SPARK Into The Future With SPARK [FWD]

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, Tuesday, JANUARY 14, 2014, VANCOUVER, BC CANADA — The Spark CG Society and the S3D Centre at Emily Carr University present SPARK[FWD], a merger of the SPARK FX and 3D[FWD] events. SPARK [FWD] brings together leading industry experts with professionals, students and film fans for a one of a kind, five-day event which includes: a job fair connecting employers with perspective employees; a conference portion in which industry, students and the public partake in presentations from leading experts in the industry; and a film festival which showcases some of the best from the past and present of visual effects, stereo 3D and advanced imaging.

For 2014, SPARK [FWD] is proud to showcase an exciting and diverse program. Running from Wednesday, February 5th until Sunday, February 9th, the event will showcase the most recent developments in the VFX and advanced imaging (3D, high frame rate, 4K) arenas. The event opens on Wednesday, February 5th with a presentation from author and long time “Batman” executive producer Michael Uslan, who will share his experience acquiring the rights for the caped crusader and the long road to production on the classic “Batman” through 20+ years into Christopher Nolan’s successful “The Dark Knight Trilogy.” As an expert in the field of comic books, Mr. Uslan created and taught the first accredited college course on comics, and as a lifelong fan of “Batman” Mr. Uslan will bring his passion and love of comics and film to Vancouver. A special 25th anniversary screening of Tim Burton’s 1989 critical and box office hit “Batman” will follow his presentation.

Leading the conference are presenters who have shaped and changed the VFX 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”); Mark Dippé, Director, VFX Supervisor (“The Abyss,” “Terminator 2: Judgment Day,” “Jurassic Park”).

World-class presenters at this year’s conference are: VFX Supervisor, Guy Williams (“Iron Man 3″, “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire”, “The Lord of the Rings” Trilogy), Supervisor, Stereoscopic Supervisor Robert Neuman (“Wreck-It Ralph,” “Tangled”), researcher and ACM SIGGRAPH Vice President Paul Debevec (“Avatar,” “Ender’s Game”), Stereographer/Stereo Supervisor Demetri Portelli (“47 Ronin”, “The Young and Prodigious T.S. Spivet”, “Hugo”), Director James Stewart (“Cave of Forgotten Dreams,” commercial and independent director), post stereographer Angus Cameron (“Gravity”, “World War Z”), ZOIC Head of Pipeline Michael Romey, VFZ Supervisor Michael Fink (“Life of Pi”, “TRON: Legacy”), & Tim Webber, VFX Supervisor (“Avatar”, “Gravity”, “Where the Wild Things Are”) .

This year’s festival will also include a 20th Anniversary screening of Steven Spielberg’s “Jurassic Park” in 3D on Saturday, February 8th. 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.” There is a unique short film program, “Depth Perception: Short Stories in 3D” to include award winning independent stereoscopic 3D shorts made for cinemas, amusement park rides and museums.

On Sunday, February 9th 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, and the first classic films to popularize 3D; “Creature From the Black Lagoon 3D” (1954) and “House of Wax 3D” (1953).

Running in conjunction to the conference and festival on February 7th and 8th, the job fair will include booths and representatives from leading firms including Industrial Light & Magic, Digital Domain, Framestore, Image Engine, Zoic Studios, 3pod Talent Agency, Gener8 Media Corp., Moving Picture Company, Nerd Corps Entertainment, Prime Focus World and Scanline VFX.

The Vancouver International Film Centre will be temporarily outfitted with the very best in 4K projection from Christie Digital, with a 3D system provided courtesy of XPAND 3D. Both systems together offer the brightest and best resolution of 2D and 3D content, and are HFR (High Frame Rate) ready.

A complete list of speakers and the schedule is available online, with presentations from yet to be released projects, industry leaders, and sessions featuring new creative and technical concepts. Passes and individual sessions are now available at

About Spark CG Society

Initially created as an arm to the Vancouver ACM SIGGRAPH chapter, the Spark Computer Graphics (Spark CG) Society has organized conferences, festivals and special events beginning with the inaugural SPARK FX and SPARK Animation festivals in 2008. In 2011, Spark CG was a key player in building momentum and ensuring the success of SIGGRAPH Vancouver. The success of the first SIGGRAPH Vancouver has resulted in the conference’s return to the city in 2014.

Since its inception, Spark has been an integral member of Vancouver’s animation and computer graphics community, bringing local professionals together with the opportunity to expand their knowledge, business, and craft. Over the years, Spark CG has invited animation, visual effects, and computer graphics leaders from around the world to Vancouver and provided a forum where information on the rapid changes in the conception, production, and distribution of media content is shared.

About the S3D Centre at Emily Carr University of Art + Design

Founded in 2010, the S3D Centre was created as a centre of advanced imaging and stereoscopic 3D research, and provider of community events, advising and training for the creative industries. To fulfill an industry wide need for services, facilities, and training, the S3D Centre has heavily invested in new tools, staff and has become an internationally recognized host of free meetups, affordable masterclasses and conferences. Past events have included speakers from Disney, Pixar, IMAX, Academy nominated filmmakers from France, Hollywood directors and scientists from the US.

Since 2011, the S3D Centre has been stewarding a community of over 600 members that have been actively engaged in the events and discussions in High Frame Rate (HFR), Stereoscopic 3D, UHD and immersive media. This highly successful unification of the creative micro-industries in British Columbia has extended its influence all the way across Canada to Toronto and Montreal. As a result of the community’s active engagement, the S3D Centre founded the Canadian 3D and Advanced Imaging Society in Vancouver, a Chapter closely knit to the International headquarters in Los Angeles. The Canadian chapter was founded in February 2013 with over 200 voting members now across Canada.