SXSW Moments: Better Storytelling
Did you miss something at SXSW 2019? Want to relive the magic? Look to this space over the coming weeks for links to video and audio replays of some of the most incredible experiences from this year’s event.
As the Democratic hopefuls begin their 10-person face-offs this weeks, they’re all looking to break away from the pack. One surefire way to win people over, whether you’re a writer, a business person or a politician, is through telling a good and memorable story. SXSW 2019 offered a range of panels addressing innovations in storytelling from using AI, data and music to empathy and immersion.
Neil Gaiman on Taking “Good Omens” from Book to Screen
Prepare thyself, something wickedly good this way comes. Bestselling author Neil Gaiman took to the SXSW stage for a conversation with writer and actress Kirsten Vangsness about his fantastic six-episode, mini-series adaptation of “Good Omens,” which premiered on Amazon Prime Video May 31. Based on the satirical novel Gaiman co-authored with Terry Pratchett, “Good Omens: The Nice and Accurate Prophecies of Agnes Nutter, Witch,” the story centers around a fussy angel, Aziraphale (Michael Sheen), and a loose-living demon, Crowley (David Tennant), as they join forces to prevent the end of the world. “‘Good Omens’ in a lot of ways was me and Terry [Pratchett] trying to talk about what it means to be human,” Gaiman said.
Listen to the audio recap above or watch a video version here.
Convergence Keynote: The Next Form of Storytelling, the Future of Technology-Enabled Entertainment
Quibi Founder Jeffrey Katzenberg and CEO Meg Whitman explore the market trends that have opened the gates to a new form of storytelling delivered through a technology platform optimized for easy, on-the-go mobile viewing. They discuss how they are bringing together the best of Hollywood and Silicon Valley to create the future of entertainment.
Creatives and Data Scientists: Movie-Making BFFs?
Movie creatives are beginning to embrace technological innovation and its data. By exploiting machine capacity to rapidly measure and compare 100,000+ movie script features with those of other movies, AI provides fascinating insights that supercharge creative decision-making. Panelists share compelling research using real-world examples and answer questions around sentiment, topic and audience, like what is the emotional valence of the characters? Is my protagonist on an emotional journey? Who is my audience? What are the comps? How does this affect the bottom-line? And ultimately, why does it matter?
The Power of Storytelling for Entrepreneurs
Storytelling is one of the most powerful assets in everything from raising capital to driving sales to securing press to attracting talent. Lyn Graft, author of “Start With Story: The Entrepreneurs Guide to Using Storytelling to Grow Your Business,” shares key lessons and takeaways for entrepreneurs, founders, and creatives who aim to use storytelling to grow their business or brand. Graft demonstrates the power of this medium by examining the successes of companies like Starbucks, Dropbox, Spanx and TOMS who built incredible brands from nothing.
Storytelling and Empathy in a Purpose Driven Economy
Brands need to convey their purpose in a genuine and emotionally engaging way. 78% of consumers want to align with companies that share their values and create positive social impact, as do employees and investors. Cheryl Miller Houser explains the storytelling methodology she developed through documentary filmmaking to foster empathy and form emotional bonds with an audience. Houser launched the creative agency Creative Breed in 2013 and co-directed and produced the feature documentary “Generation Startup.”
Reimagine Storytelling through Tech and Experiences
The IoT has transformed the consumer landscape. There are more touchpoints and channels in the customer journey than ever before. We can no longer rely on the traditional ways of marketing and communications to break through the clutter. Brands need to be more dynamic, more flexible, more engaging and more meaningful. Hear from WFA’s Global Marketer of the Year, Raja Rajamannar, Mastercard’s Chief Marketing and Communications Officer, about how the digital transformation is propelling the 53-year-old brand into the future, including the recent unveiling of its sonic identity architecture and the move to become a symbol brand.
Music and Visual Storytelling with Facebook and Instagram
There is an increased appetite for a deeper and more authentic relationship between artists and fans and, with the wide range of creative tools available across Facebook and Instagram, the opportunity for artists to tell their stories and engage their audiences has never been more possible. Hear from the people on the inside who are helping the music community to connect with fans and transform those connections into tangible business outcomes.
Seek Truth, Speak Truth A Spy’s Guide to Storytelling
Can thinking like a spy take your work to the next level? Learn from intelligence analysts, speechwriters and senior officials, who explore the various ways that the intelligence community uses storytelling to convey its mission and insights. Humans are hard wired for narrative, and people in the U.S. intelligence community are nothing if not devoted students of human nature.
Upgrade Your Experiential Storytelling with D&D
Experiential Storytelling may be a branding buzzword that you’ve heard a lot of recently, but did you know that it’s a skill that can be picked up playing Dungeons & Dragons? In imaginary worlds riddled with heroes and monsters, not only do Dungeon Masters have to create complex dilemmas, but they also have to rapidly develop their quick-thinking, problem-solving, and impromptu-speaking skills to fully immerse the players in their universe. Learn about the strengths to be gained from this complex game, and how you can improve yourself, your game, and your professional work.
More Memories from SXSW 2019
AI for Business
Public Interest AI
Change is Coming
It’s Time for Sports!
Saving the Ocean
Social Media Power
Telling New Media Stories
May the Fourth
Women in Tech
Thriving at Work
Making a Difference
Fighting Fake News
Do these audio recordings inspire you to get involved in a SXSW session next year? Enter your forward-thinking speaking proposal for March 2020 via the SXSW PanelPicker. Speaking proposals for next year’s event are accepted via this interface from July 1 through July 19.
Hugh Forrest serves as Chief Programming Officer at SXSW, the world’s most unique gathering of creative professionals. He also tries to write at least four paragraphs per day on Medium. These posts often cover tech-related trends; other times they focus on books, pop culture, sports and other current events.