Writer and director of How to Train Your Dragon joins line-up of animation and digital entertainment stars in Wellington this month.
The writer and director of How to Train Your Dragon I & II and other animation blockbusters, Dean DeBlois, is to speak as part of round two of the digital entertainment event AnimfxNZ 2014 at Wellington’s Paramount Theatre on 21 November.
Weta Digital will also offer a presentation around the many facets of modern visual effects, including an insider’s look at the 2014 film Dawn of the Planet of the Apes, to be held at The Roxy Cinema on 22 November.
Gerard Quinn, Chief Executive of Grow Wellington, says the calibre of events and talented speakers on offer will meet the expectations of Wellington’s thriving digital entertainment community. “This event helps to reinforce the capital’s place as a world leader in the gaming, animation and visual effects industry.”
AnimfxNZ 2014 is being held for a second time this year so will be shorter and fit into a tighter time frame, Mr Quinn says. The change from a February to November date reflects local industry demand. Next year will be the 10th anniversary of AnimfxNZ where a single major event is planned, Mr Quinn says.
“This month’s event will be a fabulous opportunity for diverse groups in the industry to connect, from professionals at the top of their game, to students at the beginning of their careers. It opens the door to collaboration and also encourages more investment in the Wellington sector.”
Award winning animator Fabian Erlinghauser, from Irish company Cartoon Saloon, will also speak at the one day conference. Mr Erlinghauser is the first assistant director for the upcoming traditionally animated feature film Song of the Sea.
Other key industry players to present include Michael Polis, president of Atomic Toybox Entertainment and former executive producer of education technology UMIGO project, and Mario Wynands of Wellington’s PikPok and Sidhe gaming companies.
Last year New Zealand game designers were incredibly successful with five New Zealand video game makers acclaimed in international ‘Best of 2013’ lists. These included game maker Grinding Gear Games, who was named GameSpot's PC Game of the Year Award and PikPok as runner-up for Apple's Best of 2013 Game of the Year.
AnimfxNZ 2014 is organised by Grow Wellington, the Wellington regional economic development agency, with the support of the GAV Trust, PikPok and Weta Digital.