GroundFloor Media & CenterTable Blog

I tuned in for Session 5 of the TED2011 conference yesterday – Worlds Imagined. This was my first TED experience and what an amazing gig. Speakers included:

Julie Taymor
Morgan Spurlock
Bill Ford
Terrence McArdle + Ben Newhouse
Indra Nooyi

I wish I could write about all the speakers, but three will have to suffice in this blog.

As a theater buff, I was thrilled to hear Julie Taymor, film, theater and opera director, speak about “being true to what you believe as an artist.” Her latest film is “The Tempest,” with Helen Mirren. She’s recently produced “The Magic Flute” at the Met, and created “The Lion King” and the new “Spider-Man: Turn Off the Dark” on Broadway, which is a collaboration with U2’s Bono. She spoke about focusing on how the story is told, how the mechanics are just as important as telling the story, and how playing with a medium can change perspective. This will become my new motto for rolling out programs for clients.

Morgan Spurlock, who makes documentary films and TV programs that are personal, political, and, “above all, deeply empathetic,” walked us through his new film about the greatest brands ever sold. His crazy concept of having an entire movie promoting brands and trying to sell this concept to major corporations resonated with this communications professional. It was the smaller brands that decided to take the risk because, Spurlock says, “within that risk is opportunity.” A great reminder that sometimes we need to encourage our clients to not be afraid of taking risks.

On the new technology front, we were introduced to “Bubbles,” a magic window that takes a photo and allows you to swing around 360 degrees. Using a camera on a phone, Terrence McArdle + Ben Newhouse created this interface that blurs the distinction between the digital and the real. By “sharing space” you are able to relive the experience and have a memory surround you. For me, this was just as cool as a 3D chalk art painting that I always throw into brainstorms. Just think of taking your wedding photo, vacation photo, or even a weekend hiking trip picture and being able to swing it around to a 360 view.

And if you really want to be inspired by Worlds Imagined, check out the Let’s Colour Project video of a local community rolling up their sleeves to paint schools, streets, homes, and squares.

~ Amy Moynihan

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