Saturday, March 12, 2011

SxSW Day 1

Film Recon

Getting to the Convention Center Early to secure parking, I decided to look over the film posters and make adjustments to my schedule, if needed.

SxSWf Posters

I also walked around and took some shots of the downtown area, before the chaos started: South Congress, Mar 11, 2011 The Driskill amongst the Austin skyline


Panels

Fireside Chat: Tim O'Reilly interviewed by Jason Calacanis

This was one of the best interview sessions that I have ever seen at SxSWi. Tim talked at length about how his publishing empire grew out of a his work as a technical writing contractor. A great talk for entrepreneurs and/or people who aspire to be one. Tim O'Reilly just before his panel

Google's Marissa Mayer Presents

Unlike the O'Reilly Interview, I found this session boring. The bulk of this talk was the presentation of Google applications that I had already used. Contrary to the TechCrunch claims, the were no Google product announcements, at the conference. I ended up leaving this talk early.


Film

Page One: Inside the New York Times

This was my first film of the festival, unfortunately I was unable to watch it in its entirety. As luck would turn out, my brother's original flight was cancelled. He ended arriving 9 hours later than originally planned, so I had to go meet him. I am hoping that I will have an opportunity in the near future, to see the whole film.

This documentary is about the role newspapers and journalists in the new Internet world. It specifically covers how the Times broke the story about release of the initial videos from Iraq, by Wikileaks.

Taken By Storm: The Art of Storm Thorgorsen and Hipgnosis

This was an excellent documentary about Storm Thorgorsen, and his creative firm, Hipgnosis. This firm is iconic, having been the creative force behind the artwork for a staggering number of Classic Rock albums. His most famous design was for Pink Floyd's, Dark Side of the Moon.

The film covered Storm's entire career, and the eventual demise of Hipgnosis, as the CD replaced the Vinyl records in the 1980's. After the screening, the director, a camera man, and Storm himself were present for Q&A. Taken by Storm Q&A at the Ritz

Little Deaths

This screening was an Anthology of three films, by three different directors:

  • House and Home - Sean Hogan
  • Mutant Tool - Andrew Parkinson
  • Bitch - Simon Rumley
In hindsight, this screening was an unfortunate choice. Neither myself, my brother, nor his coworker found anything redeeming here. In fact, I look at it as 90 minutes of my life that I will never get back.

Prior to the screening, there was something truly bizarre. The theater manager came out dressed in a Dog suit, and lit a flash pot, while "Who Let the Dogs Out?" was playing. He then announced that in keeping with the theme of the movie, they were going to have a chugging contest, and asked for 4 volunteers in the audience.

When the gathered around the table, it was announced that they would be chugging Beef Stroganoff rather than beer. Afterwards, the general conclusion amongst my group was WTF? Little Deaths - Prescreening

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