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news • 3 May 2023

Escape Studios attends FMX in Stuttgart, Germany

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Written by Saint Walker

Dean of Industry Engagement

From 25th - 28th April 2023, Escape Studios visited FMX to meet old friends and make new acquaintances from all over Europe and beyond. It’s one of our favourite places to chat to industry, find out the latest developments and ensure we’re up to date in what we offer aspiring students.

Since its beginning, FMX in Stuttgart Germany has developed into one of the world’s most important conferences dedicated to animation, effects, interactive and immersive media. It’s an annual opportunity for the VFX and Animation community to get together and hear about the latest software developments, behind the scenes artistry and celebrate amazing visuals and stories.

Now back to full power after last year’s mask-mandated and more tentative return, the festival is big enough to be a networker’s paradise but small enough to be personal. You can spend the three days hopping from presentation room to presentation room, or navigate the hall of recruiters, or attend the tech exhibition area. This year Escape Studios had a stand worked by Charlotte, Olly, and Sean from our Sales and Conversion teams.

FMX is one of the main gathering places (and it has to be said, watering holes) for aspiring students to meet the industry up close. Many a chance meeting in a coffee house or a bar can lead to a life-changing offer for graduates and an industry talk can inspire new avenues of VFX or animation exploration.

FMX is also a barometer of where the industry is heading, talks on Virtual Production, the impact of AI, and NeRFs (Neural Radiance Fields) abounded, but also included debates on new business practices and sustainability. For those fans of The Last of Us, Sandman, Ant Man and the Wasp, or Avatar there were presentations that dissected the BTS technology and artistry. Ed Hooks’ “Acting for Animators” is an annual favourite (check out his book if you don’t know it). This year Framestore were a massive presence with presentations from the ‘Framestore Suite’ every day. They even namechecked Escape Studios in their PowerPoint!

Our mission in Stuttgart was to meet old industry friends and make contact with new pioneers - and bring that knowledge back to London for the benefit of our students. Conversations at FMX can lead to guest lectures and internship opportunities back home.

After three days the conference is ending and everyone is packing up for another year, so I asked the team what their stand-out moments of FMX2023 were, and here’s what they said…

Charlotte “After hearing so many good things about FMX, it was great to experience it in real life! I enjoyed the wide-ranging talks, particularly those looking forward for sustainable futures in the industry“.

Sean who was also a newcomer to the conference "It was my first ever FMX and I had an incredible time with the Escape Studios team. The talks, including breakdowns of the 'Wolf' from Puss in Boots: The Last Wish and the 'Tess infected scene' from The Last of Us, were fantastic. Meeting industry partners was also a standout."

Olly, always sociable, enjoyed “speaking to new studios sprouting all across London wanting to learn real time processes! That and ...NeRFs are the future!” (NeRFs or Neural Radiance Fields will be something you’ll hear a lot about at Escape soon!) For Anita too, FMX was about networking with old friends “I enjoyed catching up with long time industry partners in person and meeting new recruiters from international companies across VFX and animation. The talks on AI and the Weta presentation on Avatar - The Way of Water were a highlight. As was the shot challenge hosted by Rise FX. Oh, and the potato salad was sublime. When in Stuttgart...”