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Howdy…Team Blend spent last week at SXSW in Austin, Texas. Thousands of people flocked to the annual festival of film, interactive media, music festivals and conferences to soak up the famed Southern Hospitality and immerse themselves in all things media.
As well as having a stand shared with our partners Facebook 360 in the main expo, we also co-hosted another creator workshop and meetup. Not everyone gets the chance to go to SXSW and we were delighted to see so many 360 creators from all over the world sign up and come along. We had creators from Australia, Argentina, South Korea, China, Russia, Poland, Germany, Belgium, Canada and from all over the US.
All creators within Blend Media's network receive invitations to these free and exclusive events. This event was the latest in a global series of events that we've held so far in London, Liverpool, Amsterdam, Vienna, Sydney, Melbourne, LA and New York.
We hold these events to educate, train, inspire and share best practices with our growing network of professional 360 creators and filmmakers. If you’d like to join our creator network you can apply here.
Product Marketing Manager for Facebook 360, Caitlin Ramrakha, kicked off the event with some some great insight into Facebook 360’s product roadmap for 2018.
Maheen Sohail, Designer at Facebook explained ‘Why 360 Matters’ and how Facebook is committed to empower its users in capturing the world in 360, something very close to Maheen’s heart as someone who has travelled extensively and lived in many countries throughout her life, while Abesh Thakur, Product Manager gave the audience an introduction to Facebook’s Spatial Audio Tool.
Blend Media's COO and Co-Founder, Chris Helm presented 360 Stories, Blend’s new web-based platform that turns 360 video into customised content enabling you to add text, logos, web links, 2D videos and custom audio to any 360 scene. Chris showed how the tool enables anyone in three steps to easily create these rich experiences using simple drag and drop functionality. Check out our 360 Stories page for more info.
I then shared my experience on content licensing and as an experienced producer, I gave some tips on best practices for producing content that sells. We’ve come to a point now where expectations are high for 360 video content and we as filmmakers who are collectively defining a new medium, need to rise to this and deliver awesome, believable content.
As with all Facebook 360 and Blend Media Creator events, we ended the day with drinks at the terrific Speakeasy in Downtown Austin. As the margaritas were mixed and canapés passed around, this truly international collective of 360 filmmakers had a chance to chat, share stories, tips and clips.
As someone who’s worked in ‘the business’ for 25 years now, I have to say the world of 360 filmmaking is one of the most collaborative and community-minded mediums I have had the pleasure of working in and its great to know such inspiring, talented and creative people are leading the way.