10 Panels to See at LightBox Expo 2019
SEPTEMBER 05, 2019 9:00AM by Graeme McMillan
Artists behind 'Star Wars' and 'Jurassic World' are attending the three-day celebration in Pasadena.
Pasadena, California will this weekend be the home to the first LightBox Expo, a three-day event set up to recognize and shape the visual art inside the entertainment industry.
With guests including Star Wars character designer Iain McCaig, Jurassic World concept artist Crash McCreery, and character designer Helen MingJue Chen, the weekend is a packed schedule, with panels and discussions on topics from technical advice to the ethics of the industry, interspersed with technique demonstrations by a number of different artists throughout the entire event.
For those attending and wondering just what panels to check out, here are 10 suggestions to satisfy curiosities of all flavors.
Friday, Sept. 6
Vance Kovacs: The Art & Visual Development for Lion King
Kovacs, a concept artist on the recent Lion King remake — as well as Black Panther, Godzilla and all manner of other features — talks about the visual development behind Jon Favreau’s visual feast. (Room 104/105, Conference Center; 1:00 PM-2:00 PM)
Talking Threads: Narrative Worldbuilding Through Costume
Design mentor Jessie Kate Bui, costume designer Gwyneth Conaway, stop-motion costume fabricator Rebecca Black-Gliko, and visual development artist Maria Ferreira Kercher — 4/5 of Talking Threads, a collective dedicated to exploring the role of the costume in entertainment — talk about their work and their ambitions. (Room 209/210, Conference Center; 2:30 PM-3:30 PM)
Designing Memorable Characters for Film with Crash McCreery
McCreery talks in detail about his work designing characters on Pirates of the Caribbean and Rango, including the problems faced and solutions found as a result of the process. (Main Ballroom, Exhibition Center; 3:15 PM-4:15 PM)
Saturday, Sept. 7
Sony Pictures Animation: The Story Artist Story with Guillermo Martinez, Miguel Jiron, Caitlin VanArsdale
Leading lights from Sony Pictures Animation discuss their own careers and personal journeys in the only way they know how: Storyboard pitches. (Main Ballroom, Exhibition Center; 10:00 AM-11:00 AM)
Design for TV and Film with Neville Page
The man behind character and creature design from projects like Avatar, Star Trek: Discovery and Shazam! goes inside his process, with the official description promising, “Some good info will be shared on high-end cosplay techniques as well.” Finally, you too can become the Klingon of your dreams. (Main Ballroom, Exhibition Center; 12:45 PM-1:45 PM)
Potentially the must-see panel of the weekend comes when the team behind the visual development of the Marvel Studios movies — including Andy Park, Ryan Meinerding, Jackson Sze, Anthony Francisco, Rodney Fuentebella, Karla Ortiz and Jana Schirmer — talk about their work and the way it has influenced what is one of the most successful pop culture properties of the current moment. (Main Ballroom, Exhibition Center; 2:00 PM-3:00 PM)
Concept Art Awards
Hosted by Mystery Science Theater 3000’s Jonah Ray, the Concept Art Awards, presented by LightBox Expo, celebrates the work of designers and artists inside the entertainment industry. Already announced are the five Lifetime Award Recipients: H.R. Giger (Alien), Ralph McQuarrie (Star Wars), Jean “Moebius” Giraud (TRON), Ron Cobb (Back to the Future) and Syd Mead (Blade Runner). (Main Ballroom, Exhibition Center; 6:30 PM-8:00 PM)
Sunday, Sept. 8
The Making of “Hair Love” with Matthew Cherry, Karen Toliver and Stacey Newton
The story behind the fan-favorite crowdfunded short — which set records for the most highly-funded Kickstarter short film to date, and was released in theaters to accompany Sony’s The Angry Birds Movie 2 — is revealed by those who’d know: The short’s writer/director and producers. (Main Ballroom, Exhibition Center; 10:00 AM-11:00 AM)
Bo is Back — A Journey Through the Growth and Re-invention of Bo Peep
When Bo Peep returned in Toy Story 4, she sported a new look that reflected not only what had happened to her in the 20 years since her last appearance, but also what had happened to animation as a whole. Becki Tower and Carrie Hobson, who worked on the character in the movie, talk about how that happened. (Main Ballroom, Exhibition Center; 11:30 AM-12:30 PM)
Netflix Original Animated Films: Spotlight on Klaus, The Willoughbys, Over the Moon
The future of Netflix’s full-length animated projects is under the microscope in a panel that includes Klaus production designers Marcin Jakubowski and Szymon Biernacki (via video presentation), The Willoughbys production designer Kyle McQueen and lead artists Aniket Natekar and Helen Ahlberg, and Over the Moon production designer Celine Desrumaux. (Main Ballroom, Exhibition Center; 2:00 PM-3:00 PM)
LightBox Expo runs Sept. 6-8 at the Pasadena Convention Center. More information about the event can be found here.