The film and interactive portions of South by Southwest are converging more and more each year, as filmmakers become interactive storytellers, and geeks continue to develop the new technology that the film world wants. (Celeb example: Ashton Kutcher & Demi Moore, now posting on Twitter, hanging out at Sundance with Kevin Rose.)
I went to several film sessions during the conference, thrilled with the change of pace in my schedule (there are only so many social media sessions you can endure in one day). Robert Rodriguez, the groundbreaking digital filmmaker who Hollywood wouldn't support, and Henry Selick, the genius animator/director behind Coraline and Nightmare Before Christmas, talked about 3D & HD filmmaking. Both successfully produce films with budgets that are 1/3 the cost of a typical Hollywood film, and because they have chosen the digital path, they have the creative freedom that most directors and producers don't enjoy (Rodriguez was thinking in 3D early on, and considered shooting several scenes for From Dusk
Til Dawn in 3D, but the technology was too expensive and cumbersome then ). Rodriguez called his style of filmmaking "Guerilla High Tech". Selick walked the audience through the process of making Coraline, the first 3D stop-motion animation movie. It is an incredibly technical and intense process, but a fascinating one, and further proof that digital filmmaking is just as legitimate as 35mm. Both agreed that this is the way filmmaking will continue to evolve.