FMX is the place to be if you want to break into the visual effects industry. It takes place in Stuttgart every year - this year from April 22-25. It's a big, bustling, crowded, brain-boiling congress of people who work in the global visual effects industry, getting together for their annual shindig. Everyone shows up - and there are lectures, screenings and panel talks on every imaginable aspect of the visual effects process.
For students, it costs €150 to get in to the whole event (€75 for the day), plus you will have travel and accommodation to deal with. But as a window into the VFX world - there is nothing like it. It is the biggest event in the Europe.
And it's not just about gawking and window-shopping. There is business to be done as well. Make sure you polish your demo reel and your online portfolio - all the big VFX houses will be there in force, competing to hire the best graduates and spot the new rising stars. It is a perfect opportunity to chat to recruiters and find out what they are looking for, what the latest trends are in the business; what skills are in short supply.
I went to FMX a couple of years ago, and I simply could not believe the breadth and scope of the event. After all, who thinks of Stuttgart when they think of visual effects? But Stuttgart is to VFX as Annecy is to Animation, and as Cannes is to film. It is, quite simply, the place to be.
And no, you don't have to speak German. Almost everything is conducted in English. And, nowadays, the Germans speak better English than we do.
You can see the FMX website here for more details.
(Editor's note: for more information on finding work in the animation business, read our post on how to find a job in the animation industry, how to find an internship, and check out our post about what not to do at a job interview. Also see our post on starting your own small animation business, and see how we are helping our students find work through our film co-operative Nano Films. Take a look at how awn.com can help you find a job, and read our piece about how to survive as a freelance animator. Also, check out our guide to Freelancers and Taxes, and find out what Cinesite look for in a student's demo reel, and read our guide to making a great Demo Reel. Finally, check out our interview with our student Henry Fenwick on what he learned working as a runner in Soho.)