SPARK FX 2024
February 16 - 17, 2024

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

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SPARK FX 2024
VISUAL EFFECTS WITHOUT LIMITS
February 16 - 17, 2024

WELCOME!

SPARK FX is your gateway to visual effects innovation. Join us for a celebration of the extraordinary achievements in episodic and film productions from the past year and immerse yourself in an environment curated by industry professionals, offering insights into the latest trends, techniques, and technologies.

SPARK FX is a networking extravaganza where industry insiders connect, collaborate, and share experiences. Be inspired by thought-provoking presentations and explore the limitless possibilities within the realm of visual effects.

This is more than a conference; it's a celebration of creativity, innovation, and imagination.

Join us at SPARK FX, where the future of visual effects unfolds. Secure your spot and be part of the intersection of art and technology!

Important dates:

  • Conference: 16 – 17 February
  • Career Fair: 17 February



SCHEDULE

DAY 1FRIDAY - FEBRUARY 16, 2024
7:00 pmPRESENTATION
THE VFX OF JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 + MIXER
with Javier Roca · Moderated by Marina Antunes
DAY 2SATURDAY - FEBRUARY 17, 2024
9:30 amPRESENTATION
NO SLEEP TIL BROOKLYN: THAT FIGHT SEQUENCE FROM GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 3
with Jo Davison · Moderated by Amy Tang
11:15 amPRESENTATION
THROUGH THE MIST: CREATING THE WORLD AND MONSTERS OF PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS
with Amy Sendon, Aparna Mepani, Apoorva Shah & Jeff White · Moderated by Keith Blackmore
1:00 pmPRESENTATION
MONARCH: LEGACY OF MONSTERS -- PARALLELS & INTERIORS
with Arek Komorowski, Jon Mitchell & Sean Konrad · Moderated by Sue Rowe
2:45 pmPRESENTATION
THE SCIENCE & FICTION OF REBEL MOON'S VFX
with Robert Winter · Moderated by Alyssa Zárate
4:30 pmPRESENTATION
STAR TREK VFX: A FEDERATION OF CREATIVITY
with Brian Tatosky · Moderated by Marina Antunes


Friday

Friday - February 16, 7:00 PM
PRESENTATION
THE VFX OF JOHN WICK: CHAPTER 4 + MIXER
Presented by Rodeo FX
with Javier Roca · Moderated by Marina Antunes

Regular: $20 (incl. GST)
Tickets available at the door.

Enjoy an in-depth look at how the creative team at Rodeo FX worked to develop solutions to the unique challenges in the production of John Wick: Chapter 4.

Hosted by Javier Roca (VFX Supervisor), this talk will explore key scenes from the movie such as the Arc de Triomphe car chase and the thrilling fight sequence of the Parisian apartment. From turning Berlin into Paris, to the FX simulation behind the dragon breath and even some tricky mirror reflection. Javier will show what goes into crafting such action scenes and how the team at Rodeo FX pushed the boundaries of their craft once again.

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


John Wick: Chapter 4 ©2023 Lionsgate Films. All rights reserved.


Sponsored by

PCCA 2024

Saturday

Saturday - February 17, 9:30 AM
PRESENTATION
NO SLEEP TIL BROOKLYN: THAT FIGHT SEQUENCE FROM GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY VOL 3
Presented by Wētā FX
with Jo Davison · Moderated by Amy Tang

Regular: $20 (incl. GST)
Tickets available at the door.

With the Guardians swaggering into the iconic Beastie Boys soundtrack No Sleep Til Brooklyn, the glorious 150-second long fight sequence from Guardians of the Galaxy Volume 3 was epic to watch but even better to create.

Wētā FX’ CG Supervisor, Jo Davison, will discuss the techniques used to create this action-packed sequence, from the challenge of choreographing a seamless camera path using 18 individual shots featuring only the hero characters in the film to digitally recreating the Fight Hall environment, developing pixel-perfect digi-doubles, and utilizing techniques like a metronome system and shot retiming for the carefully choreographed fight sequence, capturing the hard-rock action beats with an awesome Beastie Boys feel.

