"Knowledge is Power" and through high level networking, the 2014 VES Summit will explore the dynamic evolution of visual imagery – in the artistry of the craft, the expansion of content and the growing applications for commerce.
The 2014 VES Summit will provide unparalleled networking access to top professionals in our global industry.
Come / Hear / Present / Discuss the latest breakthroughs in television, film, technology, gaming and entrepreneurism – and network with the leaders and trendsetters that make VFX the most innovative force in the entertainment industry today.
Breakfast Roundtable Topics and Moderators:
Please check back soon for additional discussion topics and other information on the 2014 VES Summit. If you have any questions regarding the VES Summit, please contact Brent Armstrong at the VES Office at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 818-981-7861
CBS Digital Executive Producer George Bloom leads a discussion on the latest VR developments in content and technology, and how the metaverse is changing the way creators approach storytelling
George has a passion for art and science. He is executive producer at CBS Digital
the visual effects team responsible for movies and television series. He and his colleagues develop disruptive tools for production and custom content for the Oculus Rift. George previously served as Vice President of creative content
at Disney/Pixar Studios and V.P. of Special Ops at 20th Century Fox Film Studios.
He built strategic marketing plans for all media platforms and produced original animation for the movies: Ratatouille, Walle, Toy Story 3, Tangled, Ice Age 2, Alice in Wonderland, Cars 2, Tron, Xmen 3 and Reel Steel. In 2005 he sold an original sci-fi thriller screenplay titled “The Savior” to The Weinstein Company. Prior to executive work George spent 14 years as a director of music videos, commercials, movie trailers and episodic television. His first big break was in the mid 80’s at the advent of MTV as creative director in the newly formed video division at Capitol Records. His first college summer job was imaging technician at Jet Propulsion Lab/NASA.
If not busy with work and family he enjoys novel writing, Kitesurfing, investing and
is an avid Astrophotographer. George attended Pepperdine University, Brooks Institute of Photography and the University of Southern California.
Writers Guild of America
Producers Guild of America
Visual Effects Society
Websites www.cbsdvfx.com« less
Exploring the Companies, Technology and Business Models of the Video Game Industry
David Johnson is the Lead Visual Effects Artist at Activision/Blizzard’s Infinity Ward Studio. David has 16 years of computer graphics experience, of which 14 has been dedicated to video games. David has shipped a remarkable 15+ video games and has contributed to some of the largest names in video game history including the Call of Duty and Halo franchises. The combined revenue of games David has worked on exceeds 3 Billion Dollars, and have broken multiple records for units sold and revenue. David has been the recipient of two VES awards. David is an active VES member, on the Board of Directors, and member of the education, membership and awards committees. David is a published author, having contributed to book “Introduction to Game Development”, and is a regular speaker at universities and conferences.« less
Doing a Feature in a 100th of the Time
Executive Creative Director Stephan Fleet has extensive experience in television visual effects and production. Currently VFX supervisor for the Halle Berry/Stephen Spielberg show “Extant,” he will next be spearheading Encore’s VFX teams as Creative Director for ABC’s “The Whispers” and CBS’s “Scorpion."
Having worked jobs ranging from development to visual effects supervision and splinter unit direction, Stephan knows how to build unique approaches for complex visual storytelling -- bridging the gap between creative and technical.
Other Recent supervision credits include season one of “Under The Dome”, ABC’s "The River," "CW's Beauty and the Beast (pilot)," and CBS’s “Vegas."
Prior to Encore, Stephan was Vice President of Operations at boutique visual effects facility Master Key, and Director of Digital Media for the series "Ghost Whisperer." He also served as a Development Executive for Sander/Moses Productions.
Fleet holds a BA from UCLA and an MFA from USC's School of Cinematic Arts. He is a member of the Visual Effects Society and the Producers Guild of America.« less
Using Imagery to Maneuver in Other Worldly Ways
Frank is currently one of the engineers driving NASA's Curiosity rover across the surface of Mars, having also driven the Opportunity Mars rover for eight years. Frank was selected for this prestigious position based on his work developing the Robot Sequence and Visualization Program, the visualization software that is used to plan and simulate the robotic command sequences which control the rovers while driving and deploying their robotic arms. This software uses multiple three dimensional rendering techniques to provide the rover drivers with an immersive sense of presence and allows for excellent situational awareness while commanding the rovers.
