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Interactive Music Videos 2014

Is a revolution coming to the music video? Increasingly we are seeing a swathe of new music videos that offer their viewers something more than the traditional MTV-incarnation we’re so used to. Videos with a new level of interaction and choose-your-own-ending style features have been making waves across the web.

It’s not even been a year since we presented our last selection of the best in Interactive Music Videos, yet since summer last year we’ve already been treated to some genre-bending, status quo-defying experiments in music videos.

Interactive music videos aren’t particularly new but what does seem apparent is that technology is beginning to catch up with ambitions of music video directors and musicians. Tools such as Treehouse from Interlude – which 2Pause took a closer look at this month – have made the production of interactive videos immensely easier.

Perhaps what’s even more encouraging than the increased experimentalism of music video directors is the reception they’ve received. One of the music videos on our list (we’ll give you a clue: the only one who can get away with a pair of tuxedo shorts) was arguably the most talked-about music video of the year, while each and every one of them were shared across the globe upon launch.

As we have seen in gaming, in documentary, in film, works of storytelling that use technology to their advantage, to draw their audiences in with interactivity, are making waves with a generation brought up on technology. In fact, Interlude have recently teamed up with car-maker Lincoln, and the Tribeca Film Festival for “Tribeca Interactive: A Music Film Challenge“. Launching at this year’s festival in March, the competition is offering $10,000 to any filmmaker who produces the winning music videos for songs by Damon Albarn, Aloe Blacc, and Ellie Goulding.

Is a music video revolution upon us? Well for now, the traditional form still reigns supreme but one thing’s for sure; inventive and engaging interactive music videos are on the march. Interactive video is coming of age and interactive music videos are capturing the imagination of an audience who is spending more and more time online, switched onto their computers.

No doubt we’ll have a completely revised list before 2014 is through, but as always we want to hear what you think. Let us know here or on Twitter at @SubmarineChannl or @2Pause.


 1.) Pharrell Williams – Happy

Not content with co-penning two of the catchiest pop singles of 2013 in Blurred Lines and Get Lucky, the Neptunes producer set the internet alight once again in November with the release of the world’s first 24 hour interactive music video. The result of a collaboration between Pharrell and the Paris-based directing team We Are From LA, the video features an interactive clock that viewers can click on to take them to different incarnations of the video – each featuring a diverse cast of dancers (including some famous faces, from Steve Carell to Kelly Osbourne). Filmed in Los Angeles in a marathon 11 day shoot – and using just one Steadicam – it’s doubtful that there were many music videos talked about in 2013 as much as this one.



 2.)  Bob Dylan – Like A Rolling Stone

Although ‘Like A Rolling Stone’ first hit the airwaves all the way back in 1965, last year saw Bob Dylan’s legendary hit being given the interactive music video treatment. Produced to tie in with the release of the singer-songwriter’s 47-CD Box Set (The Complete Album Collection), the video allows viewers to flip between 16 television channels – each mimicking a classic TV format. In each one – from Price Is Right to a cooking show – the television stars can be seen lip-syncing Dylan’s classic song. The video – which quickly went viral when it was launched in November – is also the first in our list to be made with Interlude Treehouse – a tool developed by Tel Aviv-based company that allows filmmakers to easily create interactive video experiences.



3.) Arcade Fire – Like A Reflektor

The Grammy-winning Canadian indie rock band are no strangers to exploring the creative potential of new technology and with the release of their last album Reflektor they enlisted the help of director Vincent Morisset.  Morisset – who’s well known for constantly pushing the boundaries of what interactive video is capable of – has previously worked with Arcade Fire and Reflektor saw him teaming up with Google Creative Labs to create this stunning video. ‘Reflektor’ which appeared at last year’s IDFA DocLab  and picked up an award at this week’s SXSW Interactive Awards, allows the viewer to follow a woman’s journey in a way that integrates the user’s own reflection onto the screen – via the cameras on the device they’re using.



4.) Queens of the Stone Age – Vampyre of Time and Memory

November 2013 was a busy month for interactive music videos and amongst them was Josh Homme’s Queens of the Stone Age with this wonderfully dark effort for their song Vampyre of Time and Memory. Directed by Kii Arens and Jason Trucco and designed and produced by The Creators Project the ‘interactive experience’ is set entirely within a haunted house and allows viewers to click through different scenes. If you want to know how Arens and Trucco put together the HTML5-enabled project, then be sure to check out this great behind-the-scenes article over at The Creator’s Project.



5.)  Guinevere – Ran for My Life

Just in time for Halloween, 21-year-old singer Guinevere transformed her song Ran For My Life, into a zombie-battling choose-your-own-adventure style interactive experience. The second on our list to be made using Interlude, the music video draws the user in by allowing them to decide how Guinevere kill the zombies attacking her. Baseball bat? Chainsaw? It’s up to you. One thing is for certain: choosing a novel, interactive path has helped set this Canadian Top 10 pop-star apart.




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Sverre Fredriksen