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


Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 ©2023 Marvel / Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures. All rights reserved.



Saturday - February 17, 11:15 AM
PRESENTATION
THROUGH THE MIST: CREATING THE WORLD AND MONSTERS OF PERCY JACKSON & THE OLYMPIANS
Presented by ILM
with Amy Sendon, Aparna Mepani, Apoorva Shah & Jeff White · Moderated by Keith Blackmore

Regular: $20 (incl. GST)
Tickets available at the door.

As Percy, Annabeth and Grover embarked on an epic quest, so too did Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) to bring the world of the Olympians to life. In this presentation, they will detail the Virtual Production process from designing the spaces in the virtual art department to building live environments on the Stagecraft LED walls. ILM will walk you through all of the details for this epic filming technique all done right here in Vancouver, BC.

They will then walk through the work in post-production, focusing on the monsters and effects ILM created including the Minotaur, Medusa, Chiron and Cerberus; along with some of the complex FX simulations needed on the show.

Join the ILM team as they share the incredible journey of their Virtual Production and Visual Effects work done for Percy Jackson and the Olympians.

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


Percy Jackson and the Olympians ©2023 Disney and its related entities. All rights reserved.



Saturday - February 17, 1:00 PM
PRESENTATION
MONARCH: LEGACY OF MONSTERS -- PARALLELS & INTERIORS
Presented by Legendary Entertainment
with Arek Komorowski, Jon Mitchell & Sean Konrad · Moderated by Sue Rowe

Regular: $20 (incl. GST)
Tickets available at the door.

Join production supervisor Sean Konrad, Framestore VFX Supervisor Arek Komorowski and Distillery VFX supervisor Jonathan Mitchell on a deep dive into episode 4 of Monarch’s visual effects.

Have you ever wondered what goes into creating a digital frozen tundra, or how a vague idea in a script becomes a reality on screen? Or, maybe you want to know more about how an ice monster is conceived and executed.

All this and more will be covered in this talk at SPARK FX.

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


Monarch: Legacy of Monsters ©2023 Apple. All rights reserved.



Saturday - February 17, 2:45 PM
PRESENTATION
THE SCIENCE & FICTION OF REBEL MOON'S VFX
Presented by Framestore
with Robert Winter · Moderated by Alyssa Zárate

Regular: $20 (incl. GST)
Tickets available at the door.

Join Framestore VFX Supervisor Bob Winter for an exploration of Rebel Moon’s alien creatures and immersive worlds. Hear him unravel the challenges of bringing to life hero creatures like the huge, griffin-like Bennu and the Harmada, an unnerving human-spider hybrid.

Elsewhere, Bob will explore filling vast environments with intricate atmospheric detail and meticulously matching the distinct visual qualities of the unique anamorphic lenses used by director, Zack Snyder.

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


Rebel Moon – Part One: A Child of Fire ©2023 Netflix. All rights reserved.



Saturday - February 17, 4:30 PM
PRESENTATION
STAR TREK VFX: A FEDERATION OF CREATIVITY
Presented by CBS Television Studios
with Brian Tatosky · Moderated by Marina Antunes

Regular: $20 (incl. GST)
Tickets available at the door.

Join VFX Supervisor, Brian Tatosky, in discussing the work of a variety of creatives and creative companies who collaborate to make the VFX of Discovery, Strange New Worlds and Picard. From design to final rendering, how vendors partner with the productions to create a visual future fitting the tone of each show while building on the vast legacy of and remaining Star Trek.

Get insight into how multiple vendors and departments work together on fast-paced shows to create vast environments, fleets of starships, complex aliens and holes in space. So many space holes. How multiple overlapping productions get organized, share information, and successfully create high-quality effects all while remaining sane.