Frank has been at JPL for twenty years working on a variety of visualization, animation, and real-time graphics projects including animations for the IMAX film "L-5 First City in Space." Frank received a Bachelor of Fine Art degree in sculpture from the Philadelphia College of Art prior to moving to California and a Master of Science in Aeronautical and Astronautical engineering from Stanford University while employed at JPL.
Navigating the Waters of New Media
Matthew is VP of Marketing and Communications at Twitch (www.twitch.tv), the world’s leading video platform and community for gamers. Prior to Twitch, Matt launched and managed marketing for Socialcam, a stand-out social mobile video application acquired for $60 Million in July 2012. From 2007 to 2010, Matt was Director of Marketing and Communications at Federated Media, which he helped become one of the leading voices in new media. He joined Twitch Interactive in 2010 prior to the launch of the brand. In 2014, The Wall Street Journal cited Twitch as having the 4th largest peak internet traffic in the U.S.« less
From the Ivory Tower to the Silver Screen
Paul Debevec is a research professor at the University of Southern California and the associate director of graphics research at USC's Institute for Creative Technologies. Debevec's Ph.D. thesis (UC Berkeley, 1996) presented Façade, an image-based modeling and rendering system for creating photoreal architectural models from photographs. Using Facade he led the creation of virtual cinematography of the Berkeley campus for his 1997 film The Campanile Movie whose techniques were used to create virtual backgrounds in The Matrix. Subsequently, Debevec pioneered high dynamic range image-based lighting techniques in his films Rendering with Natural Light (1998), Fiat Lux (1999), and The Parthenon (2004); he also leads the design ofHDR Shop, the first high dynamic range image editing program.
At USC ICT, Debevec has led the development of a series of Light Stage devices for capturing and simulating how objects and people reflect light, used to create photoreal digital actors in films such as Spider Man 2,Superman Returns, and The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, and Avatar, as well as 3D Display devicesfor telepresence and teleconferencing. He received ACM SIGGRAPH's first Significant New Researcher Award in 2001, co-authored the 2005 book High Dynamic Range Imaging from Morgan Kaufmann, and chaired the SIGGRAPH 2007 Computer Animation Festival. He serves as Vice President of ACM SIGGRAPHand is a member of the Visual Effects Society, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences, and the Academy's Science and Technology Council.« less
Proactive Production Success with Game of Thrones, and all HBO Series. Digital Architectural Pipeline.
Stephen Beres currently serves as Vice President of HBO's Media & Technology Operations group where he leads a west coast based team of technologists in pushing the state of the art in digital production. Before taking over the department, Steve served as Technology Architect and was active in researching, testing and helping productions to integrate new acquisition formats and transition smoothly into the file based world.
Previously, Steve worked with FotoKem Inc. as Director of Engineering for the HPA Award winning nextLAB project. NextLAB is a division dedicated to pioneering file based workflows and empowering filmmakers with the tools they need to produce exceptional work in the digital cinema age. Steve's lab helped to integrate new technologies and processes into the vast array of services already offered by FotoKem and its subsidiaries Burbank's Keep Me Posted and San Francisco's Spy Post.
Before that, Steve served as Chef Technical Officer for PlasterCITY Digital Post (PCDP) of Hollywood, California. PCDP was an acknowledged leader and innovator in post-production processes for feature films, commercials, music videos, and non-fiction programming. As system architect for PCDP's nonlinear editing facility-designed around Apple Final Cut Pro and central storage-Steve was a key player in developing the industry's first 4Gb SAN solution, based on Apple Xsan technology.
