Thursday, September 2, 2010

the wilderness downtown : arcade fire

An interactive film by Chris Milk Featuring "We Used To Wait" Built in HTML5. Honestly, I clicked the link not expecting much but in the end my jaw dropped and I had goosebumps. The experience was unique to me and striking an emotional chord that I did not expect at all. Click the link, and then you are asked to type in the address of where you grew up. Then sit back and watch the magic.

"A new creative and technical venture by way of Google, Arcade Fire and Chris Milk, is an impressive leap in music video production. This interactive video, built to show off the almighty HTML5, has, whilst curating multiple windows in rhythmic sequences, successfully blown my mind. At first click, a naive user is immediately confused by the hatched batch of new windows lingering in the browser frame. Confusion is quickly replaced by amazement as the grouped videos begin to tell the story of a protagonist “me” surrounded by Google maps of “my” hometown. An interactive window appears midway prompting viewers to contribute to the landscape, typed on a keyboard or drawn with a mouse, which extend into branches and attract a flock of flying birds. It’s honestly awesome.

This project speaks to some important questions: what is so special about HTML5? What is the future of music videos given the rampant changes in the music industry as a whole? Songs are purchased a la carte. Artists are signing 360 deals. Lots of people don’t even know what “A&R” stands for because of social media. How will technology continue to influence music? The Wilderness Downtown, not unlike the iPad and the next generation of computers, does not fully answer these questions, but rather breaks ground in beginning to answer them.

Chike Ozah of Creative Control, recently celebrated for Erykah Badu’s controversial Window Seat music video, said to me, “this goes to show you that music videos are getting more progressive because of technology. It allows us to make things that are more engaging, expanding the boundaries of traditional creativity.”

In the most lavish days of John Landis, Hype Williams and Spike Jonze, video budget was devoted to physical production- actors, location, set creation, etc. Today, the focus is virtual production. Tomorrow…?

We can either wait and watch, or get involved."

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