The annual media, film and music juggernaut that is SXSW kicks off again in a couple of days and we’ve selected some of the best sessions for those interested in film, TV and of course, online video. With over 5000 events planned for the conference, and an expected attendance of around 20,000, SXSW can be an overwhelming experience so let us guide you through some of what we think will be the not-to-be-missed panels.

SXSW Picks for Friday, March 8

#catvidfest: Is This the End of Art? (#sxsw #catvidfest)

Wall to wall cat videos, yay! As lovely as that sounds, this session focuses on an exhibition about cat videos that went viral itself. Katie Hill and Scott Stulen, curators at The Walker Art Center, home of the event, will take us through the concept of their festival and the impact they believe it has had on contemporary pop culture.

Warning: session will include cat videos

Saving the Couch Potatoes: The Cloud-y Future of TV (#sxsw #YouTubeDev)

This looks absolutely unmissable for those who want to take their learnings and create something special and hopefully, unique enough to make a difference. A selection of Google developers will show you how to create your own second screen technology with hands on lessons in video creation, syndication, publishing and monetization.

Other Sessions Worth Noting:

SXSW Picks for Saturday, March 9

Easy as 1, 2, 3: Point, Shoot and Share (#sxsw)

The ability to make films, videos and documentaries and to publish and distribute them is more achievable than it’s ever been due to development of accessible technology. This session will take you through the best ways to use a smart phone as content creator – whether you’re an amateur or have been in the profession for years.

Digital Marketing Law for Filmmakers (#sxsw)

It’s not the sexiest subject in the world, but understanding Digital Marketing Law and how it relates to what you’re doing (yes, you) may just be the best 60 mins you spend at SXSW – should you ever hit trouble in the future. Looks of practical tips and takeaways here.

Other Sessions Worth Noting:

SXSW Picks for Sunday, March 10

The Future of Video; The Post YouTube Apocalypse

The team behind the phenomenally successful Maker Studios, home to many of the most popular channels and web series on YouTube (like Epic Rap battles), will discuss the future of video content creation and distribution.


Mythbusting: Engineering a Viral Video

The Holy Grail of online video marketing, the viral video, comes under the spotlight in this panel led by Bettina Hein and Rob Ciampa of Pixability & Kevin Doonan of Machinima. Hear them confirm what it takes to get it right and why so many get it wrong. What’s that? You want to see an example of a good viral video? Here’s a little something by a guy called Psy…JOKE, I wouldn’t inflict that on you yet again….

Other Sessions Worth Noting:

SXSW Picks for Monday, March 11

Your TV Knows Who You’ve Slept With (#sxsw #NoDeadEnds)

It doesn’t, obviously, but a hat tip to panel title of the week. The personalisation of the user experience has had a massive impact online but TV has been slow to catch up – due mainly to technical limitations. Matt Walsh explores the future of truly interactive TV and whether that could ever become a reality.


Spotlight: Lighting in Film (#sxsw #light&film)

It’s all about the lighting for the ridiculously experienced and talented Mike Simpson, who will be providing many tips and tricks about the subject. I guess Mike’s work in the field speaks for itself as you can see from the following examples. One for all budding cinematographers.

Other Sessions Worth Noting:

Tuesday and Wednesday, March 12-13

The interactive focus of SXSW is coming to an end but there are still 4 good panels we would recommend attending if you can:


Unleashing the Power of Video Chat

Barrel of Monkeys

There are some absolutely fantastic panels to look forward to if you are in the film, TV, video or digital business. We hope all that attend have a great time and we look forward to seeing their technical and creative innovations in the months and years to come. We leave you with a session that really has nothing to do with the moving image but it looks like it could be a lot of fun anyway.  How a team tried and failed to secure the Guinness Book of Records attempt to create the largest barrel of monkeys chain ever.

#sxsw #monkeys


For those of you rolling up to Austin in the next few days, have fun and let us know what you thought of our suggestions.