Robert Legato, ASC to Present Keynote at NAB/SMPTE “Future of Cinema” Conference

ASC Staff

Emmy and Academy Award-winning visual effects supervisor will discuss The Jungle Book, photorealism, and the bright future of filmmaking.

Robert Legato, ASC

The Society of Motion Picture and Television Engineers (SMPTE), the organization whose standards work has supported a century of technological advances in entertainment technology, has announced that visual effects supervisor Robert Legato, ASC will present the keynote at the 2017 NAB Show‘s “The Future of Cinema Conference: The Intersection of Technology, Art, & Commerce in Cinema,” produced in partnership with SMPTE. The conference will take place April 22-23 at the Las Vegas Convention Center.

Legato will present “Jungle Book, Photorealism, and the Bright Future of Filmmaking” on the second day of the two-day conference, which also will feature sessions delving into how technical innovation, artistic intent, and evolving consumption and business models will interact to shape the future of cinema. With computer simulations becoming so accurate that it is often difficult for even the most seasoned pros to distinguish the difference between an effect and the real thing, drawing from his experiences working on acclaimed titles such as Apollo 13, Titanic, and Hugo, Legato will explore the distinction between visual effects and “traditional” cinematic disciplines, such as direction, cinematography, production, and design.

The Jungle Book

“Rob’s surprising and creative visual illusions help movies to resonate powerfully with audiences, and his work has enriched and enhanced some of the industry’s most beloved films,” said Cynthia Slavens of Pixar Animation Studios, who serves as program chair for the conference. “In addition to being a master of his craft, Rob is an engaging speaker who draws on his wealth of experience to provide insights into the creative process, offering a valuable perspective as we look to the future of cinema.”


Legato has been nominated for four Academy Awards and has won three. His first win was for his work on Titanic, his second was for his work on Hugo, and his third for The Jungle Book. In 1996, he won the BAFTA Award for Best Achievement in Special Effects for Apollo 13, for which he also garnered his first Academy Award nomination. Prior to his work in film, he was a visual effects supervisor for Star Trek: The Next Generation from 1987 to 1992, and Star Trek: Deep Space Nine in 1993. His work on the Star Trek franchise earned him three Emmy Award nominations and two wins.

Apollo 13
Apollo 13

“The Future of Cinema Conference” will gather the brightest industry minds and talents to discuss the changing nature of storytelling today and into the future, as well as the industry’s role in ensuring that creative work is preserved in its highest form for generations to come. The conference will feature sessions on forward-looking techniques and challenges related to making content for theatrical release and beyond.


Complete conference details, including registration information, are available here.

Legato on set with an Alexa 3D rig during the production of Hugo.

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