VIEW Conference 2020 takes place from October 18 to 23. Italy’s premiere digital media conference unites 160 world-class filmmakers, producers, studio executives, animators, artists, game developers, musicians, journalists and educators for a lively week of 125 talks, workshops, masterclasses and panels. Traditionally held in Torino, Italy, this year’s conference will be an entirely virtual event, with all sessions being made available online to a global audience. To celebrate its 21st anniversary, this year only, all content will be absolutely free to stream live, with an option to purchase on-demand access to watch sessions after the conference ends.
“There has been so much bad news in 2020,” says Conference Director Dr. Maria Elena Gutierrez, “so I’m thrilled to be able to share some great news for a change. Everyone could use some extra light and joy in their lives, so we have made the unprecedented decision to make this year’s conference completely free. Going virtual gives us a fantastic chance to grow the VIEW community, and to welcome into our family participants who are unable to travel to Torino or buy a full access pass.”
Keynoting the conference is Ed Catmull, co-founder of Pixar and former president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios. A true computer graphics visionary, Catmull pioneered such fundamentals as texture mapping, bicubic patches and spatial anti-aliasing. He is author of the book Creativity, Inc.: Overcoming the Unseen Forces That Stand in the Way of True Inspiration, described as “the first-ever, all-access trip into the nerve center of Pixar.”
Also headlining are two bona fide legends from the world of visual effects: nine-time Academy Award®-winner Dennis Muren, creative director at Industrial Light & Magic; and Phil Tippett, director, producer, visual effects supervisor, founder of Tippett Studio and winner of two Oscars®. Muren achieved breakthrough work at the dawn of the digital revolution on films such as The Abyss and Jurassic Park. Tippett and ILM originated the revolutionary Go-Motion technique, which combined stop-motion animation with motion control technology. Through their long careers, both have continued to steer the art and science of visual effects to ever greater heights.
Additionally, Paul Debevec, senior engineer at GoogleVR, will deliver a keynote to launch the VIEW 2020 Business Innovation Summit. This carefully curated series of presentations and workshops takes place within the main conference, and provides insight not only into the creative process behind the latest movies, games and experiences, but also the synergy between that creativity and the industries it serves.
“Our keynotes bring such an extraordinary depth of talent and experience to the conference,” Dr. Gutierrez says. “Yet they are only the start. This year, I’m especially proud of the diversity of topics and speakers. For example, 43 of our speakers are women, including studio heads, animated film directors, producers, visual effects artists and game developers. We have a number of highly topical talks and panels addressing the challenges of production during the Covid-19 pandemic, plus others looking at the latest production tools and techniques – including a panel on virtual production with Westworld’s Jay Worth, Sam Nicholson of Stargate Studios and Habib Zargarpour from Unity. We have panels on storytelling, lighting, women in virtual production … the list goes on!”
The VIEW 2020 lineup includes more than 30 studio heads and chief creative officers. Mireille Soria, president of Paramount Animation, joins Disney’s Osnat Shurer, producer of Raya and the Last Dragon and Moana, and Maureen Fan, co-founder and CEO of Baobab Studios, for a panel Women in the Animation Industry. A panel on diversity and inclusion in animation features Ramsey Naito, president of Nickelodeon Animation, who will also host a special Nickelodeon session showcasing the work of Miguel Puga (The Casagrandes) and Niki Lopez (Santiago of the Seas.) Meanwhile Rob Bredow, head of ILM, contemplates nothing less than the future of entertainment itself.
VIEW 2020 also brings together 30 directors of animated feature films, short films, and animated television series including Kris Pearn (The Willoughbys), Sergio Pablos (Klaus), Kyle Balda (Minions), Peter Ramsey (Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse), Walt Dohrn (Trolls World Tour), Joel Crawford (The Croods), Conrad Vernon (The Addams Family), Eric Darnell (Madagascar) and Jeff Rowe (Nickelodeon’s upcoming Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles). In a special panel, directors Jorge R. Gutierrez (The Book of Life), Tony Bancroft (Animal Crackers) and Cartoon Saloon co-founder Tomm Moore (co-director of Wolfwalkers with Ross Stewart) will debate the future of cinema.
Disney and Pixar’s upcoming animated feature Soul, gets the all-star VIEW Conference treatment in a special presentation in which animation supervisor Bobby Podesta, lead lighting technical director Max Bickley and technical director Markus Kranzler discuss their artistic and technical approaches to creating the world of “The Great Before,” where souls acquire their personalities before coming to Earth.
Digging deeper into the packed VIEW 2020 program reveals world-class professionals at every turn. Representing visual effects are ILM’s Roger Guyett (Star Wars), Hal Hickel (The Mandalorian), Stefen Fangmeier (Game of Thrones), Weta Digital’s Anders Langlands (Mulan), Jay Worth (Westworld) and Framestore creative director Tim Webber (Gravity). Sharing their expertise on AR/VR/XR and real-time media are Unity’s Ron Martin and Sébastien Deguy, vice president of 3D and Immersive at Adobe, while from Baobab Studios, head of content Kane Lee and CTO Larry Cutler will discuss the making of their latest VR project, Baba Yaga. Conference attendees won’t want to miss legendary Cornell professor Dr. Donald Greenberg in conversation with Eloi Champagne, technical director for VR at the National Film Board of Canada. Also on hand to share their insights are creative consultant Rafi Nizam and Pixar’s Dylan Sisson.
Game developers and artists are equally well represented in a huge range of workshops, masterclasses and sessions. Topics include the art of storytelling with Nordeus’ Nikola Damjanov – who also joins concept artist Sébastien Hue andRespawn art director Todd Sue for a panel on game art – art direction with Guerilla Games’ Jan-Bart Van Beek, and creating a game studio with Nordeus co-founder Milan Jovovic. Naughty Dog art directors John Sweeney and Erick Pangilinan lift the lid on this year’s hit action-adventure game The Last of Us Part II.
Widening the scope yet further, Pixar co-founder Dr. Alvy Ray Smith will preview his groundbreaking book, The Biography of the Pixel, scheduled for publication Spring 2021, while Pulitzer Prize-winning editorial cartoonist Ann Telnaes will showcase her work from The Washington Post.
Just before the conference launches, on October 17, audiences can enjoy a special preVIEW workshop with Tony Bancroft, in which the Annie Award-winning animator and Animal Crackers co-director teaches the craft of Animating Comedy Characters.
The impact of Covid-19 has challenged the entire world. Like so many businesses around the globe, the digital media and entertainment industries have risen to these challenges, committing to daring and innovative solutions while maintaining focus and optimism. VIEW Conference is proud to celebrate the remarkable achievements of so many extraordinary people in this turbulent year.
“Earlier this year, I wondered how we could create a conference in 2020 with the same value as previous years,” says Dr. Gutierrez. “But when we reached out to our international VIEW family the response was fantastic, and I’m immensely proud to say we have gone beyond anything I could have imagined. VIEW 2020 will be interactive, innovative, inspiring – and free for everyone around the world to enjoy. I couldn’t be more excited!”
The 21st International VIEW Conference takes place 18-23 October 2020. Visit the VIEW Conference website for more details and to register FREE for all sessions.