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SXSW And Magic


On Tuesday March 13th, from 5-6pm, Virtual Reality programmers at SXSW will learn how to think like magicians. Laura Mingail will deliver a special presentation titled “Using Magicians’ Tricks to Develop VR AR Content”. Mingail is the Granddaughter of Henry Gordon who was a magician, Mensa member and sceptic who appeared on shows ranging from Oprah to Larry King. He was a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians for over 50 years, receiving the Order of Merlin in 2001. And he was also proud member of the Society of American Magicians.

As the granddaughter of a magician, Mingail grew up intrigued by the magic behind magic. She knows that people have the power to produce magic, with the right knowledge and skills. This session will reveal how to use magicians’ tricks while storytelling through Virtual Reality and Augmented Reality coding. The message will be based on secret magic notes, and her experience in the VR/AR.

Laura Mingail is an award-winning marketer, product innovator and VR/AR advocate. She has helped to build multiple VR and AR initiatives to drive consumer engagement and sales, such as the development of the VR/AR strategy for the ecosystem of businesses under one of Canada’s leading entertainment companies, Cineplex Inc. which included initiating and leading the relationship with The VOID.

As the Senior Director of Marketing & Business Development at Secret Location – the first company in the world to win a Primetime Emmy® Award for a virtual reality project, and an Entertainment One company – Laura focuses on developing strategies to monetize owned and partner VR content, including distribution, marketing, communications and brand partnerships.

Laura is regularly invited to speak and share her insights at influential conferences and festivals such as CES and SXSW on the fast-evolving landscape of VR/AR, and the many opportunities that the mediums present. She also contributes to UploadVR, one of the world’s top sources for VR news, focusing on pieces that uncover insights into how to develop deeply engaging VR content.

Brands that she has worked with to create campaigns as well as new products range in industry. Her portfolio includes entertainment brands, such as Disney Junior, CTV – Canada’s most-watched television network, Sony BMG Music Entertainment, and Def Jam, various consumer packaged goods brands under the PepsiCo umbrella, as well as several Canadian online and bricks-and-mortar retailers.

The audience in the session will also get to watch MasterMagician Scott Wells illustrate the message through his live performance. Wells is a member of the iconic Magic Castle, and the four-time recipient of the Houston Magician of the Year Award from The Society of American Magicians. He is a past president of the Texas association of magicians, a lifetime member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, and former board member of the IBM. Wells is also a member of the exclusive Inner Magic Circle in London – a circle of magicians that never exceeds 350 members, and requires unanimous board endorsements to be invited in.

South by Southwest (abbreviated as SXSW) is an annual conglomerate of film, interactive media, and music festivals and conferences that take place in Austin, Texas every March. It began in 1987 and has continued to grow in both scope and size every year. In 2017, the conference lasted for 10 days with SXSW interactive lasting for five days, music for seven days and film running concurrently for nine days. Comedy and gaming components to the festival are particularly fast-growing.

This festival is known for bringing tens of thousands of thought-leaders together, from around the world, in the film, digital, music, advertising industry,and more. Recent conference speakers range from Barack Obama and Joe Biden, to Lady Gaga and Garth Brooks.

“Using Magicians’ Tricks to Develop VR AR Content” will be delivered to SXSW, at the JW Marriott at 110 E 2nd St. in Austin. Salon 1-2. A SXSW badge is required to access this event.



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