Featured Speakers

Keynote Speaker

Designing a Movie for Sound:
How to Make Sound a Full Collaborator in the Storytelling Process

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Randy Thom
Pioneer in sound and two-time Academy Award® winner
Monday, 3 August | 10:30 am - 12:15 pm | La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom

Randy Thom has worked in a wide variety of creative capacities in more than 75 films including some of Hollywood's biggest blockbusters such as "Bolt", "Forrest Gump", "Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets", "Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire," "Ratatouille", "War of the Worlds", and "Wild at Heart". Thom began working for Lucasfilm in 1979 as a sound designer and re-recording mixer and is currently the Director of Sound Design at Skywalker Sound. He received two Academy Awards® for Best Sound in "The Right Stuff" and Best Achievement in Sound Editing for "The Incredibles". In all, Thom has shared 14 Academy Award® nominations, and has worked with some of today's leading directors and producers.


Keynote Speaker

Playing With Perception
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Will Wright
Video game designer, creator of Spore™ and The Sims series
Tuesday, 4 August | 10:30 am - 12:15 pm | La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom

Will Wright rose to prominence when he invented SimCity, the widely acclaimed, non-violent, open-ended simulation video game. Since its release 20 years ago, he has expanded his simulation realm with the introduction of The Sims series and several other follow-ups, includin SimEarth: The Living Planet, and SimAnt: The Electronic Ant Colony. In all, the franchise has sold more than 58 million games and was the best selling PC game for five consecutive years. In 2008, Wright unveiled his latest achievement: Spore™, an internet-based game that allows users to create a species of creatures and share their evolutions with other players interactively worldwide. The game was named by Time Magazine as one of the "50 Best Inventions of 2008".


Keynote Speaker

A Visual Response to the News
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Steve Duenes
Graphics Director, New York Times
Wednesday, 5 August | 10:30 am - 12:15 pm | La Nouvelle Orleans Ballroom

Steve Duenes manages a staff of 30 journalists who work as a team to shape and deliver visual information by researching, writing, designing, and programming information graphics for both the printed newspaper and www.nytimes.com. His team has received awards from numerous organizations including the Society of Publication Designers, American Institute of Graphic Arts, Society for News Design, and the Society of Professional Journalists. He is also a member of the faculty at the School of Visual Arts in New York and contributing cartoonist for The New Yorker.

Related work in the Information Aesthetics Showcase

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Special Guest Speakers

"The Spine" and Psychologically Driven Animation
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Chris Landreth
Academy Award-winning director of "Ryan"
Thursday, 6 August | 10:30 am - 12:15 pm | Auditorium B

Chris Landreth shows his latest short film, "The Spine", and talks about his approach to modeling and animating the complexities of the film's characters. He explores the "Uncanny Valley" (the "creepy" effect of making CGI characters that are too realistic) and how "The Spine" attempts to avoid this problem. He also shows how his animators used a Method-acting approach to mick subtle gestures, ticks, and micro-expressions in their characters' faces and bodies, and explains how his crew balanced realism and stylization to create characters who are Uncanny in a positive way.


3D to the Home: What Can Possibly Go Wrong?
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Peter Ludé
Senior Vice President, Engineering, Sony Electronics
Executive Vice President, SMPTE
Board of Directors ITVS
Thursday, 6 August | 8:30 - 9:15 am, Rooms 260-262

There are over two million 3D-ready televisions already in US households, but the industry remains divided about delivering stereoscopic content to the home. How much programming will be available, how will it be delivered, and by when? Will consumers need to wear those funny glasses? Will the world adopt 3D standards, or will competing formats emerge? Will the images on the small screen look as good as in the cinema? Peter Ludé will review these thorny topics and address the technical, business, and creative decisions that will be required over the next few years in the transition to 3DTV.


Visual Storytelling in Three Dimensions
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Bob Whitehill
Stereoscopic Supervisor, Pixar Animation Studios
Thursday, 6 August | 9:15 - 10 am, Rooms 260-262

In combination with other visual techniques such as color and composition, stereography (if used wisely) can enhance mood, evoke emotion, and draw an audience further into a film's story. Using examples from "UP", "Toy Story", and "Toy Story 2", Bob Whitehill discusses the use of 3D as a visual storytelling device in Pixar's films.