digitalfilm tree’s shows go big @ sxsw

digitalfilm tree anchors two sxsw featured panels & champions 2 new shows

DigitalFilm Tree (DFT) was an omnipresent force at this year’s SXSW Conference! DFT helmed not one but two Featured Panels: Bringing The Umbrella Academy to Life and Ted Lasso Strikes Back! Both television shows are served in pre- and post-production capacities by DFT, which gave moderator and DFT COO, Nancy Jundi, a unique vantage from which to explore the productions from script to screen.

The Bringing the Umbrella Academy to Life panel featured a lively chat with Umbrella Academy writer, showrunner, and executive producer Steve Blackman, director and executive producer Jeff King, and producer and senior VFX supervisor Everett Burrell, with DFT’s senior vfx artist Carlo Vega and previs producer Andrea Aniceto-Chavez underlining the unique VFX and previsualization services DFT brings to bear on the wild, Netflix superhero series.

Particular attention was paid to how DFT previs services better allowed the Umbrella team to recreate the Kennedy assassination in 1963 for an apocalyptic timeline scenario when the production schedule dwindled from two weeks of location shooting to just two days. Another bonus: Blackman surprising the audience with the announcement that Umbrella Academy season 3 premieres on June 22!

The Ted Lasso Strikes Back panel, much like the show itself, brought two sides of the world together as Jundi held court in Austin with Lasso supervising producer Kip Kroeger and editor Melissa McCoy while stars/writers/producers Jason Sudeikis, Brendan Hunt, and Brett Goldstein Zoom’d in from the UK while taking a deep (and often hilarious) dive into the second season of the AppleTV+ series. Jundi and crew explored the season’s strange, After Hours-inspired episode 9, the season’s complex dissection of masculinity and mental health, and highlighting Lasso’s always-inspiring below-the-line talent.

Notable highlights throughout the conversation: the “Ted Lasso Wikipedia” that exists within Sudeikis’ brain, an encyclopedia of facts about our favorite characters, many of which have not been revealed—yet (there were hints that Hannah Waddingham’s Rebecca would receive an origin story in the upcoming season). The lively (and jam-packed) audience ate it up, roaring with applause at the mention of the post-production teams who help bring each episode home, as well as when Jundi zeroed in on the impact of Lasso’s focus on mental health, reiterating  Ted’s line “I’d like to make an appointment” and how it permeated social conversations in a way that encouraged others to follow his lead.

Also making headlines at SXSW were two more DFT supported shows: Keynote speaker Lizzo thrilled her packed ballroom with hints and teases and celebrations for her upcoming Amazon production, Watch Out for the Big Grrrls, a body-positive and “kinder, gentler” reality series for which DFT provided color, VFX and online editorial. DFT VFX was also featured the Starz series Gaslit, which dropped it’s trailer at SXSW, featuring Julia Roberts and an unrecognizable Sean Penn as Martha and John Mitchell, a married power couple at the center of the Watergate scandal.

Check out pictures from the event below!