Saturday, March 13, 2010

SxSW 2010 - Day 2

Strangely, I have no pictures from this day.

Update

Ok, I lied. I found a picture from 3 days later of a poster/drawing made during the Boyd talk.

Panels

We F*cked Up

This was a humorous panel of Web Design consultants speaking at length about their worst screw-ups, and war stories. The thinking here was that others would learn from their mistakes.

During the talk and later Q&A, they encouraged members of the audience to also share their war stories. This raised the entertainment value of the panel immeasurably.

Directing the Dead: Genre Directors Spill their Guts

The first film panel that I attended. The guide listed the following directors as panelists:

  • Ti West
  • Quentin Tarantino
  • Ruben Fleischer
  • Scott Weinberg
  • Matt Reeves
  • Robert Rodriguez
  • Neil Marshall

Unfortunately, QT was a no-show. I suspect that he had something special originally planned for the conference, but I guess that I will really never know.

Later in the evening while waiting outside of the Alamo Ritz, I did hear that the QT Fest may return this year. Hopefully, I can score a ticket if it does.

Sans QT, the panel was still very entertaining, with each panelist supplying personal anecdotes about their films.

Opening Remarks: Privacy and Publicity

Danah Boyd from Microsoft Research gave this talk. It seemed to me this presenter was another policy wonk type, with a subtly hidden agenda. Of course, google's recent faux pas with their Buzz launch was covered in great detail. Facebook's profile ACL change was also discussed.

Strangely, not a word was spoken about Microsoft Live or any of their Web 2.0 products. I'm assuming that we can all look to them for our salvation. Of course, it wouldn't surprise me at all to discover that Danah is working with the new Cyber Security Czar. With Microsoft and the government working arm in arm, we can all sleep better now.

Rosedale, Mar 16, 2010

CSS3 and Fonts

Another Typography session, it was also interesting. I must say however, that as this CSS3 functionality is standardized across multiple browsers, talks like this will cease to be engaging.

Like the other web design talks, there was ample opportunity to kick the dead horse of browsers, IE6.

Films

Cold Weather

Unfortunately, my brother and I waited in line for about 40 minutes to discover that we wouldn't be seated. Apparently, for some screenings, particularly the premiers, the cast and crew soak up all of the available seats. We found out that this could have been avoided, if we both had obtained Xxpress passes.

SXXpress Passes

Although I had a Platinum Badge last year as well, I was totally unaware of the existence of the SXXpress passes. They were introduced with last year's Film Screenings, and have been expanded to include the Music Showcases.

Basically, each badge holder is entitled to 1 pass per day (or 2 per day if you hold a platinum badge). A small percentage of seats are reserved for all screenings and music showcases. Each pass is issued with the holders name, venue and day. They allow the holder to cut to the front of the line for an event.

I liked this system, but noticed that it was not well publicized. It is obviously a sign that SxSW is still growing.

BTW, here is my brief attendance estimate for SxSW. Interactive attendance was noticeably up, film was flat, and music was slightly down.

American Grindhouse

This was another very well produced documentary about the history of Grindhouse cinema. I would recommend this film to any of my friends, and have since put Tod Browning's Freaks in my Netflix queue.

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