The creative, gaming and film industries depend upon the latest technology to produce their content. The fast turnaround of projects, tight deadlines and client expectations create the need for more servers, computers and RAW power to deliver the increasing demand for complex productions. With great power comes great responsibility, and our industry should be at the forefront of innovative solutions in order to be more sustainable and help tackle climate change.
In this panel, we will have an open discussion about the following topics: the latest IPCC Climate Change report from the United Nations, the right to recycle, the dark side of cloud computing, NFTs, Virtual Production and, more importantly, what steps could be done to tackle these challenges and still deliver projects, in time, in budget and at the highest quality standard
Hugo Guerra is an award-winning Director and VFX Supervisor. After finishing his Fine Arts degree, he worked in Portugal and Sweden before moving to the UK where he was a freelancer for several years.
In 2010 he joined The Mill London as a VFX Supervisor and as Head of the Nuke Department where he worked with clients like Audi, Adidas, Nike, IKEA, Panasonic, Discovery Channel, Sony, Activision, Ubisoft, etc. In 2014 Hugo joined Fire Without Smoke as a Director and Visual Effects Supervisor, working on trailers for games studios like CCP, Ubisoft, Deep Silver, Square Enix, Sony, Warhammer, etc.
Most recently Hugo worked as a VFX Supervisor for Sony Playstation and worked as a Film Director for Rebellion Studios directing the cinematic trailer for Sniper Elite 5.
He is also very active as a teacher and lecturer of Visual Effects, making keynotes in festivals all over the world in partnership with BenQ, Foundry, ActionVFX and Ftrack. Hugo is also a content creator on YouTube and Twitch with his channel Hugo's Desk and he is the co-host of the VFX Notes Podcast with Ian Failes from Befores & Afters.
Imke Fehrmann has been producing Animation and Visual Effects for almost 30 years. She has been managing and producing innovative projects all around the world, building and leading creative teams everywhere.
Since the beginning of her career, she has been passionate about the art of animation and the people who create it. Imke offers a wide range of global experience in animation and VFX production and has successfully worked in Producer roles for Animal Logic and Lucasfilm and as Executive VFX Producer for Framestore and Rodeo FX. Currently, she serves as Co-CEO at the German Animation production company Akkord Film.
In 2016, Imke began working with award winning filmmaker and journalist Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy, initially starting with mentoring and coaching of Waadi Animations team in Karachi, Pakistan. Imke has been Lead Producer on Sitara: Let Girls Dream, the first ever Pakistan animated short film that qualified for the Academy Awards.
Imke is also working as coach and recently began the process to be an ICF-certified coach to support diverse and creative teams globally and to help animation and VFX professionals to bring out their best selves while working, collaborating and communicating - with creativity and empathy.
Imke works as a mentor for the WIA Women in Animation mentorship program, and has been an active member of WIA and VES for years. In 2018, she was also a founding member of the German Initiative for Women in Animation, VFX and Visual Arts, and has recently joined the board of the Animation Association Germany as deputy chair.
Elena Pfändler graduated from Hochschule der Medien in 2017 and is a production coordinator at Seru Film & Animation working on 2D and 3D feature films such as “Die Heinzels” and “Der kleine Rabe Socke” since 2018. In May 2021 she completed the training program to become a certified Green Consultant and is now also responsible for the sustainability within the company and taking part in current developments and strategies for ‘green’ animation making.
Volker Helzle is in charge of Research and Development at Animationsinstitut of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. After graduating from HDM Stuttgart Media University (Dipl. Ing. AV-Medien) in 2000 he moved to California and worked for three years at Eyematic Interfaces (later acquired by Google). Volker quickly advanced to team-lead in charge of the Los Angeles based Content Development Group where his team pioneered facial performance capture substantially contributing to the engineering and development of the Eyematic Facestation.
In 2003 he joined Filmakademie to setup a research and development department at Animationsinstitut. The primary focus of his first years at Filmakademie was the development of facial animation tools. This led to one of the first plausible technology tests, realizing a virtual actor in an exemplary VFX production in 2007. During the past 18 years he raised funding for a substantial amount of regional and European Union funded projects in the scope of Animation, VFX, Virtual Production and Immersive Media. The most recent european project SAUCE includes a consortium of 9 partners. SAUCE will focus on smart reuse and transformation of assets, machine learning for asset retrieval and lightfield technology. The results of this projects have a massive impact on establishing new production techniques across all departments of Filmakademie. The latest regional project is the KI-Lab Animation& VFX. It is dedicated to accelerate media productions by the latest trends in Artifical Intelligence.
In 2013 Volker Helzle received the honorary professorship of Filmakademie Baden-Württemberg. In addition to the technical research Volker is the designated senior lecturer for the postgraduate Technical Director (TD) course at Filmakademie. TDs tackle the technological challenges of Animation, VFX and Transmedia productions at Filmakademie. The close relation to the research group allows students to engage in multidisciplinary projects.
As a program consultant he contributes to the organization of the annual FMX conference.
Being a C-64 kid of the 80ties, Volker's life was strongly influenced by video games and early computer graphics. To this day he is a passionate gamer but also finds interest in completely analogical activities like mountain hiking, gardening or yoga. As of January 2019 an improved version of Volker is available that keeps him busy day and night.
Driven by crafting unique visual experiences for Film, TV, Games and emerging technologies, Chris Ebeling is a world-class Animator, Creative Director, Writer and Digital Artist having worked on Hollywood blockbusters such as The Lego Movie’s, The Great Gatsby, Gods of Egypt and Happy feet 2. Supplementing his extensive film and VFX background, Chris has successfully creative directed projects in the real-time space, with experience across games as well as virtual and augmented reality projects.
Chris’s experience in feature film animation joined with his leadership in education and mentoring made him an ideal candidate for this crucial role in laying the foundations and building the Animal Logic Academy at the University of Technology, Sydney.
Here Chris used his wealth of industry experience to mentor young artists and creators of the future, pushing them to co-create and innovate while testing the boundaries of current and emerging technologies through a first of its kind’ Masters of Animation and Visualization.
Chris has since moved on to co-found his own digital creative studio, Virtually Human . Here, the core is to keep people emotionally engaged through immersive digital entertainment powered by web 3.0. Exploring emerging technologies in gaming, data and mixed reality. With a strong focus to constantly innovate by bridging the gap between the real world and the virtual world, where the two become inseparable
With his extensive experience in games and CG film development coupled with his passion for future tech. Chris’s goal is to help define the visual language and capabilities of these emerging technologies, contributing to understanding and full potential of these interactive media platforms.