The VFX Festival 2018

6-8 February 2018

Escape Studios, part of Pearson College London, introduces the 6th Annual VFX Festival, which celebrates the best in VFX, Games, Animation and Motion Graphics.

What's on?

Over three jam-packed days we will present the most dynamic and enterprising films, games and animations of the past year. The festival assembles industry leaders through a range of talks, workshops, panels and interactive exhibition spaces.

The VFX Festival will be housed in arts and cultural hub, Rich Mix in vibrant Shoreditch.

Escape Studios created the VFX Festival to support the creation and development of world-class, studio-ready talent for the VFX, Games and Animation industries. Escape’s degrees (undergraduate and postgraduate) and suite of short courses in VFX, Game Art, Animation and Motion Graphics are designed and delivered by industry professionals. Escape Studios’ 4000+ alumni spans some of the most celebrated and award winning names in the industry.

Diversifying the creative industries

As a wealth of changes take place in our industry, the 2018 festival theme, will focus on how all elements are diversifying and changing, to adapt to the future.

At the heart of the festival will be a series of discussions and demonstrations from the leading VFX, Gaming, Animation and Motion Graphic companies. Exploring new trends and changes in the use and application of technologies such as VR, AR & motion capture across VFX and games studios. Analysing how this impacts the skillset required for the next generation of VFX and gaming practitioners.

A series of panels, workshops and talks, will explore different sides of this diversification, from industry and education, to technology and broader cultural issues.


The countdown is officially on; the VFX Festival is back for 2018, celebrating the very best and brightest in the creative industry, in London.

Spanning four floors over three jam packed days, the festival will feature dedicated interactive exhibition hubs, with exhibits from leading industry talent.

The schedule will include a series of headliner talks and showcases from across the VFX, animation, games and motion graphics sectors.

Stay tuned for further announcements, schedule updates and news.

Day 1 - VFX, Games and Animation Newcomers - 6th February 2018

10:30am until 3:30pm


Framestore (VFX) - Paddington 2

Slip on your duffel coat and help yourself to a generous spread of marmalade for Framestore's talk on childhood classic, Paddington 2!

First responsible for bringing the iconic bear to life in 2014, world renowned Framestore will delve into their latest adventures in the creation of Paddington 2.

Creative Assembly (Games) - Introduction to Blowing Stuff Up in Games by David Rolfe

Creative Assembly will be presenting at the festival. Led by their passion for quality gameplay, Creative Assembly are passionate about bringing stories to life and crafting some of the most renowned gaming experiences.

Wider range of workshops and key showcases

The Mill - Heathrow 'It's a Wonderful Flight'

During this session The Mill will discuss their work on Heathrow Christmas advert, "Its a Wonderful Flight". This heartwarming sequel to last year’s festive spot tells the 50-year story of the relationship of Edward and Doris who meet in 1967 when she was an air stewardess and he a passenger.

Climax Games - 10 Game Dev Things You Should Probably Know

To be confirmed


To be confirmed

Day 2 - VFX, Games and Animation Enthusiasts, Graduates and Professionals - 7th February 2018

9:00am until 6:00pm


Framestore (VFX) - Thor: Ragnarok

Get your hammers at the ready… Oscar-winning creative studio Framestore will be exclusively presenting on Thor: Ragnarok.

Reuniting with Marvel Studios for the climactic final act of Thor: Ragnarok, Framestore's lead VFX Supervisor, Alexis Wajsbro, will be delving into the production of 459 shots of heavy-duty VFX.

Wider partners who will be featuring include

MPC Film (VFX)

MPC’s VFX team lead worked alongside Director Ridley Scott to create more than 700 stunning shots for Alien: Covenant. As lead studio, MPC’s work included the creation of the movies terrifying creatures, alien environments, vehicles and complex FX simulation work. In the session Dan Zelcs will go into more detail about the work that went into the film to create the iconic creatures that appear in this prequel to Ridley Scott’s classic Alien series. The presentation will look at the artistic and technical challenges of bringing to life creatures including the Neomorph, a new addition that makes a debut appearance in this movie.

Cinesite (VFX)

Climax Studios (Games) - AR/VR: Designing Reality

To be confirmed

Blue Zoo (Animation)

Blue Zoo co-founder Tom Box and Director Ben Steer will be showing the studio's latest short film "Mamoon", created using projected CG animation onto miniature polystyrene sets. They will be speaking about how the project came about, the process by which it was made, and how their chosen medium both inspired and restricted the story and visuals.

Day 3 - VFX, Games and Animation Graduates and Professionals - 8th February 2018

9:00am until 6:00pm


Creative Assembly (Games) - 'Magic for Massive Battles in TW: Warhammer II' by Mohrag Taylor and Steph Anderson

Creative Assembly will be presenting at the festival. Led by their passion for quality gameplay, Creative Assembly are passionate about bringing stories to life and crafting some of the most renowned gaming experiences.

Creative Assembly will also be running a talk on ‘The secrets behind great FX in games' by David Rolfe

Wider partners who will be featuring include

Fire Without Smoke (Games) - "Walkers, Plumbers and Epic Battles at Fire Without Smoke"

Director and VFX Supervisor Hugo Guerra talks about the making of the "The Walking Dead March to War", "Mario + Rabbids Kingdom Battle" and "Heroes Arena" reveal trailers made by Fire Without Smoke.

DNeg (VFX)

Double Negative will once again be sharing behind-the-scenes insights into their incredible work at The VFX Festival 2018. Watch this space for confirmation of sessions and speakers from this multiple Academy Award winning VFX studio.

