/ Inspiration /  2 min read

SXSW 2017

If you’ve been watching the MetaPipe Twitter feed you know I was at South by Southwest this week.

It was my first time at sxsw and I have to say I was blown away by the energy and how amazing all the people are. It was incredibly inspirational. There is a vibe that can only be described as joy. I’m guessing it stems from the roots of sxsw as a mostly cultural event. A huge percentage of the people who attend are there to see new movies and hear new music. They are there to have fun and discover new things.

I went on an Interactive badge and my primary goal was to network. The fact everyone was in such a great mood made breaking the ice with complete strangers easy. I met many fantastic people and had many great conversations about filmmaking and VR. I also managed to attend some great presentations and speeches.

If I had to say what the big takeaway was from my personal perspective it would be: There’s never been a better time to be a filmmaker.

Gareth Edwards mentioned it in his Key Note and Casey Neistat mentioned it in his speech as well. This is something I’ve believed since the first DV cameras hit the market in 1995 and even more so since powerful smartphones with HD cameras became the norm. Camera technology has hit a point where even the most modest cameras are superior to 16mm film and in some cases even older 35mm film stocks.

There are no excuses left except for the fear of failure.

I think that in our hearts, many VFX artists are frustrated filmmakers the way Gareth Edwards described himself when he was only doing VFX work. I know I certainly was! When I was at Dreawworks Animation, we even had a little group called Film Club where we got together to make 48 hour films. Some of the people in the group had VFX backgrounds, others had only ever done animation but the common thread was we wanted more experience with what Gareth described in his talk as “real time rendering” through the camera. It’s a great way to practice composition and film language QUICKLY as compared to using computer graphics. If you haven’t experimented with cameras as a way to practice your composition and blocking skills, I highly reccomended it! Photography is also a great way to drive your VFX work, for example with techniques like photogrammetry, projection mapping and tile worlds.

These days, the only constraints in what you can achieve really are your own imagination and skill. With the cloud, even the constraints of finite compute resources have been erased. You can think bigger. Finding collaborators can still be a challenge but we hope to help with that. We want to empower people with MetaPipe in every way possible. We started the company to help remove the technical barriers holding back artists but as a natural benefit of working in the cloud, remote collaboration becomes a first class feature. If you have a dream you want to bring to fruition, contact us. We want to hear from you.