Welcome to Pine Point

Let’s all contemplate our mortality, shall we?

Welcome to Pine Point is a “creative non-fiction interactive documentary” by Paul Shoebridge and Michael Simons for the National Film Board of Canada.

Despite the rough, hand-animated photo-collages and humble lettering, Welcome to Pine Point achieves sophisticated and haunting effects as it chronicles a small Canadian town that was literally wiped off the map, and the lives of those who once called it home. I especially liked the use of music.

I highly recommend setting aside some free time, hitting full screen and diving in.

It’s not comics, but shares some of our visual vocabulary, and it should be of interest to anyone studying visual communication, storytelling, and the power of shared memories.

Discussion (10)¬

  1. Great recommendation, Scott. You’re right about the technical sophistication, and how it’s masked by rough edges—a roughness that’s in keeping with the humbleness of both the topic and of the ancient photo and video used as raw material.

  2. John M says:

    Thanks for the tip. It’s not often you scoop me in my own blogging area 😉

    The whole thing was a bit disorienting at first. I found it useful to review Pine Point’s Wikipedia entry.

  3. R.Mueller says:

    Thanks for this, Scott. What a refreshing way to tell a story. It’s quite moving and much more engaging than, well, anything I’ve ever gone through on the internet!

  4. dan neal says:

    Holy wow! Nice find!

  5. swan says:

    … good god it’s two in the morning. :0

  6. Lisa Hertel says:

    I think it asks a poignant question: is it better to freeze the past forever? Certainly our home town is not the same as when we grew up, though (of course) parts of it remain the same: no doubt we’d feel familiar if we had to go back to, say, Kineen’s (even though there’s now a playground structure there), but Lexington Gardens is long gone. There’s always a sense of disconnect when you go through a neighborhood, see several familiar houses in a row, and then one that’s been torn down and made into a mini-mansion (after the modern style).

    Still, I enjoy occasionally dragging my kids to places I knew as a child, places filled with memory for me. Even if it does make them roll their eyes.

    • John M says:


      Didn’t know Lexington Gardens was gone. Was in class at Diamond when Kennedy’s assassination was announced by the teachers.

      Was introduced to Newton’s First Law about 1955 when I tried to bail out of my sled at the bottom of Kineen’s. Can’t even picture where the hill was now but the run was on the far left as you face the woods.

      Came back many years later and was introduced to the new mansions on Solomon Pierce. Knew then we were in trouble. Curiously, my present home faces about bearing 45, just like 14 Dexter. Wrote a poem about that.

  7. Ken Case says:

    Very powerful stuff. It must be an interesting position to be in, essentially having no home town. Funny & poignant. I’d definitely be interested in reading the book mentioned at the end.

  8. […] via le blog de Scott Mc Cloud le site Welcome to PinePoint est à découvrir, à la fois pour le thème traité et pour la […]

  9. That was compelling; thanks for the heads up!