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


Star Trek ©2023 Paramount. All rights reserved.


BIOGRAPHIES

Alyssa Zárate
Art Director // Independent
(The Sea Beast, The Mitchells vs the Machines, Mulan, Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse)

AlyssaAlyssa Zárate is an Art Director based in Vancouver, BC. She is also a co-founder at The VFX Mentor. Up until recently, she served as Environment and Matte Painting Supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks. For over a decade, she has worked on films such as Spider-Man: Into the Spider-Verse, The Mitchells vs The Machines, Game of Thrones, The Wolverine, Jurassic World, Prometheus, The Chronicles of Narnia to name a few; and various shows produced by HBO, Starz, National Geographic, Amazon Prime, Disney, and Netflix.

She started working in the Art Department as an on-set production illustrator and designer for film and television productions around New Zealand and Australia. She is passionate about leadership, mentoring, and inspiring current and future generations of artists in Visual Effects and Animation, especially those from underrepresented communities.

Amy Sendon
Lead Animator // Industrial Light & Magic
(Ultraman: Rising, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Lost Ollie)

AmyAmy Sendon is a seasoned visual effects professional with over a decade of industry experience. Growing up in Adelaide, South Australia, Amy’s passion for art and technology has been evident since she was young. She began her visual effects education by studying computer graphics and Visual Effects at TAFE SA, followed by honing her animation skills at Animation Mentor in 2011.

Before joining Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) for the production of Thor: Ragnarok in 2017, she accumulated valuable experience by working on numerous VFX projects at MPC, Double Negative and Method Studios. Amy’s time at ILM, has provided her the opportunity to contribute to franchises that once inspired her as a child, including Star Wars, Jurassic World, Transformers and Space Jam.

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.

Aparna Mepani
Lead Creature Technical Director // Industrial Light & Magic
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Mandalorian, Aladdin)

AparnaAparna Mepani joined Industrial Light & Magic 6 years ago as a Creature Technical Director. For the past 2 years, she has been working as Lead Creature TD on a variety of projects.

As a Lead Creature Technical director, Aparna has been responsible for doing simulation/dynamic setups on shows, mentoring the team members in ILM’s proprietary tools and working towards achieving aesthetic goals in collaboration with the show leadership. The last few projects Aparna contributed to include: Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Space Jam: A New Legacy, The Mandalorian and Aladdin.

Aparna is originally from India where she did her undergrad in commercial arts. She then finished her post-grad diploma in 3D animation at Sheridan College in Toronto, Canada. Before joining ILM, she worked at Sony Imageworks, Method Studios and DreamWorks India.

Apoorva Shah
FX Supervisor // Industrial Light & Magic
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Willow, Jurassic World: Dominion, Space Jam: A New Legacy)

ApoorvaApoorva Shah, an FX Supervisor at Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) in Vancouver, Canada, boasts a remarkable career spanning over a decade. Rising swiftly from FX Technical Director to FX Supervisor in under five years at ILM, Apoorva has overseen projects like Willow and Percy Jackson and the Olympians, amassing over 20 credits in feature films and series. Leading a team of top FX technical directors, he pushes the boundaries of visual effects, excelling in both traditional and technical effects.

Apoorva's portfolio includes challenging technical effects in films such as Thor Ragnarök, Black Panther, Jungle Cruise, Space Jam: A New Legacy, Percy Jackson and the Olympians, Willow, Jurassic World: Dominion, Star Wars: Force Awakens, and Captain Marvel.

His passion for visual effects ignited after watching Jurassic Park as a child, leading him to pursue a postgraduate degree in Digital Visual Effects at Sheridan College after earning a physics bachelor's degree in India.

Arek Komorowski
VFX Supervisor // Framestore
(Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, Moonfall, Terminator: Dark Fate, Black Panther)

ArekOver the course of a 20-year career, VFX Supervisor Arek Komorowski has worked on a diverse range of projects for the world’s biggest studios.

