The VFX Festival 2015: see what the London event has in store for January

The VFX Festival from Escape Studios is becoming something of a fixture in the London creative calendar, so it's time to make a note to prepare for its third outing at the end of January 2015.

The festival, hosted in partnership with Pearson College, aims to feature the work of the UK’s leading talent in the creative industries, ranging from studios that have worked on Hollywood blockbusters and leading edge television shows, along with the biggest games studios in the UK.

The Festival will kick-off on the 27th January 2015, finishing on 29th January and takes place at Vue West End, just off London’s Leicester Square.

This year's festival will be a celebration of the successes of the UK's creative industries and a showcase of the opportunities that are emerging for young people to progress their careers. The Festival organisers claimed the events will enable those passionate about VFX to get an insight into how the industry operates and insider knowledge and tips about how to enter into it.

The line-up features leading studios such as Framestore, Double Negative, ILM, MPC and The Mill. The audience will also hear from industry leaders including Cinesite's head of production Courteney Vanderslice, Paul Franklin, Visual Effects Supervisor at Double Negative, Aaron Allport, Art Director at If You Can, Milk VFX CEO/Executive Producer Will Cohen and Glassworks CEO Hector Macleod.

Alongside the studio showcases the Festival will include exhibition stalls, careers advice and talks from Escape Studios alumni. The proceedings will close with a debate on the future of the creative industries chaired by Helen O’Hara, longstanding contributor to Empire magazine.

Dom Davenport, founder of Escape Studios and Head of the School for the Creative Industries at Pearson College, said the creative industries in the UK are fast becoming the powerhouses of our economic growth and the VFX Festival will be a celebration of how far they've come.

"The Festival also represents a huge moment for us as we seek to inspire the next generation of talent and ensure that we can help build on the success that the creative industries have enjoyed in this country,” added Davenport.

The Festival is structured to appeal to different demographics over the three days:

Day one is for VFX newcomers drawn from both colleges and schools, and is an opportunity for students to come along and learn more about the creative industries and the exciting career options that are existing within it. Teachers and careers advisers can make block bookings for groups of students.

Day two is for those who have a passion for VFX and are looking to kick-start their careers in the industry. The day features showcases of animation, VFX and gaming projects from world-renowned professionals alongside a panel discussion on careers in VFX and a talk from Escape Studios alumni.

The third day is aimed at VFX professionals and is a celebration of the successes of the industry in recent years. The day features exclusive showcases from leading VFX studios, a panel debate between VFX studios about how to enter the industry and concludes with a debate on where the creative industries are heading, chaired by Ian Livingstone CBE, Games Workshop co-founder and Creative Industries Champion for BIS.

Livingstone said he was delighted to have been invited to participate in the closing debate event. “The Festival is a real opportunity to inspire and excite the next generation of industry leaders, and to learn more about the innovative developments that are happening all the time across the sector,” he added. “The panel discussion will focus on the future of the creative industries in the UK, and I will be joined by other distinguished panelists including Sir William Sargent, Courtney Vanderslice and Paul Franklin.”

“It is a real privilege to be part of this year’s VFX Festival,” added Framestore CEO and founder Sir William Sargent. “The Festival gets bigger and better every year and I am really looking forward to learning about the fascinating new developments in the worlds of VFX, animation and computer games design.”


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