MPC Advertising (VFX)

MPC presents the making-of Rupert Sanders' Ghost in the Shell, Toby Dye's Phobos, and stunning CG creatures for Volkswagen and EDEKA

REWIND - From VFX to VR - Ghost In The Shell

To be confirmed

The Mill presents John Lewis 'Moz the Monster'

We are pleased to announce The Mill will be discussing this year's John Lewis 2017 Christmas advertising campaign ‘Moz The Monster’ at The VFX Festival 2018. Set to a cover version of The Beatles song ‘Golden Slumbers’, recorded by British band Elbow, the two minute advert tells a heartwarming story of a little boy called Joe, who is kept awake by a 7ft imaginary Monster called Moz who is living under his bed.

DNeg (VFX)

Double Negative will once again be sharing behind the scenes insights into their incredible work at The VFX Festival 2018.


Steph Anderson

Artist, Creative Assembly

Steph is a VFX artist at Creative Assembly, currently working on the award-winning Total War: WARHAMMER series, with WARHAMMER II recently released. She graduated from Bournemouth University after studying Animation and Visual Effects for film and transitioned into real time vfx when she started at Creative Assembly as a Trainee VFX artist. She has since contributed to multiple projects, creating effects for spells, characters and environments.

Tom Box

Co-Founder, Blue Zoo Animation

Tom co-founded Blue Zoo Animation and over the studio's 17-year growth the company has become one of the leading CG animation studios in the UK; picking up a few awards along the way. Tom sits on the creative fence between the commercials and technology side of the studio and runs the company’s short film programme.

Aaron Hartline

Animator, Pixar

Aaron Hartline is a animator at Pixar Animation Studios. In Aaron's 20+ career of animating Academy Award winning feature films, he has brought memorable characters to life such as Toy Story's Buzz and Woody, Cars Lightning McQueen and Mater, Ice Age's Scrat the Squirrel, and Vlad the Vulture in Horton Hears A Who.

In addition, Hartline has been teaching animation for over 10+ years. Giving lectures at universities and conferences across the globe.

Currently, Aaron's 1st Children's Picture Book Box Meets Circle published by Disney Press comes out in April 2018.

Ben Steer

Animation Director, Blue Zoo Animation

Since joining Blue-Zoo Productions Ltd almost 7 years ago, Ben has had the opportunity to work in many roles, from writing and visual development to animation and directing. He's been lead animator and animation director on numerous children's TV series and worked on many adverts and promotions in the Blue-Zoo Creative Services department. Ben has also given talks at events such as SIGGRAPH London, BFX Festival as well as Bournemouth University and Norwich University of Arts. Mamoon is the second short film he has written and directed for the company.


We're pleased to announce that we'll be back at Rich Mix for 2018! Did you know that it was once a vast leather factory, and was transformed into a multi-arts venue, all 62,000 feet of it, 11 years ago. Spread over five floors, and housing three cinema screens, there are a multitude of flexible performance spaces where Rich Mix work with both emerging and established artists, not to mention creative businesses, to support them to deliver and develop their artistic practice. It is truly a perfect venue to host The VFX Festival 2018.

Where is Rich Mix?

35 - 47 Bethnal Green Road
E1 6LA


The VFX Festival 2018 will run in association with arts and cultural hub, Rich Mix in vibrant Shoreditch. Rich Mix is East London’s independent arts venue, currently celebrating its first 11 years in the capital. Having created a public space of welcome and inclusion, a place for the creative industries to thrive and for people to come together to make and experience world-class art, Rich Mix is committed to delivering excellent art to increasingly diverse audiences.



Supporting creative pros with the most innovative digital tools

We serve the passion of creative professionals around the world. Our products and services help industry leaders explore new horizon and set new standards in film and 3D animation, in industry design, digital art, game development and a broad range of human communication and expression. Wacom is committed to provide the world's most creative talents with most advanced digital tools for expression and productivity and to support the next generation of creative experts.

Birmingham City University

With around 24,000 students from 80 countries, Birmingham City University is a large, diverse and increasingly popular place to study. We put students at the heart of everything we do, giving them the best opportunities for future success.

BCU combines state of the art facilities with teams of industry practitioners and researchers. Our BSc Film Technology and Visual Effects course focuses on the technical skills demanded by the visual effects industry.

Our digital media technology courses produce graduates equipped with a variety of robust skills to enable a career in VFX, Film, TV, Computer Games and VR.


iMasterArt is a Digital Art and Entertainment Academy that has delivered advanced Masters for several years, across Milan, Turin and Genoa, Bologna and Rome. Our Masters combine the strong technical skills required by the entertainment market with traditional Digital Art.


SideFX develops Houdini, a 3D animation and visual effects software for use in film, commercials and video games.

Houdini’s comprehensive feature set includes modeling, rigging, animation, particle effects, dynamics, compositing, integrated rendering, and more.


TRIXTER is a company where not only iconic Marvel characters like Iron Man, Black Panther, Rocket and Baby Groot are brought to life, but also a breathtaking variety of animals, from an ant to an elephant to a magical dragon. The international team of artists teaches them how to run, swim, fly or whatever the project requires, creating believable characters that live on the screen, interacting seamlessly with their human co-stars.

Founded two decades ago by Simone Kraus and Michael Coldewey, TRIXTER is one of Germany`s leading VFX studios, creating stunning high end VFX work and character animation for film and television.

We are proud to have worked on international feature films such as Marvel’s Thor: Ragnarok, Guardians of the Galaxy 2, Spiderman: Homecoming, The Avengers, Avengers: Age of Ultron, Iron Man 3, Ant-Man, Captain America: Civil War, Independence Day: Resurgence, White House Down, Cloud Atlas, Wolfblood, and others.

Buy tickets

Looking to request tickets for a school group to attend Day 1 of the festival? Complete the form here