SXSW Moments: Marvel’s Magic

The Forrest Four-Cast: May 8, 2019

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.

With all the miserable, relentless and nasty drama on the world political stage, is it any wonder that people turn to big and small screens for epic distraction? And given the possibilities of infinite alternate realities, there’s an endless amount to talk about around “The Avengers: Endgame” and “Game of Thrones” at the moment. SXSW 2019 explored plenty of the action, from how comics make it to the screens to how marketing can lead to more inclusive casts to how music ends up in trailers. In addition, several notable series actors talked about their craft, projects and passions. Learn more below.

Marvel from Comics to Screens
Hear from two of the Marvel Comics’ biggest storycrafters on what it’s like to lead the way in the Marvel Universe! Marvel’s Editor-in-Chief C.B. Cebulski and Chief Creative Officer Joe Quesada led a discussion on the unprecedented vast creative landscape and content factory that is Marvel Comics. Marvel’s characters have achieved international renown, and now the movies, television series, and games of the Marvel Universe are the most popular in the world. They all start with an idea, and Marvel Comics is the spark that lights the fire. Are the next breakout stories of film, television, and gaming happening in the pages of Marvel Comics right now?

A non-green look for Zoe Saldana a.k.a. Gamora.

Changing the Narrative with Zoe Saldana
Zoe Saldana (“Guardians of the Galaxy,” “Avengers,” “Avatar”), actor-turned- entrepreneur discusses the importance of positive messaging and role models on social platforms for millennial and Gen Z audiences. Interviewed by What’s Trending CEO Shira Lazar, the session dives into Saldana’s new media company, BESE, and how it addresses this issue and the imbalance that exists today in mainstream media.

Talk the Thrones Live
Chris Ryan and Binge Mode’s Mallory Rubin and Jason Concepcion, the co-hosts of The Ringer’s Game Of Thrones after show, “Talk the Thrones,” set up the final season of HBO’s epic tale of royalty, loyalty, blood, and betrayal. Who will sit on the Iron Throne? How will they get there? And how many bodies will they step over along the way? If you’re already watching, listen to see how much they got right, and what’s still to come from what could be the most anticipated season in television history. Bet they didn’t predict there’s a Starbucks in Westeros.

Trailerized: Music in Film and Television Marketing
This panel delves into the world of placing music in film and TV marketing and explains why it’s so competitive for trailer houses and music supervisors to land marketing campaigns. Experts who work on music placement for trailers and television marketing will share their process from conception to final placement, advise on the challenges they face and share tips on writing music for marketing and getting your music into their hands. Panelists include Julia Trainor, who has worked on over 200 film trailers, ads, promos and digital projects, including “Avengers,” “Guardians Of The Galaxy 2,” “Spiderman Homecoming,” and “Black Panther,” and Sanaz Lavaedian, Director of Music at mOcean, an entertainment advertising, marketing, branding, and production company where Lavaedian has worked on trailers and campaigns for movies including “Avengers,” “Guardians of the Galaxy” and “Deadpool.”

Crazy Rich Wakanda: Building Buzz and Filling Seats
From creating viral social media movements like the #BlackPantherChallenge that crowd-funded $950,000 to send 73,000 kids to see the “Black Panther” movie worldwide, to organizing the largest “Crazy Rich Asians” activation event in the U.S., this panel will discuss the grassroots work they did to advance the #RepresentationMatters movement with calls to action that mobilized the community to buy tickets and sell out theaters for “Black Panther” and “Crazy Rich Asians.” Discover the creative and operational tools these panelists used to partner with movie studios and movie theaters to support these films with all-black and all-Asian casts and practical tips for creating viral movements to shine light on underrepresented stories.

AI for Storytellers: The Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Of course there’s AI in “Avengers: Endgame.” AI is permeating the entertainment industry and changing technology’s role across every stage of content creation, distribution and marketing. These innovations can breed fear of how this technology will impact creativity and authenticity. In collaboration with Yves Bergquist, Founder/CEO of Corto and Director of AI and Neuroscience in Media at USC’s Entertainment Technology Center, this discussion breaks down the good, the bad and the ugly of AI’s current and potential influence on the entertainment industry.

Live Long and Prosper: Marketing to Bingers
74% of U.S. youth believe there is so much entertainment that they cannot keep up with it all. Meanwhile, the number of content providers and content produced is growing exponentially. As the “to-watch” list of content grows, viewers are often watching a series outside of the marketing “launch” phase. Weeks or even months later, the conversation around content can continue to grow and draw in new viewers to non-appointment viewing. How are we embracing delay-watchers? How do we engage and rise above the clutter with this valuable audience?

Ethan Hawke and Jason Blum
Ethan Hawke’s diverse career as a novelist, actor, director, and screenwriter spans more than three decades. In 2018, he earned critical acclaim for his role in Paul Schrader’s “First Reformed,” as well as the release of the romantic comedy “Juliet, Naked.” His current acting projects include “Adopt a Highway,” which premiered at SXSW 2019, and “Stockholm.” Jason Blum, founder of Blumhouse Productions, is a two-time Academy Award-nominated and two-time Emmy and Peabody Award-winning producer. His multimedia company is known for pioneering a new model of studio filmmaking: producing high-quality micro-budget films. His films include the highly profitable franchises “Insidious,” “The Purge,” “Sinister” and “Paranormal Activity,” as well as Best Picture Academy Award nominees “Whiplash” and “Get Out.”

Elizabeth Banks

Elizabeth Banks with Aidy Bryant
Elizabeth Banks hasn’t appeared (yet) in the Avengers oeuvre, but the three-time Emmy-nominated actress, producer and director has substantial series cred of her own — she starred in the “Hunger Games” movies, Sam Raimi’s three “Spider-mans,” and the “Pitch Perfect” films. She recently wrapped directing “Charlie’s Angels,” which she also wrote, produced and will appear in as “Bosley.” Her latest series, “Shrill,” which she produced through her company Brownstone Productions, premiered March 15 on Hulu. She speaks here with Aidy Bryant, the star, writer and co-executive producer of “Shrill.” Bryant is currently in her seventh season of “Saturday Night Live.”

More Memories from SXSW 2019
Change is Coming
Urban Mobility
It’s Time for Sports!
Saving the Ocean
Military Matters
Women’s Health
Social Media Power
Telling New Media Stories
Future Health
May the Fourth
Women in Tech
Growing Unicorns
Thriving at Work
Making a Difference
Fighting Fake News
Disaster Response
Hacking Democracy
Pete Buttigieg
Kara Swisher
Arlan Hamilton

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.




Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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Hugh Forrest

Hugh Forrest

Celebrating creativity at SXSW. Also, reading reading reading, the Boston Red Sox, good food, exercise when possible and sleep sleep sleep.

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