The FMX 2023 program is online. The conference is showcasing the diversity of its content, which ranges from new shows to sustainability in the entertainment industry. In accordance with this multi-faceted program, recently confirmed talks cover technological highlights, including the “invisible” VFX for ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, which just took home four Academy Awards, Disney+ show SHE-HULK and visual effects for the Netflix series 1899, as well as a track on inclusion curated by Producer and FMX Program Chair Jinko Gotoh and Julie Ann Crommett (Collective Moxie). Further talks will enlighten the FMX audience on the making-of ONI: THUNDER GOD’S TALE and the risks of artificial intelligence. There are further newcomers in the Recruiting Hub, and Rise FX is on board as a Silver Partner. The discounted Early Bird rate ends March 17, 2023.

Confirmations for FMX 2023

Jan Philip Cramer (Digital Domain) discusses SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW

Digital Domain showcases its work on the Disney+ show SHE-HULK: ATTORNEY AT LAW at FMX. From the first day on the project to delivery, the team at Digital Domain was working closely with Marvel Studios and its creative leadership team to create a new type of superhero, a fashion icon and the best lawyer in town. Visual Effects Supervisor Jan Philip Cramer will go over the creation of the main character, motion studies and the final shot work. The FMX audience can expect a detailed study of facial animation, muscle and cloth simulation – as well as new groundbreaking technologies used on SHE-HULK. For this, the team will do a deep dive into Machine Learning for Facial Animation. In addition Digital Domain will discuss the use of Charlatan, their neural network for “deep fake”-like face replacements and its use on SHE-HULK.

Frank Petzold about creating the ‘invisible’ VFX for ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT  

Frank Petzold, Overall VFX supervisor for ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT, which took home four Academy Awards last Sunday, will talk about making the transition from optical VFX to the CG Age, channeling all techniques throughout his career to achieve the seamlessly integrated VFX on ALL QUIET ON THE WESTERN FRONT. In his presentation, Frank will outline the production process, starting with the first meeting with director Edward Berger to the final hour of grading the movie.

Christian Kaestner (Framestore) on the 1899 journey

1899, the Netflix show realized by DARK creators Baran bo Odar and Jantje Friese, represented an epic voyage for Production VFX Supervisor Christian Kaestner and his team. This talk navigates the show’s creative and technological journey: one that encompasses concept art, virtual scouting, virtual set-walks and virtual art department through to the set-up and use of DARK WAYS’ innovative new 360° LED volume stage and, of course, final VFX. Kaestner will deliver a deep-dive into the use of Framestore’s virtual production toolkit, the new types of storytelling that LED technology can unlock and how it has the power to put VFX artists, producers and technologists at the heart of the creative process.

Producer/FMX Program Chair Jinko Gotoh + Julie Ann Crommett host Cultivating Inclusion track

The “Cultivating Inclusion”-track, curated by Jinko Gotoh, Producer and FMX Program Chair, and Julie Ann Crommett, Founder & CEO Collective Moxie, holds that Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) sits at the heart of the journey to cultivate true sustainability and growth in the global entertainment industries.

Julie Ann Crommett (Board Member – USC Annenberg Inclusion Initiative and WIA) will be part of a fireside chat on “Landscape Look: WIA/USC VFX Study & Industry Accountability”. The chat explores the current diversity in the global VFX and animation landscape citing the 2021 WIA / USC VFX Industry gender study, its demand on institutions and the industry to create sustainable accountability – and the steps they have since taken.

Crommett will also take the stage with four panelists from independent studios and producers including Deepa C. Joshi (Incessant Rain Studios), Nosipho Maketo-van den Bragt (Chocolate Tribe), Christina Lee Storm (Netflix) to shed light on “The Business of Inclusion”, i.e. the necessity for DEI investment during uncertain economic times providing statistics, case studies, and information to the FMX audience.

Last but not least, FMX Program Chair Jinko Gotoh asks her panel complete with Hidetaka Yosumi (Studio Nowake Canary Islands S.L.), Rob van den Bragt (Chocolate Tribe), Kiran Bhakta Joshi (Incessant Rain Studios) and Su-Jin Song (Cologne Game Lab of the TH Köln) “How to be an Inclusion Accomplice” in making change, showcasing real-life examples of allyship. Attendees will leave this track with tangible actions to immediately impact their organizations, technology, and creative work.

Robert Kondo talks about designing the World of ONI

Robert Kondo (Production Design/Tonko House) will share his perspective on the process and making of ONI: THUNDER GOD’S TALE. ONI is an animated fantasy series by Netflix.

Dave McKean on Art or Artifice  

AI is here, it’s not going anywhere and it will change, or disrupt, everything. But like all technological changes, there will be losses as well as gains, and English artist Dave McKean fears the loss this time will cut to the essential sense of ourselves, why we do what we do. He thinks it’s time to start defining what is the scope we will allow AI to make the most of its possibilities, and what ethical and territorial boundaries should exist to mitigate against the worst of the collateral damage.

Forum News

In the fully booked Recruiting Hub, extra space has been made available for a few newcomers, and the first Company Suites have also been confirmed.

Recruiting Hub:   DNEG, Jangled Nerves, Umedia.

Marketplace: Basilic Fly, Digital Production, InstaLOD, ScannedReality.  

Workshops: Pixar’s RenderMan, Ranch Computing (online).

Company Suites: Foundry, Framestore, Side FX (Houdini).

Main image ©2022 MARVEL Courtesy Digital Domain

Tanya Combrinck
Author: Tanya Combrinck

Tanya is a writer covering art, design, and visual effects. She has 15 years of experience as a magazine journalist and has written for publications including 3D World, 3D Artist, Computer Arts, net magazine, and Creative Bloq.