Closing Press Release: Sold out FMX 2018 sets vital impulses in the areas of animation, visual effects, games and immersive media

Ludwigsburg/Stuttgart, April 28, 2018. 23rd edition of FMX, a globally influential conference for animation, visual effects, games and immersive media, draws a positive balance. Industry giants such as Phil Tippett, David Sproxton, Chris Wedge and William Joyce as well as highlight presentations for e.g. Blade Runner 2049, The Shape of Water and Jim Knopf & Lukas der Lokomotivführer (Jim Knopf & Luke the Engine Driver) ensured that FMX 2018 was sold out. 264 speakers attracted 4,000 visitors to Haus der Wirtschaft and the other FMX venues Carl-Zeiss-Planetarium Stuttgart, Kino Gloria 2 and Metropol as well as the Caligari cinema in Ludwigsburg.

Creating Worlds, the central theme of FMX 2018, looked beyond the production and technological aspects of media and entertainment and explored all facets of content creation as they inspire the creative process, from the initial creative spark to IP building and marketing. Based on the theme, the FMX 2018 program consisted of presentations, workshops, masterclasses, exhibition floors and screenings centered on all aspects of animation, VFX, games and immersive media.

Prof. Andreas Hykade, FMX Conference Chair, is enthusiastic: "FMX 2018 was a complete success! Under the theme "Creating Worlds" we were able to show through first-class conference contributions how igniting ideas can develop into inventions of great artistic and economic sustainability."

The program shone with a variety of contributions on the topic of Creating Worlds. The speakers presented their different views of building worlds in the fields of animation, visual effects, games and immersive media.

Aardman Animations' co-founder and animation legend David Sproxton shared at FMX 2018 the story of how Shaun the Sheep went from being a minor role in Wallace and Gromit to a global franchise in the space of ten years. Moreover, he presented the new Aardman film Early Man. "Creating worlds for Aardman means using our imagination find the places in which our stories are going to take place and our characters can inhabit and feel suited to,” he explained the approach of his studio. "And of course we try to make them places in which comedy can play well."

Visual Effects legend Phil Tippett expressed a different position on world building. “Creating worlds means emotion. My emotion is misanthropic, because mankind is doomed. I want to tell the story of mankind as a comedy.” He was substantially involved in creating the most popular movie worlds. In his presentation he covered the stop tricks of the first Star Wars films and the advent of CGI with Jurassic Park up to his new stop-motion film Mad God.

In the Wild & Strange track, curated by Jeanette Bonds, director and co-founder of GLAS Animation, indie animation filmmaker Réka Bucsi explained her path to animation and the creation of unconventional stories, and presented her feature film Solar Walk. For her, creating worlds as an artist means "I guess everything. All of us are trying to do it. I am many times trying to escape into a world that is more interesting than the real one."

Numerous talks presented current developments and productions from the field of immersive media. In the track AR Platforms, Apple, Google and Microsoft presented platforms with which they merge the virtual and the real world. In 2018, the Stuttgart Planetarium once again hosted a number of extraordinary lectures, including Sonaria and Coco VR, the virtual experience of Disney Pixar's cinema success. In addition, the VR experience Conscious Existence was presented in a world premiere as a unique interactive multi-user VR cinema presentation.

In addition to its conference presentations, FMX again offered networking and career opportunities with its Recruiting Hub. Moreover, numerous companies presented their latest products and services on the Marketplace as well as in Masterclasses, Company Suites and Workshops. The School Campus complemented this diverse array of events as a meeting platform for schools, alumni and prospective students.

FMX 2019 will take place from April 30 to May 3, 2019.

FMX is funded by the Ministry of Science, Research and Arts and the Ministry of Economic Affairs, Labour and Housing of the State of Baden-Wuerttemberg, the City of Stuttgart and MFG Baden-Wuerttemberg, taking place in cooperation with the VES Visual Effects Society and ACM SIGGRAPH, supported by the Animation Media Cluster Region Stuttgart (AMCRS), Autodesk, Backstage, Epic Games/Unreal Engine, Foundry, Mackevision and ScanlineVFX. FMX is an event by the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg, organized by Animationsinstitut, hosting the Animation Production Days (APD), a joint venture with the Stuttgart International Festival of Animated Film (ITFS).

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