JumperCut SxSW Adventure

Here we are on Sunday, looking back on the fact that the last JumperCut goes to SXSW blog entry we put in was about last Monday, and it’s obvious that SXSW became e blur… a blur of music, films, sessions, parties and nonstop interesting conversations.  The JumperCut team was all together on Tuesday, and then a couple of our team members had to leave so only Andrew, Ben and Phil remained.  This last SXSW update is a summary of the experience from our final few days, and some take-aways.

Tuesday was our big day – our panel presentation of “Collaborative Filmmaking using Mobile Technology”.  Here is the JumperCut video of that experience.

From the session it was clear that there is interest and what seems to be unmet demand for creating collaborative films together.  As we stated in the session, over 1 billion people now have phones with HD cameras, and most all of them are connected through a social network.  This combination could result in an explosion of not only social video, but collaborative filmmaking using mobile technology.  The questions we received from the session were insightful, such as if we had had any classes utilize the JumperCut platform for legitimate filmmaking (apparently our Hiking Silver Star film, at a budget of $100 and one day’s worth of time, was not seen as cinematic brilliance, much to our dismay!).  It was a great event and I think everyone came away with a better understanding of the challenges and the opportunities around collaborative filmmaking.

Our conversations continued throughout the day with film school faculty talking about how to introduce collaborative filmmaking to their students, with leadership directors of major youth programs talking about how to introduce collaborative filmmaking for their participants, and even some who had ideas about how to use animation clips to allow people to choose their own adventure for animated characters.  Tuesday wrapped up with the Interactive closing party, featuring DeadMau5, where conversations continued with advertising agency execs who were excited about the potential for collaborative videos and their brands.  So through Tuesday, work and fun were mingled all the way to the end.

And then came Wednesday and Thursday.  With the Interactive festival done, the film festival winding down, what was left was the music festival…. and an entirely different vibe.  If the interactive festival was like going to Mac World, and the Film Festival was like going to Sundance, the Music Festival was a cross between being caught in a techno concert at the Coliseum and stumbling into the back room of a gay bar off of Stark Street only to find a transgendered rapper yelling something that sounded a lot like “STOMP THE GUTTER MICE!”.  If you wanted variety, you got it, from really good, big name groups, to really small groups, all quite good, and most in unusually intimate settings.  The highlight of the music festival for the JumperCut team was Tenacious D, primarily because it allowed us do a short collaborative film about “Tenacious D and Tenacious Fans” featuring our very own Andrew Wallner.

We arrived back home on Friday, dazed and exhausted, pockets full of business cards, and a whirling sense of satisfaction from our trip, and a shared desire to go back again next year.  “But next time, we’ll plan better.” I hope not, as the randomness of stars, bands, and creative people of all sorts made for a crazy mix that will make for a lifetime of memories.  We pondered how Portland could hold such an event.  We wondered if we might connect the SE Hawthorne district, Produce Row, downtown, the convention center and old town together in a giant tapestry of creative weirdness, all connected by bridges that are each decorated in some eccentric theme.  Perhaps instead of pedi-cabs we would decide that transportation by horseback is a more fitting tribute to our heritage.  Our consensus seemed to be that we wanted something like this.  We wanted to be able to come into Portland and enjoy the creativity that is SXSW… To have marionette performers on the street corner.  To have unicyclists in tutus juggling fresh fruit while yodeling.  To have pubs doubling as movie theaters, and startup technology companies sharing their space with coffee shops.  Come to think of it, that already sounds like Portland.  How much did you say that Platinum badge was again?
-Philip Marshall

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