Announcing Our Evening Keynote Speakers
We're exactly one month away from XOXO! So far, the best part of XOXO planning has been organizing the lineup of speakers and performers. Everyone I've reached out to has been incredibly excited to be involved, and I think we already have a pretty amazing lineup with some of the most interesting, creative people in art and technology.
But we have still have a few surprises up our sleeves.
Today, we're thrilled to announce the keynote speakers that will be capping off the day of talks on Saturday and Sunday. Hold on to your pants.
Saturday: Dan Harmon!
As the creator of NBC's Community, Dan Harmon's inspired a massive cult audience online with countless animated GIFs, Tumblelogs, fan art (Rule 34!), a real-life fan art gallery, and more fanfic than you could read in a year.
But his success came from relentless experimentation. He wrote Heat Vision and Jack, undoubtedly the best unaired pilot of all time. In 2002, he cofounded Channel 101, a website and film event in Los Angeles, where amateur filmmakers pitched five-minute pilots before an audience. Channel 101 spawned Internet cult favorites like House of Cosbys, Yacht Rock, Chad Vader, and helped launch the careers of The Lonely Island. Harmon's own pilots, and there are many, are awesome too. The concept was parlayed into VH1's Acceptable TV, with many of Channel 101's filmmakers participating.
Last May, in a shocking move, NBC decided to replace Harmon as Community's showrunner, causing a massive blowback from the fanbase. His candid blog posts recounted the events, cementing his reputation as someone unafraid to speak his mind. (For more on what really happened with Community, don't miss Marc Maron's G4TV interview with Dan.)
Not content to hang around in his bathrobe, Dan Harmon launched a Kickstarter last month with Dino Stamatopoulos to produce Anomalisa, a new stop-motion animated film written by Charlie Kaufman. Within a week, they'd hit their $200,000 goal, and it's still going strong. In addition, he's working on two new series for Fox and Adult Swim.
We're thrilled to hear Dan talk about the pros and cons of working with major television networks, when it makes sense to go on your own, and where he thinks the medium is going.
Sunday: Adam Savage!
Adam Savage knows what it's like to be obsessed — to have an all-consuming need to make something, often just because you can. Just for fun, he's made deadly-accurate reproductions of the Maltese Falcon, the gun from Blade Runner, Indiana Jones' bullwhip, Tolkein's map of Middle Earth, the flamethrower from the Fifth Element, and his own personal replica dodo skeleton.
You probably know him as the more excitable half of the ridiculously popular Mythbusters on the Discovery Channel, where he's debunked popular myths for the last ten years with partner Jamie Hyneman, including several sold-out cross-country tours.
This March, he cofounded Tested, a new site focused on "anything that's awesome" — electronics, hacking, prop-building, and just generally blowing stuff up. Will Smith and Norm Chan from the Tested team will be joining us at XOXO, filming Adam's talk.
He's also a geek dad, Wired cover boy, and an incredibly nice guy. When I reached out to him, he was excited and honored to close out XOXO. It's hard to find a more passionate and articulate defender of maker culture. We can't wait to see what he has to say.
We're also happy to announce that Studio Neat's Tom Gerhardt and Dan Provost, creators of the Glif and Cosmonaut, will be speaking at XOXO on Saturday. Both projects became pioneering examples of design projects on Kickstarter, each raising over $100k and fulfilling their rewards to eager backers. Their case study of making the Glif is an amazing example of manufacturing in the 21st century, taking a product from idea to market in five months with very little upfront risk, and complete financial and creative control.
That's it for now! More news soon!
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May 22, 2012 - Jun 15, 2012
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