SPARK FX 2023
March 17 - 19, 2023

Roundhouse Community Arts & Recreation Centre
181 Roundhouse Mews
Vancouver, BC V6Z 2W3

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SPARK FX 2023
VISUAL EFFECTS WITHOUT LIMITS
March 17 - 19, 2023

Celebrating 15 Years of Innovation

Alex Proyas, Chris Corbould, Dennis Muren, Joe Letteri, John Knoll, Nagin Cox, Paul Debevec, Paul Norris, Phil Tippett, Richard Edlund, Robert Legato, Sheena Duggal, Scott Ross.

These are only a few of the luminaries who have taken the stage at SPARK FX over the course of 15 years.

Celebrate the best of visual effects at SPARK FX 2023 and be a part of the next 15 years of groundbreaking filmmaking.

Conference Pass

See it all! Regular conference passes are now available for only $175 ea.

Please note that single tickets will be available for $25 ea. once the full schedule has been announced.

Click on the "Online Reservations" button above to buy your pass.

What's included?

  • Access to in-person conference sessions
  • Taxes and fees

Important dates:

  • In-person Conference: 17 – 19 March
  • In-person Career Fair: 18 March

Program announcements coming soon.



SCHEDULE

DAY 1FRIDAY - MARCH 17, 2023
6:30 pmPRESENTATION
PUPPETS V PIXELS: NOSTALGIA FOR OLD-SCHOOL EFFECTS & THE BACKLASH AGAINST CG
with Hal Hickel · Moderated by Keith Blackmore
8:00 pmNETWORKING
INDUSTRY MIXER
with Aurélien de Saint & Volver Intima
DAY 2SATURDAY - MARCH 18, 2023
9:30 amPRESENTATION
BRINGING EPIC LANDSCAPES & MAGIC TO MIDDLE EARTH
with Ara Khanikian · Moderated by Zoe Cranley
11:15 amPRESENTATION
A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE VFX OF RESIDENT ALIEN SEASON 2
with Brian Fisher, David Beedon & Jose de la Puente · Moderated by Marina Antunes
1:00 pmPRESENTATION
THE VFX BEHIND GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES
with Dennis Berardi · Moderated by Ashley Lynch
2:45 pmPRESENTATION
BLOOD, GUTS & FUR: THE VISUAL EFFECTS OF COCAINE BEAR
with Robin Hollander · Moderated by Marina Antunes
4:30 pmPRESENTATION
SHE-HULK: THE CREATION OF A FASHION ICON
with Elizabeth (Liz) Bernard & Jan Philip Cramer · Moderated by Amy Tang
DAY 3SUNDAY - MARCH 19, 2023
9:30 amPRESENTATION
FLYING BELOW THE RADAR: THE VFX OF TOP GUN MAVERICK
with Seth Hill · Moderated by Marina Antunes
11:15 amPRESENTATION
BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS: THE MAKING OF SLUMBERLAND'S DREAM WORLD
with Daniël Veder & Rosie Walker · Moderated by Jessica Glass
1:00 pmPRESENTATION
GOOD NIGHT OPPY: LIFE ON MARS
with Jonathan Macintosh, Klaus Seitschek & Ravi Kasumarthy · Moderated by Michael Unger
2:45 pmPRESENTATION
BREATHING LIFE INTO GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S PINOCCHIO
with Aaron Weintraub · Moderated by Ling Chiu
4:30 pmPRESENTATION
THE FULL SPECTRUM OF VIRTUAL PRODUCTION
with Paul Debevec · Moderated by Hal Hickel


Friday

Friday - March 17, 6:30 PM
PASS
REGULAR PASS

Coming soon


Friday - March 17, 6:30 PM
PRESENTATION
PUPPETS V PIXELS: NOSTALGIA FOR OLD-SCHOOL EFFECTS & THE BACKLASH AGAINST CG
Presented by Industrial Light & Magic
with Hal Hickel · Moderated by Keith Blackmore

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + Fees)

What's "real", and what's "fake"?

ILM Animation Director Hal Hickel examines our perceptions of old-school physical FX, versus modern CG techniques, and the way those perceptions shape our emotional response to what we see on screen.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


The Mandalorian

"The Mandalorian" ©2023 Disney+. All Rights Reserved.


Friday - March 17, 8:00 PM
NETWORKING
INDUSTRY MIXER
Presented by Spark CG Society + Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH
with Aurélien de Saint & Volver Intima

Regular: FREE (Cash Bar · Live DJs · Free Snacks)

Come and celebrate SPARK FX’s opening night at the Industry Mixer!

Free to attend, this is a great opportunity to network at a relaxed and fun event, not to mention a great way to celebrate the 15th anniversary of this year’s conference!

Cash bar + 2 DJs + complimentary snacks = FUN!

Keynote ticket holders will receive a complimentary drink ticket.

Online sales for Friday’s keynote + Mixer will close at 5 PM on Thursday, 16 March. Drop-in registrations at the door available.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · EXHIBITION HALL
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


DJs

Spacey groovy beats all evening long with DJ's Volver Intima + Aurélien de Saint.


