It’s my third year attending South by Southwest (SXSW) my favourite film, interactive and music conference hosted in Austin Texas.
No doubt SXSW has now become one of the most important cultural and economic incubators of the new millennium. Every March, more than 40,000 people, including a Who’s Who of innovative executives and entrepreneurs, flock to Austin for the ten-day festival. They debate the future of business and the Internet. They wheel and deal. They party. They wake up and do it all over again.
The event offers a unique convergence of emerging technologies, original music and independent films that foster’s the creative and professional growth of anybody who has a career in the communication industry.
My SXSW 2012 experience was all about the transmedia learning I gained at the event.A year later at SXSW 2013 it was all about a week that demonstrated clearly to me, that the progression of technology is increasingly shrinking the lag time between what we can imagine and what we can create.
This year the conference has had a big focus tech safety and security. They also had a wonderful new sport stream where I was a considerable amount of time. But like previous years you learn to just go with the flow and always be looking up. My event schedule That outlined everything I attended can be found here,
From past experience you need to be very flexible with your daily plans and let each day take you on a creativity discovery based on the people you meet and the conversations that are had.
Some of my highlights on SXSW 2014 are listed below;
There was a massive turn out for the keynote Dr deGrasse Tyson who was amazing with some memorable quotes. “Science literacy is how much do you still wonder about the world around you. What is your state of curiosity?” or “I would encourage you to not become attached to the number of things. There’s no physics in the number of things.”
I attended the Fast Company event of some of the original SXSW Interactive event coordinators giving the untold stories behind Twitter, Foursquare launches at SXSW as well as the famous keynote in 2008 from Mark Zuckerberg which defends into chaos as the audience takes over the twitter back channel. SXSW Interactive has certainly come a long way in a very short time.
I also attended a talk with Ralph Steadman who I have always been a fan of his art, wit and satire. One that I remember that know doubt I will use is ‘a good idea runs away with itself in case of a theft’ or ‘a mistake is an opportunity to do something else’.
I attended the premier of Penny Dreadful the new John Logan TV series that starts on Show Time. It was chilling and makes Walking Dead look like a kids show.
I was invited for the second year in a row the MoFilm awards at the Driskhill Hotel. A great night and wonderful combination of wonderful T-Mex food and branded content. I love them both. I spent good amount of time with the AT&T group who are doing a lot of this branded film work. See the finalists here
I attended the Beats Music party and I encourage those that are in the USA to download the Beats Music app and give the SXSW playlist a listen. Below is a photo of myself with Beats Music CEO Ian Rogers on the night. Currently Telstra distributes MOG in Australia which was acquired by Beats Electronics a year ago. Beats Executives gave insight into there exciting plans and roadmap for music streaming. I can’t say what was discussed but rest assured it is big news that will transform the way people experience music. Telstra is excited to work with such wonderful partners and look forward to launching a big music offer to our customers in 2015.
I attended a Conversation with Jon Favreau the writer, actor, director, producer of the Swingers and big productions like Elf and Iron Man. He has an indie film here called Chef premiering here which I didn’t get to see yet. It was an inspiring talk about working in cross function and collaborative teams,
I spotted Google Glass approximately .000034 seconds on arriving in the conference halls. They really look stupid I have to say. No-one looks good wearing these.
On films I also saw the Speirig brothers new film called Predestination with Ethan Hawke. This is funded by Screen Australia so plenty of Aussie’s in the house. A riveting piece about time travel. Such good story tellers. An entrancingly strange time-travel saga that suggests a Philip K. Dick yarn by way of Jeffrey Eugenides’ “Middlesex,” or perhaps a feature-length mash-up of “Looper” and “Cloud Atlas,” Wonderful performance by Sarah Snook.
This is obviously only a fraction on what I attended and saw. On the last day I enjoyed a film called ‘Fort Tilden’. A comedy about Allie and Harper and their needlessly difficult journey to the beach. A great script, awesome dialogue and a worthy SXSW Grand Jury Prize winner.
It was a great week. I can’t wait for 2015.