VFX Summit 2015 – Sunday – 22-11-15


VFX Summit – Sunday 22-11-15 – Review by Conor MacNamara

Housed in Google’s very own venue, The Foundry seems a suitable backdrop for the third annual Irish Visual Effects and Animation Summit; an industry zenith full of ‘innovation’, ‘cutting edginess’ and other familiar buzzwords.

In partnership with the Animation Skillnet, Screen Training Ireland, and the U.S. embassy, the summit threw open its arms to over 400 experts to vaunt the accumulative skill of the visual effects and animation industry; how appropriate it is to have Disney/Pixar’s upcoming The Good Dinosaur as the headline attraction proves debatable.

Regardless of its centrepiece, the summit’s number of speakers, workshops, and sheer volume of expertise more than merits an attendance; Pixar’s president Jim Morris in particular peeks out from the 400 attendees alongside Neil Weatherley and Mark Ardlington.

The event attempts to sell itself in a student centric light, appealing to a nascent generation of wide eyed creators with a blend of the industries old and new; Danger Mouse jostles with The Martian and Ex Machina between YouTube and Red Bull exhibits.

Outside its corporate jargon of ‘creating a stronger dialogue between existing and aspiring VFX and animation professionals’, the summits wild card attraction is its demonstration of VR storytelling, and the eternally teased prospect that virtual reality entertainment is right around the corner.

Ultimately the caveat of the whole glamorous affair is the first Irish Screening of Pixar’s The Good Dinosaur, which despite the wallpapering of acclaimed experts and industry professionals struggles to click with audiences, the distinct waft of Blue Sky Studios’ Ice Age wafting in the breeze.

There is something to be noted that in a showcase of the industry’s best and brightest, the centre stage remains firmly in the hands of the two largest studio’s, despite being long on the creative back foot and barely exerting itself beyond formula and prehistoric feel-good vibes.

In short, the summit rings true to its marketing labels; creativity, innovation; yet all play second fiddle to the commercially guaranteed yet creatively stagnant elephant in the room, though how long that remains the case is left to the creators themselves.


Kevin Baillie, Atomic Fiction: The Walk

Paul O’Flanagan, Boulder Media: Danger Mouse

Aidan Gibbons Mill + Help! +Virtual Reality

Jim Morris, Pixar: The Good Dinosaur

Anil Kokaram, Googel: Youtube + Content

Jon Starck, The Foundry: Live Action Virtual Reality

Panel Discussion: Film, VOD, VR + The Future of Storytelling

Categories: Festivals, Header, Movies

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