Saturday

Saturday - March 18, 9:30 AM
PRESENTATION
BRINGING EPIC LANDSCAPES & MAGIC TO MIDDLE EARTH
Presented by Rodeo FX
with Ara Khanikian · Moderated by Zoe Cranley

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

The giant, sprawling establishing shots of meadows, fields, and epic landscapes of The Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power required a team of concept artists, matte painters, and CG generalists to create beautifully crafted images that could transport the audience to Middle Earth.

The team at Rodeo crafted everything from landscapes to CG quails and snails, fully CG shots as well as the mysterious “Stranger.” These scenes in particular pushed the VFX teams to work with multiple elements and methodologies to establish the scale difference, as well as all the environmental elements and the Stranger’s magical abilities — from the flames of his landing site, the blasts of wind and dust rocking the trees, the frozen water, to the fragile fireflies in the night—these powers lead him to an earth-shattering fight where fire and magic come crashing together in a flawless VFX-heavy scene that ends with a full CG shot.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


LotR: The Rings of Power

"Lord of the Rings: The Rings of Power" ©2022 Amazon Studios. All Rights Reserved.


Saturday - March 18, 11:15 AM
PRESENTATION
A CLOSE ENCOUNTER WITH THE VFX OF RESIDENT ALIEN SEASON 2
Presented by CoSA VFX
with Brian Fisher, David Beedon & Jose de la Puente · Moderated by Marina Antunes

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

The new season of SyFy’s hit alien comedy Resident Alien sees a newly-hatched alien baby on the loose and eating people, another race of aliens plotting to take over the Earth, and Harry suffering silently the only way he knows how: eating his way through it all.

In this presentation from CoSA VFX, the team will share insights behind the visual effects of the series’ second season, from CG aliens of every size to Unreal environments.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


Resident Alien 2

"Resident Alien 2" ©2023 Universal Content Productions (UCP). All Rights Reserved.


Saturday - March 18, 1:00 PM
PRESENTATION
THE VFX BEHIND GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S CABINET OF CURIOSITIES
Presented by Herne Hill Media
with Dennis Berardi · Moderated by Ashley Lynch

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

This presentation outlines how the visual effects team explored the strange and horrific to design original moments while still being inspired by all that has come before.

Focusing on three episodes, The Viewing (directed by Panos Cosmatos), Pickman’s Model (directed by Keith Thomas), and The Outside (directed by Ana Lily Amirpour), Berardi will show original artwork, Guillermo del Toro’s sketches and notes, and the process of working with ground-breaking directors to achieve the final vision.

In this visually heavy presentation featuring hundreds of supporting images, Berardi will show how a creative studio like Herne Hill quickly presents ideas and incorporates feedback while moving toward a hard deadline. There will also be some fun war stories from principal photography.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


GdT's Cabinet of Curiosities

"Guillermo del Toro's Cabinet of Curiosities" ©2022 Netflix. All Rights Reserved.


Saturday - March 18, 2:45 PM
PRESENTATION
BLOOD, GUTS & FUR: THE VISUAL EFFECTS OF COCAINE BEAR
Presented by Wētā FX
with Robin Hollander · Moderated by Marina Antunes

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

Join VFX Supervisor, Robin Hollander, as he shares insight into the outrageous story of Cokey; a bear who accidentally ingests a ton of cocaine and will do anything to get her paws on more.

Developing Cokey’s character required a significant amount of animal exploration, including early motion studies to ensure the portrayal of the coked-up bear felt as realistic as possible. Robin and his team took learnings from other animals by conducting a series of behaviour studies that were fundamental to the successful CG development of Cocaine Bear.

Throughout Cokey’s chaotic rampage to find more drugs we see four increasingly dishevelled and blood-thirsty looks. During the talk, Robin will share in detail how his team designed, built and animated the giant black bear — from her body and fur, to her teeth, claws and various bloody grooms.

One of the challenges for animating Cokey was capturing her interactions with the on-set actors. Robin will touch on how they overcame this through the use of an on-set performer and countless groom refinements that helped to perfect the overall look and feel of Cokey’s character in this action-packed, over-the-top thriller.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


Cocaine Bear

"Cocaine Bear" ©2023 Universal Pictures. All Rights Reserved.


Saturday - March 18, 4:30 PM
PRESENTATION
SHE-HULK: THE CREATION OF A FASHION ICON
Presented by Digital Domain
with Elizabeth (Liz) Bernard & Jan Philip Cramer · Moderated by Amy Tang

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

From day one to delivery, the DD team worked closely with the creative leadership at Marvel Studios to develop and introduce a new type of superhero in She-Hulk: Attorney at Law.

In addition to smashing her way through bad guys and gals, She-Hulk had to crush her opponents at work and in the courtroom, all while grappling with her new identity as a Hulk. To create this living, breathing, and dynamic female character, DD developed many new tools and techniques.

