Creating a web promo video that could launch a hacker into space

  • PROJECT
  • Hackaday Prize Promotional Video
  • CLIENT
  • Hackaday
  • PROJECT
  • Hackaday Prize Promotional Video
  • CLIENT
  • Hackaday

icoEx commissioned a reworking of the soundtrack to 2001: Space Odyssey, performed by circuit-bending musical outfit the Modified Toy Orchestra, in order to publicise the launch of Hackaday's competition for hardware hackers. The top prize was a trip to space.

Hackaday.com is an online publication for a large and opinionated community of people who hack, make and code hardware. For the first time, Hackaday wanted to reward innovation by offering a trip to space to the hacker with the best project. In order to publicise this, they wanted a promo video that would enthuse their core audience and spread the message to other blogs and publications.

At the heart of Hackaday.com is a hardware-hacking ethos. Richard Stallman describes hacking as “playful cleverness“ and “exploring the limits of what is possible". The Hackaday community do just this by bending circuits and making hardware and software do things they almost certainly weren't designed for.

We wanted to capture this playfulness with technology whilst still capturing the essence of the competition - i.e. winning a trip to space. We also wanted to create something that people would want to share.

We We arrived at the idea of getting one of the world's foremost hardware hacking musical outfits, the Modified Toy Orchestra, to rework and perform the iconic sci-fi soundtrack to 2001: Space Odyssey (“Also sprach Zarathustra" by Richard Strauss).

Staging the performance was also a key consideration. We wanted to hint at a Kubrick feel without creating a pastiche and we wanted it to appeal to mainstream Wired readers as much as hard-core members of the community. We eventually shot on location at Rivoli Ballroom in South-East London. A truly unique space with a tarnished glamour that wears its history in the very fabric of the building.

In order to cover the full range of applications that the competition covers, we also created a space-suited version of the Hackaday logo and a collection of glitch-art inspired artwork for banners, posters, T-shirts and our favourite - a flight patch. We're looking forward to seeing some of that in an astronaut selfie before the year is out.

The results

OVER 150K VIEWS

OVER 150K VIEWS

OVER 800 COMPETITION ENTRIES

OVER 800 COMPETITION ENTRIES