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Mill Touch

Behind the Scenes



Remember the giant, interactive touch screen that detective John Anderton used to fight pre-crime in the movie, Minority Report? Remember how crazy and far-fetched that concept seemed at the time? And that was only 2002! Fast forward to present-day, and you will find the new Mill Touch at the center at our Mill New York office. Executed from concept to launch in-house by our NY Digital team, it is a rear projected, 5’x 3’ interactive touch screen panel made entirely of switchable glass.

One element of the touch screen that was very important to perfect, was the design of the interface. Before arriving at the final design decision several different prototypes of the idea were tested.  To ensure that the panel didn't evoke the feeling of working off a desktop, much thought was taken to create a more human-centric user experience. In the end, the final design chosen mimics the look of the Milky Way, imparting the sense of infinite opportunities and limitless possibilities.

While the design makes it attractive, the individual features of the Mill Touch make it unique. The primary challenge from a design and user experience standpoint was finding a way to best represent the legacy and breadth of over two decades of The Mill's repertoire. "It was crucial to create a system that allowed for free-form exploration as well as targeted searches. The solution was to offer multiple view modes for different user mentalities," explains Bridget Sheils, our Executive Producer of Digital.

The primary display reveals a galaxy of info-nodes, each representing a Mill project. The nodes float in a highly responsive celestial space made up of 2 million particles simulated in real time. When one's fingers move across the screen, the particles and nodes respond to the user's touch. The users can play with the particle stream or interact directly with the nodes to reveal content, diving deeper into a chosen project.

The list view mode targets the more tactical user, in which projects are categorized chronologically, by brand, agency, production company, location, extras and so on. And lastly, a touch keyboard activates real time search. With each keystroke, the galaxy of info-nodes reduces to only relevant content. The keyboard can then be tossed aside or docked at the base of the screen for unobstructed browsing.

Once a project is selected, users are just a tap away from viewing the spot full-screen.  Traditional video controls have been replaced with an accordion track-bar that allows jumping to any part of the video with the simple swipe of a finger.

Under the Extras section, our team developed another tool to visually illustrate the quality and quantity of The Mill's post-production work; namely, the Mill Lens. In these behind-the-scenes clips, the Mill Lens can be used to reveal the before and after footage in real time.

Come try out the Mill Touch for yourself. Contact or visit our New York office for a hands on demo.




  • Agency: The Mill New York


  • Production Company: The Mill New York

Post-Production / VFX

  • Post-Production / VFX Company: The Mill
  • Executive Producer: Bridget Sheils
    Lead Creative Technologist: Andrew Bell
    Creative Director: Sheena Matheiken
    Creative Technologist: Hai Nguyen
    UX Lead/Developer: Chris McKenzie
    Digital Producers: Bridget Sheils, Kei Gowda
    Design Director: Jeff Stevens
    Art Director: Bowe King
    Designer/Animator: John Koltai
    Designer: Audrey Davis
    Assistant Colorist: Josh Bohoskey, DJ Miranda
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