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SPARK [FWD] 2014: The Merger of Two CG Conferences

14 Jan 2014

Between February 5 and February 9, 2014, the Vancouver International Film Centre will be home to SPARK [FWD] 2014 -- a conference and festival devoted to the appreciation of advanced imaging and visual effects. An ACM SIGGRAPH-sponsored event, SPARK [FWD] is the result of the merger of two separate conferences, SPARK FX and 3D[FWD]. 

SPARK [FWD] 2014 promises five days of activities, including a film festival, job fair and an industry conference. The conference will take place between Thursday, February 6 and Saturday, February 8.

On Friday, February 7, and Saturday, February 8, the SPARK [FWD] Vancouver computer graphics job fair will be open at the same location as the festival and conference. The event is free to attend; job seekers may register in advance for a 90-minute window to meet with representatives from companies such as Industrial Light & Magic, Zoic Studios, Framestore, Image Engine and Sony Pictures Imageworks.

From the SPARK [FWD] 2014 team:

"Using momentum from five years of events, SPARK [FWD] brings together leading industry experts with professionals, students and film fans for a one of a kind, five-day event. For 2014, SPARK [FWD] is proud to showcase an exciting and diverse program. The event will showcase the most recent developments in the VFX and advanced imaging (3D, high frame rate, 4K) arenas.

"Leading the conference are presenters who have shaped and changed the industry with their work: notably, John Knoll, Chief Creative Officer of Industrial Light and Magic, Steve 'Spaz' Williams, Director, VFX Supervisor & ILM's Chief Animator and Modeler on "The Abyss," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "Jurassic Park" and "The Mask", Director, VFX Supervisor, Stefen Fangmeier ("Eragon," "Saving Private Ryan," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "Jurassic Park") and Mark Dippé, Director, VFX Supervisor ("The Abyss," "Terminator 2: Judgment Day," "Jurassic Park").

"Also presenting at this year's conference are: VFX Supervisor, Guy Williams ("The Lord of the Rings" trilogy, "Avatar"), Supervisor, researcher and ACM SIGGRAPH Vice President Paul Debevec ("Avatar," "Ender's Game"), Stereoscopic Supervisor Robert Neuman ("Wreck-It Ralph," "Tangled"), Director James Stewart ("Cave of Forgotten Dreams," commercial director for Samsung, Lexus) and ZOIC Head of Pipeline Michael Romey.

"This year’s festival will include a 20th Anniversary screening of Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” in 3D on Saturday, February 8. Mr. Spielberg’s film did not only awe audiences, it pushed the technical envelope, winning a number of prestigious awards including the Oscar for Special Effects. The film has recently been re-released with polished visual effects and a 3D conversion prior to the slated 2015 release of the new “Jurassic World.”

"On Sunday, February 9, SPARK [FWD] will present a 75th Anniversary screening of Victor Fleming’s long standing classic “The Wizard of Oz 3D”. The newly re-mastered film was carefully pieced together from seven original sources, providing the best resolution of any previous release and has been heralded by many and one of the 3D highlights of 2013. The conference and festival will close with a very special 60th Anniversary monster triple bill including Walt Disney’s Oscar winning “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea” starring Kirk Douglas and the late James Mason, “Creature From the Black Lagoon 3D", and “House of Wax 3D.”

For the duration of the event, the Vancouver International Film Centre will be temporarily outfitted with 4K projection from Christie Digital, with a 3D system provided courtesy of XPAND 3D.

For more information, or to buy tickets online, visit sparkfx.ca.