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Metalworks launch interactive installation for Gramercy Pictures' Self/less

21 July, 2015

Metalworks launch interactive installation at Playboy Mansion for new movie Self/less

THE PLAYBOY MANSION, LOS ANGELES — Gramercy Pictures’ provocative psychological science fiction thriller Self/less came closer to reality by way of an innovative partnership that fused cutting-edge technology with an all-access pass. To pull off an interactive installation, Metalworks by Maxus created a unique launch party with the movie company at the Playboy Mansion before the release of the movie.

The Mansion was the site of a launch party for the film as Metalworks by Maxus, the R&D division of global media agency Maxus, created an interactive installation that invited guests to be a “controller” in a lab environment – where they steer parts of a vessel male human body on the other side. The social media influencers present at the event who volunteered for the experiment had their head and arms strapped to sensors that detected neuro-signals and impulses from the brain directly.

The experiences of the male vessel throughout the Mansion were recorded using both a first-person camera and third-person camera. The volunteer controller steered the male vessel’s basic movement and facial expressions – including interactions with Playboy Playmates. Towards the end, some of the social media influencer volunteered to be the vessel. Every social media influencer left the party with documentation – photos or video – of their control over the human vessel, which echoes themes and sequences in Self/less.

In Self/less, (, an extremely wealthy man (Academy Award winner Ben Kingsley) dying from cancer undergoes a radical medical procedure that transfers his consciousness into the body of a healthy young man (Ryan Reynolds). But all is not as it seems when he starts to uncover the mystery of the body’s origin and the organization that will kill to protect its cause. Directed by Tarsem Singh (The Cell, Immortals), the movie also stars Natalie Martinez (Secrets and Lies), Matthew Goode (The Good Wife), Victor Garber (The Flash), Derek Luke (Empire), and Michelle Dockery (Downton Abbey). Gramercy releases Self/less, MPAA-rated “PG-13,” in theaters nationwide on Friday, July 10th.

“It may have been a surreal experience controlling a body that’s not your own – and that’s what’s so intriguing about Self/less and its lead character – but most of the social media influencers soon got the hang of the experience. We are not limited by technology to experience the lives of others in the future, as science and science fiction have been experiencing a reiterative feedback loop in recent years. So Self/less is right on the edge of what’s possible, and that inspired us to try to be as well, which made for a cool evening,” said Nico Abbruzzese, Global Director of Creative Technology at Metalworks by Maxus.

“By reading and manipulating brain signals via microelectrodes, a basic level of neural control and neural replacement can be achieved [in the vessel human body],” said Timothy Marzullo, co-founder of Backyard Brains, who received his Ph.D. in Neuroscience from the University of Michigan. Dr. Marzullo was the scientific advisor for the project.

Relevant Tweets may use the hashtag: #selfless #leanintochange

Images for Press: *Credit: Metalworks by Maxus

Video for Press:
Consolidation of Social Media Clippings:

Metalworks is the global R&D division of Maxus, the world’s fastest growing media agency for four years (Recma). Founded in 2012, Metalworks is based in Singapore and led by Nico Abbruzzese and Tom Kelshaw. Metalworks empowers Maxus and the agency’s clients to Lean Into Change through creative technology research and development by bridging the gap between digital and physical worlds.

Metalworks is a team of 10 creatives and technologists: modern all-round lateral thinkers. The division sits at the core of Maxus, delivering interactive experiences for clients including GSK, Bayer, L’Oreal, Tesco and others globally.


Gramercy Pictures (part of Focus Features, makes, acquires, and releases bold action, horror, and sci-fi genre fare. The movies will be released nationwide and appeal to a broad audience.

In addition to Self/less, current and upcoming releases from Gramercy include Leigh Whannell’s Insidious: Chapter 3, the newest chapter in the terrifying horror series, starring Dermot Mulroney, Stefanie Scott, and Lin Shaye; Sinister 2, directed by Ciarán Foy, starring James Ransone, Shannyn Sossamon, and Robert and Dartanian Sloan; London Has Fallen, the sequel to the worldwide smash hit Olympus Has Fallen, starring Gerard Butler, Aaron Eckhart, and Morgan Freeman; The Forest, the supernatural thriller starring Natalie Dormer and directed by Jason Zada; and Ratchet & Clank, the animated movie adaptation of the popular video game franchise.

Focus Features is part of NBCUniversal, one of the world’s leading media and entertainment companies in the development, production, and marketing of entertainment, news, and information to a global audience. NBCUniversal owns and operates a valuable portfolio of news and entertainment television networks, a premier motion picture company, significant television production operations, a leading television stations group, and world-renowned theme parks. NBCUniversal is a subsidiary of Comcast Corporation.


Daylon Soh, Communications Manager, Metalworks |
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