Sunday, 13 November 2016 22:02

Hip hop group Hilltop Hoods, Google Play team up on cancer funding initiative


Australian hip hop music group Hilltop Hoods has teamed up with Google Play  to create an interactive film - for use on smartphones - for its “Through The Dark” song 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.

The new interactive film, created for use on smartphones, is inspired by Dan Smith’s story, sharing a father and son’s journey through two 3D animated worlds - the dark representing fear and the light representing hope.

For every fan who listens to Hilltop Hoods’ latest album on Google Play Music via the link at the end of the “Through the Dark” film, Google and Hilltop Hoods will donate $1 to leading youth cancer organisation CanTeen, on their behalf.

Dan Smith 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, and our listeners can do the same by donating generously.”

CanTeen CEO Peter Orchard says that the money raised will help fund the development of a 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 many miss out on fun experiences like seeing live music that should be part of a carefree adolescence. Music is also widely used as a therapeutic tool for adolescents and young adults affected by cancer as it can help to improve anxiety, mood, and pain,” Orchard said.

Sophie Hirst from Google Play said: “For anyone who has been to 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.”

Hirst says through The Dark uses cutting edge technology running on mobile browsers and, 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.

Musicians who want to join the CanTeen Side of Stage initiative can register here.


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Peter Dinham

Peter Dinham is a co-founder of iTWire and a 35-year veteran journalist and corporate communications consultant. He has worked as a journalist in all forms of media – newspapers/magazines, radio, television, press agency and now, online – including with the Canberra Times, The Examiner (Tasmania), the ABC and AAP-Reuters. As a freelance journalist he also had articles published in Australian and overseas magazines. He worked in the corporate communications/public relations sector, in-house with an airline, and as a senior executive in Australia of the world’s largest communications consultancy, Burson-Marsteller. He also ran his own communications consultancy and was a co-founder in Australia of the global photographic agency, the Image Bank (now Getty Images).



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