Saturday, April 8th 9:00AM - 5:00 PM

EPX Studio’s 6th annual EPXCON is an animation and gaming conference that will be held on April 8th.  The conference will take place at Art Building West at the University of Iowa in Iowa City.

EPXCON brings in industry professionals to bolster the animation and game design community here at Iowa.  These professionals – artists, writers, programmers, animators – speak about their experiences in their respective fields, share their previous or upcoming work, and give advice for those who want to pursue a similar career path.

EPXCON also holds the Interactive Play Lounge, a space for independent creators, local companies, and organizations to promote their own digital interactive projects.  The Interactive Play Lounge also showcases projects from our very own EPX members and University of Iowa students.

RSVP at our Facebook event.

Schedule

Time Auditorium Room 116 Room 112
9:00:-10:15 Registration and Continental Breakfast
(Atrium)
10:15-10:30 Opening Remarks
(Auditorium)
10:30-11:30 Opening Keynote: Steve "Spaz" Williams
"Digital Dinosaurs - Building Jurassic Park"
(Auditorium)
11:30-12:20 Dr. Parag Havaldar
Software R&D Lead:
Blizzard Entertainment
LaMont Pounds & Prince Smith
Panel: Adventurous Minds Studio
Steve Williams
Informal Question & Answer
12:30-1:30 Lunch (Atrium)
Interactive Play Lounge (Atrium)
Featuring music by The Hot Club of Iowa City (116)
1:30-2:20 Jack Liang
Executive Producer:
Polygon Pictures
LaMont Pounds & Prince Smith
Informal Question & Answer

Jon Lonngren
Master Class: "Fallen Land:
A Post-Apocalyptic Board Game" 

 
2:30-3:20 Jack Wall
Independent Composer
Jack Liang
Informal Question & Answer
3:30-4:20 Closing Keynote: Frederick Gardner
"Storytelling with Design"
(Auditorium)
4:30-5:00 Closing Remarks
(Auditorium)

EPX CON 2017 Speaker List

 

Jack Liang

Executive Producer at Polygon Pictures

Jack Liang is the Head of International Business Development,
Licensing and Producer for Polygon Pictures Inc.  He started his
career out working at Warner Bros. Interactive Entertainment,
which was the just established videogame arm for Warner Bros. 
He would later join Konami Digital Entertainment in the U.S.
office.  He would later move to the Headquarters of Konami to
help w/ the International Licensing and Business/Legal Affairs
team in Tokyo, Japan.  Joining Polygon Pictures Inc. in 2010,
Jack was Emmy nominated as the Producer of Transformers
Robots in Disguise in 2016 and helped oversee domestic
anime productions for distribution and licensing overseas for
properties such as Knights of Sidonia, Ajin and upcoming
Anime feature BLAME! on Netflix.



 

 

Jack Wall

Independent Composer

Jack Wall is a BAFTA nominated composer for video games,
film and television. Credits in games include Call of Duty:
Black Ops II & III, Mass Effect series, and the Myst series.
He co-created Video Games Live and serving as its music
director conducting some of the world’s finest orchestras in
26 countries. He is currently scoring Shadowhunters on the
Free Form channel (formerly ABC Family) and Reign on the
CW as well as several other video game and film projects.

 

Jon Lonngren

Owner, Game Designer, and Writer at Fallen Dominion Studios

Jon Lonngren is an indie tabletop game designer and avid Pulp
Fiction writer. As co-owner of the Iowa City-based Fallen
Dominion Studios, he has managed the creative team there
for the last eleven years, as they developed Fallen Land:
A Post-Apocalyptic Board Game. Jon is an Iowa City native
and a graduate of the University of Iowa, with degrees in
Political Science and International Studies, with a focus on
Russia and The Cold War. He also attended George Mason
University in Fairfax, Virginia and the Kazakh Institute of
Economics, Management and Strategic Research, in Almaty,
Kazakhstan. 

 

Frederick Gardner

Art Head, Visual Development Artist at Reel FX

Frederick Gardner was born and raised in Southern California.
His film career began in 1989 when he was approached by the
Warner Bros Publicity Dept to help design the publicity
campaign for Tim Burton's Batman. He attended film school at
UCLA and Art Center before finding his calling in animation at
CalArts. His artistic influences range from Hieronymous Bosch
and Picasso to Eyvind Earle and Maurice Noble. After a year at
CalArts, he was recruited by the producers of The Simpsons
(in 1990) to animate on the main title and first few seasons of the
series. After joining the US Army and servin a deployment as an
Infantryman to the Middle East in 2001, Frederick was awarded
two Emmys for his unique background designs on The Powerpuff
Girls and Juniper Lee at Cartoon Network.





 

 



Steve 'Spaz' Williams

Former Chief Animator at Lucas Film
Director of Advertising at the Academy of Art University

Steve “Spaz” Williams is a graduate of the Disney animation
program at Sheridan College, in Toronto, Williams worked
solely as an animator creating comedic cartoons. Fascinated
with applying computing technology to animation, he joined
Alias Research who were at the time beginning their
groundbreaking work in character animation software. Spaz’s
ability to create characters while also understanding computer
processes caught the attention of Industrial Light & Magic’s
nascent computer animation division. He was Chief Animator
on The Abyss, Terminator 2, and Jurassic Park and Visual Effects
Supervisor, Second Unit Director and Executive Producer on Spawn.
He was nominated for an Academy Award for his contribution to
The Mask, starring Jim Carrey and an unknown 21 year-old actress,
Cameron Diaz. In the late 90’s Williams turned his attention to
directing TV commercials, taking his background in animation and
visual effects and applying it to live action spots. 

 



Dr. Parag Havaldar

Software R&D Lead at Blizzard Entertainment

Parag Havaldar received a PhD in Computer Vision and
Graphics from the University of Southern California in
1996. Since then he has been working in the media industry
to design and architect software solutions for the multimedia
pipeline from authoring, compression, distribution, and
digital rights management. Currently, Dr. Havaldar is the
software R&D lead at Blizzard Entertainment and previously
software supervisor at SONY Pictures Imageworks, where he
lead SONY’s proprietary efforts in the area of performance
capture. The technology developed by him and his group has
been used to create stylized and realistic character animations
in a variety of movies including Alice in Wonderland (2010 release),
Monster House, Hancock, and Spiderman. In 2017 Dr. Havaldar
won an Academy Award for his developments when working at
SONY. Dr. Havaldar also serves as a part time faculty member
in the Computer Science Department at the University of Southern
California teaching a graduate course on multimedia.


LaMont Pounds


Prince Smith

LaMont Pounds and Prince Smith

Adventerous Minds Studio

Adventurous Minds LLC Is an American film studio that develops
and produces animated television programming, feature films,
music videos, title sequences, commercials and short films. The
Studio started in 2012, but officially became a business in January
2017. They worked on productions such as the Jackson 5
Documentary and Character Designed for an American hip hop artist
named Desiigners for a music video called Zombie Walk. After
working along-side Carl Jones and Saxton Moore, head of Pixel
Pirate Studio, Adventurous Minds are currently developing an
animated feature for a NBA player, Johnny O‘bryant the third,
called Primus 7.

Sponsors

EPX Studio
University of Iowa Student Government
School of Art and Art History
School of Music
Center for Asian Pacific Studies