LOS ANGELES — The Visual Effects Society, the industrys global professional honorary society, has announced acclaimed visual futurist and VES Visionary Award honoree Syd Mead as a keynote speaker at its ninth annual VES Summit, Inspiring Change: Building on 20 Years of VES Innovation. The 2017 VES Summit takes place on Saturday, October 28th at the Sofitel Hotel Beverly Hills.
Featured Speakers will include President of IMAX Home Entertainment Jason Brenek and renowned online security expert and founder of SSP Blue Hemanshu Nigam. The interactive forum on Saturday, October 28th celebrates the Societys milestone 20th Anniversary and will bring together top creatives, executives, thought leaders and visionaries from diverse disciplines to explore the dynamic evolution of visual imagery and the VFX industry landscape in a TED Talks-like atmosphere.
Keynote speaker Syd Mead is an acclaimed visual futurist and conceptual artist whose storied career spans almost six decades. He was honored as the recipient of its VES Visionary Award at the 14th Annual VES Awards in 2016 for his unique ability to create unforgettable images and advance storytelling through his futuristic design aesthetic. Meads career began as he created characters and backgrounds for animated cinema intermission trailers just out of high school. After serving in the U.S. Army and receiving his education at the Art Center School in Los Angeles, Ford Motor Companys Advanced Styling Studio recruited Mead. After Ford, he took on high-profile design assignments for blue chip companies including U.S. Steel, Philips Electronics and Intercontinental Hotels.
In 1979, Meads projects expanded to designing for Hollywood as he began to work with most major studios. His cinema entre was legendary, starting with the creation of the Vger entity for Star Trek: The Motion Picture, followed by two cult classics — Bladerunner and Tron. Meads designs for robots, vehicles and other-worldly environments have also been featured in films including 2010, Short Circuit, Aliens, Time Cop, Johnny Mnemonic, Mission Impossible 3 and Elysium.
Concept art for director Ridley Scotts 1982 classic feature Blade Runner by Syd Mead.
With transportation design as his first love, Mead seldom misses an opportunity to provide his unique blend of futurism and believability to designing vehicles — from concept cars, cruise ships and hypervans to interplanetary cinematic spacecrafts that transport audiences to new worlds. In the 1980s, Mead established close working relationships with a number of major Japanese companies including Sony, Minolta, Dentsu, Dyflex, Tiger, Seibu, Mitsukoshi, Bandai, NHK and Honda as well as contributing to Japanese film projects, Yamato 2520 and Solar Crisis. In the 1990s, he supplied designs for all eight robot characters in the Turn A Gundam mobile suit series and TV show. Extensive collections of Meads work have been exhibited worldwide, drawing record crowds and he continues an active schedule of one-man shows and presentations.
Featured speaker Jason Brenek joined IMAX Corporation in 2015 as President, IMAX Home Entertainment, where he oversees a series of global initiatives designed collectively to translate elements of The IMAX Experience to the home setting, including the IMAX Private Theatres, an over-the-top movie service for delivering IMAX-enhanced Hollywood films into homes, and IMAX technology licensing into premium consumer electronics. He also oversees virtual reality content acquisitions and curation for the new IMAX location-based VR centers.
Prior to joining IMAX, Brenek spent more than a decade in senior management at The Walt Disney Studios. He led Disneys international teams and sub-distributors in the commercialization of Disney, Pixar, and Marvel movies in New Media/Digital, Television and Retail channels. His teams have led the industry in the launch of innovative and lucrative partnerships and products around the world. In his concurrent role of Head of Global Business Development and Strategic Partnerships, Brenek was later responsible for sourcing new revenue opportunities, business models, investments, establishing strategic partnerships, and digital product strategy and incubation for the Studios multi-billion dollar Global In-Home Distribution segment.
Prior to these roles, Brenek worked in Disneys Global Theatrical Distribution division as Senior Vice President, Worldwide Digital Cinema and Cinema Programming where he was responsible for setting and executing Disneys global cinema strategy, overseeing Digital Cinema Operations, negotiating Digital Cinema deployment and digital 3D deals around the world, as well as developing and overseeing 3D and Cinema Programming. He was instrumental in Disneys emergence to the forefront of the Digital Cinema and Digital 3D world. In 2015, the International 3D & Advanced Imaging Society awarded Brenek with its first Founders Award.
Featured Speaker: Hemanshu (Hemu) Nigam has worked inside the largest prosecuting agencies, software companies, media and entertainment giants, and most influential trade associations in the world. Nigam served as the Chief Security Officer of News Corporation and Fox Interactive Medias digital properties, as CSO of MySpace, and as a security executive in Microsoft. He was also the Vice President of Worldwide Internet Enforcement at the Motion Picture Association of America. He began his career as Los Angeles County prosecutor specializing in sex crimes and child abuse before serving as a federal prosecutor against online crimes against children and computer crimes in the US DOJ. Today, he is the founder of SSP Blue, a cyber security advisory company that has helped companies like Participant Media, SnapChat, Microsoft/Xbox, Disney, AT&T, Microsoft, JustFab, and others deal with challenges in cyber security, privacy, and safety.
A veteran of online security, he brings over 20 years of experience in private industry, government, and law enforcement. Nigam has been a keynote speaker at the United Nations on stopping cyber hate, and has been a member of the White Houses cyber stalking task force and co-chair of President Obamas Online Safety Technology Working Group. Nigam has spent a career chasing bad guys online and offline bringing them to justice. He was one of U.S. DOJs first online crimes prosecutors who took down an international child sex trafficking ring as well as prosecuted online child predators and hackers. His insightful expert commentary on cyber security offers an insiders view of the dark online underworld. Nigams personable style coupled with his unique ability to simplify cyber security for viewers to understand makes him a frequent guest on U.S. and international media. He also has a video blog at http://www.InsideCyberCrime.com where he breaks down cyber security, privacy, and safety topics in accessible segments.
Source: Visual Effects Society
Jennifer Wolfe is Director of News & Content at Animation World Network.