We meet. We build. We collide. We find our way to each other again. We grow stronger from it. Mill+ celebrates the magic of the collaborative creative process through ‘SKAZKA’, the main title sequence and companion real time interactive experience for OFFF St. Petersburg 2014.Mill+ creative director Rama Allen was asked to create the title sequence for the first ever OFFF Conference in Russia. Held in St. Petersburg, a city with a rich history of storytelling, the resulting sequence is titled ‘SKAZKA’, roughly translated from Russian to “that which is told.” The title sequence is inspired by the collaborative creative process and told as a ‘conjuring’ that comes to life in two formats: a linear film and a nonlinear interactive experience created in partnership with Goo Technologies.
Seeking to incorporate new techniques and mediums for the project, Rama and Mill+ art director Christopher Palazzo began by testing techniques that incorporated true human input to inform the animation, including (but definitely not limited to) motion capture of two choreographed dancers and experimental play with various inks and chemicals. [See more results from their experiments on the 'SKAZKA' Process Tumblr]
For the digital component, we supplied all of these assets and our original concept to our collaborators at Goo Technologies to explore a new expression of the same idea. Rama explains, “Essentially, the raw materials for the entire sequence came from the real world and were mapped and projected into our virtual world to create a hybrid analog and digital experience. This piece is really where the digital and analog commingle.”
Goo then set to work remixing the SKAZKA universe as an interactive art piece. Goo CCO Magnus Östergren elaborates, "The digital experience was made using Goo Create, an artist friendly production environment for WebGL and HTML5 experiences. The SKAZKA digital experience is an experimental, creative and collaborative companion to the film created by Mill+ where visitors can explore and get lost in an alternate world, create something of their own, and share the experience with others." Embracing the theme of collaboration and creation, visitors can also make an animated GIF from their experience.
Rama and Christopher shared the project and their own collaborative creative process at the festival in a special Weird Science-themed keynote presentation. OFFF founder Héctor Ayuso praises 'SKAZKA' as "An awesome project that will remain with OFFF forever. Watching those titles made me think of how proud I am with The Mill and OFFF's long-term collaboration and relationship over the years."