Program 2017


Real Time Rendering: The Future of Automotive Marketing, Customer Engagement and VFX Production

Alistair Thompson (The Mill), Vince Baertsoen (The Mill), Joji Tsuruga (The Mill), Kim Libreri (Epic), Francois Antoine (Epic), Michael Gay (Epic)

Join The Mill’s Alistair Thompson and Vince Baertsoen and Epic Games’ Kim Libreri, Michael Gay and Francois Antoine as they discuss how they joined forces to revolutionize the conventions of digital filmmaking and the future of customer engagement. Highlighting some of The Mill and Epic Games’ latest innovations, including The Mill BLACKBIRD®, Mill Cyclops™ and the latest iteration of Epic’s Unreal Engine, the team will discuss their recent collaboration on The Human Race; a short film that merges real-time visual effects and live-action storytelling, combining these technologies to push beyond the limits of existing real-time rendering capabilities.


Alistair Thompson

Alistair Thompson, International Executive Vice President, The Mill,

Al Thompson is Executive Vice President, International, leading a team responsible for establishing new creative partnerships with The Mill.

Thompson was one of the pioneering forces behind the creation of Mill BLACKBIRD®, The Mill’s revolutionary automotive production tool that changed the face of automotive advertising upon its release in 2016.

As previous Managing Director of The Mill’s New York studio and EP within The Mill’s London studio, Thompson is a driving force behind The Mill’s reputation for creating groundbreaking content, particularly within the automotive industry.

Thompson sits on The Mill’s Executive Board, where he continues to lead groundbreaking initiatives across The Mill group.

Vince Baertsoen

Vince Baertsoen, Group CG Director, The Mill,

Vince Baertsoen is Group CG Director at The Mill, where he is responsible for overseeing the communication and development of the CG pipeline across all offices, working closely with The Mill's Heads of 3D and all Supervisors, covering all disciplines, which include Rigging, Animation, Lighting , FX, Modeling/Texturing, and Previs.His mission is to improve and unify the pipeline and workflow across the group, and he is helping implement emerging technologies, such as VR, AR, realtime and interactive in the process.
Vince was previously Head of CG in NY, and supervised the animation and VFX on the VES Awarded and Gold Cannes Lion-winning PETA ‘98% Human,’ the VES-nominated Johnny Walker ‘Rock Giant,’ Hallmark’s ‘Motherbird,' as well as hundreds of other high profile jobs over the past 10 years.
He had collaborated with filmmakers and directors such as Fredrik Bond, Peter Thwaites, Chris Cunningham, Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, and Pleix, to name a few, along with agencies including Droga5, BBDO, Ogilvy, Havas, Leo Burnett, BBH and TBWA.
Vince has been the Board Member of VES New York and has helped strengthen the VFX community in the New York area since 2013.

Joji Tsuruga

Joji Tsuruga, Realtime Supervisor, The Mill,


A little bit about The Mill


The Mill is a world-leading, global content creation studio with a talented team based in London, New York, Los Angeles and Chicago. 

For over 26 years The Mill has collaborated with clients to bring brave ideas to life across VFX, digital and design projects for the advertising, games and music industries. 

The Mill prides itself on forming partnerships with the world’s best agencies, ground-breaking directors, creative companies and visionary brands built on creative excellence and cutting-edge technologies. 

The Mill is consistently recognized by peers and clients for delivering outstanding work and has earned the most prestigious industry awards including, Cannes Gold Lions, an array of D&AD Pencils, APA’s, British Arrows, AICP's, CLIOS and VES Statues to name a few.

For more information, please visit

Kim Libreri

Kim Libreri, CTO, Unreal Engine - Epic Games,

Epic Games CTO Kim Libreri is responsible for continuing Epic's tradition of fusing state-of-the-art technology with the pinnacle of visual artistry, and for defining the studio's Unreal Engine as the platform of choice for all types of interactive experiences including games, movies, visualization and virtual reality. 

Prior to joining Epic Games, Kim was the Chief Strategy Officer at Lucasfilm, where he was responsible for the company's Star Wars technology strategy and innovations in interactive storytelling, including the highly-awarded 1313 prototype. 

Kim’s career in digital technology and visual effects spans over 20 years, and he has credits on more than 25 films including ‘Super 8’, ‘Speed Racer’, ‘Poseidon’ and ‘The Matrix Trilogy’. 

He led the development team for the award-winning ‘What Dreams May Come’ as well as for the original ‘Matrix,’ developing the now-legendary Bullet Time technology. 

Kim is a respected member of many visual effects bodies, including the visual effects branch of the Academy. He has received numerous awards for his work and contributions to Motion Picture technology including an Oscar nomination in 2006 and two Academy Awards in 2000 and 2015.

Francois Antoine

Francois Antoine, Visualization Technology Manager, Unreal Engine - Epic Games,

As Visualization Technology Manager for the Unreal Engine enterprise team, François’ role is two-fold: spearhead the implementation of new processes and cutting-edge features for Unreal Engine’s visualization market, and lead Epic’s Enterprise Special Projects. During his past seven years at Epic, François shipped Gears of War 3, Gears of War Judgment, led numerous GDC tech demos such as “A Boy and His Kite”, “McLaren 570S” and visuals for the ground-breaking “The Human Race” as well as co-pioneered Epic’s Enterprise division. A 12-year veteran of the VFX industry, François has worked in leadership roles on blockbuster films such as “Shrek,” “Avatar” and “Transformers: Revenge of the Fallen” at Industrial Light and Magic, PDI/DreamWorks, Disney and Kodak.

Michael Gay

Michael Gay, Director of Cinematic Production, Unreal Engine - Epic Games,

Michael Gay, Director of Cinematic Production at Epic Games, leads the cinematic team and is responsible for the design and development of Sequencer, the Unreal Engine 4 cinematic tool, as well as the replay system for “Paragon”, Epic’s MOBA for PlayStation 4 and PC. With more than 20 years of experience in both real-time and offline rendered graphics, Michael has worked on a wide variety of projects. Prior to joining Epic, Michael served as Chief Technologist at ESPN, where he led numerous projects and received the prestigious International Broadcasting Award for Innovation, three Sports Emmy Awards and three Emmy nominations. Before ESPN, Michael worked in feature VFX with CG Supervisor credits on "Narnia; The Lion, The Witch, and The Wardrobe", and Animation/Previs Supervisor on "The Matrix: Reloaded" and "The Matrix: Revolutions".

Founded in 1991, Epic Games is the creator of the Unreal, Gears of War and Infinity Blade series of games. Today Epic is building Paragon, Fortnite, SPYJiNX, Battle Breakers, Robo Recall and the new Unreal Tournament. Epic's Unreal Engine technology is used by teams of all sizes to ship visually stunning, high-quality games and experiences across PC, console, VR and mobile platforms. Developers also choose Unreal Engine for visualization, design, film, television and simulation. Follow @EpicGames and download Unreal Engine for free at  

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. 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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