Unique interactive Malaysian film ‘Blink’ is a poignant piece about spending time with loved ones before they’re gone (VIDEO)

The quicker a viewer blinks while watching the film, the shorter the experience. — Pix courtesy of Xiao En
The quicker a viewer blinks while watching the film, the shorter the experience. — Pix courtesy of Xiao En

PETALING JAYA, Oct 31 – When was the last time you made time for your nearest and dearest?

In a new interactive film that captures the fleeting nature of time, Blink takes viewers on an immersive journey that sheds light on the impermanence of life.

With the aim of reminding Malaysians to make time for loved ones before it’s too late, the first-of-its-kind film allows viewers to control their experience by the number of blinks.

The concept is simple: the more you blink, the quicker life passes by before your very eyes.

No app is necessary as the film uses a proprietary code that works on mobile and desktops.

The film is the brainchild of bereavement care provider Xiao En who teamed up with Directors Think Tank x SOOTH Inc and Bonsey Jaden x Imaginary Friends.

As the country’s pioneer modern funeral service provider, Xiao En wanted to create a memorable immersive experience to remind us of what is important despite the demands of work and life that stand in the way family reunions, particularly those who don’t live with their ageing parents.

According to a 2014 survey by the National Population and Development Board, 30 per cent of Malaysia’s elderly population either lives alone or with their elderly spouse.

This figure rose exponentially compared to 2004 at 14.7 per cent.

Xiao En managing director Datuk Frank Choo said although the funeral business is very much rooted in tradition, the bereavement care provider has always pushed themselves to think out of the box.

After all, they were the first to introduce a modern memorial park in the country.

Thirty per cent of Malaysia’s elderly population either live alone or with their elderly spouse.
Thirty per cent of Malaysia’s elderly population either live alone or with their elderly spouse.

“This PSA initiative echoes that innovative spirit by using technology to convey an emotional message close to our hearts and that is to encourage others to be filial to their parents and to appreciate life more.

Blink is one of those projects that just came together in so many ways for the brand,” said Choo.

Bonsey Jaden’s Adam Chan used his personal experience to conceptualise the short film’s progressive depiction of ageing with each blink.

The global digital agency’s executive creative director said he doesn’t get the chance to see his parents who live in Penang but whenever he goes back to visit them, he noticed their hair would get greyer and their posture increasingly slant.

“It’s the subtle changes which hit you like a sledgehammer because you see so little of them.

“What we wanted to do here was to remind people that time is finite – but that we can slow it down by focusing it in the right places,” Chan said.

Sling, a director with award-winning production group Directors Think Tank said the story is simple and has no deep dialogue, multi-camera setup or movements.

Sling wanted viewers to focus and take a hard look at the protagonist in his day-to-day existence.

“It’s voyeuristic in a way, but it’s real and true to life as how empty nesters would carry out their day,” explained Sling.

Japanese marketing agency Sooth Inc chief design officer Takayuki Yoshizawa said the firm has been experimenting and developing various content that utilise facial recognition technology that ranges from motion detection to recognition different facial expressions and eye movements.

“When we connected with the teams in Malaysia, we knew that this project was different. It wasn’t just an opportunity for us to scratch our tech itch, but it gave us a chance to use our technology in a deep meaningful way,” Yoshizawa said.

*This article is brought to you by Xiao En.

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