EPX Con 2019: Animation & Gaming Conference

Save the date!

April 13th, 2019! The Midwest's largest Animation and Gaming Conference is back and better than ever! EPXCON 2019 is our 9th annual CON. This year, we have a full program featuring industry professionals in animation, arts, programming, writing, game design, music and sound design, and business, all giving talks, tech demos, master classes, Q&A sessions, and more.

EPXCON is free and open to the public. We will provide a free continental breakfast and lunch for all attendees! We will also be featuring our annual Interactive Play Lounge, featuring games and creations by local developers, UI faculty, and the student members of EPX Studio. 

 

Schedule:

TimeAUD (240)116112110
9:00-10:00 Interactive Play Lounge
Registration
Complimentary Breakfast
10:00-10:30 Opening Remarks
AUD (240)
10:30-11:20 Chance Thomas
Yes, MUSIC... but WHY???
Rachamongkol Yothaya
Road to Being an Animator
 
 
Dave Voyles
Getting Your Foot in the Door - Creating an Indie Game Dev Studio
11:30-12:20 Neil Kaplan
Creating Iconic Voices: Neil Kaplan and His Friends
Kyle Mohr
How the Sausage is Made (Working Title):  Achieving 'Pixar Quality' Animation
Q&A Room
(11:45-3:20)
12:30-1:30 Interactive Play Lounge
Complimentary Lunch
1:30-2:20 Ruthe Farmer
Born Inclusive: Embracing Diversity to Build Better Content & Bigger Audiences
Cameron Dayton
The Path of the Narrative Director
2:30-3:20 Gemma Busoni
Using Augmented and Virtual Reality in Education
Jason Hayes
Featured Composer: Blizzard Entertainment's Iconic Soundtracks
3:30-4:20 Career Advice Panel
Cameron Dayton, Paderic Waggoner, Ruthe Farmer
Audio Design Panel
Chance Thomas, Neil Kaplan, Jason Hayes
Animation Panel
Kyle Mohr, Rachgmongkol Yothaya, Stephen Jennings 
4:30-5:00 Closing Remarks
AUD (240)
5:00-5:30 Interactive Play Lounge

Location: 

 

University of Iowa
Art Building West

 

141 N Riverside Dr
Iowa City, IA 
52246

 

OVM0007 2 2

 

 

SPEAKER LIST


Chance Thomas Composer Chance Thomas is an American composer and author. As a composer, Chance creates original music for games, movies, television and virtual reality. His music has underscored both critical acclaim and commercial success, including an Oscar, an Emmy, and billions of dollars in sales worldwide. Chance has composed music for some of the world’s most valuable entertainment properties, including Lord of the Rings, Avatar, Marvel, Warhammer, Might & Magic, Dungeons & Dragons, DOTA 2, King Kong, Star Wars and many more. His music has been honored with over 40 professional awards and nominations, including 6 times for Music of the Year. His work has been highlighted in the New York Times, USA TODAY, Entertainment Weekly, Wired Magazine and many other publications. Chance is the author of a popular university textbook, Composing Music for Games: The Art, Technology and Business of Video Game Scoring. The book has been widely praised for giving composers the tools they actually need to establish and maintain a successful career in music scoring. Targeted to game composers, most of the materials are equally applicable to composers scoring any type of visual media. The Amazon rating for the book is 5 out of 5 stars.

Due to his life-long love for animation, Rachamongkol entered the industry in 2012 and began working in Bangkok. There he learned how to bring characters to life in Thailand’s TV series and feature film. In 2014, he decided to study and pursue his dream in the US. He landed his first animation job at Sledgehammer games producing in-game animation for Call of Duty: WWII. He then moved on to Facebook where he helped to create a character for an exclusive VR project. Currently he is working on an in-house short animated film at Steamroller studio and is producing in-game animation for Fortnite. Pun

Jason Hayes A multiple award-winning composer, Jason Hayes is well known for his long-standing relationship with Blizzard Entertainment, contributing music to their games set in the popular worlds of Warcraft, Starcraft, and Diablo. He was the lead composer of the original release of World of Warcraft, the most successful online game in the world.  Jason's music has been performed by symphony orchestras all over the world in various concerts including the show "Video Games Live", which debuted at the Hollywood Bowl with the LA Philharmonic, and continues to tour internationally. He's also been a featured speaker for UCLA, USC, the Film Music Network, ASCAP, the Society of Composers and Lyricists, the Game Developers Conference, and the Pacific Northwest Film Scoring Program. Jason was born in New Orleans, Louisiana. As a young adult he discovered his passion for music composition while studying piano with the renowned concert pianist, Dr. William Chapman-Nyaho. After spending a year traveling around the country as a touring musician, Jason studied music composition at the University of North Texas. Soon after, he moved to California and began his career as a staff composer at Sierra On-Line, which eventually led to him joining the award-winning development team at Blizzard Entertainment.  Currently he lives in Franklin, Tennessee and is the audio director of a brand new game development studio there.

