Press Release No.6
15th Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Interactive Media
May 04-07, 2010
Stuttgart/Ludwigsburg, May 8th, 2010. Early this morning FMX 2010, the 15th Conference on Animation, Effects, Games and Interactive Media ended with a booming party. The biggest expert meeting in Europe maxed out capacities for the venue of Haus der Wirtschaft. On each of the four days way over 3.000 international animation specialists, visitors and young talents from 41 countries rarely found free seats in one of the simultaneous programs in the other ten rooms and had to sit on the floor. You could hardly miss the positive atmosphere of change within an industry that benefits from the 3D stereo boom and the global success of effects movies in spite of the economic crises. And above all FMX transported the “immersive experience” and let its audience delve into another world with a huge range of presentations, expert exchange, new knowledge and contacts. FMX speaker Volker Engel nailed the head right on its head when summarizing the spirit of the event: “Don’t be a fan, be a maker.”
Crossing borders 1 – Beyond Germany and fields of specialization
FMX and the conference’s organizers from the Institute of Animation at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg are used to attracting more and more visitors every year. This year’s results revealed a twenty per cent plus in attendee numbers. Another positive effect was their composition: in 2010 way more than 3.000 visitors from 41 countries came to FMX every of the four days, 60% of which were professionals while 40 % consisted of students. The internationality reflects the character of a creative community which consequently builds on global working models and has developed its very own identity over the years. At FMX this community finds exactly what it is looking for: an atmosphere of casual encounters, plenty of like-minded people, a non-profit orientation and a comprehensive program triggering thinking outside the box.
Crossing borders 2 – Beyond media formats
The silently binding theme of FMX – cross-media or 360° – could be traced in all talks. Today creative content are conceived to work even beyond the borders of a genre or format right from the start. Explicitly addressing this issues were three tracks of the 360° sessions. “Beyond the Screen” considered innovations in interface design; “Beyond the Format” introduced case studies by multi-platform projects from Europe and the US. The Co-Production Market brought together American and European initiators of cross-media projects with producers from other media branches.
Crossing borders 3 – Beyond dimensions
The recent discourse on 3D – or to be more precise – stereoscopy was among the most important topics for FMX. The 3D track in the Metropol cinema could not only boast presentations by renowned experts but stereoscopic demonstrations. Pixar’s Bob Whitehill (Up, Toy Story 3), Blue Sky’s Jayme Wilkinson (Ice Age 3) or the three Sony Pictures Imageworks’ speakers Ken Ralston, David Schaub and Corey Turner did not only bring Hollywood glamour to FMX but profound presentations on aesthetics and storytelling in the third dimension. Stepping further ahead into the future were the talks on the exciting chances of 3D gaming where 3D perception is combined with interactivity.
Crossing borders 4 – Into visual perfection
The most recently coined expression of hybrid movies describes a genre that produces one box office hit after another these days. Digital images have reached a photo-real level where they seamlessly melt into life action footage. All the most significant movies of the past year have been presented on at FMX with extensive specials: Avatar, 2012, Alice in Wunderland and Iron Man 2 – which was even screened in a national preview at FMX including a presentation by ILM president Lynwen Brennen and a very warm video message by director Jon Favreau. Besides film, games also provide spectacular imageries. Many game majors came to FMX thanks to the support of the AIAS (Academy of Interactive Arts & Sciences) and talked on new releases, among them Christophe Brusseaux of Quantic Dream (Heavy Rain), David Hego von Rocksteady Studios (Batman: Arkham Asylum), Saku Lehtinen of Remedy Entertainment (Alan Wake) as well as Ben Diamand and Bruno Velazquez of Sony (God of War 3)
Crossing borders 5 – education and training in animation
The School Campus beat expectations once more with 22 schools from Austria, Denmark, Germany, New Zealand, Switzerland, Sweden and the UK. Here they presented themselves to young talents who were looking for just the right program of studies and to the companies in search of promising graduates. The successful interaction and integration of official introductions in the School Presentations on the one and face-to-face encounters on the other side at the often interactive and entertaining desks in the School Campus yielded much praise as well.
Crossing borders 6 -into the global job
The fact that FMX has become the European job fair for a very particular qualification profile surely roots in the organization by the renowned Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg. And the word gets around: Every third visitor at FMX is either a student or graduate. The Recruiting can really set the course for the future career, so the run to Stuttgart has been bigger than ever before. In presentations and face-to-face meetings young talents and experienced professionals could inform themselves on job offers by global players in the industry and network with them and each other directly. Among the companies looking for new team members were: Aardman Animations, Animal Logic, ARRI, Black Rock, Blue Sky, Cinesite, Crytek, Deutsche Telekom Product Design, Double Negative, DreamWorks, Framestore, Ilion Animation Studios, Lucasfilm, LIGA_01 Computerfilm, Mackevision, Moving Picture Company, Pixomondo, rise|fx, RTT, ScanlineVFX, Sony Pictures Imageworks, The Mill, Trixter Film, Ubisoft World Studios, Unexpected and Walt Disney Animation Studios.
Crossing boarders 7 – financing animation
From May 4th to 5th, the Animation Production Day (APD) connected the important players of the industry with each other. The financing platform, hosted by FMX and the Stuttgart Festival of Animated Film (ITFS), brings together creatives with funders in prearranged one-on-one meetings. This year, 53 companies from ten countries negotiated their new projects in animation such as feature movies, TV series, games and mobile entertainment in more than 600 focused individual encounters. The production volume lay at not less than 83 million Euros. Not surprisingly, 3D stereo was of particular significance, for one third of already conceived European projects are planned for stereoscopic production. In the conference Financing & Brands: Stereoscopic Strategies producers, buyers and investors defined detailed goals for the financing and refinancing of stereoscopic animation movies
FMX is an event in cooperation with VES Visual Effects Society, AIAS Academy of Interactive Arts and Sciences, ACM Siggraph, 5D Conference and the Stuttgart Media University. It is hosting the Animation Production Day 2010 (APD), a joint venture with the Festival of Animated Film Stuttgart (ITFS). FMX is funded by the Ministry of State and the Ministry of Economics Baden-Wuerttemberg, the MFG Film Funding, the MFG Innovation Agency for IT and Media, and the FFA German Federal Film Board. It is organized by the Institute of Animation, Visual Effects and Digital Postproduction at Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg.