Masterclasses at Irish VFX and Animation Summit 2015

The third annual Irish Visual Effects (VFX) & Animation Summit, in partnership with Animation Skillnet and Screen Training Ireland, takes place from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd November 2015.
The Summit, which is free of charge, celebrates all elements of digital production, with talks, workshops, masterclasses, discussion panels and Q&As with award-winning design, VFX and animation professionals including cutting edge talent from both Ireland and around the world.

Confirmed speakers at this year’s summit include high profile industry figures such as Jim Morris, President of Pixar Animation Studios; Neil Weatherley, CG Supervisor at Framestore who will give a presentation on THE MARTIAN; Kevin Baillie, CEO of Atomic Fiction and VFX Supervisor on THE WALK; and Mark Ardington, CG Lead at Double Negative, discussing EX MACHINA.

Animation Skillnet and Screen Training Ireland are teaming up with the VFX and Animation Summit to offer a number of FREE masterclasses on Friday 20th November. These sessions will include an animal anatomy masterclass with Stuart Sumida, the most sought-after animal anatomy consultant in the animation and visual effects industries, having worked on over 60 films, video games, and theme park rides; A 3D Animation workshop in association with Escape Studios delivered by animator Alex Williams, whose film credits include WHO FRAMED ROGER RABBIT?, THE LION KING, THE IRON GIANT, the three latest Harry Potter films, and The Chronicles of Narnia series; A Houdini workshop with Paul Timpson, a Technical Director who has worked with studios such as Dreamworks, Framestore and Animal Logic; a session on the wider animation pipeline with Karl Erlandsen, technical director and animator at Framestore; and a Design for Digital and Physical Production event, with sessions from writer and illustrator Brendan McCarthy (MAD MAX: FURY ROAD) and graphic designer Annie Atkins (BOXTROLLS; THE GRAND BUDAPEST HOTEL).

Details on the master classes are contained in the links below. Places are limited; please sign up by FRIDAY 13th NOVEMBER in order to be considered for a place.

To attend the VFX and Animation Summit on Saturday 21st and Sunday 22nd November, please go to for registration details.

Animal Anatomy and Locomotion for Animators/VFX Artists with Stuart Sumida APPLY HERE

3D Animation with Alex Williams (in conjunction with Escape Studios) APPLY HERE

Houdini for FX Artists with Paul Timpson (SoCreator) APPLY HERE

Animation and the Wider Pipeline with Karl Erlandsen (Framestore) APPLY HERE

Design for Digital & Physical Production with Brendan McCarthy & Annie Atkins: APPLY HERE

Irish Design 2015’s Global Irish Design Challenge is now open for submissions.

Irish Design 2015’s Global Irish Design Challenge is now open for submissions. Entrants are invited to submit a product, project or concept that has the potential to revolutionise the way we live. The aim is to showcase innovative Irish design solutions to current and future global challenges while connecting a global network of Irish design talent.

The Global Irish Design Challenge is free to enter and is open to professional designers and design companies as well as students of every discipline including architects, furniture designers, animators, service designers, design engineers, fashion and textile designers, product designers, graphic and web designers etc. The Challenge accepts new, existing and speculative work, so entrants are welcome to submit a project that they are currently working on, a great idea that they’ve had hiding in their desk, or something that has already changed the world and made them famous.

Irish Design 2015 are delighted to have assembled a distinguished jury panel of internationally influential design experts, including Jay Osgerby, who was awarded an OBE in 2013 for his services to the design industry, and veteran Japanese designer Hideichi Misono, former chief designer for Toyota.

Junior Galway Film Festival programme 2015

This year the Junior Galway Film Fleadh celebrates 21 years of educating and entertaining young people of all ages through the power and magic of film.

