Exploring worth of fun and games

JAZIAL CROSSLEY
Last updated 05:00 29/10/2012
WATCH THE BIRDIE: Patrick Liu, creative director at Angry Birds maker Rovio, is one of the speakers at  animation, digital effects & gaming conference AnimfxNZ in Wellington.
WATCH THE BIRDIE: Patrick Liu, creative director at Angry Birds maker Rovio, is one of the speakers at animation, digital effects & gaming conference AnimfxNZ in Wellington.

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The creative brains behind some of the world's top-selling digital entertainment will be coming to Wellington next month for the seventh annual AnimfxNZ symposium.

The three-day conference is a festival of all things animation, gaming and digital effects, organised by the New Zealand Games Animation and Visual Effects (GAV) Trust for students and industry professionals.

GAV Trust co-chairman Jos Ruffell said talks by industry luminaries, geared at people in or seeking to join the industry, would cover topics such as how to build and create digital intellectual property then monetise and distribute it across different platforms - games, animation, and digital entertainment.

There would be hands-on tutorial classes, keynote speaker days, film screenings and a presentation at The Roxy from Weta Digital, along with parties and networking opportunities.

"Really, the main goal for the conference is to give New Zealand companies a chance to meet, network and learn from overseas experts. In the past that has built relationships which have led to pretty substantial deals and opportunities," Ruffell said.

"PikPok and Carnival Labs both managed to secure a number of projects. PikPok developed and published the TapDragonDrop game for Dreamworks Animation and Carnival Labs have been building out the promotional apps for Puss In Boots and Rise Of The Guardians."

Among the speakers is Patrick Liu, creative director at Rovio - the firm that made iPhone game Angry Birds, which has sold more than 12 million copies - who will talk about how to lead a team of creatives.

Game business consultant Joseph Olin, who was one of the marketing heads at EIDOS Interactive when it launched the Tomb Raider franchise, will cover topics such as production budgeting.

Jeffrey Conrad, president of Care Bears and Strawberry Shortcake creator American Greetings Properties, will talk about building entertainment brands.

Bob Nicoll from Blizzard, the video game and entertainment software company behind World of Warcraft and Diablo, will be speaking about the pressures on art technology.

Triggerfish Animation chief executive Stuart Forrest will speak about the legal, development, financing, distribution and production side of its first film Adventures In Zambezia. .

AnimfxNZ is supported by Grow Wellington, the New Zealand Film Commission, Weta Digital, Trade & Enterprise New Zealand and the Business, Innovation and Employment Ministry's Science and Innovation group.

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The event runs November 15-17 with tickets priced at $150-$350.

- BusinessDay.co.nz

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