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Pictures from the Brainbox: A Weekly Dose of Indie Animation - 'Plug & Play'

Every Monday or so, Chris Robinson asks an animator how they made a particular film. This week: Michael Frei offers up a riveting and impassioned commentary on the creation of his award-winning film/game, 'Plug & Play' (2013)

Michael Frei is a youngish animator/artist/human from Switzerland. He’s best known for his award winning 2013 film, Plug & Play, which was later turned into a video game for the kids and their friends from Estonia.

The film features lots of humanesque plugs and sockets entering and exiting. It’s about love, it’s about technology, it’s about coming and going... about community,  sheep, revolution, compassion, pulling out, separating... maybe it’s about holes... or wholes... or ...i dunno... you figure it out. 

Meanwhile, let’s get on with the absolutely riveting and insightful interview.

So, how’d you make this?

I used one computer and my body. My eyes looked onto a laptops screen while my brain guided my right index-finger to steer a 3px black pencil on a white canvas of 1920x1080px via my computers trackpad.

Why this technique?

To draw binary images for digital film about binary relationships with my digit made perfectly sence. Doesn’t it?

How long did it take?

Approximately 9 months.

What was the most challenging part of the process?

To not get tendonitis.

Is there any part that now makes you cringe a bit?


Do you feel better having made it?


Chris Robinson's picture

A well-known figure in the world of independent animation, writer, author & curator Chris Robinson is the Artistic Director of the Ottawa International Animation Festival.