• The SIGGRAPH 2006 Computer Animation Festival is currently touring its two hour Electronic Theater around the world. The reel and presentation has already gone to Paris, LA, SF and Malaysia, with the East Coast of the USA up next; the FMX'07 in Stuttgart, and then onto Tokyo.The Computer Animation Festival Chair, Terrence Masson and the Assistant Producer Dana Boadway began touring very soon after the conference in August last year, and have screenings booked out until next March 2007. “The unfortunate necessity of keeping my day job,” says Masson, “has meant that we've been unable to personally attend all of the screenings."
    "Ah, but if only I could devote my life full time to the volunteer pursuits of SIGGRAPH I would be a happy man.” Local SIGGRAPH Chapters have always had the opportunity to screen the Electronic Theater after the annual conferences, but this year Masson’s crew has reached out with offers of screenings at studios and other non-SIGGRAPH conferences. “I don't think that's really been done before but I certainly hope it is a tradition that continues in the future,” adds Masson. “So much work goes into putting the Computer Animation Festival together it is tremendously satisfying to be able to expose people all over the world to this amazing content!”
    While there are rights restrictions to showing the full two-hour presentation in anything but official SIGGRAPH sponsored events, they had some exceptional invites from Mk Haley of Disney Studios in Burbank. They showed the ET on September 8th with not just one but three screenings as part of their "New Technology Forum". “We were able to project the full 1080p HDCAM-SR master tape," Masson explains. "Bob Lambert, the Senior Vice President of worldwide technical strategy and Development at Disney; and Greg Brandeau, the Senior Vice President of Technology at Pixar Animation Studios and Feature Animation, also talked about SIGGRAPH highlights."
    Next was September 12th at the Pacific Hollywood Theater (on a 50-foot screen no less!) for the LA SIGGRAPH chapter by invitation of Joan Collins Carey, who also arranged for Terrence Masson’s presentation to be translated and transmitted into Spanish to the audience, live. Paul Debevec came along and gave a "Call for Participation" notice to the crowd for 2007 CAF. The SIGGRAPH Conference Chair John Finnegan accompanied the show to the Taiwan International Film Festival while Masson and Boadway went to San Francisco to give private screenings at ILM (thanks to Kate Shaw and Miles Perkins) and Pixar (thanks to Randy Nelson) later in October.

    In November they screened at the Graphite 2006 conference in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Being the most exotic location so far, the reception was immense. “It was a huge hit in Malaysia for sure,” explains Masson. “The entire Asian Pacific rim is just exploding right now with government animation funding, international sub-contracting and original content.
    Their enthusiasm and creativity is very impressive.”

    “The strong international content of this year's show makes for a very universal appeal,” adds Masson. “There were submissions from over 40 countries in 2006, selecting works from 16 different countries in the end.

    "There was amazingly varied work from Canada, Europe and Asia, South America and Iran. Even at the screenings in LA where people have ‘been there and done that’ more than any other place in the world, it was extremely humbling to have so many experienced veterans love the show.”

    “The sketches that the award winners (458nm and One Rat Short) did at the Boston Conference were very well received but they have not been able to join us on the tour,” explains Masson. “It is hoped that more local film-makers will come out to the future screenings when the ET travels to their areas.”
    The crew hope to go back to show the ET in the south of France the last week of March after a successful Paris SIGGRAPH Chapter showing late last year. “In the first week in May 2007, we have been invited to screen at fmx/07, the '12th International Conference on Animation, Effects, Realtime and Content' (http://www.fmx.de) <http://www.fmx.de/>,” Masson notes. “These dates will be exciting because some of the very best work this year came from students at Gobelins L'Ecole de L'Image (Paris) and the Filmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg (Stuttgart), so there will be some local film-makers there for sure.”

    The very next appointment is in New York City, having a very special 4K Sony Digital Cinema screening on February 13th. Check the NYC SIGGRAPH Chapter web site for details. ( http://nyc.siggraph.org )

    Related links:
    SIGGRAPH 2007 San Diego
    More CGS Articles

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