“DIS\CONNECT” by Doug Hindson

Doug Hindson pulls the strings to produce a short film about a modern topic with old storytelling tools.

Director Doug Hindson delivers a coming of age story about the search for a higher meaning in life in the face of social media. But in a time where expressing disdain for the adverse effects of technology is old news, Hindson gives the message a refreshing new voice – with basically-constructed wooden puppets.

The wooden protagonist describes the tendency of people in the social media age to post continuously their banal activities and interactions, such as pictures of last night’s reheated dinner. He also worries about the effect of younger people summing up their lives in 140 characters.

The puppet asks, “Do I want to share my life as a series of mundane six second videos or a feed of re-blogged flavour of the month images?’”

In a move that harks back to an earlier time of storytelling, Hindson meticulously handmade all the models and sets from wood and card, individually cutting, sanding, painting and gluing each piece. Using strings and rods to control the puppets, Hindson shot the wooden figures in “live-action” rather than stop-motion animation. As a result, the final product is quaint and modest.

“Dis\connect” is Hindson’s graduation film from the Illustration & Animation course at Kingston University.