Liz and Phil will talk about CG make-up, shape-wear and costumes, machine learning and photorealistic facial animation, as well as the complexities of shot production during the pandemic.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


She-Hulk

"She-Hulk: Attorney at Law" ©2022 Marvel Studios. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday

Sunday - March 19, 9:30 AM
PRESENTATION
FLYING BELOW THE RADAR: THE VFX OF TOP GUN MAVERICK
Presented by Method Studios
with Seth Hill · Moderated by Marina Antunes

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

Last year’s Top Gun: Maverick, faithfully captured real aerial combat, but one thing was hardly discussed: the visual effects that helped bring it all home. With over 2,400 VFX shots within it, and more than 2000 visual effects shots accomplished by Method Studios, it was nominated for the Best Visual Effects Oscar at the 95th Academy Awards. Method Studio’s Visual Effects Supervisor Seth Hill, will reveal the invisible photo-real VFX in making Maverick.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


Top Gun: Maverick

"Top Gun: Maverick" ©2022 Paramount Pictures, Skydance + Jerry Bruckheimer Films. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday - March 19, 11:15 AM
PRESENTATION
BEYOND YOUR WILDEST DREAMS: THE MAKING OF SLUMBERLAND'S DREAM WORLD
Presented by DNEG
with Daniël Veder & Rosie Walker · Moderated by Jessica Glass

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

Join DNEG Compositing Lead Rosie Walker and DNEG Build/Look Development Lead Daniël Veder for a closer look at the stunning visual effects in Netflix’ latest family-friendly flick, Slumberland.

Starring Jason Momoa and Marlow Barkley, the film follows a daring young orphan named Nemo as she journeys through a land of dreams to find a precious pearl that will grant her greatest wish.

Tackled by a core team of approximately 200 artists, DNEG delivered 230 shots over seven sequences. Rosie and Daniel will share key insights and learnings from this challenging project and dive into its most impressive moments. Audiences will learn more about the magnificently colourful ballroom made entirely of butterflies, a mystical underwater world and a terrifying nightmare ‘squid’ made from smoke. This is a can’t-miss presentation that will inspire junior and senior artists alike.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


Slumberland

"Slumberland" ©2022 Netflix. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday - March 19, 1:00 PM
PRESENTATION
GOOD NIGHT OPPY: LIFE ON MARS
Presented by ILM
with Jonathan Macintosh, Klaus Seitschek & Ravi Kasumarthy · Moderated by Michael Unger

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

On the Amazon production Good Night Oppy, director Ryan White went to Industrial Light & Magic for help in realizing the extraordinary adventure of the Mars Exploration Rovers.

Being a documentary, the ILM team felt it owed it to the incredible teams at NASA and JPL to keep their journey accurate to the events that unfolded, but they also faced the challenge of creating a very unique performance.

In this exclusive presentation, the ILM team will discuss their journey to visualize Oppy and Spirit, and their incredible 15-year journey.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


Good Night Oppy

"Good Night Oppy" ©2022 Amazon Studios. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday - March 19, 2:45 PM
PRESENTATION
BREATHING LIFE INTO GUILLERMO DEL TORO'S PINOCCHIO
Presented by MPC
with Aaron Weintraub · Moderated by Ling Chiu

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

From the mind of Academy Award®-winning filmmaker Guillermo del Toro and award-winning stop-motion legend Mark Gustafson, Guillermo del Toro’s Pinocchio reinvents the classic story of a wooden puppet brought to life in a stunning stop-motion musical tale.

As lead vendor, MPC created over 650 complex shots for the award-winning production, including CG environments, stylized FX simulations, and CG crowds. Led by VFX Supervisor Aaron Weintraub and VFX Producer Emma Gorbey, the primary objective of the visual effects work was to support the filmmaker’s vision and match the practical, stop-motion aesthetic of the film, expertly crafted by the teams at ShadowMachine and The Henson Company.

Go behind the scenes as we show you how the VFX teams helped bring this magical world to life.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


GdT's Pinocchio

"Guillermo del Toro's Pinocchio" ©2022 Netflix. All Rights Reserved.


Sunday - March 19, 4:30 PM
PRESENTATION
THE FULL SPECTRUM OF VIRTUAL PRODUCTION
Presented by Netflix Eyeline Studios
with Paul Debevec · Moderated by Hal Hickel

Regular: $25 (incl. GST + fees)

Today’s virtual production stages surround actors with the light of millions of LEDs, creating real-world image-based lighting in addition to in-camera backgrounds. But these stages often fall short of lighting the actors the same way they would appear if they were actually in the intended environments. LED panels lack the dynamic range and maximum intensity needed for many lighting environments, especially ones with direct sunlight, and stages rarely cover all the angles light can come from. Most notably, today’s LED panels have poor colour rendition, with a spectrum consisting of peaks of red, green, and blue wavelengths which misses important parts of the spectrum in the orange, yellow, and cyan wavelengths. While the panels display just about any colour the eye can see, their spectrum is so different from the sources we’re used to (such as daylight and incandescent light) that actors and sets exhibit strange colour shifts when lit in a VP stage. Skin tones shift to red or pink, oranges shift to red, yellow becomes dim and brownish, and cyans can shift to blue. In this talk, Paul will describe the underlying colour science issues and show how both software and hardware improvements offer solutions, drawing upon the lighting reproduction research at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies and Netflix Research.

