L i gh t and magic
Europe’s premier visual effects event, Escape Studios’ VFX Festival, is ready to take over London
Founded by Escape Studios – Europe’s leading visual effects academy – the VFX festival has become a highlight of the special effects calendar. Across three days, it will explore a myriad of themes, with guests from big- name studios such as The Mill, MPC and ILM. We spoke to Escape’s Dom Davenport to find out more about the event...
Augmented and virtual reality are hot topics of discussion this year. Are these the future of visual effects?
We’re still very much at the beginning of a journey to explore how these technologies can extend the reach of media and enhance pre- existing entertainment. The gamechanger will be when the tech is available to everyone through their smart devices.
Day two is all about movies such as The Martian. Is Hollywood still on the cutting edge of effects, or has that moved to games?
The Martian is definitely at the cutting edge of seamless, photo real and invisible effects. Conjuring up a world we can only still really imagine is a feat in itself, game engines are catching up, but the sheer level of detail can only really exist in prerendered content.
There’s a heavy focus on recruitment. Is effects a tough industry to enter?
Recruitment has shifted away from just purely technical or artistic skills. Now the industry needs people who have what would previously have been seen as soft skills. People who are good at working in groups and with clients, or who have an entrepreneurial spirit and are good at spotting opportunities or generating IP. It is competitive, but if you have the right experiences during your education it is a fulfilling, creative and authentic career choice.
What are you most looking forward to at the festival?
I’m hosting a panel on day three about how we could reimagine the current education system to foster and nurture creativity, innovation and an entrepreneurial spirit. We have great guests including Ian Livingstone, co- founder of Games Workshop and Eidos, and Alex Hope, co- founder of Oscar winning VFX company, Double Negative. I’m really looking forward to hearing what they have to say.
The VFX Festival, created by Escape Studios, will run from 23- 25 February at The O2, London. www.thevfxfestival.com
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