You’ve got to go to SXSW!

Justin here from Floodlight.

I wanted to write a recap of my recent trip to South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin, Texas. For those who aren’t familiar, SXSW is world leading technology, music and film conference featuring some of the leading speakers, film makers and musicians from around the world.

I was lucky enough to attend this year, on a fact-finding mission to learn from the leaders in virtual reality (VR) film making. VR has been something we’ve wanted to work with for some time, however it’s been a waiting game for the technology to reach a point where it’s both affordable and accessible.

We think the time has come to get involved and after visiting SXSW the overwhelming feeling is that it’s here to stay. There were hundreds of VR experiences, talks and products on display. The leading film makers spoke about the challenges and advantages of working in a new medium, while companies competed to show off new products in a fledgling industry.

It was fascinating to see an art form in its infancy, where the rules are being made in front of our eyes. Traditional 2D cinema has been refined for over 100 years and the processes are set in stone. In VR everyone is still learning, so even the top professionals have vastly different techniques to create their work.

The trip scored us a number of great new contacts and we have already begun an exciting project with a Swedish VR startup. We’ve just acquired all the required equipment to begin operating in the field and cannot wait to start rolling on our upcoming projects!

In all the excitement about VR I forgot to mention I saw Seth Rogen speak about the rise of television, Casey Neistat shared his wisdom on the ‘Tarzan Method’, a brilliant short film program with great Australian content, some killer Aussie music artists, the latest and greatest film gear and countless panels on film making and live streaming.

Going to SXSW is an unmissable experience for anyone in the industry.

I’ve attached a few shots from the trip below (mostly me or friends wearing VR headsets).