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2018 was my second Red Hat Summit. Last year as a motion graphics designer, I was responsible for a single, 1-minute video on stage in general session. This year I had 2 keynotes: Matt Hicks’ keynote was an hour and a half with 42 animated slides and Chris Wright’s keynote was more than two hours with 67 animated slides. All told it was maybe 30 minutes of animated content.

This process started a couple of months out from Summit, but for me the bulk of the work was done in the last two weeks. We started by creating a “look and feel” for each keynote, and the content-focused members of the team created an outline. We started designing everything we could in advance while we waited for content to be finalized (We waited a long time.) Finally, content was locked and we could start designing and animating final slides. I worked with some great designers that helped create assets and come up with interesting ideas.

Many late nights and a few weekends later, it was time for Summit. We started rehearsing almost as soon as we landed in San Francisco. We found mistakes or technical errors, made changes, and polished everything up until the last second. And then it was time for general session. Waiting for the gigantic room to fill up was miserable. I get nervous showing my work to 2 people; with 8,000 I wanted to hide under my chair. Once they started though, I relaxed and realized there was nothing I could do to change anything.

Working on these keynotes was a ton of work and extremely stressful. I loved it though—some parts I consider as some of my best work. I learned a lot and used some new (to me) software, Cinema 4D. Next year I hope to be able to focus on just one keynote.

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