Studio Insights delves into business issues with executive leaders who are influencing the industry today. Evolving business models, new perspectives on talent and technology, and opportunities within new platforms are just a few of the topics that will be covered. One-on-one interviews will start the session to allow the audience to get to know each of the panellists and their unique stories. For the second half, the guests will come together for a wide-ranging panel with diverse and sometimes opposing view-points. The goal of Studio Insights is to provide a forum for FMX attendees to hear how leaders in the industry feel about some of the most important topics of the day.
Rob Bredow is a strategic and visionary leader with a unique understanding of how media and innovation can join forces to tell great stories and create groundbreaking experiences. As SVP, Executive Creative Director and Head of Industrial Light & Magic, Bredow is responsible for the company’s overall creative strategy and global operations.
Most recently Bredow was the Visual Effects Supervisor and Co-Producer on Solo: A Star Wars Story. He served as a creative partner to the filmmakers throughout the production, from the earliest story meetings to the final frames of visual effects. He leveraged his background in innovative technology to help tell the story of the film, creating grounded images with a unique shooting style designed for the movie.
In his former role as Lucasfilm Chief Technology Officer, Bredow oversaw all technology development for Lucasfilm and ILM.
Bredow joined Lucasfilm in 2014 as Vice President of New Media and Head of Lucasfilm’s Advanced Development Group. He helped launch ILMxLAB in 2015 and co-wrote and directed Trials on Tatooine, a story-based virtual reality experiment created in collaboration with Lucasfilm’s Story Group, ILMxLAB and Skywalker Sound.
Previously, Bredow was CTO and Visual Effects Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks. He has contributed as a supervisor on films such as Independence Day, Godzilla, Stuart Little, Cast Away, Surf’s Up, Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs, and others.
Bredow is a member of the VFX Branch of Academy of Motion Pictures Arts & Sciences and the AMPAS Scientific and Technical Council.
Since 1975, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) has set the standard for visual effects, creating some of the most stunning images in the history of film. At the forefront of the digital revolution, ILM continues to break new ground in the field not only in visual effects but now virtual reality, augmented reality and immersive entertainment as well.
Founded by George Lucas, ILM is the leading effects facility in the world, with studios located in San Francisco, Singapore, Vancouver and London. The company serves the motion picture, commercial production and attraction industries. ILM has created visual effects for over 400 feature films.
ILM has played a key role in 7 of the top 10 worldwide box office hits of all time and has contributed to twenty-five of the top fifty.
With so many technical and creative innovations, ILM has been a constant force propelling the evolution of visual effects. Beginning with a mastery of the traditional arts of blue-screen photography, matte painting and model and miniature construction, ILM advanced he art of optical compositing and pioneered the development of motion control photography, digital compositing, and numerous other advances in effects technology. Since the 1980s, ILM has led the way in the use of computer graphics and digital imaging in feature films, developing breakthrough techniques such as morphing, enveloping and film input scanning technology.
Today, ILM features one the most comprehensive and advanced digital effects production pipelines in the entertainment industry, from the earliest creation of wholly computer-generated characters in The Abyss, Terminator 2: Judgment Day and Jurassic Park to the startling digital breakthroughs in films such as Twister, Star Wars: Episode I The Phantom Menace and The Perfect Storm. ILM's ability to merge photo-realistic digital images with live-action footage is renowned throughout the industry.
Critical to ILM's success are its Visual Effects Supervisors, who combine technical expertise with creative vision. They are joined by a global team of some 1,200 employees that includes producers, art directors, computer graphics artists, software engineers, editors, and technicians. This effects team works within ILM's proven production management system, known for producing superlative results on time and on budget.
Working closely with filmmakers to assure their vision is realized on screen, ILM’s departments handle end to end virtual production, research and development, concept art, creature design, fully articulated animatics, a mixture of computer graphics effects, models and miniatures, digital matte paintings, and state-of-the-art animation procedures. The artists that staff these departments represent the true brain trust at ILM, and their creativity has driven new technologies into the movie moments that continue to thrill and transport audiences globally.
