It isn’t that long ago that the visual effects and animation industries were concentrated mostly in Los Angeles. For lots of reasons (ask me again sometime) the work is now spread throughout the globe.
One outcome of this ‘globalisation’ of VFX and animation is that there’s never been more conferences, events and meet-ups to hear from professionals about the films and projects they’ve worked on. Which means it’s more likely there will be somewhere near you where you can learn about VFX and animation.
But it’s more than that, too.
With so many places – sometimes exotic places – offering VFX and animation events, it also feels like there’s a real opportunity for those interested in working in those fields or who already are, to visit some great locations.
I’ll give you an example. Last year I was able to attend the VIEW Conference in Turin. (Spoiler: I’m going again this year.) It was incredible, and not just for the speakers. Being able to soak up a city I hadn’t been to before, and one as historic as Turin, was actually one of the main highlights.
So, what’s in Turin?
Well, first let’s talk about where Turin is. It’s in the northwest of Italy and is the country’s fourth largest city. It’s probably known mostly as being the home to much of the Italian car industry (FIAT, Lancia and Alfa Romeo). It also hosted the Winter Olympics in 2006.
But what does Turin ‘feel’ like? You know those older European cities where there’s a whole bunch of streets everywhere and down every street is something different? That’s Turin. Half of that is touristy and the other half is…more like typical city and suburban living.
If you’re into tourist things, Turin has all that, as well. There’s the Shroud of Turin, many art galleries and piazzas, and diverse architecture. Actually, there really are a lot of different types of buildings. Outside of the city, the Langhe hills are pretty spectacular. This area was recently proclaimed a UNESCO heritage site.
OK, so what does all this have to do with a VFX and animation conference? Well, my one big point is that if you’re going to think about a conference to attend, to spend money on and to take off to go to, you may as well go to a great place.
VIEW’s list of speakers this year (something I’ll be posting about next week) is an incredible line up, but if you make it over to Turin, I’m suggesting you also take advantage of this amazing city its surrounds.
I know I will.
*Note: I drafted this before the devastating earthquake occurred in Italy. There are lots of ways to help, including the Red Cross.