Hilltop Hoods and Google Play Music launch new interactive film to raise money for Canteen

November 11, 2016

Hilltop Hoods has teamed up with Google Play Music to create an interactive film for ‘Through The Dark’ to raise money for young people living with cancer.

‘Through The Dark’ was written by Hilltop Hoods’ Pressure (aka Dan Smith) for his young son Liam who was diagnosed with leukaemia. This new interactive film, inspired by Dan’s story, shares a father and son’s journey through two 3D animated worlds—the dark representing fear and the light representing hope.
Given the song’s inception, it was important to give Hilltop Hoods fans a way to show their support for young people affected by cancer in Australia.

For every fan who listens to their latest album on Google Play Music with the link at the end of the film, Google and Hilltop Hoods will donate $1 to leading youth cancer organisation Canteen, on their behalf.

Dan Smith from Hilltop Hoods said, “Through The Dark was inspired by my son’s fight against leukaemia, it’s a story of hope and perseverance throughout the journey of his recovery. Cancer is something that affects us all at some point in our lives, whether a personal struggle or someone close to us. Through a collaboration of music and technology we seek to empower and give strength to the suffering, our listeners can do the same by donating generously.”

Canteen’s CEO Peter Orchard said that the money raised will help fund the development of an exciting new project called Side of Stage, which will give young people affected by cancer special access to live music shows across Australia.

“Every year, another 23,000 young people have their world turned upside down by cancer. They often feel incredibly isolated and alone, which is why we’re thrilled to be working with Hilltop Hoods and the wider music industry to give young people unique opportunities to experience live music. Music is in fact also widely used as a therapeutic tool because it can help to improve anxiety, mood and pain,” he said.

Sophie Hirst from Google Play added about the collaboration, “For anyone that’s been at a Hoods concert, hearing this song live is a magic moment. We wanted to recreate that feeling for anyone, no matter where they are. Fans can immerse themselves in the film by tilting and rotating their phone to navigate through the dark and light worlds. It also works on desktop, controlling it with your trackpad or mouse.”

“Behind the scenes, this film is made entirely of code. For example, using 3D cameras mapped to the phone’s accelerometer, the film uses mobile technology combined with complex modelling and animation to capture the sense of a world turned upside down. We’re really pushing the limits of what a phone can do.”
Head to throughthedark.withgoogle.com to experience the interactive film (available on Android mobile devices and desktop). Through The Dark uses cutting edge technology running on mobile browsers. Due to memory limitations of some current handsets the film will only play on high-spec Android devices. Google has also released a desktop version that everyone can enjoy.

For every person that listens to the Hilltop Hoods latest album Drinking from the Sun, Walking Under Stars Restrung on Google Play Music via the unique link at the end of the film, Google will donate $1 to Canteen on their behalf to support young Australians living with cancer.

Canteen is inviting Australian musicians and music industry leaders to join the Side of Stage initiative by registering their interest here.

Media Contact: Kerry Kalcher, National Media and Communications Manager 0405 283 352