VENUE:   ROUNDHOUSE · PERFORMANCE THEATRE
181 Roundhouse Mews · Vancouver · BC · V6Z 2W3


GdT's Cabinet of Curiosities

Image courtesy of Paul Debevec ©2022 All Rights Reserved.


BIOGRAPHIES

Aaron Weintraub
VFX Supervisor // MPC Film

AaronMPC VFX Supervisor and Head of Creative Operations, Aaron Weintraub, has over 25 years of experience working on major movies and series, delivering the creative vision of some of the industry’s most respected filmmakers and showrunners. Most recently, he worked with long-time MPC collaborator Guillermo del Toro, serving as VFX Supervisor for the filmmaker’s reimagination of Pinocchio. Prior to Pinocchio, he collaborated on Director Steven Spielberg’s acclaimed reimagining of West Side Story, leading MPC’s teams on the authentic recreation of 1950 New York.

Aaron has received visual effects credits on more than 80 movies including Shazam!, Roma, Tron: Legacy, Scott Pilgrim Vs. The World, Eastern Promises and Dawn of the Dead. He began his career in 1993 at TOPIX as an animator, designer and compositor. In 1995, Aaron helped launch Mad Dog Digital, TOPIX’ post-production division, lending his talents to several award-winning commercials and music videos. After working in companies in the US and Europe, Weintraub returned to Toronto to supervise compositing on longer format projects, before going on to co-found VFX studio MR. X in 2001.

Amy Tang
Supervising Producer // Mainframe Studios

AmyAmy Tang, a Supervising Producer at Mainframe Studios, Co-Chair of Mainframe Studios Culture Club, proud volunteer on the leadership team for Spark CG Society. Even though the recent years have been more quiet than the past, as part of the Board of Directors for the Vancouver Animation Network, more than ever, it is important for Amy to evoke strong community connections to help the Vancouver CG industry grow and thrive.

Amy’s ability to maintain a grass-roots and organic yet structured approach, along with a loud voice and active energy, compliments the teams she oversees and events she helps organize and run.

Ara Khanikian
VFX Supervisor // Rodeo FX
(The Rings of Power, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings, Better Call Saul, Jungle Cruise, El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie)

AraVFX Supervisor Ara Khanikian has had a 20-year career working on major films and TV shows including Deston Daniel Cretton’s wildly popular Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings that made waves in cinemas around the world in 2021, and most recently, Amazon’s The Rings of Power, a Lord of the Rings legacy series. He was instrumental in bringing invisible effects to the Better Call Saul seasons 5 & 6, the jungles to life in the Disney film Jungle Cruise as well as remaking the set of Breaking Bad for Netflix’ El Camino: A Breaking Bad Movie.

He also worked on Game of Thrones seasons 4 and 6, and the high-flying adventure movie The Aeronauts in which he was nominated for a VES Award. Ara also played a key part in Alejandro González Iñárritu’s Birdman, for which he and the Rodeo FX team earned a VES Award for Best Supporting Visual Effects. Acting as the overall VFX Supervisor on the movie, Ara was instrumental in designing the imperceptible visual effects that contributed to the single-shot illusion.

Ara has worked on over 60 feature films during the course of his career and a number of other high profile projects, such as Downsizing, Kong: Skull Island, Star Trek: Beyond, Central Intelligence, The Last Witch Hunter, and Tomorrowland. To achieve a director’s vision, Ara deftly manages creative and technical expectations while also being responsible for on-set supervision. He provides hands-on leadership when working closely with Rodeo FX’ artists, and is an acknowledged master at blending artistic and technical challenges to deliver the most photo-real shots possible.

Calm and collected, he’s known for his ability to stay positive no matter the challenge while focusing on what project elements require the most attention. He brings exceptional rigour to his work, as well as a jovial sense of humour.

Ashley Lynch
Editor // Independent
(LEGO Ninjago, Three Feathers, 13 Minutes of Horror)

AshleyAshley Lynch is an award-winning post-production professional in Vancouver, BC, and the owner of Gingerbreadgirl Post. Specializing in genre editing, animated series, colour grading and theatrical trailer campaigns, her work has been seen on Netflix, Telus Optik, Cartoon Network, Discovery Channel and A&E, as well as scores of film festivals around the world.

Aurélien de Saint

AurelienTBA.

Brian Fisher
VFX Supervisor // CoSA VFX

BrianWith a career spanning over two decades, and more than 50 feature film and episodic television series credits to his name, Brian Fisher has experience in every discipline of the visual effects industry.

