SXSW Takeawayz - Video Production At SXSW

Revisiting SXSW in order to justify the expenses involved with the “conference.” A few interactive session takeaways:

Micro-video:  When using Vine and Instagram video, humor and experimentation are rewarded. The accompanying message is a vital part of storytelling and should be crafted with care. This is not mind-blowing information, but we did spend some time putting together a fun stop-motion do-gooder Vine in the workshop.

Twitter Humorists: A few of my favorite funny people including Jenny Johnson and Megan Amran shared how Twitter helped to launch their careers. One of the memorable quotes: Twitter is like a drug dealer, you give it away for free and it gets people coming back for more. A lot of humorous content is commentary on social faux pas, which is timely and relatable and could be used by a brand that’s willing to stand out.

Mission-driven Unbranded Docs: The video team from Whole Foods discussed their fresh and ingenious approach of remarkable storytelling. Their short films are about remarkable people who are guided by the same values and principles that Whole Foods holds. The unique aspect is that their video content is completely unbranded, allowing them flexibility and the ability to produce stuff that people actually want to spend time watching. A lot of questions revolved around proving ROI to executives, which is obviously difficult to do. The editorial integrity and fact that they have stripped out branding is the reason that their content works and has even been picked up by a TV network. The quality of views and important conversation that their videos spark is the value, which is difficult to quantify.

Upworthy: How to Make Everything go Viral Just Kidding: These guys spent a lot of time discussing headlines, A/B testing, and substantive content. Their honesty and sarcasm was fully appreciated by me, as well as these key points:

  • Packaging/ framing content should connect with human emotion and get people to view to the actual content. And the content MUST live up to the headline.
  • Image/ thumbnail is your “in”
  • People share content when they feel like they are improving the world.
  • Your Facebook page is a party not a PR rep. Have a variety of personalized content.
  • Always experiment/ test instead of using opinion.

Overall SXSW thoughts from Genius House: Long lines, surface level sessions, and exhaustion sucks. But the inspiration, takeaways, new contacts and plain old fun made it completely worthwhile for us. And we didn’t mind this view of Austin: