How to see the past, present, and future of VFX at VIEW (and some unexpected things, too)

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Here’s a key event you might not already have on your VFX calendar – but you should. It’s the VIEW Conference in Turin, Italy on 22-26th October. This year, perhaps more than ever, you’ll be able to get a window into the classic days of visual effects, the latest in VFX releases and tech, and a glimpse into the future. And, as always, there’s a few surprises.

vfxblog runs down just some of the amazing speakers heading to VIEW, and what’s in store for attendees. Plus, I’ll be there covering the event and would love to say hi to like-minded VFX enthusiasts in Turin (it’s a super-cool city, too).

Tales from the past

Visual effects has gone through several ages – a practical effects and optical age, a digital explosion, and possibly a renaissance of practical work. One major force in the industry who has transcended all of these ages is ILM visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren, a multi-Oscar winner and major innovator in the industry. The films he’s worked on are almost too numerous to list – Star Wars, Terminator 2, Jurassic Park and so many more. His talk, ‘Visual Effects: Defining that critical, elusive & final 5%’, is something rarely discussed in the VFX world.

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Dennis Muren on the set of Return of the Jedi.

Several other speakers will also be able to offer up some exciting VFX history, including Glenn Entis, one of the co-founders of PDI, Don Greenberg, a pioneer in computer graphics research, and Kim Davidson, the CEO of Side Effects Software.

VFX of the present

Of course, most of the talks at VIEW deal with recent releases, and there are several that cover the latest visual effects in film and television. Major visual effects supervisors will be present: Rob Bredow (Solo), Dan Glass (Deadpool 2), Matt Aitken (Avengers: Infinity War), David Vickery (Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom), Geoffrey Baumann (Black Panther), Mike Ford (Hotel Transylvania 3), Bill Watral (Incredibles 2), Dadi Einarsson (Adrift), Jay Worth (Westworld) and Joao Sita (Lost in Space).

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Image Engine’s work for Lost in Space will be one of the presentations.

You can count on these talks including some incredible making of and breakdown materials, which tends to be the ONLY place you can see this stuff. (Indeed, as a writer of VFX articles, I’m always jealous about what can be shown at conferences like VIEW that don’t make it into print or online pieces!)

Into the future

Each of these visual effects supervisors is also likely to have a view on ‘what’s next’ in VFX – you should come to the conference and ask them directly. But also at VIEW will be a wealth of players in new and developing areas of the industry, including VR and real-time. For example, Kane Lee from immersive studio Baobab will be there, as will AATOAA’s Vincent Morisset, Google Spotlight Stories’ Jan Pinkava and Unity’s Veselin Efremov. You’ll be able to see what’s coming in these new worlds by hearing from the experts.

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Jan Pinkava will be discussing his work at Google Spotlight Stories, including on the VR experience, Piggy.

A big surprise

In addition to all those VFX speakers, there’s also a wealth of animation-related talks also scheduled at VIEW from speakers from Pixar, Walt Disney Animation Studios, Paramount Pictures Animation and Cartoon Saloon – then this next big surprise is a total bonus. Paramount Pictures Animation president Mireille Soria and Cartoon Saloon’s Co-Founder and Breadwinner director Nora Twomey are just two of the big names in animation who will be speaking.

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Hans Zimmer.

Then, if that’s not all huge enough, the conference has one last big, big surprise.

VIEW has managed to secure master composer Hans Zimmer to attend as one of the keynote speakers. Like Dennis Muren, Zimmer’s filmography is extensive and well-known, but in particular he has actually scored a ton of VFX and animation-heavy films such as The Lion King, Gladiator, The Dark Knight trilogy and most recently Blade-Runner 2049. I will certainly be curious to hear any of his thoughts on that cross-over between film music, VFX and animation, all things I love dearly.

Find out more and buy tickets for VIEW at the conference website, which will continue to update with new speakers and sessions: https://www.viewconference.it