Currently a VFX Supervisor at CoSA VFX, Brian got his start producing some of the first CGI to grace television screens for shows like Star Trek: Voyager (1995), and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine (1993). He has contributed to Oscar-winning features such as, Avatar (2009), King Kong (2005), and Blade Runner 2049 (2017). In 2001, Brian co-founded “Realm Productions,” a boutique post-production and visual effects studio. Catering to the commercial and music video industries, Realm contributed cutting edge VFX for artists such as Mick Jagger, Britney Spears, Usher, and Pink to name a few.

His recent projects include DC’s Swamp Thing, Marvel’s The Gifted, and the SyFy channel’s hit comedy Resident Alien. A Los Angeles native, Brian made his way to Vancouver in 2007, which he now calls home.

Daniël Veder
LookDev Lead // DNEG

DaniëlDaniël Veder is a Lead Look Development TD at DNEG, an Oscar and BAFTA award-winning visual effects company. His impressive filmography includes several acclaimed projects, including Slumberland, the Academy Award-winning Dune, Star Trek: Discovery and Greyhound. Throughout his career, he has honed his skills across several VFX studios including MPC and ILM, and has developed a passion for problem-solving and the technical aspects of his craft. Despite being self-taught, Daniël has established himself as a lead in his field, with his contributions to the industry being recognized with a VES award nomination for his work on Slumberland.

David Beedon
Partner, VFX Supervisor // CoSA VFX

DavidDavid is a highly accomplished veteran in the visual effects industry and is one of the four founders of CoSA VFX. He is a pioneer of the visual effects industry, also co-founding production boutique, Motion City Films in 1987 which provided VFX, motion graphics and production services for commercials, music and corporate videos. Transitioning from compositing to CG, he segued into feature film visual effects working on notable projects, including The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe (2005), Elektra (2005) and The Guardian (2006).

Among his many credits, David was nominated for a Primetime Emmy in 2014 for his work on Almost Human. He has also been nominated for two Visual Effects Society (VES) Awards — Almost Human in 2014 and Marvel’s Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D. in 2015.

He is recently VFX Supervised the new Batman-based series, Gotham Knights on TheCW. Prior to this, he was also recently the visual effects supervisor for multiple hit projects including SyFy’s acclaimed series, Resident Alien, Candy, and Netflix’ Lucifer, for which he also functioned as a 2nd unit director.

Dennis Berardi
CEO & VFX Supervisor // Herne Hill Media

DennisFounder of Herne Hill Media, Dennis Berardi, is a creative visionary known for his unwavering dedication to the art of visual effects which is epitomized in the quality of his work.

From innovative beginnings with IMAX and the National Film Board of Canada, Berardi worked closely to integrate the ground-breaking digital imaging systems for live-action and animated films.

In 2001, Berardi founded the Toronto-based visual effects studio, Mr. X. Under his stewardship, Mr. X grew from a small eight-person shop to a global VFX brand with studio locations in Toronto, Montreal, Adelaide and Bangalore. In 2021, Dennis opened the doors at Herne Hill Media. Dennis is currently serving as Executive Producer on Rupert Wyatt’s Desert Warrior.

Elizabeth (Liz) Bernard
Sr. Animation Supervisor // Digital Domain
(She Hulk: Attorney at Law, Thor: Ragnarok, Beauty and the Beast, Spider-Man: Homecoming)

LizElizabeth “Liz” Bernard is an experienced Senior Animation Supervisor with more than 20feature film, episodic and short film credits to her name. Some of her most recent projects include Twentieth Century Studios’ “Free Guy,” Paramount Pictures “Terminator: Dark Fate,”and Marvel Studios’ “Captain Marvel.”

Liz has a particular passion for bringing animals, creatures, and characters to life and forging an emotional connection to the audience. She recently wrapped as the Senior Animation Supervisor on Marvel Studios’ highly-anticipated series She-Hulk and has led animation on several blockbuster films, including Marvel Studios’ Thor: Ragnarok, Spider-Man: Homecoming, Disney’s Beauty and the Beast and Maleficent, among others.

After joining Digital Domain’s team as an animator in 2011, Liz rose to Lead Animator and then Animation Supervisor very quickly. She continues to progress her craft and that of the entire department with her sharp attention to detail, crucial in many processes including realistic animation, previsualization, pipeline and show tool development and more.

With a B.A. in Drama from the University of Virginia, Liz has an extensive background in theatre arts and photography, contributing to her astute eye for composition, scene building, and storytelling. Liz and the fully stacked animation team are an integral part of the visual effects innovators and CG artists at Digital Domain, who consistently bring the impossible to the screen.

Hal Hickel
Animation Supervisor // Industrial Light & Magic
(The Mandalorian, Solo, Rogue One, Warcraft, Pacific Rim)

HalHal Hickel joined Industrial Light & Magic in 1996 as an animator for The Lost World: Jurassic Park. On his next production, he was promoted to lead animator and given responsibility for the animation of several characters in Star Wars: Episode I - The Phantom Menace. In 2000, Hickel was moved up to animation supervisor, teaming up with multi Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor Dennis Muren on Steven Spielberg’s A.I. Artificial Intelligence. His special interest in animation lies in the challenge of integrating fantastic characters and creatures into live-action films. Hickel has since supervised the animation work on Star Wars: Episode II Attack of the Clones, Iron Man and the first three films in the Pirates of the Caribbean franchise. In 2007, his work on Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest was recognized with both an Academy Award® for Outstanding Achievement in Visual Effects and the BAFTA for Best Achievement in Visual Effects.

