The 2016 BFX Festival came to an end following over a week of workshops, film screenings, industry insights and behind-the-scenes highlights from some of the best movies and games of 2016.
The festival, in its fourth year, celebrates the best in animation, visual effects and computer games and is one of the largest events of its kind in the UK. Professionals from around the world descend on the festival to give workshops and give a ‘behind the scenes’ glimpse of their work on top movies and games.
Following the ‘BFX Pro’ professionals day, the BFX Core activity featured talks on films such as Jungle Book, Finding Dory and Zootopia. Production houses such as Pixar, Disney, Double Negative and Framestore talked about their work and engaged with students and graduates during the BFX recruitment day.
Students from Bournemouth University and Arts University Bournemouth made up a large proportion of the audience, with professionals and members of the general public also engaging with the talks, finding out about how their favourite movies and games were made.
Oscar-winning Bournemouth University graduate Mark Ardington also returned to the south coast to share his work on the film Ex Machina, which won the Academy Award for Visual Effects at the 2016 Hollywood ceremony. There were also talks on Star Wars: The Force Awakens, Forza Horizon 3, and an illuminating presentation on the use of pyrotechnics in films.
Mark Ardington, who works at Double Negative, said, “It’s really nice to be back in Bournemouth, it’s really good to come along to a festival like this and to be able to talk and inspire other people who are perhaps on the same journey. I hope that people enjoy it and it shows them a little bit of the behind the scenes about the process of making movies.”
Sofronis Efstathiou, BFX Festival Director, said, “Every year this Festival keeps getting bigger and bigger. This year, for the first time, we actually had an Oscar on stage during one of the presentations. This really is being seen as one of the biggest weeks in the UK visual effects calendar now, where pros and students can come together, learn about the latest techniques and technologies, and learn from one another to ensure that the British film and gaming industry continues to go from strength to strength, an industry that our students can go on to forge long careers in.”
The festival is the flagship project of the International VFX Hub: a collaboration between the award-winning National Centre for Computer Animation at Bournemouth University and the Faculty of Media and Performance at the Arts University Bournemouth.
The festival has found its home in Bournemouth, where the two universities produce a large number of graduates who go on to work in the film and game industries, both in the UK and internationally. As well as Mark Ardington’s Oscar win, Bournemouth University can also boast another Oscar-winning graduate in Andy Lockley, who has won Oscars for his work on Interstellar and Inception.
The festival culminated with a family weekend, during which members of the public descended on the host venue, the Bournemouth International Centre, to try their hand at making their own animations and visual effects. Families and local residents put their skills to the test with green screen technology and hands-on workshops, all designed to enthuse the next generation of children about careers in visual effects.
Peter Truckel, Director of the VFX Hub, said, “It has been so great to see so many people attend the festival this year and engage with speakers and workshops. We’ve had some of 2016’s biggest games and films on show and it is a testament to the reputation of the festival that we are getting this calibre of speaker. We are already looking forward to the festival next year, watch this space as we continue to grow and grow.”
The BFX Festival continues to grow and this year over 2000 people attended the festival at some stage. The BFX Festival 2017 is already in planning: for more information, visit www.bfxfestival.com.