From superhero spectaculars and period epics through to dystopian sci-fi and fantasy adventures, Arek has always brought his trademark craft, care and skill to the project in hand.

Recent supervisory credits include Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, Roland Emmerich’s planet-smashing Moonfall, the episodic adaptation of Stephen King classic The Stand and Terminator: Dark Fate. Prior to these, he worked across titles such as Spider-Man: Homecoming, Aquaman and Captain America: Civil War.

All of this experience is grounded in an enviable compositing reputation, built at companies such as MPC and Method, where he worked across challenging titles such as Avengers: Age of Ultron, Duncan Jones’ Source Code and Prince of Persia: The Sands of Time.

Brian Tatosky
VFX Supervisor // CBS Television Studios
(Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, Star Trek: Picard)

Brian

Brian Tatosky is a VFX Supervisor for CBS Studios, recently having worked on Star Trek: Discovery, Star Trek: Strange New Worlds, and Star Trek: Picard.

Brian brings over 3 decades of production, VFX and post-experience in everything from corporate training videos and commercials to feature films, spending almost 15 years at Rhythm and Hues Studios and more recently, 5 years at FuseFX working on multiple Emmy-winning and nominated VFX projects. More importantly, Brian has been a Star Trek fan since the 1970s as a child, watching the original series in syndication with his family, and everything else since.

He regrets not keeping every Lincoln Enterprises catalog he received and has *lots* of opinions on warp nacelles and Bussard collectors.

Javier Roca
VFX Supervisor // Rodeo FX
(John Wick: Chapter 4, The Stranger Things Experience, See (Season 2), The Mandalorian (Season 1))

JavierFollowing an international journey in visual effects from Spain to Australia and back again, Javier Roca joined Rodeo’s Montreal team as VFX Supervisor in 2021 where he tackled the challenging project of bringing the Stranger Things digital upside-down world to live audiences in Stranger Things: The Experience. He has worked with some of the biggest directors in the industry such as Steven Spielberg and Luc Besson and has contributed to many award-winning projects like X-Men Days of Our Future Past (2014), The Impossible (2012), The Martian (2015), and Jurassic World (2015).

Known for recreating the destructive tsunami in the 2012 VES-winning film The Impossible, he was also involved in Game of Thrones, Season 8, and The Mandalorian Season 1, both nominated for several Emmy Awards, and in John Wick: Chapter 4 for which he scored two VES nominations.

Jeff White
Creative Director, VFX Supervisor // Industrial Light & Magic
(Percy Jackson and the Olympians, The Old Man, No Time to Die, Kong: Skull Island)

JeffJeff White, an award-winning Visual Effects Supervisor and Creative Director at ILM Vancouver, oversees the studio's creative operations. Renowned for his technical prowess, especially in creature work, White earned an Academy Technical Achievement Award in 2018 for designing ILM's procedural rigging system, Block Party. The same year, he received an Oscar nomination for visual effects in Kong: Skull Island.

White previously served as ILM Visual Effects Supervisor for The Avengers in 2012, earning Academy and BAFTA nominations. His diverse portfolio includes supervising work on Transformers: Age of Extinction and Warcraft. In 2017, he garnered nominations for Kong: Skull Island and later supervised projects like Aquaman, Terminator: Dark Fate, The Underground Railroad, and The Witcher's Nivellen, which won a VES award for Outstanding Character.

Jo Davison
Sequence VFX Supervisor // Wētā FX

JoJoanna joined Wētā FX in 2009 to work on Avatar as a Lighting TD. Since then, Joanna has worked on some of Weta’s key projects including The Hobbit trilogy, where she became a Lighting Lead, managing the lighting design for several sequences. She was also a Lighting Artist for The Adventures of Tintin and Rise of the Planet of the Apes.

Joanna has recently wrapped on Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3 and before that, on Taika Waititi’s Thor: Love and Thunder.

