Private Project

The Way Sand Wants for Water

In a country built on dams holding back what we cannot bear, how do we begin to pull out the stones and let the water run through? The Way Sand Wants for Water is an ode to healing, a guided history of the land that reveals itself in poetry. Notice, breathe, and wander through a journey as fluid as the river that runs alongside it in this lesson on loss and what’s truly in the water.

"The Way Sand Wants For Water" is an except from a longer story that is part of TrailOff, an audio storytelling app that puts YOU in the center of the drama!

  • Adrienne Mackey
  • afaq
  • Melody Tash
    Hallow Gate, Soul Catcher, McCanick
  • Adrienne Mackey
  • Akeem Davis
    Key Cast
    "Trail Walker"
  • Project Type:
  • Runtime:
    7 minutes 48 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    July 8, 2021
  • Country of Origin:
    United States
  • Country of Filming:
    United States
  • Shooting Format:
    4K DJI drone
  • Aspect Ratio:
  • Film Color:
  • First-time Filmmaker:
  • Student Project:
Director Biography - Adrienne Mackey

Adrienne Mackey is a multidisciplinary artist who explores the potential of performance and play. With her company, Swim Pony, she’s created works including SURVIVE! - a 22,000 sq-ft interactive science installation;The Ballad of Joe Hill at Eastern State Penitentiary; War of the Worlds, with Drexel's Entrepreneurial Game Studio; and The End – a month-long mixed reality game exploring fears about mortality. She’s the originator of Cross Pollination, a residency program in which 32 artists took part in documented interdisciplinary collaborations and also writes for Swim Pony’s blog, boasting 50,000 views. She’s now developing Water Logged!, a wildlife card game with the Alliance for Watershed Education, and an ecological table-top role-play for Fairmount Waterworks. Mackey holds an MFA in game/theater from Goddard, has received an Independence Fellowship and two Knight Arts Challenges. She is also a classically trained soprano, former chemistry major, and teaches acting, directing and devising for University of Washington’s School of Drama.

Add Director Biography
Director Statement

TrailOff began as a wild idea in the mind of lead artist Adrienne Mackey back in 2017 to bring technology, storytelling and nature together in a single place. Using her background in game design and immersive theater, she dreamt of creating an experience where audiences feel like characters in a story happening all around them. Through her company, Swim Pony, Mackey partnered with the PA Environmental Council (PEC) to bring interactive stories to the region’s trail systems using responsive technology and design. An incredible team of writers, actors and musicians spent two years with Mackey and sound designer/composer Michael Kiley creating the audio-dramas you hear in TrailOff.

In 2019, Melody Tash joined the project to make a trailer for the app. In 2020, Mackey and Tash decided to craft a short film for each of the 10 trails, and for the next two years they visited each trail and filmed an abridged version of each story. The film before you today, is the story from one of those 10 trails.

"The Way Sand Wants for Water" by afaq is an ode to healing, a guided history of the land that reveals itself in poetry.