EXCLUSIVE: VIEW Conference, Italy’s leading conference for the digital arts, has announced a new round of guests for its 20th edition, which will take place in October. The speakers include visual effects master Rob Legato, as well as Conrad Vernon and Sergio Pablos, directors of two hotly anticipated animated features, The Addams Family and Klaus, respectively.

In his decades-long career, Legato has pushed vfx to new levels of sophistication, on feature productions such as Titanic, Apollo 13, and Hugo, as well as television series, like Star Trek: The Next Generation. He has won three Academy Awards, most recently for his work on Jon Favreau’s The Jungle Book, and is also vfx supervisor on Favreau’s The Lion King, which pushes virtual production techniques as far as any feature film production has to date.

Vernon’s upcoming feature for MGM — The Addams Family, co-directed with Greg Tiernan — promises to add to a successful string of comedic animated features that he’s co-directed including Sausage Party, Madagascar 3: Europe’s Most Wanted, and Shrek 2. Pablos, a revered animator who developed the Despicable Me franchise, is directing Klaus, Netflix’s first original animated feature. The film tells the origin story of Santa Claus in a tech-forward hand-drawn style.

Other newly confirmed speakers include Maureen Fan, CEO of Baobab Studios (which recently launched the well-received vr experience Bonfire at Tribeca); Oscar-winning Pixar director Ralph Eggleston (For the Birds), who has also been art director and production designer on many Pixar efforts including The Incredibles franchise; Janelle Croshaw Ralla, the vfx supervisor behind the de-aging of actor Samuel L. Jackson in Captain Marvel; Siobhan Reddy, co-founder and director of the U.K.’s Media Molecule, which produces the LittleBigPlanet franchise; and Cinzia Angelini, head of story at Cinesite Studios and director of the forthcoming independent short Mila.

Notably, half of the second round of guests are female. Women have long been underrepresented in animation, vfx, and cg production, and VIEW Conference is making efforts to change that. “Women in this industry are often in less visible, supporting roles,” the conference’s director Maria Elena Gutierrez told Cartoon Brew in 2017. “But I am seeing more women rising to supervisory levels, to positions that invite more public recognition.”

Previously announced guests for this year’s VIEW include:

  • Dean DeBlois, writer and director of the How to Train Your Dragon franchise
  • CH Kim, CEO of PUBG Corporation
  • Michael Fukushima, studio head and executive producer at the National Film Board of Canada’s Animation Studio
  • Danny Dimian, visual effects supervisor at Sony Pictures Imageworks
  • William Reeves, global technology supervisor at Pixar Animation Studios
  • Paul Debevec, senior staff engineer at Google VR and adjunct research professor at USC Computer Science & USC ICT graphics lab
  • Jan-Bart van Beek, studio art director at Guerrilla Games
  • Hal Hickel, animation supervisor at ILM
  • Milan Jovovic, co-founder, partner, and chief creative officer at Nordeus
  • Jack M. Gilson, studio art director for Rovio’s Stockholm Sweden branch

VIEW Conference takes place October 21-25 in Turin, Italy. For more information, including registration details, visit the the official site.

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