Each year the Junior Galway Film Fleadh offers a range of high quality innovative Workshops to stimulate creativity and imagination. These workshops will inspire both discussion and creativity as well as providing young people with advice and tips on what makes a great short film and how best to approach writing a screenplay. The JGFF partners with working filmmakers and industry professionals to deliver workshops that are not only entertaining and educating, but also relevant to the fields future filmmakers hope to gain employment in.

Workshops for the 2015 programme include Animation 101 with the Oscar nominated Cartoon Saloon focusing on character design and interactive animation (Sat 14th 12 – 1.30pm); Filmmaking 101 with the Little Cinema (11am – 1pm) offering tips and advice on making a great short film; Special FX Make-Up for the Movies (1pm – 3pm) will cater for those students for whom Halloween is a year-long event from vampires to zombies to ghouls and ghosts, practical make-up effects are an integral part of modern film and television-making. In this workshop participants will learn how to create all kinds of gory special effects (blood, scars, monster make-up and much, much more) using practical make-up techniques that they can then use in their own films or just for fun.

The Screenwriting 101 workshop (2pm – 3.30pm) with Shane Perez will give budding writers an overview of just what it takes to develop an idea into a viable and entertaining screen story. Participants will need to submit a 500 word idea ahead of the workshop; and finally Block by Block – Pixel Art 101 (2.30-4pm) will focus on creating characters in this fun art style using great free pixel art tools. Participants for this workshop should bring their own laptop (PC is preferable for the software).

The Junior Galway Film Fleadh workshops take place on Saturday 14th November in the Town Hall Theatre Galway and are suitable for those aged 12 and over. Workshops are open to schools, groups and individuals. Each workshop costs €12.50.

Special offer – book 2 workshops for €20. Workshops places are limited so early booking is advised.

To book phone Junior Galway Film Fleadh on 091 562 200 or email or download a booking form from the website Check  out the Facebook page for regular updates and competitions.

The full junior programme of World Cinema, documentaries, Irish language screenings, animation and the Story Pitching Competition are available on the website

Screen Training Ireland supported events at Cork FIlm Festival 2015

Screen Training Ireland is delighted to support INCUBATE and How Filmmakers can work with Brands at the Cork Film Festival 2015. The Festival takes place in Cork from the 6th of November to the 14th of November.

INCUBATE is an all-day film industry professional development event. In 2015, the Festival will host some leading industry members from international festivals, film marketing strategists, sales agencies and global distribution houses, producers and more to share their knowledge and expertise.
Covering everything from Festival Strategy, distribution, career sustainability to audience development, a focus on producers and more, INCUBATE teaches all you need to know about the “business” of being an independent filmmaker.

Speakers include: Sheffield Doc/Fest’s Claire Aguilar, New Horizons Film Festival’s Joanna Lapinska, Screen Producers Ireland’s Catherine Tiernan, Zofia Horszczaruk from New Europe Film Sales, Damian Spandley of Metrodome Distribution, Dawn Morrissey, Director of The Boston Irish Film Festival, Conor Barry of Fastnet and SP Films, Katie Holly of Blinder Films, DocHeads, Shooting People and more..

INCUBATE takes place on Saturday 14th of November at The Pavilion, Cork.

How Filmmakers Can Work with Brands
Branded Cinema is on the rise with more and more corporates and brands seeing film as a unique way to amplify their message. This innovative new financing structure is helping to get more short form, feature and documentary work to wider and wider audiences. Much more than product placement filmmakers can learn invaluable marketing strategies from this approach even if not working directly with a brand and gain invaluable tools on how to amplify and market their film’s core message.

This event, sees a keynote lecture from global film finance and distribution expert Brian Newman (former Head of Tribeca Institute), followed by a live mentoring workshop with three pre-selected film projects and extensive Q&A.

How Filmmakers Can Work with Brands takes place on Friday the 13th of November at RTE Cork Studios, Fr. Matthew Street, Cork.


For further information and to book a ticket please visti the Cork FIlm Festival website.

Robert McKee to deliver his Story Seminar in Killarney.