Industrial Light & Magic is a Lucasfilm Ltd. company serving the digital needs of the entertainment industry for visual effects. ILM has been awarded 15 Academy Awards for Best Visual Effects and received 31 Academy Awards for Scientific and Technical Achievement.
Chris deFaria is an award winning Producer and Executive whose credits include some of the most successful and innovative films in the recent years, including Ready Player One, Mad Max: Fury Road, Gravity and Happy Feet.
Most recently, deFaria served as President of DreamWorks Animation, where he oversaw all creative and production for the studio, including the release of How To Train Your Dragon: Hidden World. A 20-year veteran of Warner Bros. Pictures, deFaria was named President, Animation and Technology Innovation in 2013. During deFaria’s tenure at the studio he oversaw the creation of Warner Animation Group, as well as the application of emerging technologies on Warner’s feature films, including the Harry Potter franchise and The Matrix trilogy.
Prior to Warner Bros., deFaria produced television documentaries, movies and primetime specials in San Francisco. He sits on the board of The American Academy of Dramatic Arts, and is a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and the Writers Guild of America. deFaria is also a founding board member of FilmAid International, a non-profit organization that screens educational and informational films in refugee camps around the world.
Sharon Taylor is currently the Group Chief Operating Officer of the Animal Logic Group, where she is responsible for the leadership and management of the production and operational activities of the studio across all three of its locations – Sydney, Vancouver and Los Angeles.
Sharon joined Animal Logic in 2005 and progressed from various production accounting roles to eventually become the Head of Production Accounting in 2011. Her deep experience and insight into the fields of animation and VFX led her to fulfilling the role of Group Head of Production in 2014. Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, The Great Gatsby, The Avengers and The LEGO Movie franchise are just a few of the films that have benefitted from her guidance while at Animal Logic. Most recently, Sharon was Co-Producer on The LEGO Movie 2: The Second Part.
Prior to becoming COO, Sharon took the helm at Animal Logic Vancouver as Executive Vice President and General Manager, overseeing the start-up and rapid growth of the new studio.
Sharon is currently a board member of DigiBC and the Motion Picture Production Industry Association. She enjoys building collaborative teams working together to achieve greatness. A strong proponent for inclusivity, Sharon is committed to supporting initiatives that ensure equal representation in the digital realm both on and off the screen.
Animal Logic is an independent Australian company that has been at the forefront of producing award winning design, animation and visual effects for over 25 years. With creative studios in Sydney and Vancouver and offices for the company’s development arms, Animal Logic Entertainment & Truant Pictures, in Sydney and Los Angeles, Animal Logic continues to forge new partnerships and collaborations with leading studios and filmmakers to develop and produce stories that resonate with a global audience. Animal Logic is currently in production Peter Rabbit 2 and Super Pets and has recently completed work on The LEGO Movie 2, Captain Marvel, Peter Rabbit, The LEGO Ninjago Movie, Alien: Covenant, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2 and The LEGO Batman Movie. Other film credits include The LEGO Movie, Avengers: Age of Ultron, The Great Gatsby, Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga’Hoole, 300, Happy Feet and The Matrix.
Dave Gougé is the Head of Marketing & Publicity at Weta Digital. He manages the overall reputation of the studio, including company positioning and messaging as well as publicity, event and digital marketing strategy. He helped established the NZ chapter of the Visual Effects Society and serves on the conference Program Boards of FMX and Wellington-X. Dave is also an experienced speaker, interviewer and moderator.
Prior to Weta Digital, Dave was the Film & Games Sr. Industry Marketing Manager for Autodesk. He continues to advise new and emerging players in the technology/mobile space on marketing and go-to-market strategy.
Dave began his career in advertising, working at top firms like Young & Rubicam and Goodby Silverstein & Partners as well as smaller shops specialising in digital and integrated marketing. With over 20 years of experience, Dave has a unique talent for building technology and entertainment brands.
Weta Digital is one of the world’s premier visual effects companies. Led by Senior Visual Effects Supervisor Joe Letteri, Weta Digital is known for its culture of creativity and innovation. From Gollum to Caesar, Middle-earth to Pandora, the studio has created some of the most memorable characters and worlds of the last twenty five years.