• Lecture
  • English (simultaneous interpretation)
  • ZBook Auditory
  • animation, vfx, lighting, postproduction, digital environments
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Agents, actors and avatars will all be factor in film making in the coming years. Film making is embracing real time production techniques and with that comes the growth of digital humans, in all their forms. Fanned by the fire of new AI deep learning techniques, film making is just starting to explode with new opportunities. New faster GPUs combined with Deep Learning and advances in interactive technology are all leading to a much more collaborative work environment. Mike is at the cutting edge of this movement having been researching and developing real time visually realistic humans and consulting to some of the world’s biggest studios.

Not all film making will change, but a significant percentage will, and perhaps much faster than people expect. This talk will explain why we are at such an inflection point, what the future could look like, and it will cover some of the ways we need to think about these new opportunities and roles. Mike will outline the future, but also rein in the hype regarding what is possible and how to best work with client expectations. There is popular speculation that many of these new tools will replace you. These new tools won’t replace you, but people who don’t understand the environment and how to use them, may very well get replaced.  

Mike has a B Sc. in Pure Maths from the Sydney University where he also did his Masters and now his PhD. His research is exploring using digital humans in virtual production and the ethical and socio-technical issues around advanced Digital Humans, Avatars and AI (Machine learning) Agents. In other words, he is looking at deploying realistic digital people and embodied conversational agents in our professional lives.

Mike aims to help take technology from the cutting-edge film industry and apply it in these new exciting interactive ways, from virtual production to cognitive agents. Mike has previously worked in film and TV R&D and in production, winning an AFI and being nominated for an American Emmy Award. He has worked as a compositor, vfx supervisor and second unit director on various TV shows. He is perhaps best known for his work as a writer, consultant and educator with the web sites fxguide and fxphd which explore technology in the film industry. These web site now have huge followings, as they provide an important link between the film and vfx community and the researchers and innovators who constantly push the limits of technology.

Mike is a lecturer at Sydney University in UX (User Experience design) and has lectured overseas in LA, Las Vegas, Germany, London and elsewhere. Mike is based in Sydney, but consults to teams in Hollywood and London.