What do an Oscar winning writer, a digital publishing extraordinaire, a Chinese Zombie expert, and a personal friend of Lara Croft's have in common? They have all been confirmed as speakers at this year’s AnimfxNZ.
AnimfxNZ, New Zealand’s animation and gaming conference, is scheduled for 13th, 14, 15th February. Now in its eighth year, the conference attracts a diverse range of digital entertainment expertise from around the world. Creative, technical and entrepreneurial talent gather in Wellington for three days of learning, sharing and networking.
David Seidler an Academy Award and BAFTA award-winning writer is the latest name to join a speaker line-up packed full of some of the biggest and brightest names in the digital entertainment industry. David who has over twenty screenwriting credits to his name is best known for The King’s Speech where he won an Oscar for Best Original Screenplay. David is no stranger to these shores. He lived in New Zealand from 1970 to 1978 and regularly returns to Godzone to educate the trout and torment his son.
Digital publisher and kiwi, Jen Porter is another enthusiastic returnee to New Zealand. In 2007 Jen moved to London to develop digital publishing company BeyondtheStory. The Anne Frank book-app was one of last year’s digital publishing successes. Jen will share her experience and expertise in how traditional book publishing, film and television, and gaming disciplines can merge to enhance audience experiences.
This year is an especially exciting year for game makers. Among the invited gaming gurus are Alex St John, co-creator of DirectX at Microsoft and considered by many as ‘the father of gaming on Windows’. James Gwerztman, responsible for mobile game relaunch of Plants vs.Zombies in China (which makes James Animfx’s resident Chinese zombie expert). Serafina Pechan, owner of World Fusion, who as an official fun aficionado is totally passionate about keeping the focus firmly on fun during game development. Brian Robbins, well known for his marketing and technological expertise, will provide insight on how work for hire studios can also create their own content. Joseph Olin, who by launching the blockbuster Tomb Raider franchise, introduced gaming’s most famous heroine Lara Croft to the world, will talk Columbia, guns, games, and public-private sector partnerships.
Rounding up this stellar speaker lineup is Jean-Francois Prevost who as Developer Account Manager of Microsoft, is the Xbox guru. Jean-Francois will outline the self-publishing opportunities available now on the recently announced ID@Xbox programme.
Weta Digital have confirmed the first of their speakers, visual effects supervisors, Matt Aitken and Jeff Capogreco. Matt and Jeff will present a selection of sequences and shot breakdowns from The Hobbit: The Desolation of Smaug, highlighting some of the technological challenges and achievements of this film.