPARK 2012 is focused on Animation. Although we cover many aspects of animation, our emphasis continues to be CG productions (we were born out of SIGGRAPH, after all). That being said, the influence, importance and impact of traditional animation is not lost on us – many of our most notable speakers come from a traditional animation background.
In tune with the times, SPARK caters to the needs of its audience – this year’s conference and festival is intimate, accessible, affordable and flexible.
How many delegates do you anticipate attending?
In previous years SPARK has attracted upwards of 3000 attendees. However, given the current economic climate, and the unfortunate closure of a few key local studios recently, it’s hard to tell what numbers will look like this year. A conservative estimate would be 1500 attendees, though we’re aiming for 2000 given the incredible lineup of speakers and films that we’ve secured.
The program line up including the events, films and speaker sessions looks very appealing…what was the ideology / theme behind the program?
Our approach isn’t specifically theme based, it is more geared to what is most innovative and inspiring in a particular year. We seek out speakers who have interesting stories to tell, insights worth sharing and inspiration that is both pleasantly infectious and thought-provoking. Attending SPARK isn’t meant to be a sedentary activity. We want our attendees to walk away bursting with the need to create, collaborate and drive themselves and this industry forward.
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