Hickel was the Animation Supervisor on Guillermo del Toro’s sci-fi epic, Pacific Rim for which he received his fifth BAFTA nomination and a Visual Effects Society Nomination for Outstanding Visual Effects. Prior to that, he was the Animation Director on ILM’s first animated feature, Rango which received the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature. In 2016, Hickel took on the task of animating the epic battle between orcs and humans in Warcraft. He served as Animation Supervisor in a galaxy far, far away for Rogue One: A Star Wars Story, which earned him, Oscar, BAFTA and VES award nominations for visual effects.

More recently he supervised animation in the train heist sequence in Solo: A Star Wars Story, and is now Animation Supervisor on Lucasfilm’s first live-action Star Wars TV show, The Mandalorian.

Jan Philip Cramer
VFX Supervisor // Digital Domain
(She Hulk: Attorney at Law, Spiderman: Homecoming, Avengers Endgame, Deadpool)

JanPrior to becoming one of Digital Domain’s Visual Effects Supervisors, Jan Philip Cramer served as DD’s Head of Animation for many years and is one of the industry’s leading Animation Directors. He has been on set for numerous blockbuster films focusing on creature and facial animation. He has garnered an impressive list of credits and accolades in his 15-year career, including winning a VES award for his work on the digital character Thanos in Avengers: Infinity War.

As Head of Animation at Digital Domain, Phil oversaw a team of top animators in the Digital Domain animation department, pushing the boundaries of what’s possible in visual effects and animation. Phil has supervised animation on multiple feature films including Morbius, Ender’s Game, X-Men: Days of Future Past, Deadpool, Spider-Man: Homecoming and led animation on James Cameron’s Avatar. Phil was also Animation Director on the hugely successful Marvel Studios’ Avengers: Endgame. He brings all that animation experience to what he is doing now as a visual effects supervisor. His methodology is to consistently refine the VFX process which streamlines the overall pipeline, ultimately creating a more effective workflow.

Phil recently served as DD’s VFX Supervisor on the Marvel Studios’ Disney+ series She-Hulk, which recently hit Disney+. Phil oversaw the Digital Domain visual effects work across several episodes comprising upwards of 975 very complex shots. The work involves creating a fully CG She-Hulk actress that is an integral character in this Marvel episodic.

Jessica Glass
Production Technology Department Manager // DNEG

JessicaJessica has been collaborating with teams in the tech industry for over a decade, contributing to workflow, process and diverse projects in leading tech companies such as Rogers Communications, Digital Domain, MPC and the American Marketing Association. Throughout her career, she has always strived to reconcile technology and humanity and make tech more accessible and intuitive for its users.

She strives to make others around her develop their full potential and has been a pillar in the Tech community for many years. As Co-Founder of YVRFF (Vancouver Virtual Reality Film Festival), and Founder of CRAFTGRAPH (a networking series bringing together professionals from the computing, recording and art & film technologies fields) she has been a champion of change, creative collaboration and innovation.

Jessica is currently the Production Technology Department Manager at DNEG in Vancouver. As ProdTech Department Manager, she provides dedicated and consistent line management, ensuring appropriate crewing and career development for the R&D and Pipeline teams.

Jonathan Macintosh
Animator // ILM
(Obi Wan Kenobi, Good Night Oppy, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Black Widow)

JonathanJonathan Macintosh is a seasoned VFX Animator with over 20 years of experience in the industry. Throughout the years, he’s worked on feature films, television series and commercials. Jonathan joined Industrial Light & Magic Vancouver studio as an animator in 2014. Having worked on various projects, from the technically challenging to creatively rewarding, he has taken on Lead responsibilities on shows such as Disney’s Aladdin and more recently Lucasfilm’s Obi Wan Kenobi for Disney+ and Amazon Studios’ Good Night Oppy.

Jose de la Puente
VFX Producer // CoSA VFX

JoseJose Maria de la Puente is one of CoSA’s talented Senior VFX Producers. He is currently based in Vancouver, where he has produced various projects for outlets like Netflix, ABC, NBC, The CW and the Syfy Channel.

Prior to joining CoSA, de la Puente was working at DNEG as a VFX Producer, where he worked on such projects as Sony Picture’s Venom (2018), Ant-Man and the Wasp (2018) for Marvel Studios and Legendary Entertainment’s critically-acclaimed feature, Dune (2021).

A native to Spain’s North Coast, Jose moved to London after a few years working on 2D and 3D Animation to kickstart his VFX journey working for MPC on the Academy Award-winning feature The Jungle Book (2016). Since then, he is credited as being the in-house production lead on multiple films including King Arthur: The Knights of the Round Table (2017), Assassin’s Creed (2018), Justice League (2017), and The Legend of Tarzan (2016) amongst others.

