For music videos, viewer and video are no longer forced to exist in different worlds.
A small group of innovators is embracing the versatility of the Internet. By using new technologies during production and dissemination, they’re bringing fans into the fold with interactive music videos. Done right, the work of this vanguard is the best there is.
“The things that excite me the most are the things where people are saying: We don’t need to be beholden to a 16 inch by 9 inch box because that’s the shape of TVs,” said Steven Gottlieb, a 20-year veteran of the music video business and editor of Videostatic.com, a website that covers music video news in great detail. “Music videos don’t need to be linear. They don’t need to fit inside one little box. If the goal is purely to introduce more people to a song, to an artist, and to let them understand it better, then [the video] can really be anything.”
The New York-based production company Interlude, for instance, makes it simple for anyone with an Internet connection to make interactive videos. Specializing in a “Choose Your Own Adventure”-style of interaction, Interlude made its biggest splash in late 2013 with a brilliant video for Bob Dylan’s “Like a Rolling Stone.” Produced to coincide with Sony’s release of his massive, 47-discThe Complete Album Collection Volume 1, the video allows viewers to flip through 16 channels on an old analog T.V. and watch news anchors, Danny Brown and the “Property Brothers,” among others, seamlessly mouth Dylan’s words in time with the song. The virtual remote in your hands (or on screen) gives you the power to make the video different every time you watch it.