Dean Devlin, acclaimed writer-producer-director and president of Electric Entertainment, has been named keynote speaker at its The Visual Effects Society’s (VES) annual Summit, “Visualization to Virtualization: Storytelling Expands.” The interactive forum on Saturday, October 17, at the W Hotel in Hollywood, will bring together top creatives, executives, thought leaders and visionaries from diverse disciplines to explore the dynamic evolution of visual imagery and illustrate new pathways to creativity and problem solving in a TED Talks-like atmosphere.
Devlin’s first produced screenplay was Universal Soldier, which was a worldwide hit. He reached prominence as a writer/producer working with Roland Emmerich with whom he teamed after appearing in Emmerich’s film Moon 44. Together they co-wrote and produced Stargate, which became the first movie to have its own website (run by Devlin himself). Devlin co-produced (with Emmerich) sci-fi blockbusters Independence Day and Godzilla, followed by The Patriot. Devlin also produced films including Cellular, Who Killed the Electric Car? and Flyboys. A true multi-hyphenate, he has served as writer, producer and director for the hit TV shows Leverage and The Librarians and wrote 200-plus episodes of Stargate SG-1. He is the director, as well as writer/producer of the forthcoming action sci-fi filmGeostorm starring Gerard Butler and is in development with Emmerich on the hotly anticipated sequel to Independence Day—Independence Day: Resurgence.
As we move from the Information Age into the Visualization Age where every industry uses imagery to educate, communicate, entertain and sell, the VES Summit theme is particularly relevant. Virtualization speaks to cloud-based production, to augmented and virtual realities, to multi-platform experiences, and the broad idea of hyper-connectivity. It encompasses heightened realities, immersive experiences, presence capture, and more. This evolution is bringing about changes and expansion in storytelling. Exceptional storytelling remains the ultimate goal but approaches are open to innovation. From TV taking non-time-constrained forms, to audience-driven narratives, to 360° experiences, webcasts and six second videos–all being told across multiple platforms–the creative world is in a seismic shift.
The VES Summit will feature a special panel discussion–Virtual Reality: 20/20 on 2020 Panel–exploring VR. The buzz around VR is impossible to ignore as the medium marches forward. What will VR eventually encompass/look like? What are the business models? State of the technology? Storytelling challenges? A panel of experts representing key areas of the ecosystem that are driving the medium–content, technology, venture capital and academia–describe what’s happening in VR in their arena today, and their thoughts on what VR may look like in 2020.
A TV, OTT and Extended Content Forms Panel will explore the expansion of the TV landscape into a range of platforms, opening up the possibilities for new forms of creative storytelling–from live gaming entertainment to non-time-constrained series to short-form social video. Given the plethora of platforms, just what are the creative opportunities? The business models? The keys to audience engagement? How do the creative challenges differ from ‘traditional’ TV? How might you go about creating your own series, webisode or channel? A panel of experts representing some of the key forces driving new forms forward will discuss the state of story-driven content for an omni-channel audience.
Business roundtables will focus on such topics as: immersive experiences; postvis, a TV VFX case study; augmented reality; drone-based image capture; games futures; games storytelling; shooting and budgeting VFX for VR; military visualization and VFX; new content channels and opportunities; VFX R&D relative to content production; and VFX for commercials.