Steve also earned distinction on television and film projects for Sony Pictures Classics, Mandalay Entertainment, Canada's YTV, Fox Sports, Comedy Central, The WB and many others. Before joining PlasterCITY, he worked with Apple Computer as a Final Cut Pro Trainer and Video Systems Engineer. Steve's insights and experience have made him a popular guest speaker at The National Association of Broadcasters Convention (NAB), MacWorld and the Society of Motion Picture & Television Engineers (SMPTE), as well as an instructor and curriculum developer for Panasonic & HD Expo.« less
Surviving as A Nomad
Debra Blanchard Knight, Conduit Seminars/Fringe Talent. For over 25 years, Debra Blanchard Knight has built teams for animation, visual effects and themed entertainment studios and projects. During that time, Debra has helped thousands of artists and production professionals build their careers. Besides co-founding Conduit Seminars, Debra runs her own highly-successful recruiting agency, Fringe Talent. Her in-house recruiting experience was gained at Blue Sky Studios, IDT/Starz Animation, DreamWorks Animation and ILM. Debra began her career at Warner Bros. TV, working in production on Steven Speilbergs’ “Tiny Toon Adventures” where she also wrote several episodes. During all her years doing recruiting, Debra has been involved in outreach to colleges and universities, helping guide them in producing students who will succeed in the digital entertainment industries. She is also a frequent and knowledgeable guest speaker at conferences, industry events, colleges and universities, here and abroad, where she shares her insight and experience with the ever-changing landscape of the entertainment production industries. She is an active member of TEA, the Visual Effects Society and ASIFA. She holds a BA in theater arts from Cal State Fullerton.« less
Creativity in Special Venue & Themed Media
Brent Young is the principal and Creative Director for Super 78, a new media production studio in Los Angeles that develops and produces award-winning, branded entertainment and educational experiences for the most admired theme parks, attractions and museums around the world including Movie Park Germany, Universal Studios Singapore, Busch Gardens, and the Happy Valley Theme Park in Shanghai.
Most recently, Young was the creative director for The Lost Temple, the newest marquee attraction at Movie Park Germany, in Bottrop-Kirchhellen. Opening Summer 2014, this media-based experience wraps a 3D stereoscopic projected display 180˚ around the ride vehicle to fully immerse guests into a thrilling, action-packed adventure featuring hordes of living dinosaurs.
As part of The Lost Temple's development, Young also led the creation of Mushroom™, Super 78's proprietary virtual reality software for the Oculus Rift. The ultimate pre-visualization tool, Mushroom puts the viewer into a fully developed virtual 3D space and allows him or her to walk through it and experience every aspect of it in realtime, with complete freedom to look and move in every direction.
In 2013, Young was the creative director for Spongebob Squarepants 4D: The Great Jelly Rescue, an exhilarating 7-minute adventure featuring the characters from the globally adored animated children’s franchise. The 4D attraction, which earned Super 78 a Visual Effects Society award nomination, is currently playing in select family destinations all over the world.
Another VES Award nominee was Flight of the Dragon, written and directed by Young in 2011. This large format “flying theater” film takes guests on an astonishing aerial tour of China’s most famous and beautiful landmarks. That same year, Young deployed state-of-the-art technology to tell the 9th century tale of the Maritime Silk Route from Southeast Asia to the Middle East as part of Typhoon 360º. Featuring a huge 360-degree multimedia theatre, this attraction is the centerpiece for the new Maritime Xperential Museum at Resorts World Sentosa in Singapore.
Young’s work at Universal Studios Singapore is also notable. As show director, he designed and produced Donkey Live!, a one-of-a-kind, interactive live show, where guests sing along and even talk with Donkey in an intimate theatre setting. Young served as show director for Madagascar: A Crate Adventure, the first attraction in the world based on the DreamWorks Animation film franchise and a fun-filled family experience bursting at the seams with show effects, visual effects, smell effects, water features air cannons, smoke, fire, bubbles and general mayhem.
Young also served as media director for Shamu Believe, and visual effects supervisor for Busch Gardens’ 4D dark ride attraction Curse of DarKastle. Currently, Young is developing another flying theater attraction for one of the top tourism destinations in the world, and a Spongebob Squarepants interactive experience.
A member of the Visual Effects Society, Producers Guild of America, and the Themed Entertainment Association (TEA), when Brent is not running his production company, playing in his band, or speaking on an industry panel, his focus is on developing feature films, vanguard theme park attractions, and co-hosting his podcast - www.theseasonpasspodcast.com« less
How to Create a Successful Business in Today's Climate
Don Parker co-founded Shotgun Software in 2006 with a vision of developing a standardized production management and review system that would enable creative companies to manage projects across global locations more collaboratively and efficiently. Today more than 550 creative companies including DreamWorks Animation, Framestore, Ubisoft, Microsoft and Playstation have adopted the customizable Shotgun system and contribute to its ongoing development. Before founding Shotgun, DP was a Pipeline Designer and Producer for a Walt Disney Pictures production company, where he designed and oversaw the development of an animated feature film production management system and related tools. Prior to that he was Head of Production at creative ad agency Mekanism, one of the earliest transmedia companies, and Director of Marketing at its parent company Complete Pandemonium; Director of Marketing at Unicast; and New Media Strategist at TBWA\Chiat\Day.« less
Animation Episodes 10 Minutes at a Pop
Brandon Fayette is a VFX Supervisor at J.J. Abrams' Bad Robot Productions.
