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By sdridje
January 19, 2024
Collision Award Jury Q&A

Fred Volhuer, CEO, Atlas V Group

AtlasV creates alternate worlds by leveraging new technologies, unique visual aesthetics and immersive design.

Fred Volhuer, CEO, Atlas V Group
A bouncy random shape
A small bouncy random shape

Meet Fred Volhuer, CEO, Atlas V Group

As AtlasV’s CEO, but also as a Jury and Panelist in several Festivals (Cannes Festival, Tribeca Film Festival, IFP Film week, Miami Filmgate, Mutek…) and a lecturer at MIT, NYU, Chapman and Brooklyn College, Fred’s work exemplifies the expanding bridge between storytelling and technology. How we can continue to think about the integration of these new platforms as we build audiences for entertainment, brands and institutions. Before co-founding Atlas V, Fred started a consulting firm to support creative pieces in VR with marketing/distribution strategies. He is also an investor a strategic advisor of several immersive technology companies.

Q: What was your first job in the industry? What did it teach you?

I became an executive producer by accident. I was working in crypto, bored to death and constantly looking up to my friends working in creative environments. When I embarked in my first production, I immediately observed similarities with my first professional experience, in advertising. As a strategic planner in advertising agency, I was trying to understand market dynamics, determine brand positioning and messaging. With a creative project, you need to be able to communicate a vision, a purpose. You want to anticipate the feelings and emotions your audience will go through while watching the piece. To learn to communicate this vision as a producer was a real thrill and made me want to do more projects.

Q: Who inspired you to join the field/who inspired your work?

My current business partner and friend Arnaud Colinart. He is the one who contacted me to help him distribute on of his brilliant productions. He also convinced me to become the CEO of the new venture he wanted to create. I always thought production does not make sense from a buisness standpoint. It is hard to finance, has close to zero scalability and success rates are lower than in any other industry. But everyday is so different, challenging and joyful, that there is no room for regrets.

A bouncing geometric shape

Videogame engines can bring a feeling of freedom and fun while keeping the audience engaged with the storyline and involved in a new type of relationship with the characters.

Fred Volhuer, CEO, Atlas V Group

Q: Which project are you most proud to have worked on?

Notes on Blindness, a VR documentary that tackles the topic of blindness from an educative and entertaining angle. The project has been a stepping stone for immersive storytelling and is still being regarded today as a major creative achievement.

Q: What 3 animated pieces of work were among some of your favorite work from 2023?

The new Chicken Run movie from Aardman studios is an immense and tender throwback at this world I loved as a teenager, and can no show to my kids at the same age. It is also great to see the work of our co-producers as Atlas V and Aardman collaborated on Wallace and Gromit XR that launched on Meta Quest early december 2023. For similar reasons the last Zelda was definitely a hit in 2023.

Q: What do you look forward to most as a founding Collision Award jury member?

I want to connect with young and new creative visions. I am looking to be surprised by new ideas in form and substance, especially if that includes the use of new technologies and a push towards more immersive contents.

Q: When you look at the future of animation in your field, what do you see?

I see a lot of immersion and interactivity brought by the use of videogame engines. I see more agency, not necessarily towards scoring or death scenarios, nor in multipath narratives. Videogame engines can bring a feeling of freedom and fun while keeping the audience engaged with the storyline and involved in a new type of relationship with the characters. We have to invent it all!

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