With over 12 years of experience, Jose is a multidisciplinary VFX producer who has also worked in video games and in TV, and has also taught at the Spanish University for Technology and Digital Art (U-TAD) as a Animation and VFX Production professor. Jose also has a passion for writing and directing, and, in 2012, his short film My Struggle was shortlisted for the Academy’s Best International Short Film (Live Action) Award.

Keith Blackmore
Producer // Spark CG Society

KeithVancouver-born and raised, Keith Blackmore is a passionate supporter for all things animated in the Vancouver area. A producer for the SPARK ANIMATION Festival, Keith has presented, interviewed and moderated at many festivals and studios. Most recently, he was on the Film Jury for the 2022 Taiwan International Student Design Competition, the largest student design competition around the world. Keith is also the host of the monthly Vancouver Civic Theatres’ film series, Silent Movie Mondays, at the opulent and historic Orpheum Theatre.

Besides his work with the Spark CG Society, Keith continues to educate and inspire students at the Vancouver Film School, in his weekly History of Animation classes.

Klaus Seitschek
Digital Artist // ILM

KlausFor the last 15 years Klaus Seitschek has been creating visuals for a variety of creative projects, spanning from television, commercials, films and stage shows.

Klaus had found his passion for VFX early on. He had always been interested in math, physics and programming while also being interested in art; especially photography. When he discovered computer graphics, he found his new passion, as it was a unique field existing at the intersection of art and technology.

In 2018, he had the opportunity to join the ILM family as FX Lead on Jurassic World: Fallen Kingdom. He loved the way that ILM worked, the history behind the company, and the great inspiration from all of the supervisors’ past and present work. Over the last six years, Klaus has been given the opportunity to contribute to many amazing projects as an artist and as a leader; working with some of the most talented people in this industry. He has led teams small and large, on different projects from documentaries to the biggest blockbusters; he wakes up every day looking forward to creating more beautiful work.

Ling Chiu
Director, Writer // Independent
(From Harling Point, A Fortune in Frozen Dim Sum, Tee Hee Hee, Tethers)

LingLing Chiu has written, directed, and produced a number of award-winning short dramatic and experimental films and videos, as well as a documentary, From Harling Point, with the National Film Board of Canada.

She believes strongly in the power of films and its place to help enact social change. Films like, Tee Hee Hee, a memorial to the 14 women killed at École Polytechnique in Montreal and Tethers, a film about love, choices and sacrifice as seen through the eyes of a Chinese immigrant family exemplify that sensibility. Stylistically, she engages in varying techniques. A Fortune in Frozen Dim Sum, comprised of bite-sized vignettes, merges a dramatic film with experimental elements and animation.

Ling has spent many years as a festival previewer for the Vancouver International Film Festival for both the International and Canadian selection committees and also for the Spark Animation Festival in Vancouver. She is currently working as a specialist teacher for students with extreme complex cognitive and physical challenges where she developed a media arts program and employed her filmmaking skills to enhance their educational needs, both creatively and exceptionally.

Ling is a graduate of Toronto Metropolitan University’s Radio & Television Arts program and the Ontario Institute of Studies in Education in Toronto. She is also a graduate of the Emily Carr University of Art + Design’s Film and Video program in Vancouver.

Marina Antunes
President // Spark CG Society

MarinaMarina has been writing and discussing film for over 15 years, first on a personal blog, followed by a decade-long tenure on the now retired Row Three. In 2008, she joined the writing staff at Quiet Earth, becoming Editor-In-Chief in 2014, a role she still holds. Over the years, she has also produced and hosted a number of podcasts including Before the Dawn, a long-running podcast on the Twilight franchise, Girls on Pop, a podcast on film and popular entertainment from women’s perspective and After the Credits, bi-monthly film podcast with nearly 300 episodes.

Marina is a member of ACM and ACM SIGGRAPH, the Online Film Critics Society, the Alliance of Women Film Journalists, and the Visual Effects Society. She is the President of Spark CG Society and the Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH chapter. She has also served on juries for several film festivals including DOXA, St. Louis International Film Festival, and the Whistler Film Festival. She joined the Spark CG Society in 2014.

Michael Unger
Programs Coordinator // H.R. MacMillan Space Centre

MichaelMichael is the Program Coordinator at H.R. MacMillan Space Centre, the host of Nerd Nite Vancouver and it’s podcast Nerdin’ About, and leads a team of Sci-CATS (Science Communication Action Team). He’s also on the Board of Directors and judge for the Canadian Satellite Design Challenge which is a competition for future space engineers. Recently, he’s become the face of the BC Science Fair Foundation, hosting their public workshops and engagements, and also their new podcast Let’s Innovate!