Master of Storytelling Robert McKee is set to deliver his Story Seminar from the 5th to the 8th of November 2015 at the Killarney Convention Centre.

Do you have an idea for a story? Then it is time to take advantage of one of the best story brains in the business. Let Robert McKee prompt and guide you on how to apply classic story design – the kind that has resulted in masterpieces of all kinds – to your own literary, cinematic, theatrical or literary premise.

Robert McKee, A Fulbright Scholar, is one of the most sought after writing lecturers in the world. For the past thirty years he has dedicated his time to educating and mentoring directors, producers, documentary makers, poets, playwrights, novelists and screenwriters internationally. Peter Jackson, Director of The Lord of the Rings Trilogy, calls him “The Guru of Gurus” and for the writers of Pixar (creators of TOY STORY), McKee’s Story Seminar is a rite of passage.

Since 1984, more than 100,000 students have taken McKee’s courses at various cities around the world, while articles on Story have appeared in hundreds of newspapers and magazines around the world including Harvard Business Review, The Wall Street Journal, Vanity Fair and The New Yorker Magazine.

McKee continues to be a project consultant to major film and television production companies such as 20th Century Fox, Disney, Paramount and MTV. In addition, Pixar, ABC, BBC, Disney, Miramax, PBS, Nickelodeon, Paramount, GLOBOSAT, MNET and other international TV and Film companies regularly send their entire creative and writing staffs to his lectures.

For further information on the Robert McKee Story Seminar and to book a place please visit the Learning Resort website.

Don’t miss the opportunity to be a part of the Robert McKee experience!

Third annual Irish VFX & Animation Summit to take place 20 – 22 November 2015 with the first Irish screening of Disney Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR

President of Pixar Animation Studios Jim Morris will speak at the event.

Details have been announced for the third annual Irish Visual Effects (VFX) & Animation Summit, in partnership with Animation Skillnet and Screen Training Ireland. Following on from last year’s massively successful event which hosted over 350 delegates, this year’s event will span three days with delegates attending free of charge to hear the cream of world leaders in the industry discuss their high-profile work on this year’s blockbusters.

The Summit will celebrate the world of Visual Effects and animation, with the first screening in Ireland of the new Disney / Pixar film THE GOOD DINOSAUR. This will take place along with talks, workshops, masterclasses, discussion panels and Q&As with award-winning VFX and animation professionals including cutting edge talent from both Ireland and around the world. Demand is expected to be significant for tickets, which are free for the 2015 event.

As well as the continued collaboration with Screen Training Ireland and Animation Skillnet, Enterprise Ireland, Grant Thornton and the U.S. Embassy Dublin are also event supporters this year. The 2015 event expects to increase the number of attendees to over 400, making it the largest event ever hosted in Ireland to focus on the Visual Effects and animation industries.

Confirmed speakers at this year’s summit include high profile industry figures such Jim Morris, President of Pixar Animation Studios, who will give a keynote speech at the event. Prior to joining Pixar, Morris held a range of key positions in various divisions of Lucasfilm Ltd. He served as President of Lucas Digital Ltd. and managed its two divisions, Industrial Light & Magic (ILM) and Skywalker Sound. As ILM’s General Manager for more than ten years, he supervised a staff of over 1400 artists and technicians, and guided the largest visual effects facility in the entertainment industry.

Some confirmed speakers at this year’s summit include renowned industry figures such as Neil Weatherly, CG Supervisor at Framestore who will give a presentation on THE MARTIAN; Kevin Baillie, CEO of Atomic Fiction, CEO of ConductorIO for cloud rendering and VFX Supervisor on THE WALK along with other world industry leaders in the VFX and animation fields. Other presentations at this year’s Summit will include discussions on films such as EX-MACHINA, THE MARTIAN; AVENGERS: AGE OF ULTRON; THE WALK; and Pixar’s THE GOOD DINOSAUR.

