Looking back on FMX 2011

It’s now been more than 3 weeks since I came back from FMX 2011. Even if I’m very late with this, I really wanted to blog something about the event, because feel like I have to share why it was such a cool experience 🙂

To be honest, I didn’t expect it to be as interesting as it turned out to be! I already heard about FMX in Hagenberg and it sounded like you could only get something out of it if you’re looking for a job. Which isn’t the case at all! This time I decided to check it out, mostly because I wanted to meet some of my new classmates from AnimationMentor!

Let’s say there was a lot of German beer involved! Not only was it great to meet Kalle, Lars, Marc, Søren and also a few of the students in later classes and alumni, it turned out there were many interesting talks and workshops! Some even very inspirational… I’ll get to them in a moment. Occasionally, I ran into some friends I studied with in Hagenberg, who are now doing the Master program Digital Arts. I also got to meet Bobby Beck, President of Animation Mentor, who was at the school’s official FMX party!

Now I won’t lie; There were good talks and bad talks. Most of them were very technical in nature. But there was something in it for everyone. Here are some of my highlights:

  1. Ed Hooks‘ “Acting for Animators“. This workshop took place in the smallest room possible, held by the nicest guy ever. He personally greeted everyone who came to see him with a handshake. Ed also found it very amusing to say to goodbye to everyone who left to get some lunch 😀 As for the workshop itself, it contained so many interesting things and I found myself writing down nearly everything Ed said. I was reassured that animation, the one thing I decided to focus my life on, had an important place in the world. The filmmaker within me was inspired. Thanks Ed!
  2. Animating “Tangled“. Unfortunately, I am not allowed to show any photos from this talk. Clay Kaytis showed many fantastic drawings and 3D models from everyone’s favorite animated feature film from last year. For me, this was definitely the best talk of that week.
  3. Rango“. Don’t let me even get started on the movie: I love it and I love it even more because of this talk and panel. During the panel, Ed Hooks commented “I feel like I just had sex!” Rango really stands out among most current animated features, as it doesn’t follow many of the unwritten rules that apply to the others. It was really interesting to see how ILM made their first non-live-action film!
  4. Bobby Beck‘s talk. Surprisingly, Bobby didn’t talk about AnimationMentor but rather about authenticity in character animation!
  5. History of computer graphics. A little history lesson on the big achievements in the field. It was impressive to see, for example, the T-Rex from Jurassic Park on the big screen. Made me feel very small in comparison 😀 Respect the pioneers!
  6. Studio AKA. The studio showed an awesome short film and talked about their projects. I really like their style!
  7. Kaeloo from Cube (France). Another cool studio presented their 3D cartoon series that is currently running on Canal+!

Some other interesting ones were Paths to Pixar at the Pixar recruiting panel, Look Development for Legend of the Guardians and the screening of ILM: Creating the Impossible. There were a few weak talks like the one about Megamind, but I didn’t enjoy that movie much anyway, so it wasn’t such a huge disappointment.

Thanks to Marc for providing his photos, to Lars and Kalle for recommending some of the events I would’ve otherwise missed and to all the people I was able to meet! See you next year!

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