As CG Supervisor on Guardians of the Galaxy, Vol. 3, Joanna was responsible for delivering 3D content for the film, collaborating with supervisors and colleagues across the VFX pipeline to ensure the work is delivered to the highest quality.

Before joining Wētā FX, Joanna worked at Framestore in the UK and Animal Logic in Australia.

Jon Mitchell
VFX Supervisor // Distillery VFX
(Masters of the Air, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, The Last of Us, Star Wars: The Book of Boba Fett)

JonOriginally from Halifax, Nova Scotia, Jon moved to the west coast of Canada in 2008, shifting from freelancing in commercials and music videos to feature film work. With over a decade of experience, he has contributed to 25+ movies and shows, including Star Wars, Jurassic World, and the Marvel Cinematic Universe.

Specializing in digital environments and rigid body FX simulations, Jon has worked at Frantic Films, Scanline VFX, and Industrial Light + Magic, where he was a Generalist Supervisor for ILM's environment team, earning a Visual Effects Society Award in 2016 for his work on Dr. Strange. Now as a VFX supervisor and founder of Distillery VFX, Jon has worked on shows like Star Wars: Book of Boba Fett, Masters of the Air, Monarch: Legacy of Monsters and The Last of Us, which earned him and the Distillery team an Emmy award for their work on the show.

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.

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.

Robert Winter
VFX Supervisor // Framestore
(Rebel Moon, Moonfall, Army of the Dead, Starship Troopers)

BobOver the past 20 years, Bob Winter has contributed to some of the world’s most prominent films and franchises at leading VFX studios such as Sony Pictures Imageworks, MPC, and currently Framestore. Throughout his career, Bob has served as a VFX Supervisor on VFX-heavy films and critically acclaimed franchises, including The Lady and the Tramp, Godzilla: King of the Monsters, Suicide Squad, and Jumanji: Welcome to the Jungle.

Bob enjoys helping bring a filmmaker’s bold creative vision to life. He serves as a vital liaison between the filmmaker and Framestore’s dedicated artists, technicians and production staff, providing feedback, direction and oversight to ensure the team’s world-class visual effects skills deliver the very best for any given project.

After supervising the visual effects for Zack Snyder’s groundbreaking Army of the Dead for Netflix, Bob began a new collaboration with Snyder on the epic saga Rebel Moon, overseeing the visual effects for Part One, Part Two, and the director’s cut version.

Sean Konrad
VFX Supervisor // Legendary Entertainment
(Monarch: Legacy of Monsters, Ms. Marvel, The Witches, For All Mankind)

SeanSean Konrad is a monster enthusiast and Visual Effects Supervisor. He currently lives in Vancouver, Canada where he is working on the greatly anticipated series Monarch: Legacy of Monsters for Legendary Entertainment and Apple TV+.

An industry veteran, Sean has worked on major features and episodics such as The Witches (VES nominated for Outstanding VFX in a Photoreal Feature), Ms. Marvel, For All Mankind season 1, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 1 & 2 , Deadpool 2, and has previously worked on Monsterverse films Godzilla (2014) and Godzilla: King of the Monsters.

Sean was named to Variety’s Artisan Elite Up Next in 2018 a report honouring up-and-coming behind-the-scenes crew and artists.

Sue Rowe
VFX Supervisor // Scanline VFX
(Meg 2: The Trench, Slumberland, The Adam Project, Eternals)

SueSue Rowe is a visual effects supervisor with over 25 years of experience in the film industry. As a child, Sue loved drawing, so it was no surprise that she went on to study for a BA in Animation at university. Following this, Sue went on to study for her MA in Computer Animation back in the day when it was all programming! This is where she experienced the creative buzz of Visual Effects, with her first job in the industry on Space Jam with Michael Jordan and Bugs Bunny! Sue’s latest project was as Scanline’s co-VFX Supervisor for Meg 2: The Trench, where she brought three huge Megalodons and a T-Rex to life!

© 2024 · Spark CG Society