Headliners from the Playgrounds Online Blend Fest give us their top tips for virtual virgins.
One of our favourite festivals last year had to be Playgrounds: The Art Department, three days of unbridled creativity in the lovely Netherlands. While there, we interviewed Loish, Jar Jar Binks character designer Terryl Whitlatch and the nutty devil that is Nick DenBoer.
This year Playgrounds is hosting some great virtual fests, with its 2020 edition of the popular Blend event happening this Friday May 15th. Digital Arts is proud media partner of the free conference, and in anticipation we've reached out to three headliners to see what they have in store for the show, along with top tips on nailing a virtual headliner slot.
Catch Blend 2020 on Twitch from 17.00-24.00 (GMT + 2) on May 15th. As there'll be no upload after, this is a once-in-a-lifetime affair. Check out all the speakers and events here (including portfolio reviews) on the big day.
Let's kick off with Serial Cut, who made the awesome banner image above.
Serial Cut are Purely Iconic
Serial Cut™ is a Spanish design studio established in Madrid in 1999 that focuses on art direction for international advertising projects making bold imagery and animation, using real tactile sets or CG, embracing a contemporary vision where pop culture and surrealism are encompassed.
"I'll be speaking about the biggest project we've ever made at Blend," says Sergio del Puerto of the studio. "It's called Purely Iconic and we created a book and film to celebrate our 20th Anniversary.
"It's a very complex project, with lots of 'behind the scenes' clips and content to share about both. At the end of my talk I will screen the film, which is 15 minutes long. The book is connected with the film, so each chapter compiles a selection of projects through one of the nine characters from the short. We really had fun working on this project, we are very proud of it, and I guess the audience will be quite excited to see it."
...and not Virtual Virgins.
"Blend isn't my first virtual event. (From experience) I'm always nervous the first five minutes when I start a talk, in real life too, but later I feel relaxed. Let's say the hard part is starting, and the rest of the time goes smoothly. Let's see how it goes with Blend; I'm excited to show Purely Iconic to the Blend virtual community.
Golden Wolf, golden Blend
Animation production company Golden Wolf was founded in 2013, which you may find hard to believe when laying eyes on their portfolio and list of clients, including Nike, Disney, Cartoon Network, Gatorade and Converse.
"My session at Blend will be an interview conducted by Playgrounds founder Leon," says Golden Wolf managing director and executive creative director Ingi Erlingsson. "We’ll be chatting about Golden Wolf, our work and about how we create it."
Golden tips on nailing a virtual headline slot
"I’ve done a couple of live interviews before, but this will definitely be the biggest! I’m super excited about seeing how it all works. I spoke at Playgrounds/Blend a few years back and it was awesome, I made so many good friends there, so I can’t wait to see what this one will be like.
"In terms of tips, I guess the most important thing to know is that everyone is nervous. As far as I’m aware, there’s no big secret to overcoming it, you just need to trust that you’ll be fine and if you make a mistake, that’s fine too. The audience is on your side and is just there to hear interesting stuff and learn a few things!"
The Lucas Zanotto mix
If a playground was a person, it would most likely take the shape of Lucas Zanotto. This creator of cake-making drones and brewer of a one-bean coffee has also designed a series of playful tools meant to inspire creativity in kids (and grownups too!)
"I will show a selection of my works at Blend," Lucas says, "trying to cover a bit of my journey so far, from tactile in-camera to digital, from commercial to personal projects.
"I'll try to find the right mix. There will be a lot of videos - hope the streaming will hold!"
A Mini-Zanotto cameo?
"I haven't done anything like this so far and am very excited about it. I'm having a lot of video calls like everyone else right now, where you get always direct feedback from the other party, but this will be more talking into an empty room.
"Maybe one of my daughters or our dog will pass by. So it will be a fun experience!"
Playgrounds Online Blend Fest will be free to stream on Twitch from 17.00-24.00 (GMT + 2) this Friday May 15th 2020, with Digital Arts as media partner.
Check out the full list of speakers here, including Jon Burgerman, BUCK and Beatrice Blue. Please note there will be no upload of the conference afterwards!