SXSW: The Economy of the GIF

In their Economy of GIF panel at SXSW 2013, Mark Portillo (Self-employed) Jimmy Repeat (MTV) Ferndano Alfonso III (Daily Dot) and Lindsey Weber (Writer) talked about this artistic side of GIFs and how it has opened up new avenues for artists and with it the potential to earn a living.

  • SXSW Panel Twitter Hashtag is GIFecon
  • Most people in the crowd pronounce GIF with a hard G. They seem to be okay being wrong.
  • Tools that they use to create GIFs: GIFshop, Photoshop, Flash, After Effects, Cinegram, IShowU, Slingbox
  • Life GIFs is the art of quickly created animated GIFs from live video.
  • Rubbable GIFs allow for control of the playback of an animated GIF.
  • Jimmy Repeat: We don’t make just GIFs, but repeating animations
  • Mark Portillo: DJ takes existing music and makes something new. Doesn’t mean the musician is better than the DJ. Like those that make GIF animations.
  • MP: GIFs exploded when Tumblr came out with thie “GIF Feature”.
  • Lindsey Weber: “Reaction GIF” is popular to put in these types of GIFs. You can search by emotion.
  • Ferndano Alfonso III: Can you make a living making this GIF animations?
  • JR: We don’t just do GIFs. We are designers. If we only did GIFs, it would be a painting in border colors. As a designer you have to wear multiple hats. From being the director, shooting your own videos, doing the After Effects.
  • LW: As a freelance writer, people who hire you you have to do many things. “Can you make a GIF?” And I know what they mean.
  • JR: GIFs add another level of attractiveness for your eyeballs.
  • LW: Where is the Stockphoto GIF store?
  • JR: GIF is the moving artform. There’s going to be LEDs everywhere. The repeating image is always going to be there. And with people finding more and more uses for them.
  • MP: It’s always going to be around. Like a pair a Converse. Always a classic.
  • LW: It’s hit it’s peak now. Vine is Twitter’s answer to GIF popularity, but it’s jarring to have audio with it.
  • JR: This room is packed. People love making GIFs, so the marketers are going to be there.
  • LW: The fate of Tumblr and GIF are intertwined.
  • LW: Live GIFfing of events gets around rights issues for videos because it’s less policed.

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