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Date: Tuesday, November 19th
Time: 11:00am 12:45pm
Venue: Mezzanine Meeting Room M3

Speaker: Mark Flanagan, Epic Games, United States of America
Alwyn Hunt, The Rookies, United States of America
Chris Ebeling, UTS Animal Logic, Australia
Anna Hodge, RSP Education, Australia
Lara Hopkins, Industrial Light & Magic, Australia

Abstract: We are in a golden age of screen media production, with Film, Games and increasingly Streaming TV pushing the boundaries of quality and scale every year. This is reflected in the rapid growth in the number of courses aiming to supply talent for productions. There is, however, a widening gap between many educational offerings and industry needs. The disparity between taught skills and basic industry requirements is both a personal loss to graduates and a threat to continued sector growth. In order to meet the opportunities and challenges in VFX, Animation and Creative Industries Education, most especially the talent pipeline, we need to get Academia and Industry working in unison.

Speaker(s) Bio:
Industry trainer, educator, artist, architect and organiser. 20 Years’ experience with Industrial Light and Magic, Dneg, Pixar’s RenderMan Group, Pluralsight, RMIT, Transmission Games, Freestyle Games, Codemasters. Epic Games: Founded in 1991, Epic create some of the world's most popular video games and also the Unreal Engine, which enables game developers and artists everywhere to have access to cutting edge development tools for their interactive works.

An industry veteran of the VFX Industry specialising in texturing and Look-dev for major blockbuster movies. Specialties: PR, Communications, Business & Partnership Development, Digital Strategy, Marketing, Technology. Rookies: Leading the interface between Industry and Candidates. Constantly innovating with a range of competitions, events and developing open-source skills standards

Driven by crafting unique visual experiences for Film, TV, Games and emerging technologies, Chris Ebeling is a world-class Animator, Creative Director, Writer and Digital Artist having worked on Hollywood blockbusters such as The Lego Movie’s, The Great Gatsby, Gods of Egypt and Happy feet 2. Supplementing his extensive film and VFX background, Chris has successfully creative directed projects in the real-time space, with experience across games as well as virtual and augmented reality projects. Chris’s experience in feature film animation joined with his leadership in education and mentoring made him an ideal candidate for this crucial role in laying the foundations for the Animal Logic Academy at the University of Technology, Sydney, where he currently acts as the Creative Lead.

A strong leader with experience in developing, managing and growing educational initiatives in the Digital Creative Industries to reflect the ever changing and diversifying industry, education and training market. • Adapting teaching methodology to changing funding models so that quality delivery and employment outcomes continue to grow. • Developing new teaching initiatives for use in the international market place. • School engagement and development of foundation courses to build solid creative digital skills for higher level qualifications and university articulation arrangements • Growing programs and fostering new and collaborative relationships between the creative industries, other departments and industry. • Developing online courses and alternative delivery methods to ensure both flexibility and accessibility to customers and stakeholders. • Streamlining process and working to a budget. Rising Sun Pictures (RSP) is well known for its ability to develop highly skilled visual effects artists through its unique Education program. The Education arm of RSP was created in 2012, to bridge the gap between aspiring artist and experienced workforce ready artists.

Lara has worked in advertising and VFX film production for over 20 years in Australia, Hong Kong, London and New York. After 10 years producing animation and VFX projects across advertising and film, in 2004 she moved into artist management and recruitment with a particular focus on building artist and production teams from the ground up as well as high level head hunting for executive, senior and artist roles. ILM: Leading Global VFX company with a rich history. A multitude of early career innovations including internships, apprenticeships, the Jedi Academy and graduate placements.