FITC Toronto Day 1 Review

I’m at FITC for the next three days and so far it’s been a great time. It’s only the first day and I’ve gotten to catch up with some old friends, meet some folks I’ve only known via email before… and of course attend some sessions.

Here’s a recap of the day one sessions I attended:

9:30am – How to BS (brainstorm)Better
Jason Theodor

This was a great session to start out with; probably my favourite of the morning. Jason used a funny story about the kids poem Alligator Pie to talk about different ways of getting through the brainstorming process. His main message was that there is no box. Creativity is making connections fueled by energy.

His session was a great reminder of some brainstorming methods. And he presented some great (suggested) rules for brainstorming.

The main things I took away from this session were: the desire to get back in the habit of recording ideas even if I don’t have an obvious use for them right away; and that a good brainstorming session needs some structure to be productive. It was definitely a good session to start the day off with.

1045am – Challenging Imagination
Si Scott

This session wasn’t as strong as the one before. Si Scott seemed a bit flustered and not too comfortable presenting.

Si Scott mostly showed his past work but also talked a little about his process. It was interesting to here that even he often gets clients who try to art direct.

All in all it was my love of awesome typographic illustrations and the English accent that made me stay for the whole session. The rest of my “crew” bailed after the first few minutes.

12:00pm – No real session

This hour didn’t work out so well for me. I couldn’t get into the 3D in Flash panel because the room was already overflowing. So, I stopped into What Clients Won’t Buy but it wasn’t at all what I thought it would be and the panel seemed a bit disorganized.

I was about to head to the Turn Based Games session but ran into the JRVisuals folks who were just leaving that one because it was disappointing. We decided to head out to lunch early.

2:00pm – OOP for the OOPless
Hugh Elliot

Apparently I am not OOPless. I only stayed in this one a few minutes before deciding that it was a little too basic for me.

2:00pm – Director as Provocateur
Shilo

I popped in here after leaving the oopless presentation. Shilo showed some cool motion graphics spots they’ve worked on and talked about viewer reactions to them. The spot they did for Scion got them some pretty crazy emails.

3:15pm – Adobe Keynote
Mike Downey +

I’ve seen a few Adobe keynotes in the past, but this one was different than most of those. There were no slides! Just lots of examples of recent/new things Adobe is working on.

Mike Downey covered AIR and Flex. Including a cool Nickelodeon puzzle app that allowed you to drag pieces from the browser to an AIR app. I hadn’t seen that one before.

Lydia Varmazis demoed Kuler and it’s various panels and AIR apps.

Richard Galvan demoed some cool new features coming up in Flash CS4 including the new animation techniques, IK and 3D.

Justin Everette Church talked about Flash Player 10 and showed some cool hydra filters in action.

4:30 pm – Beyond Knowledge: The Art of Playing
Eric Natzke

Eric showed a lot of his newer work — like the stuff you can see on his flickr feed. He also gave us all a little insight into how he goes from a basic particle system to an engine that can be used to created the intricate work he’s doing.

I know that’s a short description but his presentation was very visual an very much about being there in person to see it.