Paul Debevec
Chief Research Officer // Netflix Eyeline Studios

PaulPaul Debevec is the Chief Research Officer of Netflix’ Eyeline Studios where he oversees R&D in new technologies in computer vision, computer graphics, and machine learning with applications in visual effects and virtual production. Paul’s 2002 Light Stage 3 system at the USC Institute for Creative Technologies was the first LED Stage to illuminate live-action actors with imagery of digital sets for virtual production. Techniques from Paul’s work have been used to create key visual effects sequences in The Matrix, Spider-Man 2, Benjamin Button, Avatar, Gravity, Furious 7, Blade Runner: 2049, Gemini Man, Free Guy, numerous video games, and to record a 3D Portrait of US President Barack Obama. Today’s Paul’s light stage facial capture systems are helping numerous visual effects and technology companies create photoreal digital actors and advance ML datasets for facial appearance. Paul’s early work in High Dynamic Range imaging, image-based lighting, and light stage facial capture has been recognized with two technical Academy Awards, SMPTE’s Progress Medal, and a Lifetime Achievement Emmy Award. Paul is a Fellow of the Visual Effects Society and a member of the Television Academy’s Science and Technology Peer Group, and a Governor of the Visual Effects Branch of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences and co-chairs the Academy Science and Technology Council.

Ravi Kasumarthy
Compositor // ILM

RaviRavi Kasumarthy is a Senior Compositor at Industrial Light & Magic and has worked on several projects such as: Thor: Ragnarok, The Irishman, ABBA: Voyage, and Space Jam: A New Legacy.

Ravi started his career in the industry working for Framestore, UK, as a paint and roto artist, which led him on to join the Industrial Light & Magic team in Singapore as a paint and roto artist in 2014. During his time in Singapore, he was the Area-tech Lead for the Paint & Roto department, while he also wrote tools for Commodore.

After working at the ILM Singapore studio for two years, he then moved on to Vancouver where he started compositing in 2017.

Ravi is a very technical artist, with experience working on several different kind of projects including: de-aging on The Irishman, deep fakes for ABBA: Voyage, compositing for Stagecraft content, such as the upcoming Skeleton Crew and Ahsoka, while compositing for large formats for Galactic Starcruiser Resort.

Ravi holds a Master’s Degree in Digital Effects from Bournemouth University, UK.

Robin Hollander
VFX Supervisor // Wētā FX

RobinRobin Hollander joined Wētā FX in 2006 as a compositor on The Water Horse: Legend of the Deep, before transitioning to senior and supervisory compositing roles for The Planet of the Apes and The Hobbit trilogies. Now a VFX Supervisor, Robin recently led Wētā FX’ work on Elizabeth Banks’ Cocaine Bear.

Robin has worked on a number of Wētā’s key projects, including Avatar as Lead Compositor, for which he received an HPA Award and a VES nomination. He received a further VES nomination for The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug and won a VES Award for his work on War for the Planet of Apes.

Building on his background in compositing, Robin has been instrumental in creating proprietary tools and workflows that are used across all Wētā FX projects.

Originally hailing from Zurich, Switzerland, Robin began his VFX career at MPC in London, where projects included Troy, Tim Burton’s Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, and Sunshine.

Rosie Walker
Compositing Lead // DNEG

RosieRosie Walker is Lead Compositor at DNEG Vancouver with over ten years of experience in the visual effects industry. After beginning her career as a Digital Compositor, Rosie changed roles and worked as Crowd TD at both MPC and Cinesite, before joining DNEG in 2016, and returning to compositing. Since then, she has since amassed an impressive filmography, with credits on several feature films including Bullet Train, Slumberland, The Matrix Resurrections and the Academy Award-winning Dune, for which she worked as VFX Trainer, supporting and training artists in their work. Most recently, Rosie worked as Digital Compositor on HBO’s hit video game adaptation The Last of Us.

Seth Hill
VFX Supervisor // Method Studios (now at Netflix)

SethSeth Hill is a highly experienced VFX supervisor at Netflix, with over 20 years of experience in the industry. He has had the privilege of working on several blockbuster films, television shows, and commercials, including the Oscar-winning Top Gun: Maverick. As VFX Supervisor on the project, Seth collaborated closely with the director and production team to bring the aerial sequences to life, using cutting-edge technology to create a truly immersive cinematic experience.

Throughout his career, Seth has consistently delivered exceptional visual effects, which have earned him critical acclaim and industry recognition. He received a Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Special Visual Effects for his work on the hit HBO series Boardwalk Empire. Despite his many accomplishments, Seth remains committed to constantly improving his craft and staying at the forefront of the industry. He is a highly respected professional and continues to make significant contributions to the world of visual effects.

Volver Intima

VITBA.

Zoe Cranley
Head of CG, Canada // beloFX

ZoeAs Head of CG Canada, Zoe engages in shows from their very initial discussions until their final delivery, and beyond! Zoe is excited to adopt new technologies and resources, giving artists a new and exciting means to create VFX of the highest level.

Whilst being an active member of the VFX and Animation Community, Zoe is passionate about building and growing talented and diverse teams, whereby people can work at their very best in a thriving and enriching environment.

Zoe started her career in 2005 at Double Negative London, subsequently working in the Singapore and Vancouver studios. Her most recent roles were CG Supervisor, Head of Build and Head of CG.

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