As a Production Manager here at Big Fuel I am constantly online researching new social and creative content. I listen to music, stream web videos and am versed in the next great campaign. The campaigns that stand out are the ones I feel passionate about and ultimately tell a story I want to share with someone else. I recently found an interactive music video collaboration by the band Arcade Fire called The Wilderness Downtown and it opened my eyes to a new kind of music video.
The methods of melding and synchronizing recorded music with moving images has a long history, from 1927’s The Jazz Singer which used a process called vitaphone to the 1980’s when cable TV created the music television generation. Media producers constantly strive to use the most advanced technology to make a more immersive experience for the media consumer.
Youtube, Vimeo, and Vevo are dominating the internet as hosting sites for music video content. Their on-demand and instant share-ability functions enable people to connect with and recommend music to their friends with a wider reach. As of April 2010, 43.6 million viewers were watching music videos exclusively on Vevo. Facebook beat out Yahoo sites with 53.9 million video viewers, showing how widespread a social network’s influence can be as a forum to curate video content.
Media producers have recognized that their consumer market’s attention is shifting to the internet. They are taking advantage of the tools that a web portal platform can offer. Musicians are exploring new ways to entertain their audiences by actively engaging not only their eyes and ears but also the hand controlling the cursor in the experience.
I would like to share with you some of the fantastic interactive music collaborations that are reinventing the music video!
BAND: Broken Bells (Danger Mouse and James Mercer of the Shins)
MUSIC VIDEO: “October”
INTERACTIVITY LEVEL: Chilly
The 3D music video for the song “October” lets the viewer’s cursor pilot a stream of blue, cosmic light through space, mountains, and technology. The only other feature of the video is at the end, you can save your personalized version of “October” and check it out again later or share it with your friends via twitter or Facebook.
BAND: Cold War Kids
MUSIC VIDEO: “I’ve Seen Enough”
INTERACTIVITY LEVEL: DEFCON 3
This interactive video, directed by Sam Jones, allows you to become the producer and director of your experience. You can click a color that will change the track, or tap one of the band members to mute and unmute the instrument they play. You can create your own remix of the song as it plays, giving you a number of creative possibilities.
BAND: Arcade Fire
MUSIC VIDEO: “We Used To Wait”
INTERACTIVITY LEVEL: Combustive
The Wilderness Downtown video is a web experiment hosted by Google’s Chrome Experiments in collaboration with Chris Milk combining the latest technologies, including HTML5, choreographed windows and Google Maps for it’s user interface. Write a postcard of advice to your younger self, and send it downtown to the Wilderness Machine, which is a real machine that’s going on tour with Arcade Fire for their North American tour. Real postcards printed on seed paper will be distributed, and the band encourages recipients to grow a tree using them.