The annual VFX & animation summit will promote the VFX and animation trades within Ireland, to create a wider dialogue between existing and aspiring VFX and animation professionals and to offer training and support to those who wish to join the industry. The event’s success depends upon the support and participation of the key players in the industry: the established Irish VFX and animation studios and their artists, the film and culture supporting bodies and the aspiring, young students who want to be tomorrow’s professionals. With this support both existing and new talent in Ireland will benefit enormously from this annual conference.

Event Founders Laura Livingstone and Eoghan Cunneen, drawing on their experiences at a number of high profile VFX facilities across the UK, Canada and The United States, are certain that there is a genuine opportunity to develop and sustain a world-leading VFX industry in Ireland.

Livingstone commented “A career in VFX and animation can be rewarding and exciting. We want to show prospective students that it’s also accessible. We’re bringing the most relevant speakers to Ireland to showcase the work done on the largest productions and future proof our talent at home, exposing them to state of the art techniques and production workflows. To celebrate Irish achievements recently, we note that Ireland has been receiving worldwide recognition for its contributions to Visual Effects and Animation with Cartoon Saloon receiving its second Oscar nomination for their feature animation SONG OF THE SEA. At the same time, Alan Holly and Eoin Duffy were on the Oscar nomination shortlist in 2013 and 2014 respectively.”

The Irish VFX & Animation Summit’s mission is to celebrate the Visual Effects (VFX) and animation industries within Ireland and beyond. To create a stronger dialogue between existing and aspiring VFX and animation professionals and to offer training and support to those who wish to join the industry. Ireland has a strong history of producing world-class talent in the arts and film in particular, with the production of indigenous films increasing at pace in recent years. This history, coupled with ongoing success in producing talented and successful engineers, software developers and computer game professionals, creates a range of talent that can contribute to our homegrown VFX and the wider film industry. Tickets are limited, free of charge, and can be accessed here: – /tickets/

The full schedule will be announced shortly.

Event location: The Foundry, Google European Head Office, Barrow Street


Niamh Heery talks about the Nordisc Panorama Programme

Niamh Heery recieved a bursary award to attend the Nordisc Panorama programme in September. Read about Niamh’s experience on the programme.

“I was funded by Screen Training Ireland’s international bursary scheme to attend Nordisc Panorama from 19-22 September. Screen Talent Europe is a network of film workshops, media centres and related institutions working to develop emerging talents in the film, TV, games and wider media industry. The Galway Film Centre and Filmbase are members of this network and selected me to be one of the 14 European delegates to be sent to the Nordisc Panorama.

Nordisc Panorama consists of two separate events, happening at the same time in Malmo, Sweden. The NP Festival is the largest in Scandinavia and premieres hundreds of Nordic and International documentaries. The NP Forum is an industry event which runs for five days and consists of training, workshops, networking events and pitching sessions.

For the Screen Talent Europe participants, a special schedule was set out for us which was intended to give us opportunities to learn from industry professionals, network amongst each other and also get access to the forum pitching sessions where feature length documentary producers and directors present their projects in front of commissioners from such large institutions as the Swedish, Norwegian and Danish Film Institutes, the main Scandinavian broadcasters, BBC, PBS and more.

The trip began across the famous bridge between Sweden and Denmark with a tour of the Danish Film Institute followed by a session on development and production with Prami Larsen, the manager of the Danish Film Workshop (DFW). Here we saw firsthand how the Film Workshop model, (one that most Scandinavian countries have adopted) works. The workshop is a one-stop shop for filmmakers where they can get training, support and funding for their films. It also has a direct line to the Danish Film Institute in the same building. Filmmakers submit detailed proposals on a quarterly basis and are then invited to use the workshop offices, edit suites, screening rooms and common areas as their production space for the duration of their film. It has fostered an incubator type atmosphere, where filmmakers can interact and share work, thus increasing the quality of the output. Interestingly, the DFW policy is to stay out of the editorial process, believing that the filmmakers should always have the creative control. The DFW has had numerous premieres at Berlin’s Bienniale and Cannes over the last number of years.

