Report on VES/Marvel Event

Last night the VES/Marvel event was held at the Bell Lightbox in downtown Toronto.  It was moderated by Mr. X Inc. founder Dennis Berardi and featured Marvel Studios VFX Supervisor Chris Townsend and VFX Producer Damien Carr.

Personally, I thought it was a fascinating look into the process of creating the FX for the massive Marvel films.  The highlight for me was when Townsend looked at how they eventually created the 'skinny Steve' effect in Captain America: The First Avenger.  As a compositor, I've thought of that work as the best compositing I've ever seen, and to see the thought process and the iterative design work that went into finding the ultimate solution was very insightful and inspiring.

A large part of the event showed examples from the recent Guardians of the Galaxy 2 film, with detailed breakdowns and explanations of the creation of Rocket, Groot and the amazing environment work that was done on the film.  The Q+A at the end was great as well, with Dennis Berardi talking about his opinion of the future of the industry and Toronto's place in it.  All and all it was a great event and I was happy to see so many familiar faces turn out for it.

Speaking of Dennis Berardi, his company's work is heavily featured in Guillermo del Toro's upcoming film.  Kudos to everyone at Mr.X who worked on this, it looks beautiful. 

SideFX released a profile on Toronto studio Tendril's work on American Gods.

In what might be the biggest news of the day, the Office of the US Trade Representative released the Summary of Objectives for the NAFTA Renegotiation.  The VFX industry in Canada is heavily reliant of government subsidies that may have been in danger if the US decided to make this a point of contention in the upcoming NAFTA renegotiations.

There is a section on Digital Trade in Goods and Services and Cross-Border Data Flows (page 8 of the document).  The first point clearly states:

-Secure commitments not to impose customs duties on digital products (e.g., software, music, video, e-books

To me, this implies that the status quo will continue.  However, the second point states:

-Ensure non-discriminatory treatment of digital products transmitted electronically and guarantee that these products will not face government-sanctioned discrimination based on the nationality or territory in which the product is produced.

Would Canadian subsidies count as 'government-sanctioned discrimination'?  We'll have to see how the actual negotiations shake out.