Wednesday, 11 September 2013

Culture Tech: When Google Becomes Self-Aware

Tech Nerds and Media Heads of Ulster are surely rejoicing after a day of excellent events, put on as part of the Culture Tech festival in Derry... I know I got my media fix for the day! I sat myself down in the Invest Northern Ireland Pop-Up Shop ready to be informed on the world of publishing, animation and crowdfunding, and how they are set to change in the future, or, as Paul Young from Cartoon Saloon put it, when Google becomes self-aware and takes over the planet.

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First up, a talk on animation by Laura Campbell of Cheers Dog Ears and Paul Young of Cartoon Saloon (the Irish animation company behind Oscar-nominated feature 'The Secret of Kells'). Although I have no future plans to learn animation, I thoroughly enjoyed the talk, simply as a film lover. I felt like I had been granted behind-the-scenes access as they showed us clips from the 'Song of the Sea', the feature film which is currently being made, and will feature the voice talents of Brendan Gleeson and Lisa Hannagian. They work in 2D and the animation is beautiful, with utterly adorable characters.

The next event was a panel of crowd-fundraisers, one who raised £80,000 to start his cheese business and the other who achieved his goal of generating €7500 for a film called Mr. Happy. Again, while I'm not planning to be a Kickstarter anytime soon, it was interesting to hear how these guys got funded in an unconventional way. Besides, when I'm a Communications graduate, starting my own business may be my only option, so it doesn't hurt to play with the notion of crowdfunding.

My day was finished with a talk by Hugh Odling-Smee (Whittrick Press) on what is in store for the publishing industry. Following that I practically skipped back to the car. I love to geek out over this type of stuff and with the Belfast Media Festival being hosted in Derry tomorrow the geeking is set to continue! Have no fear, I'll blabber on about that too! Hopefully with more pictures next time!

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