Writer and Technical Lead

The Project

Silverlining is a short animated film that can be interacted with using laser pointers, created as part of the Digital Stories Residency in 2014. Viewers are told a story of an artist creating what may be his last and greatest work and are invited to draw on the film as the film 'draws' itself.

The final product is a collaboration between myself and two animation artists, Marieke Hollander and Marcus Bowler

the work

  • Writer
    • Concepted with the team.
    • Wrote the script for the project.
  • Technical Lead
    • Implementation of animations into Unity
    • Implementation of touch code including modifications

What I learned

It is not everyday that I find myself trying to troubleshoot a home-made software for an EyeToy camera on a linux laptop that has an AZERTY keyboard, but it wasn't exactly everyday that I found myself in a creative residency in Lille, France. It was an incredibly interesting experience to try and design with a laser pointer as an input system. My initial concept was brought out by playing with the laser pointer, trying to understand different grips, how it feels to use it for a long amount of time and explore it's affordances. 

Whilst there's a sense of playfulness with using the laser pointer, I decided to write a short drama focused on an oppressed bisexual artist and use the memetic interaction of the laser pointer to mimic the actions that the artist would take. The idea was to get the viewers to empathise with the character through action, placing the viewer as the character behind the canvas. 

Anecdote: one afternoon as we were having dinner, someone threw a canister of pepper spray into the restaurant. It seems that they were trying to spite the restaurant. Apparently, the revolutionary spirit of France never died. 

Additional information

Below is a video of the results of the whole residency. Silverlining begins from 6:08.

Since 2012, Digital Stories – produced by the French association Rencontres Audiovisuelles (Lille) – has been exploring the new possibility, enabled by digital cinema, of a collective interaction between the audience and the screen. Digital Stories offers the opportunity to the spectators, equipped with laser pointers, to work together in order to influence the course of films or video games. During the residence in July 2014 four teams of animators and game developers produced four interactive animations. The public could participate the by using a laser pen or tablet. This video is a recording of the results.