A few years ago, me and 2 other dudes (Martin Rose and Tom Hartshorn) had an idea that went a bit like this: “Hey, let’s run Back to the Future live on Twitter”.
It’s 2 years later and we’ve done it – www.theHillValleyProject.com.
We registered 50 separate twitter accounts for all the characters (and some of the objects) in the film, and starting on October 25th at 7.45am (the exact time and date the film starts), they all started telling the story of the film in real time. It takes 6 days for the whole story to play out.
Here’s a few choice tweets:


We took it all a bit further with things like setting up foursquare locations and having characters check in…

…and giving Lorraine an obsession with instagram selfies and hashtags:

#love #calvin #kiss #brother #vodka #selfie #parking #18 #enchantmentunderthesea #parked #nervous #square”

We even gave Biff a match.com account:

One of the many reason we did this (most of them were around the theme of Back to the Future being awesome) was to raise awareness and encourage donations to The Michael J. Fox Foundation for Parkinson’s Research. They’re trying to speed up the time it takes to get newly developed drugs to market by concentrating on one specific part of the process and helping to provide support and access to research when and where it’s needed.
So, how did we do it? Well, Tom had already done a very similar project a few years back running Home Alone on twitter over Christmas, so we had a rough idea, but working out the times all for the tweets was a massive task. There’s lots of times in the story you just have to hit, like the time the car first time travels, or the lighting strike on the clock tower, so we had those as starting points. The rest we worked out by events like the school day starting, or looking at the position of the sun and working that out for California at that time of year.
We then had to re-write the entire film in tweets, adding in any screen shots that looked like they could be Twitpics, links to YouTube videos for the soundtrack and just making the tweets sound like tweets with the odd #LOL, ;-), and the occasional #FML. We ended up with 1211 tweets, all hand written and all cross references each other with @replies.
We gave each account it’s own biography, background image, profile image and cover image.
We then entered the whole lot into a social media management system that was logged in to all the accounts and set each tweet to send at the desired time.
The system only went wrong once when I noticed we’d entered in all the dates a day out of sync when Marty wakes up on the first day before he goes to meet doc in the car park in 1985. I fixed this by using a technique of utter blind panic, and switching to manually tweeting all accounts for a couple of hours in the early hours of Saturday morning – I managed to get far enough ahead in the end to re-arrange and re-import the rest of the tweets. I felt a bit like this moment:


It all went down very well with Gizmodo calling us Brilliant Wackos.
Questlove Jenkins become a bit of a super fan tweeting about the project and then re-tweeting some of the characters:


OK Go liked it as well, which was nice:


And I was interviewed on *THE* Back to the Future Pod-cast, the Flux Capaci-Cast.
Even though it’s all played out now, you can still witness it in all it’s glory here: storify.com/flipper01/thehillvalleyproject

By the way, if you’re looking for a place to stay in the UK with a large group, please try this site.

We directed this short film back in 2008 and finished editing it in 2010. It was written by a friend of ours, Richard Johnson, and is all about what would happen if a great discovery lands in the lap of somebody who doesn’t know what to do with it. Starring another good friend of ours, the comedian, writer and actor Neil Edmond, and co-starring Rosemary Smith.


It picked up third place in The Science Fiction + Fantasy Short Film Festival 2011 (part of The Seattle International Film Festival), and the EMP Museum in Seattle are now screening the film daily on the largest indoor LED screen in America… which is kind of amazing.


We shot it in our garage with the help of many people including:

  • Colin Butler bought all his camera gear and was our director of photography
  • Paul Parsons was an extremely patient sound man (it seems a summer weekend is a popular time to get the lawnmower out)
  • Nathan McLaughlin spend an incredible amount of time and talent on the make-up for the end scene
  • Andrew Barnabas made it all sound great with his sound mixing
  • The Boob was our voice of reason during the editing


more photos here.


In our first time-lapse of one of American raodtrips we stuck to our guns and showed the whole thing warts (boring bits) and all. This year we deliberately shot things from different angles and at different speeds so we can make a more entertaining edit, which I think we achieved? What do you think?


This trip took 17 days and when through Colorado, Wyoming, Idaho, Utah, Nevada and California. Stick around for the thrilling 360° finale – which is a journey to and from Disneyland, of course.


For years I’ve been noticing frames from some of my favourite films look like could have come from a Wes Anderson film. Whack on a more Wes Anderson style title in the correct font (he always uses Futura in various guises, normally bold in yellow or white) and the idea tells itself. I’ve made a few up now and put them here: WESIFIED.com.


The first film I ever noticed this on was Ghostbusters, and I’ve been wanting to do something with it for years. I’ve made up a fair bunch of films now and plan to keep adding to the blog whenever I spot a another frame that looks the part.

A steam-punk styled adventure through time in the Fangorium. With 18 months of building and preparation it was by far our most ambitious show to date. When you pick a theme like steam-punk you can’t do half measures. This has enjoyed some massive Internet fame when Cory Doctorow called it “jaw-dropping awesomesauceular” on Boing Boing, which was of course totally awesome.

As an added bonus this year we’ve made a behind the scenes video, we’ve called The Engineers’ View. It’s a complicated beast to watch, but I guess that’s kind of the point… good luck.

Here’s the invite video:


…and some photos (more here):


…or check out all the behind the scenes production photos – here’s a few now:

This year, for Christmas, Stuff Club made a Naughty or Nice detector. It works by re-creating the special magical sensors Santa has in his lap which tells him if the children in his groto deserve a lovely gift or a piece of coal. In our version we’ve stripped it down to just a massive over-sized lap (to help create that terror you felt as a child), which deals out a reward or a punishment and sends that result, plus a photo, to naughtyornice.tumblr.com for all to see.

This is all made possible by some back-end cleverness by Mattias Gunnerås, some Arduino tinkering by Tracy Tsang, and some wood cutting/screwing and painting by me, Jas, Badger and Martin Rose. It was a bit of a mammoth task as we had to get the whole thing done from scratch over the weekend so we could keep it a surprise from the rest of Poke, but we managed it – well done gang!

Here’s some construction photos (have you ever wanted to see under Santa’s trousers?).

The Quick Draw Saloon at the last ever V&A Village Fete went down a storm, which had a lot to do with all the work that went it to making and running the thing by the guys and gals of Stuff Club (that, and the fact we were giving out shots of whiskey for 50p a go). I can gladly report that we were thoroughly badly behaved, and successfully encouraged others to do likewise. Some highlights include branding the word ‘LOSER’ over the face of a child, one of punters accidentally fall off the wagon after ten years of not touching a drop of the good stuff and comanding a baying mob to shout out obscene phrases until the wee hours while watching people try to draw naughty things (such as ‘syphilis‘).
Clicky here for more photos.

This is a short film we originally made for the BAFTA/Orange 60 Seconds of Fame competition. The brief was to make a 60 second film with the theme of ‘Unite’. We produced, wrote, and funded the film along with another friend of ours, we also did the visual effects and animation.


  • Mudfest Film Festival, Mudgee, NSW – Official Selection
  • Short Shorts Film Festival, Tokyo – Official Selection
  • Foursight Film Festival, Utah – Official Selection