He has worked on a gamut of film and television properties over the past 7 years including Super 8, Fringe, and Star Trek as well as a number of upcoming projects currently in development.
Best Practices of Contracting
Marc E. Hankin, Esq., of Hankin Patent Law, APC, is a Registered Patent Attorney with a strong science background who has had extensive involvement as the lead lawyer in all areas of intellectual property law, including: patent preparation, prosecution, and licensing; trademark and copyright registration and licensing; intellectual property disputes and litigating patent, trademark, and copyright infringements; domain name disputes; thefts of trade secrets; and other unfair competition matters. Marc has been the First Chair Litigator on a wide variety of intellectual property matters for companies and universities ranging in size from solo inventors to start-ups through the top of the Fortune 500, and every size in between. Marc has testified at Trial and Deposition several times as an Expert Witness and has served as a Special Assistant Attorney General regarding an Intellectual Property matter.
Marc advises owners and managers of all sized businesses on how best to protect their valuable technology and creative works, through patent prosecution, trademark and copyright registration, licensing agreements, and trade secret protection. For a quarter of a century, Marc has counseled clients, including manufacturers and distributors in many different industries, including: visual effects, home theater, optical, dental, and medical devices, footwear, garments, jewelry, food, nutraceuticals, and dietary supplements. Marc is quite knowledgeable about a wide variety of issues in the mechanical, chemical, and electrical arts.
Marc earned a B.S. in 1984 from Boston University (Medical Science; Biology, Chemistry, and Physics; Psychology); an M.S. in 1987 from Iona College (Biology; Scanning Electron Microscopy; Education); and a J.D. from The Law School at the University of Pennsylvania in 1992. After Law School, Marc served as a Law Clerk to the Honorable Charles L. Brieant, Jr., Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. Marc may be reached at: Marc@HankinPatentLaw.com.« less
Understanding Client Expectations
A production veteran at one of the world’s hottest ad agencies, Sarah has managed integrated campaigns for The Grammys, Gatorade, Tostito, Bare Escentuals and Nissan along with Adidas content for the 2014 World Cup. The brilliant visual effects in the recent Gatorade TV spots showcase Sarah’s expertise in managing expectations from both corporate advertisers and internal agency “clients” like art directors, copy writers and creative directors. Sarah’s work has been internationally recognized by awards from Cannes, the One Show and D & AD, amongst others. [Read Full Bio]« less
Getting your Animated Project to Delivery Quicker and Prettier
Dave Walvoord recently served as Visual FX Supervisor for the feature animated film “How to Train Your Dragon 2.” Before joining the show Dave was the Workflow Director for Look and Lighting at DreamWorks Animation. Prior to this role he was Digital Effects Supervisor and Head of Lighting for the Academy Award®-nominated “Kung Fu Panda 2,” the video short “Kung Fu Panda: Secrets of the Masters” and the 2010 “Kung Fu Panda Holiday” Television Special. Dave worked as CG Supervisor on the Academy Award®-nominated “Kung Fu Panda,” “Madagascar: Escape 2 Africa,” “Over the Hedge” and the Academy Award® nominated “Shark Tale.”
Before joining DreamWorks Animation, Walvoord worked at Blue Sky Studios as a Supervising Technical Director on the animated feature “Ice Age” and as a Digital Effects Supervisor on the Academy Award® winning short “Bunny.” In the live-action realm, he contributed to both “Fight Club” and “Star Trek: Insurrection.”
Walvoord received a Master of Science degree in Visualization Science and a Bachelor of Science degree in Computer Science from Texas A&M University. He served on the College of Architecture Dean’s Advisory Board at that institution from 2007 to 2011.« less
Additional Roundtables: Coming Soon
Please check back soon for updated information on the 2014 VES Summit. If you have any questions regarding the VES Summit, please contact Brent Armstrong at the VES Office at email@example.com or at 818-981-7861