If you read my bio, or know me personally, you probably know that I love stories. So, given that, I thought I’d start my blog post with a funny story. As a self proclaimed “newbie” to SXSW, I must admit, I made my first SXSW faux pas. I’m the type of person who plans out everything in a good amount to detail ahead of time–I live by my calendar. Considering the overwhelming schedule of SXSW, I’ve been putting all the panels I want to attend in my calendar. In fact, the app allows users to transfer panels directly to their calendar, so of course I did so. I looked over my calendar today and was happy to know that two of my sessions were in 12AB. Excited by the fact that I wouldn’t have to walk as much, I finished my first panel, ate some snacks, and headed back into the room. It was only by the time that the panel had started, that I realized I was in the wrong panel! Apparently there are two 12AB’s–which upon recalling the day before I did recollect a 12AB ballroom and a 12AB conference room. Unfortunately I had sat towards the front, and it seemed super rude to leave once the panel had started, so I found myself in a pro-wrestling panel. Now, I’m a small-ish Asian nerd, and I just found myself in a room full of large-ish bulky men–with a few exceptions–so if you’ll just picture that for moment, I think you’ll find the situation rather comical. Nonetheless, considering I’d just committed a half an hour of my life to pro-wrestling, I thought I might as well try to look at the panel from an educational standpoint. Besides the obvious humor in the situation, I discovered the importance of music in pro-wrestling, and specifically in their ads and promos, the use and incredible amount of audio foley, both in the show and in the ads and promos, and finally I discovered the importance of ethnic and minority pro-wrestlers representing their countries and giving those young people a “superhero” to look up to. Though this was the last place I thought I’d be today, I ended up learning a little, double checking my locations, and laughing at myself.
Moving onto my more relevant takeaways for today, I went to a great meet up and a great panel. My morning started off with a “Bitcoin and Blockchain” meet up featuring CEO for BitAngels Michael Terpin and Caterina Rindi an educator/consultant. We mingled and started off by introducing ourselves, then splitting off into groups. There were discussions more centered on blockchain, advanced bitcoin conversations, and a more “newbie” conversation. I found myself in the newbie group as the sophisticated tech talk happening in the room was too much to compete with. I found myself talking to Caterina Rindi, who explained the whole bitcoin and blockchain technologies to me, the value of bitcoin, and the new up and coming cryptocurrencies like Ethereum. We talked about the mystery of the programmer who created the bitcoins, Satoshi Nakimodo, a man, woman, or group of people, no one really knows for sure. While I’m fascinated by all of it, I will only briefly talk about the music side. For one, Tatiana Moroz, an artist, has created a kind of crypto coin called Tatiana coin. Users can obtain Tatiana coins to buy things like albums, merch etc. The worth of the coin can vary based on the popularity of the artist. If Adele released Adelecoin, it would probably be of much higher value than Tatiana coin. Aside from this small use, this technology could be used in a wide range of functions. I was mulling over the idea of using it as a type of currency to buy tickets, as each purchase provides information about who made the purchase, making scalping much more difficult. However, the ideas that really interested me were surrounded more around the new Ethereum. This new platform was set up to transfer larger amounts of data–meaning it could be integrated with applications and other things. In the future it could perhaps be used by record companies to track data on sound downloads and send song split information back. The meetup was so informative and so intriguing to all in the room that we went way over time, and literally got kicked out so the next session could start. Overall cryptocurrency has huge potential in banks, smart contracts, countries with suffering economies, and the creative industries. I highly recommend looking into the technology and perhaps even obtaining some BitCoin or Ethereum.
Though I went to a few panels throughout the day, I thought the best one was about music in movie trailers. As I am currently taking a music publishing course at CU Denver, I thought it was really interesting to hear the film side of music sync. I never thought about how important the movie trailer music is. Rather than just pulling music from the movie, it is a whole process that involves creating various stages of emotions through a short trailer to create suspense and engage audiences. Ultimately, the intent is to hook the audience into going to see the movie. The music supervisors talked about how they often send 10+ music briefs out a day. These music briefs are detailed sheets of what they want for the movie, without stating what movie it is. This way, the publishers can better send tailored music choices back, saving time on both ends. We were able to hear what some of the briefs consisted of, and they were really interested because they were sort of like reverse photographs. They listed everything that was wanted in the photograph, without showing the photograph. The other key thing they mentioned, that resonates in the recording side of me, is that bigger does not equal louder. Again, bigger DOES NOT equal louder. I think so often in these loudness wars, it’s hard to find good songs, and I believe that they recognized this because they aren’t looking for walls of sound, but rather a well built song that really captivates its’ audience. Therefore, I realized how important the songwriters are and the recording engineers and producers in creating balanced and well produced songs–and how important it is to have the right song for a movie trailer.
Saw this wonderful slide during a copyright panel today. This slide displays actual reasons companies and law firms use as to why they used copyrighted content. Some of them are major major companies–think billions of dollars. Takeaways: Ignorance is not an excuse to break the law and these excuses don’t even warrant intelligent dialog.
After I finished my day of meet ups and panels, I had dinner with a few friends from CAM at CU Denver, who just got here to experience SXSW and have fun at all the shows. All and all it was a great day, and I got to meet some really cool people and connect with them.