That’s a wrap on another successful year of MOVE Summit!
On the 15th and 16th of February the Move Summit animation and vfx festival took place here in Edinburgh. Move Summit is Scotland’s only dedicated animation industry event and now in only its second year, Move Summit has gained a large following from within the industry and education alike selling-out for consecutive years. This highlights the need for such an event and also serves to highlight the conspicuous absence of one, prior to the inaugural Move Summit in February of 2017.
The goals of the summit are to educate, promote and inspire within the animation, visual effects, visualisation and games industries, pulling together practitioners, students and studio representatives from around the world for two days of networking, discussion, learning and hopefully forging long lasting relationships. For the second year running, Interference Pattern acted as the keystone of the summit’s organisational team, a brilliant group with whom we pulled together an extensive programme, expanding on last years event in almost every area.
As one of the directors of Move Summit I had the pleasure this year of both coordinating the professionals schedule, in conjunction with Sharon Campbell (animation course leader at Duncan of Jordanstone in Dundee) as well as overseeing the operational and financial sides of the event management. It was a lot of responsibility to take on, especially alongside my duties as MD and creative director at the Interference Pattern studio but all of the hard work and long hours over the past few months have been absolutely worth it. The feedback that we have received from attendees and speakers has been overwhelmingly positive. We are already in the early planning stages for 2019’s event and looking at how we can incorporate feedback and consultations to continue to improve and evolve Move Summit, to deliver what the industry and education need from the event.
The professionals schedule was a packed programme of talks, panel discussions and workshops spread between two seperate venues, over two days. We had speakers from Aardman Animations, Blue Zoo, jellyfish Pictures, MPC, Axis Studios, Unity 3D, Electric Theatre Collective, Brown Bag, Boulder Media, Soluis, to name but a few! Pulling together such an extensive schedule was a challenge but we succeeded in not only upping the volume of content on last year but also maintaining the high quality levels that we set ourselves.
Alongside the professionals and industry aspect of the schedule we ran a full days programme dedicated to emerging talent, which we define as those either currently engaged in full time education or the recently graduated who still have to find employment. This day featured workshops, inspirational talks and panels, all geared towards portfolio presentation and getting students fired up and job-ready. I was a member of a panel presentation discussing industry tips for students putting together their portfolios, in readiness for applying for work after graduation. It was reassuring to hear that all on the panel were virtually unified in our desires for what we like to see in a portfolio and how that should be presented to prospective studios.
A popular thread of last years summit, the student portfolio review sessions, were back this year by popular demand. Yet again we expanded on what we offered last year and were running review sessions throughout the two days of the festival. These reviews allowed students and artists to sign up for a 15 minute slot where they could present their portfolio work to an experienced professional for feedback and discussion. An excellent way to get students talking critically about their own artwork and also to get potentially good candidates in front of those studio representatives who need to see that work. Our team of reviewers was a crack-team, assembled from our wonderful guest speakers, studio leaders and department leads from within the Scottish industry, higher education course leaders, alongside talented artists currently employed within the Scottish animation industry. I doubt that many of the students attending would have expected that they would have the opportunity to present their work to the likes of Tom Box, MD of Blue Zoo, Tom feist-Wilson of Jellyfish Pictures, studio team-leads from Axis Studios or Mattieu Muller of Unity.
We capped the portfolio review thread of the summit off with a round of rapid-fire student speed-pitches, at the end of Friday’s speaking programme. Squeezed in before dinner and the Move Late after-party VR exhibition kicked off the students were all in a talkative mood and fired-up after the days excitement. yet again our group of gamely speakers and studio representatives stepped-up to the task, to field 30 minutes of thee lively drop-in sessions.
I had great fun participating in both the reviews and the speed pitches and really see this as one of the successes of the event. For me being able to facilitate getting artists at the start of their careers in front of those with the knowledge and advice was heartening to see and made me proud of what we have achieved so far with Move.
Throughout the year and leading up to the event Interference Pattern has provided crucial financial and organisational support, forming a core of the organisational team. Our business and community development manager, Jayne Coulthard acting as Move Summit Director and myself as Financial and Operations Director and co-curator of the professionals programme. We worked throughout the year pulling together the threads of the event along with the wider organisational team, ramping up to almost full-time during January and February, making sure that we had all of the organisational details covered and everything needed in place. Even so, we were still up until the early hours the day before the event fixing all of the attendee and speaker names stickers to our lovely lanyard cards and improvising a solution to the problem of having ordered plastic pockets too small to hold the nicely printed cards we had printed to place inside.
This year the event was only made possible by our generous financial and in-kind support from our sponsors, a range of studios and companies who share our vision for the Move Summit and the positive message and action that it can take forwards about the Scottish animation industry, to the rest of the world. We truly are an industry-led event, by industry, for industry.
Finally a huge thanks and shout-out has to go out to Move’s sponsors, animation Interference Pattern, Axis Studios, Anime Ltd, HeeHaw, Stampede, Whitespace, Vision Events and Creative Europe. Alongside our key sponsors I also wish to thank all of our affiliate partners for helping to spread the word to their networks. Spreading the word to as many people as possible will enable the summit to grow and prosper and hopefuly the sector as a whole in scotland along with it.
Thanks from the organisation team to all those involved in this years Move Summit 18, be it speakers, volunteers or attendees.
We are looking forwards to showing what we can do with Move Summit 2019!
a Director of Move Summit – 2017 & 2018
Founder and Creative Director at Interference Pattern.