SIGGRAPH has hit Vancouver by storm, with almost 20,000 people in attendance - what could make up a small city, in fact. Apparently SIGGRAPH is one of the biggest entertainment industry conferences in North America and the largest computer graphics conference in the world. Did Vancouver really know this was happening until this week? As a result, the city has now been caught humbly responding to the event of the year with a bashful whisper, "What? Lil' ol' me? Gee, you shouldn't have!"
In particular, the kick-off event Sunday night at the Pan Pacific, sponsored by BC Film, really hit home how fabulous British Columbia is and what this province has to offer business-wise to the companies of the world. It was a classy event paying homage to our tax breaks, mild weather and fabulous talent. As the sun poured in through the windows overlooking the glistening waters and lush green mountains of the conference centre's surroundings, I watched the world's industry movers and shakers listen to the unabashed plug of our city. I swear I could hear their thoughts... "Move here? Well...okay. If you say so." BC Film was practically handing out work permits at the event! Mouths really were salivating, including my own and it wasn't just because of the mini-sliders. Although, those were GOOOOD.
But I digress.
The exhibit floor itself has been an impressive introduction into the minds of tech geniuses. A plethora of James Cameron-type technology for new innovations in motion capture, for example, seems to be everywhere you look. I've even seen a 3D virtual clothing design company and an impressive gallery booth by Emily Carr University making you feel like you are actually at the MOMA. It is spectacular. Rainmaker Entertainment, a local animation studio, created a set-like experience representing a look into the world of
Luna, their newest short film premiering in the Electronic Theater.
Stepping into the "world" is the theme this year. What everyone is realizing is that SIGGRAPH is no longer just for the PhDs and mathematicians of the world. It is for the artists as well. Finally, the right and left brain unite and they are actually getting along. Did anyone ever think that would be possible? With technology driving this union, it finally IS possible.
The parties aren't bad either.
Last night Lighter/Darker hosted their party at the Revel Room, only to have to overflow into the Charles bar down the street just to accommodate the studio folks clambering to get in. Dreamworks hosted an exclusive invite-only party at the Shangri-ooo la la. Animatrik and Annex Pro struck gold hosting an after party at The Fortune Sound Club, where everyone ended up at the end of the night anyway, so if you were hoping to rub shoulders with your animation mentor earlier on, you probably could last night. Would you care for another drink Mr. or Ms. Studio Head? Oh why not.
Tonight shouldn't be any different, with most studios such as Rainmaker and Imageworks hosting early on to accommodate for Nvidia's late night party at the Aquarium and Digital Domain at the Shangri-La. Only two days left and what a week it has been.
Vancouver, you've done well for yourself and thanks for not raining.