Pixelodeon Festival

Celebrating Innovation in Online Media


What on Earth is Pixelodeon?

Pixelodeon is an independent video festival that recognizes innovation in the global online video creation community. Aiming to serve as both a festival and a conference, Pixelodeon Festival screened more than three hundred videos, featured four keynote speeches, held informational sessions assembled by curators, allowed sponsors to present on topics relevant to their company, and hosted networking events for the several hundred attendees. Sponsored by DivX, Pixelodeon Fest celebrated the talent and diversity within the online video community, providing audiences with the opportunity to discover innovation in digital media creation. Representing the power of web content creators in the age of new media, Pixelodeon brings together both mainstream and new media to exchange knowledge, build relationships, and form common goals.

Though 2007 was the only year Pixelodeon occurred, it received rave reviews from attendees, and it was a significant event for participants in the online independent media community that year – sponsor companies even used the new festival as a platform to announce major company initiatives and new projects. Unfortunately, however, the festival did not continue into 2008 and 2009.

This website is therefore devoted to bring users more information about Pixelodeon Festival, but it is not the official website of Pixelodeon Festival. We are simply fans of the festival and general lovers of film festivals who wish to spread the word about it.

The First Annual Pixelodeon Festival

The inaugural Pixelodeon festival occurred on June 9-10, 2007. Pixelodeon 2007 was held at The American Film Institute in Los Angeles, California. Jay Dedman, Zadi Diaz, Ryanne Hodson, Irina Slutsky, and Steve Woolf organized Pixelodeon Festival with the goal of recognizing inspiration and innovation in the global online video community. The five organizers became involved in the online independent media community during its developmental stages, and many of them have experienced great success since their involvement with Pixelodeon.

Prior to the festival, the organizers worked hard to spread the word about it, and as the hundreds of attendees and sold-out speeches attest, they succeeded in their efforts. Not only did the organizers themselves have substantial influence within the online independent media community, but they also selected a number of key figures to speak and curate at the festival. As masters of self-promotion, these bloggers, vloggers, producers, and other media-savvy types naturally gave Pixelodeon a platform for advertising while hardly spending a cent. Additionally, fresh talent attending the festival could advertise that they were going by using open-source graphics from Pixelodeon’s webpage, and selecting key players in the online media industry as sponsors also promoted the festival’s interests. By smartly using these resources, the organizers set the stage for a successful Pixelodeon 2007.

Pixelodeon 2007 began and ended each day with keynote presentations, and in between, participants could break out into one of four different sessions focused on various topics relevant to persons involved in the online independent media community. In order to make the festival more accessible to average participants in the online independent media community, the festival made all screenings free The keynote speeches, however, required purchased tickets, but the speeches were later posted online by organizers of the festival for the public to view. In the main theater, participants could see presentations relevant to overarching aspects of new online media, including subjects such as YouTube, the general vlogosphere, and politics’ role in technology. In smaller theaters, attendees could view more specialized presentations on everything from environmentalism to presentations generated purely from public input. Various sponsors also had the opportunity to present on topics relevant to their business. Additionally, after the first day of Pixelodeon, the festival sponsored afterparties to allow users to network and connect with each other in an informal setting. Overall, the organizers designed the schedule to meet their intention of Pixelodeon as both a traditional film festival and a conference.

The organizers hand-selected curators, presenters, and keynote speakers to ensure that attendees could learn more about all aspects of online independent media. Curators included a wide range of vloggers, producers, and other media professionals. Some, such as Veronica Belmont and Mary C. Matthews, were well-known media personalities, and others, such as Patricia Lange and Eric Homan, were established media professionals and analysts. However, Pixelodeon also featured lesser-known curators like Pepa Garcia, a vlogger devoted to helping others get involved in the community, and Duncan Speakman, a UK-based sound and video artist. This diverse group of video curators enhanced the quality of content featured at Pixelodeon Festival.

Unlike the curators, Pixelodeon’s keynote speakers were all well-established in online independent media at the time of Pixelodeon 2007. These keynote speakers included DivX CEO Jordan Greenhall, open source coder Jon Phillips, Kent Nichols and Douglas Sarine of Ask a Ninja, Fred Seibert of Frederator Studios, and Rob Schrab and Dan Harmon of Channel101.com and The Sarah Silverman Program. Many of these speakers had already attained success in their field, and the majority worked in both traditional and independent media at various points in their careers. These keynote speakers thus used their spotlights to pass on their wisdom to audiences at Pixelodeon 2007.

Additionally, Pixelodeon featured presentations from its sponsors, which were major players in the field of online independent media. DivX, Pixelodeon’s main sponsor, gave a presentation that addressed issues such as digital rights management. Another presenting sponsor, Wordpress, discussed the future of the website and blogging in general. These sponsored presentations enabled companies supporting the event to use it to make company announcements and advertise their services, and attendees had the opportunity to learn more about tools and products relevant to their interest in online independent media.

In the DIY Theater, Pixelodeon aimed to make the festival inclusive by providing information to users about best practices as well as enabling the online independent media community to select videos to be screened in the theater. Held in the DIY Tech Room, these sessions focused on subjects such as interactive vlogging, aiming to give newbies a starting point in generating their own media while pros could refine their practice and learn new techniques. The DIY room’s final session was an open screening of the videos suggested by users on the Pixelodeon wiki. On this wiki, users could categorize and upload their favorite videos, which gave curators and organizers even more quality content to select from. This theater fit perfectly with Pixelodeon’s aim to create a user-focused festival.

Overall, Pixelodeon very much lived up to the hype surrounding it. While many kinds of independent film festivals are held in the United States each year, there’s none that has the same character and feel as Pixelodeon! As a festival focused on online independent media, Pixelodeon’s curators and attendees naturally blogged, vlogged, and wrote articles about the festival and their experience there, and the vast majority left with an extremely positive impression of the festival. Freshtopia, an online series, had an episode screened at the festival, and after attending, they remarked that the festival was “pixel-tastic!” Additionally, with key players in the online media industry like Wordpress and SpinXpress making company announcements, Pixelodeon quickly became a major gathering for online media professionals.

Although Pixelodeon 2007 was well-received by its audience, the festival did not become an annual festival; Pixelodeon 2007 remains the only Pixelodeon event to have occurred to this date. The organizers appeared to wish to make this festival a recurring annual event, and on the festival’s official Twitter, there are two brief tweets about potentially hosting another Pixelodeon in 2008 or 2009. Little information can be found about why the festival did not continue.

A Note About this Website

Because Pixelodeon did not grow into an annual festival, we wanted to inform others about this great event that occurred in 2007. We created this website in order to inform fans of film, film festivals, online videos, and up-and-coming media and technology about Pixelodeon Festival. This website is not the official website of Pixelodeon, and we are not officially affiliated with Pixelodeon, its sponsors, or its participants. We are simply fans of the festival who wanted to inform others about Pixelodeon.

We hope you enjoy this informational website!