Filmmaking Gets More Interactive with New Arcade Fire Video
Vincent Morisset is not a "traditional" filmmaker. The director comes from the world of multimedia programming, and it shows in his interactive videos for the band Arcade Fire. His latest and most complex creation is a video project made in collaboration with digital designer Aaron Koblin for the band's song "Reflektor". Click below to learn more about Morisset, his technique, and immerse yourself in virtual worlds that have to be experienced to be believed!
Vincent Morisset didn't start out as a filmmaker, but as a multimedia designer. He was friends with Arcade Fire before they were even a band, and so when they asked him, in 2007, to direct the video for their song "Neon Bible," he came up with what is arguably the world's first interactive music video. Using their mouse, users manipulate elements of the video, and the result is fascinating, imaginative, and interactive in a way that feels unforced (the non-interactive version of the video is below.)
For Sigur Rós' 2011 concert film Sigur Rós: Inni, Morisset shot the band live in London, then photographed the digital edit of the footage with film cameras and created optical effects to give it a unique, hand-made feel (the full film is available on YouTube for $4.99, a two-minute clip is below.)
Now Morisset has gone one step further in his new video for Arcade Fire, a project called Just a Reflektor. Using their mobile device and computer's webcam, the viewer syncs the two so as to be able to control elements of the video, the story of a Haitian woman who undergoes a shamanic experience (the non-interactive version is below):
The project works by sending users to a web page on their smart phone's mobile browser (I used Chrome on an iPhone 5 running iOS 7,) entering a code from the computer's website (I used Chrome on a MacBook Pro, but most browsers are supported,) then connecting the two via webcam to allow for control of the video, using the accelerometer and gyroscope of the phone (you can also use your mouse) to interact.
Even though the project is at the forefront of high-tech, Morisset says that he's not into "choose your own adventure" style interactivity. Rather, he sees himself working more in a tradition closer to filmmaking, where there is a definite narrative element.
What do you think? How do you feel about this sort of 'interactivity' as far as filmmaking goes? Do you think it can be successfully integrated so that a story is maintained, and the result isn't just technical wizardry? Let us know in the comments!