Dave Voyles is a developer who talks to developers on behalf of Microsoft, and works out of Philadelphia. Sitting at the intersection of technology and business, he is a storyteller who uses his passion for words to help IT professionals express themselves in ways that business people understand. He was a construction worker before he was an engineer, so he enjoys helping others to understand the most detailed and technical aspects of software and computing, and break things down into terms that everyone can comprehend. dave voyles headshot

rute Ruthe Farmer has focused her efforts on diversity and inclusion in tech and engineering since 2001 and is currently Chief Evangelist at CSforAll. She most recently served as Senior Policy Advisor for Tech Inclusion at the White House Office of Science & Technology Policy where she led implementation of President Obama’s call to action for Computer Science for All (CSforAll) US students, and advised on national tech inclusion policy. While at the White House, Ms. Farmer launched the Summit on Computer Science for All and engaged over 500 community partners in making public commitments to advance and support computer science for US students. Prior to joining the White House, Ms. Farmer served as Chief Strategy and Growth Officer at the National Center for Women & IT (NCWIT) and Director of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance. At NCWIT Ms. Farmer led strategy and development of national initiatives to increase the meaningful participation of women and girls in computing and IT fields. She launched and scaled the immensely successful Aspirations in Computing talent development initiative for young women in computing, growing the program to a national footprint in just three years. Today Aspirations in Computing is available to all girls and young women in the US and territories, and includes the AspireIT near-peer outreach program for K-12 girls, the Award for Aspirations in Computing for technically inclined high school women, the NCWIT Collegiate Award recognizing the technical contributions of college women, and a national Aspirations in Computing community of program alumnae. Additional significant contributions include: the TECHNOLOchicas campaign for Latinas, a bilingual media campaign produced in partnership with the Televisa Foundation and distributed by Univision; the expansion of the NCWIT Student Seed Fund, and leadership of the NCWIT K-12 Alliance, which has a reach of 100% of US girls through its broad network of partners. Ms. Farmer served as the 2012 Chair of Computer Science Education Week, was named a White House Champion of Change for Technology Inclusion in 2013, received the Anita Borg Institute Award for Social Impact in 2014, and the Education UK Alumni Award for Social Impact in 2015. She is a profile public voice for equity and inclusion in technology and has been an invited speaker at the United Nations, the European Parliament, the White House, the Washington Post, TEDxBeaconStreet, Oxford University, the Federal Reserve, universities and colleges nationwide and many others. She is an advisor to PBS SciGirls Latina and SciGirls Code, RoadTrip Nation, and the Girls Choice Awards, and is on the high level advisory board of the European Centre for Women in Technology. Ms. Farmer has been a guest contributor for Techcrunch and the Shriver Report, and has been featured in Forbes, The Financial Times, TechRepublic and EdScoop for her work. She holds a BA in Communications and German from Lewis & Clark College, and an MBA in Social Entrepreneurship and Marketing from the University of Oxford Said Business School. She is passionate about integrating innovative business strategies into social change efforts.

Kyle Mohr began his Pixar career at Pixar Canada in September 2010 where he worked as an animator on Cars Toons including “Air Mater,” “Time Travel Mater,” Tales from Radiator Springs "Shorty Shorts,” and “Radiator Springs 500 ½,” as well as the Toy Story Toons “Small Fry” and “Partysaurus Rex.” After starting at the Emeryville campus at Pixar Animation Studios in 2017, Mohr worked on features including “Coco,” “Incredibles 2,” and is currently working on “Toy Story 4.” Before Pixar, Mohr started his career freelancing in New York. His first job was at Charlex animating on "One Rat Short" in Nov 2005, which won Best in Show at SIGGRAPH. He continued as a contract animator at studios including Framestore NY (Geico Gecko), Psyop (Coke "Happiness Factory"), and Aardman Nathan Love (Pop Secret and Baskin Robbins). Mohr also worked at Blue Sky on features including “Horton Hears a Who!” and “Ice Age: Dawn of the Dinosaurs.” In 2010 he moved to Vancouver, Canada to work at the Pixar Canada studio, where he stayed until 2013. His other credits include “Big Hero 6” for Disney Animation and “Pixels,” "The Angry Birds Movie,” and "Smurfs: The Lost Village” for Sony Pictures Imageworks. Mohr grew up on a farm in Jones County, Iowa, outside of Monmouth. He graduated from high school in 2000 at Midland Community High School in Wyoming, Iowa. He studied Computer Graphics at Marycrest International University in Davenport, Iowa until its closure in 2002, at which point he transferred to Savannah College of Art and Design in Savannah, Georgia. Mohr graduated from SCAD in 2005 with a B.F.A. in Animation. He currently resides in Walnut Creek, California.  kylemohrBig

