Digital Biscuit and telling stories through film

Behind the scenes: Dry Christmas 2013
Evin on the set: Dry Christmas 2013

Last week I was invited to Digital Biscuit  by the Screen Directors Guild but as I couldn't attend and probably wouldn't understand half of it,  I asked Evin O' Neill who is shooting a project on the lane, to take part and write a Guest Post for FLS. I hope you will enjoy hearing a different voice from this neck of the woods.

I want to tell stories and the main way I want to tell these stories is through film. 

Thanks to the organisers of Digital Biscuit, at the Science Gallery in Dublin, I was offered the chance to attend their event on the cutting edge of various storytelling disciplines, from film making to advertising, TV, animation and gaming.

I’m not a technophobe but, to paraphrase Alan Partridge, you could say I’m a technosceptic. When I think of great filmmaking I usually think of the past, possibly about qualities that classic films have that somehow aren’t as common now, simple honest storytelling. 

At Digital Biscuit technological advances were centre-stage and the buzz-words were flying, particularly in the advertising-related talks: “zeitgeist incest” was a stand-out, a complimentary description of an effective ad campaign. 

There was a focus on Denmark as a similar-sized role model for Ireland. The Einstein Couple are married movie marketing specialists from Denmark, most recently responsible for the poster campaign for Lars vonTrier’s Nymphomaniac which went viral and caused controversy (or free publicity as they would see it) around the world. They were so laid-back with a no-nonsense approach, no time for cynicism or trying to be clever, preferring real feeling and human insight.

Joe Marks presented some incredible technological developments from his time at Disney Research including; 

-auto-inbetweening (apparently a lot of animation is still painstakingly drawn out by hand, frame by frame; this software automatically draws a lot of the in-between frames of movement), 

-passive facial motion capture (creates detailed 3D computer models of human faces using 6 cameras and, instead of markers applied to the face for mapping, this system can detect the pores in the skin and use them to map the face) and 

-a completely unmanned camera system to cover live sports events which uses players’ movements on the pitch to predict where the ball is going to be.

Jim Sheridan’s talk on “Working with Actors” steered clear of technology, buzz-words and, largely, working with actors. His obscure theories on belief-systems, Aristotle and Plato seemed to cause a bit of bewilderment in the audience but I must say I thoroughly enjoyed it.

While all the talk of a generation who consumed their media in a different way, on phones, on tablets, through games, made me feel old, or old-fashioned at least, I was glad to hear most of the speakers concluding that, whether it was a 5-second YouTube ad or an iPad game for kids with a corresponding TV cartoon or a Danish political drama, it still ultimately boiled down to simple honest storytelling.


Evin O’Neill is a late bloomer. He’s not even sure if he’s bloomed yet to be honest. In the meantime he has been agglomerating a very chequered past to draw on in his scripts and films.


  1. I've not been visiting for a while and find myself all at sea. I've been reading back and back and back and haven't grasped why you are living in a stage set nor what set you off on your inner pilgrimage. Probably haven't gone far enough back - so apologies. So I've been treating the blog like a picture show with some specially good pictures in it.

    1. Lucy that's so funny!! Am a bit at sea myself to be honest. No really I'm not living in a stage set it just feels like that sometimes. And as for the Pilgrimage maybe check out the Pilgrimage Story link underneath these comments to find out why I chose it as a guiding word for 2014. And yes, this blog really is a picture show of sorts......thanks for that, you made me smile.......

  2. Fascinating post, but the bit that struck me most was the bio ... a late bloomer agglomerating a chequered past to draw on ... that could be me!

    1. Haha! I don't think he fully understands how late a late bloomer can bloom Annie!