How often do you walk into work on a Wednesday morning and hear this: “For the next two days, drop everything and build something that could be the future of the company.”
And so began our first Typeform Challenge—36 hours for self-formed, cross-functional groups to work on a side project that they felt passionate about.
Just one rule: the project needed to promote a new, innovative use of Typeform.
While some groups hooked up typeforms to AI or virtual reality systems, we aimed to make something that wouldn’t require the mind of a spaceship mechanic.
Here’s a teaser of where we ended up:
And here’s how we went from whiteboard, to winging it through an all-night filming to make it.
10am: umbrellas out, time for a brainstorm
For the first hour or so, we dreamt of an interactive video while staring at a very white-looking whiteboard. Coffee cups piled up, sticky notes stood still, and we had no idea how to make an interactive anything.
“What if we made a film about a killer alarm clock?”
Cue two-hour brainstorm resulting in the realization that household appliances are not inherently scary. Whiteboard back to being white.
“I know! What about an immersive simulation for startup people.”
“Like the Sims?”
“Pretty sure they had more than two days to make that.”
Another desperate idea down the drain.
And so went most of the day, bobbing in and out of dead-end ideas while other teams invented futuristic holograms, integrated VR headsets, and found cures for rare diseases.
5pm: seriously, we should figure this out
By mid-afternoon, most teams had working demos of their projects: a voice-activated typeform, conversational job descriptions, and a mixed reality typeform that appeared when you pointed your phone at objects.
What did we have? Two sort-of-storylines and a rainbow of scrunched up sticky notes.
Decision one: commit to a concept.
Next step: unfold the sticky notes and come up with a story structure.
11pm: late night taxi
Around 11pm someone rang a bell. Our Product Manager had launched an open-office Nerf war. But since our team had pushed the limits of acceptable procrastination, there was no fun time for us.
We’d bet the farm on an interactive film where the viewer controlled the narrative. And it was time to start shooting.
So we grabbed a handful of beers from the barception, a bag full of film gear, and jumped in a cab.
Next stop: Raval neighborhood, Barcelona.
12am: Aaaand action!
After darting across town, we landed in Antolino’s apartment, where we found one roommate glued to a Playstation and the other passed out in her bed.
“We’re gonna need to be quiet.”
So we tiptoed around looking for possible shooting locations, eventually settling on the stairwell, living room, outside balcony, and the apartment next door. Special thanks to friendly (forced) neighbor for lending us his flat all night while watching us from the couch.
We shot the outdoor scenes first. Which meant climbing over a two-story divider between the apartment balconies without cashing in our life insurance. We also woke the old lady downstairs, who shouted up at us.
“Everything okay? Are you getting robbed?”
“No, we’re just shooting a film.”
“Ah, ok. Goodnight and let me know if you need anything.”
Apparently that’s all it takes in the center of Barcelona.
Then we got to work. Being new to the acting world, it felt as if a costumed llama could’ve done better than us. But spirits stayed up thanks to our infallible support team: Rico from IT. Barman, cheerleader, catcher when we fell.
We shot several scenes, which we’d eventually string together into different outcomes depending on a viewer’s decisions.
Around 3:30am we called it a wrap, packed up our equipment, and zombied down La Rambla to catch a taxi back to the office.
Of course, Hubert from Barception was there to greet us when we got back.
“Guys! You’re back! Beer?”
“No thanks. Goodnight, Hubert.”
4am: group nap & early rise
Bed was a blow-up mattress in a sea of sleeping startup people. Think remedial hostel experience along with snoring sonata.
Two hours later, alarm clocks started going off. Not cool, but what could we do. It was time to see whether video-editing genius Georgina had made something of our mess. Instead, we rolled over and went back to sleep.
When we finally woke up, we found teams putting the final touches on their future patents. And we just prayed that the video editor had time to patch together—and comprehend—the “loopy” video we’d just shot.
Turns out she did (she always does). As did master developer Marta, who snapped together our video scenes with decision logic using some backend matrix-like code and the Typeform interface. Good, we had time to take a shower.
10am: judges and judgement
After breakfast, a tight-lipped group of judges passed by our table to kick the tires of what we’d made overnight.
“So let me get this straight, the viewer controls the video?”
“And how does it end?”
“Um, that depends on you.”
Poker-faced judges walk to next group.
Impossible to say whether they liked it or not. But the organizers let us screen the film to the entire company as the judges deliberated the winners.
So were we the winners? Of course not.
But we’d made something in 36 hours that would usually take us 36,000. And that was exciting. We’d come together, we’d created something that didn’t exist the day before. In the end, isn’t that what it’s all about?
When you love the process, you love the outcome. Hope you like it as much as we liked making it. Your interactive experience starts by clicking the button.
Directed by Alex Antolino
Written by Marc Cinnani, Eric Johnson, and Alex Antolino
Locked out guy 1: Marc Cinanni
Locked out guy 2: Eric Johnson
Camera: Alex Antolino
Sound: Oriol Bonals
Editor: Georgina Mayans
Developer: Marta Bondyra
Landing page design: Claudia Aran
(Late night) support: Rico Camargo, Maja C, and everyone else at the Typeform Challenge.