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For it’s now completed run of eight seasons, fans around the world of the Netflix animated series, “VOLTRON: LEGENDARY DEFENDER” have known Neil Kaplan as the evil galactic Emperor Zarkon.
His work in animation includes playing Albus Dumbledore on “ROBOT CHICKEN”, as well as roles on “THE WACKY RACES”, “PENN ZERO: PART TIME HERO”, “BUNNICULA”, “ASK THE STORYBOTS”, “HIGGLYTOWN HEROES”, the upcoming Netflix anthology series, “LOVE, DEATH, AND ROBOTS”, and more.
“DESTINY 2”, the highly anticipated video game sequel was released worldwide during the summer of 2017 to critical acclaim. At the center of this epic story is the primary antagonist, Dominus Ghaul. The fear inducing voice for Ghaul was provided by Mr. Kaplan.
Millions of video game players & fans around the world already know him for his captivating work in Blizzard’s massive hits “STARCRAFT II” and “HEROES OF THE STORM” as the roguish anti-hero, Tychus J. Findlay, as well as Lord of the Forest, Cenarius in “WORLD OF WARCRAFT”. He is adored by “LEAGUE OF LEGENDS” fans as the voice of space dragon Aurelian Sol. “STAR WARS” fans know him as any number of aliens, humans, droids and “others” such as Skadge, Governor Adlehard, Boss Ganne, Darth Bandon and Bendak Starkiller from the video games “OLD REPUBLIC”, “UPRISING”, “BATTLEGROUNDS” and “KNIGHTS OF THE OLD REPUBLIC”.
Anime fans loved Neil as Hawkmon on “DIGIMON” and continue to love to hate him as villainous Madara Uchiha on “NARUTO: SHIPPÛDEN”. Among his numerous other anime credits, he was Iron Man’s cheif nemesis on Marvel Anime’s “IRON MAN”, a council elder on “BLADE” and Magneto on “MARVEL DISK WARS: THE AVENGERS”.
His voice was heard for years on “MIGHTY MORPHIN’ POWER RANGERS”. He was featured for the entire season voicing fan-favorite villain, Diabolico on “POWER RANGERS: LIGHTSPEED RESCUE”. And on “POWER RANGERS: TIME FORCE” he was Vernon Wells’ lovable henchman, Gluto.
Currently, he can also be heard as the voice of CNNN on Chuck Lorre’s “DISJOINTED” airing on Netflix.
Audiobook enthusiasts know him as the narrator for several books including the popular YA series, “I AM NUMBER FOUR”.
And of course lest we forget, Neil Kaplan provided the voice to iconic hero Optimus Prime on the original “TRANSFORMERS: ROBOTS IN DISGUISE”.

With over 20 years designing games that range from independent hits to big-budget titles, Cameron has created characters, worlds, storyboards, animation, and dialogue for some of the biggest games in the industry.
He co-founded Chair Entertainment, creators of the award-winning Infinity Blade games, and wrote the script to Advent Rising with best-selling novelist Orson Scott Card. In the five years that followed, Cameron was Senior World Builder on Blizzard's Overwatch team, and then Senior Story Developer with the Creative Development team, building narratives for the studio's popular game worlds, including Hearthstone, The World of Warcraft, StarCraft, and Diablo. He wrote Blizzard's first web-comic, "Kerrigan: Hope and Vengeance" which was ranked #1 on Amazon.com, and created the Project Blackstone transmedia campaign for StarCraft 2. Project Blackstone broke new ground for the company and transformed the way that Blizzard Entertainment used media for audience immersion.
Following this, Cameron ventured back into the mobile space as Creative Director for EA Games and Scopely - where he brought solid IP-focused direction to titles like The Walking Dead: The Road to Survival and Minions Paradise.
More recently, Cameron has returned to the world of AAA games as Creative Director with Sledgehammer Games (directing design and narrative for Call of Duty: WW2 - the best-selling PS4 game of 2017), and is currently Narrative Director with BioWare Games

Cameron Dayton

gemma2 Gemma is the CEO and co-founder of Discovr Labs, an immersive education content studio and company which uses VR/AR immersive technology to deliver the most effective education and training experiences. She was born in El Salvador, immigrating to south Florida, and eventually Los Angeles, California. Gemma graduated high school early to start Discovr Labs. Discovr partnered with Unity Technologies, the world's leading 3D and game engine, to bring immersive education programs to life, becoming their Education Programs & XR Specialist. Gemma also shared the cover of Seventeen magazine alongside First Lady Michelle Obama. She is also a Thiel Fellow. The fellowship, funded by Peter Thiel, encourages talented young people to pursue big ideas and start companies instead of attending college.

 

Interactive Play Lounge

 

The Interactive Play Lounge will feature projects and games created by members and local developers.

 

 

 

Stay tuned for more updates!

 

 

Thanks to our sponsors!

 


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