I was invited to The Mill’s Christmas drinks the other day – and, while I was enjoying their hospitality I noticed a couple of cool things going on in reception.
Firstly that they have pioneered a very snazzy way of looking at and presenting their showreel. The Mill New York Digital team dreamed up a rear-projected, 5’ (1.5m) x 3’ (1m) interactive touch screen panel made entirely of reflective glass. This in itself is a pretty imposing piece of hardware. However the touch screen interface is aesthetically very pleasing and dead easy to use.You definitely get your Minority Report moment where you swipe and expand images. The extra dimension is that you can call up a circle in the middle of the screen (The Mill Lens) that allows you to look at the raw footage before the computer graphics were comped in, so you can see exactly what technical wizardry they performed. It’s something you could spend hours with – not only because they do so many high profile jobs, but also as it houses their entire 20+ year catalogue!
The weird thing is that the node system that they use makes it very easy to see all the work at the same time. What this picture dosn’t quite show is how much it looks like the night sky. There is, of course a text based search box, which you can use to narrow things down. Definitely work a trip to Soho to try out!
Secondly that they had got into the spirit of it with their own Christmas Wish Machine Installation – called Mill Wishes. The idea is dead simple – if you tweet a wish to @themillwishes, each wish is then written out and then added as a flake to the snowstorm. For every wish received 10p is donated to Crisis – so get tweeting everyone!
The Mill’s Social Media Manager, Bethan Barker, said this about the success of the installation so far, “I think the concept of wishing is close to everyone’s hearts at this time of year, and has certainly captured the imaginations of those who have tweeted in.
From health, white Christmases, more scotch eggs and ‘less hipsters’, the wishes certainly have been a mixed bag. I think it’s extremely exciting to see something virtual like a tweet, turn in to something physical like the ever increasing snow storm and the charitable donation.”
Personally I think its great that companies like this are pushing new digital ideas – in areas that they are not traditionally associated with. Right, anyone up for a digital chocolate-dispensing Bunny Machine triggered by human thought…?