SXSW 2012 Film Bumper “Theater Bum”

Opening night of the SXSW 2012 Film Conference and Festival kicked off this year with The Cabin in the Woods, a horror film co-written by Drew Goddard and Joss Whedon. I was lucky enough to duck out of the rain and screen the premiere at the Paramount Theatre in Austin, Texas.

To prevent spoilers for others, all attendees were bound by a blood oath with the filmmakers to only refer afterwards to the ‘Cabin’ experience as “game-changing” for the genre. Keeping with my oath, I will only also add that the flick is “highly-enjoyable”. Seriously. Go see it.

When the lights dimmed, a most un-horror-like event opened the show. In fact, it was hilarious, and so spot-on for capturing the spirit of Austin in March, albeit with a slight, but appropriate film-fest flavor. Luckily, there is no oath binding its secrecy. So here it is, in all of its online video splendor…a bumper.

bumper is a little movie, or short, that shows before the main attraction. It is kind of like a trailer except it really isn’t advertising another movie. Instead it is more conceptual. Like a message about not adding your own soundtrack to the movie.

Don’t think that bumpers can really matter as art? Bumpers are legit. In fact, there was a panel at the film conference devoted entirely to the subject. This year’s bumper theme, ‘How Not To Be Lame At SXSW‘, came from an idea proposed by Austin filmmaker Geoff Marslett. And if you’ve done SXSW, whether for Film, Interactive, and/or Music, this ‘how-not-to-be-lame’ idea is one you’re probably already quite familiar with. Just like migas tacos.

Theater Bum” is the first officially-released bumper that was shown prior to some films entered in the SXSW 2012 Film Conference and Festival. It was directed by Joe Nicolosi, who also directed one of last year’s memorable SXSW Film bumpers entitled “Mario“.

Hat tip to Geoff Marslett, who is the actor is this bumper. The Cabin in the Woods is being released nationwide by Lionsgate on April 13, 2012.

Making Your Smartphone “Smarter” By Tagging Devices Using ToothTag

The coolest ‘new thing’ I saw at SXSW this year was at the gdgt party (of course!). It was there that I met Dave Mathews, CEO of a company called NeuAer, who was showing off their app called ToothTag.

Built on NeuAer’s open ProxPlatform, Toothtag allows your Android smartphone to ‘tag’ other devices that are around you, like smartphones or WiFi access points. You can then set rules for certain actions to happen when you are nearby these tags in the future. So if you and a friend have tagged each other’s phones, and you are working at the coffee shop, a song you assigned would start playing when your friend walks by the coffee shop letting you know they are outside. Drop a pin on Google Maps where you park your car and navigate back to it later with precision. Need some mayorships to add to your Foursquare profile? Set Toothtag to automatically check you into the places you normally visit. You can download Toothtag right now at the Android Market. An iPhone/iPad version is planned to happen in the future.

Toothtag is only a showcase app of the ProxPlatform that it is built upon. What Dave really wants is for developers out there to take it to the next level and make creative new ideas with it. The platform supports WiFi, Bluetooth, and Near field communication technologies, and interested developers can learn more at