Letter From New York, SXSW, Day Four the day after, 03 15 11

SXSW, Day Four, in retrospect… March 15, 2011

So I am beginning this blog before I go to bed but won’t finish it until after I am awake again in the morning though I am doing my best to figure out all the things that have happened today which was, really, another interesting day of information overload.
We did an interview with Macky Alston of Auburn Media of the Auburn Seminary and an Odyssey member along with Jeanine Caunt, who is his cohort and Associate Director. He said some amazing things, mostly about how the last “generation” of tech kids was all about social media but that the next “generation” of tech aficionados was all about gaming.
And that’s something we’ve been hearing regularly here at SXSW – that it is the time of gaming and the way we might use it might actually be the savior of education as well as any other number of intellectual pursuits. Gaming is BIG! Gaming is HUGE! And if we can harness the power of gaming on the web and turn it to productive purposes such as educational opportunities we might have a “win-win” situation.
Which brings me to the keynote of the day, a one on one with Felicia Day, an actress from BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER who is also an avid game player who then took her passion for gaming online to developing a series for the web called THE GUILD which has had one hundred million streams that then led to her developing another program which is now being sponsored by Microsoft and Sprint and she is in a bit of online hog heaven in what is happening to her and her series online. She hit the web jackpot.
And from listening to her, she deserved to hit the internet jackpot because she devoted herself passionately to making what she was doing online work – her presence was witty, funny, passionate, driven, emotionally engaged, desperately charged to make things work and profoundly lucky.
As she was talking about making Dragon Age: Redemption, her new web series, she was casting about for a Director of Photography. In what seemed a really devil may care attitude she entrusted someone who had volunteered to work on the production to come up with a DP. When he told her he had someone and that he was okay, she thought may be she should actually check out his credits and it turned out to be the DP from the first six seasons of LOST, who happened to be a fan of her work.
It’s her karma, she thinks, that these things work out the way they do. And it seems that she may be right – she has that aura of Kismet about her. It came through in her speech but what also came through was that she was absolutely 111% committed to what she was doing.
And that was wonderful and amazing and inspiring.
There were other good things about the day. I had an interesting conversation about Transmedia with Matt Mullin who is pulling together a Transmedia event this fall in San Francisco.
Transmedia? Telling the same story across a multiplicity of platforms. And that is the way the future of story telling is headed. How do we convey the same story across a variety of platforms? It’s the buzzword of the time and it is also the necessity of the time. This is what all folks who are working in the media need to be conquering – the ability to tell the same story across multiple platforms with multiple nuances. It’s a huge challenge and it is the demand of the time – and of the technology we are utilizing.
I also heard Richard Bullwinkle, Chief Evangelist for Rovi; speak, talking about making Channel Guides easier and more cost effective. And, interestingly enough, that was all about driving things to the mobile platform where software development was easier and quicker than software development for the set top box. And what I came away with was a sense of how vulnerable are the current giants in the field, the Comcasts, the Cablevisions, the Cox cable systems. As I said in an earlier blog, Goliath is in the field and he currently controls it but David has entered the competition with his slingshot ready to go…

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