SXSWedu 2014

Bringing the Future of Education to Life Through Cinematic Branding

If you listened carefully, you could almost hear it on the streets of downtown Austin. Growing steadily and surely. It was good old-fashioned buzz about the third annual SXSWedu conference, which inspired and invigorated attendees in March of 2013. Over the past three years, the conference has exploded into a must-experience for anyone who has a stake in the future of education—which includes everyone from teachers and administrators to innovators and entrepreneurs to CEOs and policymakers.

The power of SXSWedu lies in its action. This is not a conference where speakers drone on and listeners dutifully take notes with their heads down before plodding along to the next ballroom to quietly repeat it all over again. SXSWedu is about engagement that leads to transformation. Attendees actively participate—in sessions, in hands-on activities, in collaboration, in vigorous discussion—so that they’re able to bring their fully-invested experiences home with them to transform their classrooms, their business models, their policy decisions, etc.

And it was the job of the AMS Pictures team to illustrate that defining characteristic. As a SXSWedu partner from the very beginning, AMS has been documenting the conference’s exciting growth along the way. For this third go-round, our goal was to truly bring the culture of the SXSWedu community to life in a cinematic way that was both impactful and memorable. We wanted the essence of the conference attendees’ perspective to shine through simply via images and music.

With that goal firmly in mind, our creative and production teams jumped fully in to capture the many, many, many individual details that make SXSWedu so unique. Of course, the challenge then became how to whittle down our extensive list of carefully-crafted shots to find the ones that most perfectly conveyed the conference experience—and then set them to just the right piece of music (from an Austin-based band, naturally).

The marketing video that resulted uses those striking visual moments to reinforce the SXSWedu brand as a true catalyst for change in the world of education. It’s a short,  distinctive slice of conference life that also happens to be an easy way to remind viewers that four days in Austin may be able to change the world just a little bit.