Project Description

ThinkWell Digital took part in the inaugural Antenna Documentary Hackathon. Over a weekend intensive we teamed up with filmmaker Sinéad McDevitt to build an interactive platform for her film series The Alchemy Project. Using animated gifs, video and HTML5 we crafted a great online portal for the project, but the coup de grâce was a live twitter feed that let viewers contribute to the conversation onscreen, while also sharing the project with a wider audience. Thanks to Matt Smith from SBS Interactive for his patient help with the Twitter API.

FROM THE FESTIVAL WEBSITE: For Antenna’s first documentary hackathon, which took place during the Antenna festival, five teams of filmmakers, designers and web technologists came together to work on prototypes for interactive documentary storytelling projects. Hunkering down at incredible venue Hub Sydney over two days, the teams got cracking with developing, breaking apart and reworking their prototypes, ably assisted by the following experienced mentors: Renae Mason, UX/digital strategist & producer; Jonathan Richards, Creative Lead at Google Creative Lab; Matt Smith, interactive designer & developer at SBS; and Ingrid Kopp, Director of Interactive Programs at Tribeca Film Institute.


Hackathon team:
Director, producer, designer: Sinéad McDevitt
Web developer: Tiger Brown

The Alchemy Project is a multiplatform, transmedia short documentary film series about extraordinary Australians who turn awful into awesome. Life has its ups and its downs. The ups are great, but there are some folk who take the downs and turn them into something better; like a brilliant new idea, a 360º career change or a brand new passion. They’re the Alchemists of Adversity. Episode 1 is ‘Ballsy’; The story of 32 yr old Bondi-surfing, ad executive Ben, who lost a testicle and grew some balls. Series 1 (in development) tells the stories of six inspiring Australians who embarked on the adventure from awful to awesome, found a formula and returned with pure gold. At the core of The Alchemy Project are the short documentary films and their ‘orbital’ extra features, e.g. a Q&A with each Alchemist about their formula and a timeline of their awful to awesome story. The immersive Alchemy storyworld, however, comes to life with rich, interactive experiences: the rest of the Alchemy website (including a space where a global network of everyday Alchemists swap tips, get inspired and upload their own stories); the Alchemy app; e-book; album and series of talks.

View Episode 1 of the Alchemy Project.