Wednesday, 11 February 2009


I am fortunate enough to be very involved with filming at Austin's South By South West.
This has become a massive monster of a media conference, with three conferences in one:
 - interactive
 - film
 - music
It also lends itself to lots of other 'unofficial' events riding on its back.
South Congress during the day is, to me, the most pleasant.

In 1994 I first ventured out as a volunteer stills photographer for the festival and - in return for contact sheets and B&W negatives - I got a wristband and media pass. As a kid of 19, it was amazing to be able to see for free - AND photograph - some of my favourite bands of the time... Ned's Atomic Dustbin (featuring Wiz from Mega City 4), Elastica, Senser, Yo La Tengo and All (pictured below from a gig at the late Liberty Lunch).

Over ten years later, my company - API Productions is asked every year to manage the filming and 'big screen' at the large, free, Auditorium Shores stage. I always think of this stage as SxSW's "thank you" to Austin for letting the festival run rampant through the streets for a couple of weeks.

Last year, we not only did this but also:
- filmed a documentary piece for BBC2's "The Culture Show" during the music festival (and got to meet Billy Bragg!)
- filmed a TV show for SpikeTV's web series during the film festival
- filmed, edited, encoded and uploaded nightly videos from Red Bull's "Moon Towers" party
- filmed a portion of an episode for Spike TV's gaming show
- line produced iStream and Microsoft's filming and live streaming of Ice Cube's performance (with the unforgettable inflatable 'west side' hands...)

Quite exhausting (but always fun!)

Here's what I shot for the BBC's Culture Show - it was directed by the amazing Glaswegian Liam McArdle.
For the tecchies, it was shot on DigiBeta PAL in Austin and edited in the UK.

This year, 2009, we're starting to get requests from London, New Zealand, Nashville, Austin and the festival itself to film, stream and generally capture parties, events, interviews and concerts...

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