The following days were spent in Malmo with my fellow delegates. We started our Nordisc Panorama experience in the offices of documentary production company Auto Images, where we gave presentations to each other about our documentary work and then were delivered a case study of one of Auto Images most successful recent documentaries, Every Face Has a Name. The main researcher Sebastian Claesson, explained how much work went into finding the people who appeared in a piece of archive footage from the 1940s. While producer Ann Lundburg talked about the co-production elements of the documentary and how the international co-production model works within Sweden. This was particularly interesting for me as I did not know that it only takes one element of production to be taken on by a Swedish production company (sound mix, editing, etc.) to make a project from abroad eligible for accessing any of the main TV and Film Funds in Sweden.

The pitching sessions that I mentioned already were extremely eye opening. I have never seen so many of the ‘big players’ together in one room, dissecting a project, discussing what audience it would be suitable for, and talking numbers openly in a room filled with their peers. Budgets of well over half a million Euro were funded after the producers and directors showed trailers, pitched for their project and answered commissioning editors questions. It really opened up the often confusing animal that international co-production is. It showed me how many agencies it takes to get on board with a project for it to be funded and also gave insight into the fact that Scandinavian agencies have no problem at all funding international, English speaking documentaries. Given Ireland’s current financial state it was great to see that there is still access to money for good projects.

We saw two films at the festival and were given invaluable time with their directors. First was The Look of Silence, by Joshua Oppenheimer, the follow up film to his award winning The Act of Killing, about the massacres in 1965 in Indonesia. As a documentary filmmaker it was such a privilege to get to hear from Oppenheimer about his technical approach, legal and safety issues around the film, and other production related things that a normal press interviews don’t cover. His dedication to the subject was very inspirational.
The second film we saw was Blood Sisters, a premiere of Swedish director Malin Anderson. Totally different in approach it followed two sisters as they made their way through life in Malmo after a history of abuse in Azerbaijan. Malin Andersson came to the offices of Film i Skane, the film funding body of Malmo’s region, taking time to discuss her film and speak to us individually about our own work. The film was a co-production with the Irish Film Board and cinematographer was Kate McCullough, I talked with Malin about how the Irish interest came about. Malin is a very strong advocate of women working in film and we had an enlightening discussion about being women filmmakers and where my career is at right now. There was a very supportive environment and I could tell that all the participants benefitted from the session.

All in all, what I took away from my time in Nordisc Panorama is that the Nordic film industry is one that is very open to screening, funding and promoting work from other countries. I came away with many new contacts and a refreshed way of looking at the whole documentary process from a production perspective as well as new creative ways of looking at what a documentary can be. At this point in my career I feel it was the perfect time to take a leap inside the world of feature length documentary and see first hand how ideas are turned from concept to production through a very inclusive yet selective process. To have access to such high calibre talent, in a laid back setting really helped. I would definitely recommend any emerging directors or producers to look into attending it, especially with a programme that is curated specifically for people at this career level, such as Screen Talent Europe created.”

Screen Training Ireland take applications for the Bursary Award Scheme before the last Friday of each month.

Grip for Feature Film Course with Michael Uva announced

The Dawn Workshops at the Kerry Training Centre is running a Grip for Feature Film course with Industry Veteran, and Author of the Grip Book, Michael Uva.

The course will take place in the National Digital Skills Centre at the Kerry Training Centre on the 7th of December over 5 days. Michael G. Uva is a well-respected key grip in Hollywood, with over 32 years of experience in film, TV, movies, and commercials.

Credits include films such as EASY A, KALIFORNIA and IRION EAGLE and shows such as THE LEAGUE, CURB YOUR ENTHUASIASM and BONES. “The Grip Book” is the go-to reference book for anyone in the film and TV business, particularly anyone who wants to become a grip.

