The BFX Festival in Bournemouth is one of the biggest UK festivals of the year for visual effects, animation and the computer games industry. With masterclasses, panels, talks and recruitment events taking place throughout the week, it is one of the most important events for industry professionals to network and share their knowledge with young professionals and students in the UK.
Paul Franklin, Creative Director of DNEG began the first of the talks and delved deep in to how his interest in science fiction and comics led him to work within the industry. He imparted advice on how to draw references from real-world art and architecture as well as comics and films to inspire the visual effects we saw in Interstellar. VFX Supervisor, Julian Foddy from ILM then spoke on the challenges in creating complex web effects and digital suits to fit actor Tom Holland's body and his real-life movements in Spider-Man: Far from Home. The BFX attendees were lucky enough to see the first UK premiere of the deleted scenes featuring the resolved outlined challenges.
The following talk was a double-act with Head of VFX Andy Morley and Head of 3D Maurizio Giglioli from Outpost VFX. They both discussed character performance and animation for Netflix's Black Mirror episode - 'Rachel, Jack and Ashley Too' as reference.
Now for the highlight of the day (not that we’re bias), Jellyfish Pictures' talk. Head of 3D, Dave Cook ventured down to Bournemouth for the festival to speak on the exploration of Captive State from concept to big screen. Dave spoke on how the VFX Supervisor and concept artists worked closely with the director, Rupert Wyatt (Rise of the Planet of the Apes), both on set and in the studio, to ensure the artist's imagination of the directors' vision was implemented throughout the film. The second half of his talk tackles the challenges of how our team evolved its in-house VFX creature pipeline.
Next up on stage, were two talks from Framestore the first, on the possibilities of real-time technology using the latest Unreal Engine software. The second was another talk on Spiderman: Far from Home from a different angle. Igor Jovanovic, the Lead FX Technical Director discussed the 'Illusion Battle' and their creative input of original and inventive ideas for this fascinating sequence.
The festival didn't stop there, the rest of the week saw more talks from industry speakers and various panel discussions sharing knowledge of the industry. Animated Women UK produced an important panel on ‘Keyframes for Success’ representing female industry professionals on the stage in a predominately male industry, supporting inclusivity for all. Our talent team returned for Friday's recruitment event with Jeremy Booth, our Compositing Technical Director, Ambra De Tuglie and Gemma Nesvik sharing insight into the industry to all the budding artists that will soon be entering the working world. The event continued throughout the weekend with Masterclasses from industry professionals allowing for the attendees to take part in unmissable learning opportunities. The last Jellyfish Pictures appearance was Simone Giampaolo, Animation Director, and Bournemouth University alumni. Simone shared his world-class experience and knowledge gained in the industry to ready-to-learn students and imparted his wisdom on how to Direct Animation (for Dummies).
We had a great time at BFX Festival 2019, meeting some amazing and talented students and graduates that we will no doubt be seeing entering the industry very soon!