Interactive Film

Talbot says the poignant animation managed to reduce a room full of hardened, cynical creatives almost to tears. “It wasn’t just something new, but something beautifully executed,” she says. “It’s a music video that does something very different to what you’d expect a music video to do. It gave me goosebumps.”

Five things that most impress D&AD Judges

Through the Dark is a 4 ½ minute 3D-animated interactive film for Google that’s viewed in a web browser and rendered in real-time, allowing the user to experience the story by changing the camera’s perspective and moving between two worlds.

The project was a collaboration with Hilltop Hoods and features their song of the same name. The track was written by one of the band members, Daniel Smith, when his eight-year-old son Liam was diagnosed with leukaemia and spent six-months in hospital. Based on this experience, the film tells a poignant story of a boy and his father struggling with their fears of losing one another.

Storyboards drawn by Xavier Irvine
The film is told in fourteen scenes, each of which was modelled and animated in Maya, then converted to a format that allowed it to be rendered in real-time in the browser with standard web technologies such as WebGL and the Web Audio API.

Through the Dark was the most successful digital interactive project of the year, receiving over fifty accolades at major international award shows and festivals.

Awards Logos

Director & Writer: Mike Daly
Client: Google
Music: Hilltop Hoods
Creative Director: Michael Armstrong
Associate Technology Director: Blake Kus
Executive Producer: Kim Wildenburg
Production Company: Exit Films
Animation Studio: XYZ Studios
Design: Eran Hilleli
Storyboard Artist: Xavier Irvine
Lead Animator: Marco Palmieri
CG Lead: Stevie Watkins
Senior TD: Richard Osellame
Animation Producer: Garett Mayow
Agency: R/GA Sydney