Music videos are so 80s/90s, right? They belong with the era when MTV screened wall-to-wall vids instead of 'reality' TV? Try telling that to the millions who bought Gangnam Style; were they really simply loving the music? 1.6bn (and still climbing) have viewed the video on YT, not to mention the many re-makes (school eg, eg2), viral ads + celeb link-ups (even political protest in Seoul) - and it doesn't matter how legit it is, this nightmare for daydream Beliebers is making a lot of money, even from the parodies + dislikes. All this for a simple dance track that wouldn't have sounded out of place in 1990 ... but had a fun vid. This meme itself was soon displaced by the Harlem Shake. Music vids even cause diseases it seems!
This blog explores every aspect of this most postmodern of media formats, including other print-based promo tools used by the industry, its fast-changing nature, + how fans/audiences create/interact. Posts are primarily written with Media students/educators in mind. Please acknowledge the blog author if using any resources from this blog - Mr Dave Burrowes

Monday, 25 November 2013

Interactive videos - Dylan, Queens of Stone Age etc

There are screenshots/links below to several egs of interactive vids: QoTSA, Death Grips, Bob Dylan etc
Writing in The Guardian's Music Blog, Harriet Gibsone reports on a new phenomenon, one which takes the postmodern/web 2.0 notion I often raise, the blurring (at least) of the producer/audience divide, on to a new level:
His video for Subterranean Homesick Blues may have unwittingly pre-empted the lyric video by 50 years, but Bob Dylan's telly-hopping interactive video looks like it could be another first of a kind.
With Like a Rolling Stone as its soundbed, the player allows its audience to flick through a range of fake television channels, each of which features different characters lip-synching the words to the 1965 classic. "I'm using the medium of television to look back right at us," director Vania Heymann told Mashable.
While Dylan's new video feels like an inventive way to breathe new life into an old tune, other artists are using the format to make a quick online buzz: in the past week alone we've seen interactive videos from Queens of the Stone Age, who are at the end of their album campaign, and Bombay Bicycle Club, who happen to be at the very start.
Here's a screenshot from the Dylan site, where I've 'switched channels' to a shopping channel:

Its a really innovative way of marketing back catalogue, utilising both original footage/video from the original release date and new footage which will markedly increase the prospects of attracting the attention of a new, younger audience/market.
Innovative but ultimately (like the track) a bit dull?

While the Dylan example is reminiscent of some of the highly postmodern videos by Spike Jonze, or Michel Gondry, the Queens of the Stone Age effort is more like a point and click adventure game. There seems to be a tie-in with Google: at the load page you're advised to upgrade to a better browser, ie Chrome. In my non-Chrome browsing experience ... it was slow to respond and frustrating. Click on a record icon and you're taken out, to their iTunes listing. Innovative, yes, but basically rather tedious.
Not a lot I can say about the 3rd example, as my screen stayed black during the BBClub vid, though the notice above kept coming up.

The Tanlines' interactive page for their track Not the Same took several minutes to fully load; it used Photoshop-style menus to allow live editing, including a layers palette where you could alter the greenscreened backdrop. You could also select and drag the different band members around the frame, as I did in the example below.
the Tanlines' site enabled you to change backgrounds and drag band members around the frame
The MTV logo is prominent over this next one, Death Grips' Gif Me More Party. The track is endlessly looped, and you can switch between most of the many characters on screen. There's even a freemium style 'bonus characters' offer if you click through to download a track. Simple but clever idea, and technically impressive, even if you end up watching multiple single takes

The character switching is fairly quick
Additional characters are offered as incentive to download a track.

Sadly, this last example is more likely to set the template for most other 'interactive' vids - Iggy Azelea, FKi and Diplo's vid for I Think She Ready enables you to click on the S's that appear and be taken to a retailer of that item of clothing. Direct advertising/product placement is likely to feature more and more (as it does now on so many artist/celeb Twitter feeds, where they tell us they've just eaten a certain choc bar and suchlike).

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