Interview with Katz Kiely, Event Organiser, b.TWEEN 3D
(Note: This event has been postponed until a later date)
Throughout the year there are plenty of 3D technology conferences one can choose to attend. Most of them follow the same format; a series of talks by experts in the industry accompanied by an exhibition showcasing various software packages, 3D rigs and glasses free 3D TVs.
Whilst most have a value and provide ideal networking opportunities, many conferences can merge into another if you attend enough of them! b.TWEEN 3D is a conference organised by Katz Kiely, founder of Just-b productions which takes a highly interactive approach to conferences.
Supported by Sony, the b.TWEEN 3D conference starts 09.00am July 21st at the BFI Southbank. People around the globe will be able to watch and interact with the event for free via a webcast and others can view from several places called ‘nodes’ which are physical locations where people can gather together to watch, tweet questions and comment on the event. The website encourages people to get involved with the conversation via tweeting and blogging.
Rather than a series of speakers talking for an hour at a time, each speaker will be allocated one minute to pitch their position on a certain question. Viewers via the webcasts and ‘nodes’ will then be able to ask questions and interact via twitter.
Kate Russell, co-presenter of the BBC Click show, will be interviewing experts during the day which include Mick Hocking – Head of Sony Computer Entertainment Worldwide Studios’ stereoscopic 3D team, Dale Herigstad, Chief Creative Officer of Schematic, the interactive design studio commissioned by Steven Speilberg for conceptual design for the film of Minority Report.
At 19.00 there will be a UK premiere of a live synthetic, holographic performance by audiovisual pioneer Stuart Warren Hill at the BFI.
Tickets are available to purchase from the website for £350+VAT using the discount code “3droundabout_btween3d”. The price rises to £450 plus VAT on the 7th July so act now if you want to make a good saving!
Q. Why should people attend this 3D conference?
Katz Kiely: The whole premise behind this is that people are talking about 3D as something where you sit down behind a screen, wear a pair of glasses (or not!), and watch something that is ‘kind of 3D’.
There is a whole lot of new emerging technology which changes our relationship with the world; which changes our relationship with content and with each other. Those kind of technologies are really interesting. Things like 3D printing, holographic projection and data centres effect how we interface with the world. Augmented reality has been around for a long time and there’s actually so much more we could be doing with it if we actually thought through the potential of what it might be able to be. We need to bring the right people together around those technologies to start thinking about the space in between.
The reason we call this event b.TWEEN is really about what happens when you bring people from different sectors together. Most conferences tend to be advertising for advertisers or geeks for geeks or technology for technology or film for film etc. This is not that. This is about bringing different people together from many different industries. When you do this, amazing things happen because you start realising there are a whole range of opportunities that you haven’t really looked into.
b.TWEEN 3D is not about sitting and listening to people talking at you; it is absolutely participatory, so the process starts before even going online. Before the event we will have introduced 35 leading lines from all sorts of different spaces and we are asking, who should be speaking? What are the most important potential spaces we should be debating around?
Rather than me curating this on my own and trying to pretend I know everything, I leverage the wisdom of others to make sure that I’m getting the right people.
When you arrive at the event there will be some activities and immersive technologies to see which is going to be great fun. The event itself won’t feature people talking at you. We have decided what four speakers are going to be talking about and then they will just have one minute to say why they are there and what their particular view is about the question we’re asking about. Everything else that happens then is driven by the audience. The Chairman’s job is to pick out the best tweets that are coming in both from within the auditorium and from outside because everything is webcast as well.
I always say to people at the beginning that if you see a question that’s been tweeted in and you think it’s really exciting you should retweet it in capital letters for the chairman to pick up. Our philosophy is about turning the whole idea of a conference upside down and allowing it to be driven by the audience.
Q. How did you get to this point? Have you put on other events using a similar model before?
Katz Kiely: We’ve been doing these events for 10 years and experimenting with technology and bringing different sorts of people together to look at how technology can revolutionise what we do creatively and commercially. We are known as an organisation that put on events that pull together people from different sectors and really get them interacting with each other. This is the first one of b.TWEEN that has been looking specifically at emerging technologies. It’s a tried and tested formula and people know that when they come to a b.TWEEN conference they are not going on an expense fuelled jolly; they are coming to meet people, to get involved, to meet a certain sort of people as well. The people who come to b.TWEEN aren’t interested in just coming to another conference away from work. They’re the ‘disrupters’. They might work inside a big agency or a big company but there are certain people within those that are the disrupters who ask, “hang on a minute, why are we doing it like this when we could be doing it like that?”
Q. The 3D industry is having a bit of a bumpy ride at the moment. Is that the reason you are taking a more holistic approach about 3D technology in this conference?
Katz Kiely: Absolutely, I think just because you have a technology doesn’t mean that it’s going to work. One of the sessions we’re doing is exactly about this. We are calling it ‘Hiding the Elephant’. It’s about developing a new narrative; you can’t just put a cinematographer or director into a new technology and just expect it to work. You have to develop these things. We need to figure out how these technologies can be used to augment and enhance the audience’s experience. I don’t think that’s always the case, sometimes it’s just a one trick pony. I think some films are trying new things and are really trying to explore new narratives and storytelling. I think it can work but there’s a way to go yet.
Q. Could you give me some more information about the ‘Nodes’ and simplify what that means?
Katz Kiely: Oh it’s so simple. You can watch the web stream from your house or from your office and get involved that way which many, many people do. Or, we have set up partner event venues around London which are putting on small workshops. It’s an opportunity for people wherever they are in the region or in Europe to get involved with the content and get involved in the debate in a slightly different way.
Q. Are you looking for any more ‘Nodes’?
Katz Kiely: Yes, we’re all about sharing and getting people involved. If anyone would like to host a node then please get in touch via our website or our facebook (http://www.facebook.com/pages/bTWEEN-3D-217-BFI/147700501970143)
Q. For people who can’t attend, is there a charge to watch it streamed?
Katz Kiely: No. All the stuff will be streamed apart from the networking. If you just come to the website there will be very clear signs showing what time each stream will be. When you are watching the webcast you are also interacting with the webcast. You’ll get picked up by the chairman if the question is good enough. The more we get people involved, the happier we are!