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Diversity in full display: ADFEST 2017 Day 1

PATTAYA – In the two decades that ADFEST has been in existence, there has been an explosion of creativity throughout Asia. The diverse cultures that exist in the region have helped inspire others, and has led to even greater creativity in crafting ideas that have raised awareness and changed lives for the better. That same diversity was on display by the wide range of talks in just the first day of the festival at the Pattaya Exhibition and Convention Hall or PEACH.

As the first day of ADFEST 2017 opened, delegates were welcomed by a talk on The Next Frontier in Virtual Storytelling conducted by Luke Ritchie. As Head of Interactive Arts at Nexus Studios in London, Ritchie discussed how concepts such as virtual reality and augmented reality are now giving way to mixed reality. 

Ritchie added that the creation of subplots in virtual reality to support the main narrative only enriches the overall experience for the audience.

Ryan McGuire of Cutters Studio then proceeded to discuss something that is often taken for granted, namely The Crucial Role of Editors in Crafting Campaigns. McGuire’s reel showed several samples of how important editing truly is for a campaign to be effective.

Often the last key storyteller in the process, the editor comes in with fresh eyes and will go through tons of paperwork and/or footage in order for a campaign to meet its objective and reach its intended audience.

For his part, Alex Liu of Cheil Peng Tai spoke on The Apocalypse of Creativity in the era of Big Data. Though technology may seem intimidating to some creative people, Liu believes that technology must be embraced instead. 

In fact, Liu stated that embracing Big Data can actually be another source of creativity and it can allow further engagement between brands and audiences in the future.

The duo of Chris Burney and Naohiro Togawa of ADK offered a different take on the search for bigger ideas when it was their turn to take the ADFEST stage. Both with two kids of their own, Burney and Togawa stated their belief that becoming dads actually helped them come up with better ideas.

Each father presented examples of insights they have gained since achieving fatherhood, even as they stressed that their interactions with their children have helped expand their creativity.

The fifth talk of the day was given by Christian Greet, an animation director and “juggler” for New Zealand’s Cirkus. Through a series of examples, Greet proceeded to discuss the current trend of people turning their backs on computer generated images for the sake of something they perceive to be more “real.”

To support his insights, Greet stated that when people can’t relate to something (such as CGI), they turn their backs on it. Hence, the current “CGI fatigue” has made CGI artists spend 90 percent of their time creating flaws in their work to make them more believable and thus more relatable for the target audience.

Commercial and film director Ithyle Griffiths of Angela and Ithyle Inc. gave the penultimate talk on Day One as he discussed the need for touch and tactile interaction when creating something. Among the things he shared, Griffiths advocates for the need to step away from one’s computer screens and monitors every so often to find the things that inspire you.

In his quest to come up with more creative concepts, Griffiths believes that if other people are better than him on a team, that isn’t a bad thing. Rather, it is a way to elevate the work as he brings in more creative artists and co-workers on his team.

Bringing the day to a close was Matt Noonan, managing partner of Curious, as he spoke on the move from content to entertainment.

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