The book began in 1987 while Michael was working on the movie THE BIG EASY. He started writing notes to help other crew members understand movie set terminology and now over 25 years later the book is in it’s fifth edition.

For full details please email Brian Noland at

Development of a National Strategy for Skills Development in the Audiovisual Industry in Ireland

Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board and the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland are pleased to announce the appointment of Crowe Horwath as Consultants to draw up a new Strategy for Skills Development in the Audiovisual Industry.

The development of skills within the audiovisual production sector is integrally linked to Ireland’s capacity to scale and grow the industry. The film and broadcasting sector is undergoing tremendous turbulence and change as technology changes how content is made and consumed. The recent introduction of the new and enhanced tax credit will also act as a stimulus to growth. This strategy will provide an important policy framework for further growth and capacity expansion.

Alongside the development of professional skills within the sector, the strategy will also map the provision of production-related courses at third and continuing level and how they interact with industry. Other key issues to be addressed will be current and future trends within the industry, influencing workforce skills.

The development of the strategy will comprise interviews with industry stakeholders and an on-line questionnaire to ensure full industry participation.
To register your interest in participating in the on line survey please email and you will be contacted by Crowe Horwath in due course.

For further information please contact:
Teresa Mc Grane
Bord Scannan na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board
Vanya Sargent
Crowe Horwath

About Bord Scannán na hÉireann / the Irish Film Board (IFB)
Bord Scannán Na hÉireann/the Irish Film Board was established in October 1993. The IFB is the national development agency for Irish filmmaking and the Irish film, television and animation sector, investing in talent, creativity and enterprise. The agency supports writers, directors and production companies across these sectors by providing investment loans for the development, production and distribution of film, television and animation projects. The IFB promotes the use of Ireland as a location for international production.
The IFB via Screen Training Ireland (‘STI’) supports industry training and skills development.

About The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland (BAI)
The Broadcasting Authority of Ireland was established on 1st October 2009. The organisation has a number of objectives and functions, which are underpinned by legislation and policy. The BAI carries out a range of activities related to the effective regulation of commercial, community and public service broadcasters in Ireland. The BAI has a particular function in relation to the collection and dissemination of information regarding the skills requirements of the broadcasting sector.
The BAI is also responsible for the administration of the Broadcasting Funding Scheme, which provides significant levels of funding in support of high-quality radio and television programmes addressing the themes of Irish culture, heritage and experience.

Animation Skillnet Announce Evening Course Schedule.

Animation Skillnet have scheduled a number of exciting evening courses commencing early November. The courses include Creating a Realistic Human Head in Maya and ZBrush, Animation Business Fundamentals, Character Drawing for Animation and Maya & Python for Technical Directors.

1. Creating a Realistic Human Head in Maya and ZBrush commencing 9th of November (5 Monday evenings)

This course is aimed at budding professionals in the computer games, vfx and related industries who seek to further develop their skills in this area. Participants should have some prior knowledge of 3D packages e.g. Maya, 3dsMax and sculpting software like Zbrush and Mudbox.  The course will cover READ MORE

2. Animation Business Fundamentals commencing 10th of November (5 Tuesday evenings)

This course is aimed at individuals in production/creative roles within the animation industry who are interested in establishing their own production company in the future or are looking to learn more about the management practice of animation development and production. READ MORE

3. Character Drawing for Animation commencing 11th of November (5 Wednesday evenings)

This course is aimed at budding professionals in animation and related industries who are interested in designing a figure using basic shapes, proportions, simple anatomy, facial expression and costumes to create dynamic drawings for character design, storyboarding and animation. READ MORE

4. Maya & Python for Technical Directors commencing 11th of November (5 Wednesday evenings)

This course is aimed at technical directors with a reasonable knowledge of maya looking at using python in maya.  READ MORE

For further information or to make an application please email or visti the website