November 20, 2013

Is This the Best Interactive Music Video Ever Made?

Bob Dylan Like a Rolling Stone Interactive Music VideoBy now you may have already seen the interactive music video for Bob Dylan's Like a Rolling Stone, but unlike most music videos, once is hardly enough, since it's a collection of many different "channels" all playing at once (including one of Dylan himself), which can be switched at anytime by the user or will switch automatically. The video was created with the help of Interlude and their Treehouse software. Even if you've already seen it, check it out again here (refresh if it doesn't show up right away):

For those having issues making it work, here's a trailer of the functionality:

I'm sure it helps that the project is for Bob Dylan, but what really sells the interactive aspect is that most of the channels have very recognizable TV stars playing themselves while singing the lyrics to the song. The shows on the channels within the video are even shot exactly the same way the real shows are. It's a little bit like aliens have taken over the airwaves and brainwashed everyone to singe Like a Rolling Stone, but it's near-perfect execution is even more obvious when you watch the video without any sound.

Interactive videos are nothing new, but if you watch any of the other videos created with the help of Interlude, it becomes clear that this technology is finally here in a real way. People have found ways to sort of hack interactivity into streaming sites like YouTube, but seamless transitions are absolutely essential to making the whole thing effortless to use, and that's what Interlude has done with their videos.

We've talked quite a bit about interactive storytelling (as recently as today), and the tools have finally caught up with imaginations. Anyone can now go out and actually make videos with something like Treehouse from Interlude. There have been experiments with interactive and transmedia storytelling for some time, but having to create custom tools for every project has limited access for creators. With an ever-growing population that has grown up with technology, art that actively engages the viewer is here to stay.

Interlude has free user accounts for those who want to try out the service, so head on over to their website to learn more about it and see other examples. They've even got an iOS app to play these videos on all sorts of mobile devices.

What do you think about the video? What are some of your favorite examples of interactive storytelling?

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21 Comments

Really nice work, and I was happily reminded of a non-interactive short I made a few years ago, based around a similar idea of themed cable channels. It was for a 48 Hour Film Project, and the key item was a fitball (AKA Swiss Ball): https://vimeo.com/11798735

November 20, 2013 at 10:14PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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<3 this video.

November 20, 2013 at 11:11PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Micah Van Hove
Writer
director, producer, dp

Looove it. Taking your head where it used to belong.

November 20, 2013 at 11:48PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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hansd

It's the worst music video because I cant even watch the thing, you know not everyone has fibre.

November 21, 2013 at 12:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

Yeah, I thought this may be an issue. I feel for you man, when I used to have a 1mbps connection. But 15mbps is plenty for this kind of thing.

November 21, 2013 at 1:52AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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;_;

November 26, 2013 at 12:05AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tyler

...absolutely stunningly breathtaking awesomeness...or rather, just like youtube... - would`ve been nice if you wrote what`s exactely that special on this thing. what I am seeing is just a video playing back, the buttons to the left have no effect.

November 21, 2013 at 3:43AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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mariano

Interlude does everything in Flash, because the mistake of HTML5 still can't do the job.

November 21, 2013 at 6:47AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Razor

Interactivity:
This is a well done execution of a multi-cam embedded video and you are just switching between video streams, which seams like a lot of bandwidth, but it just preloads the channel on either side of the channel that you are currently on, so in effect, you are only watching a 3 camera video. Flash animation and functionality can be absolutely limitless when you can incorporate sound and high quality video. I think The Wilderness Downtown Video music video for Arcade Fire totally trumps this as far as interactivity. I think that it is a much more personal experience when you get to put yourself into the video instead of just watching TV.

Creative Video:
This video is really impressive! This is taking it ten steps further than one of the the bad lip reading videos in the amount of creativity and work.
The coolest element of this by far is the research and editing that was done with minimal retiming. If your editor is also a lip reader, you have just won the lottery.
Definitely the best execution of this type of editing that i have ever seen.
Seriously. Well done.

November 21, 2013 at 9:38AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Zac

I completely agree! To me the wilderness downtown video is by far superior to this and it's like 2-3 years old no? And done with HTML 5 if I recall. This is cute, and I'm a Dylan fan, but it's just that, cute and clever, not groundbreaking in anyway in terms of interactive videos.

November 21, 2013 at 8:08PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Pierre Paré-Blais

As a reference for those who haven't seen it. Here is the link to the arcade fire interactive video:

http://www.thewildernessdowntown.com

And how it was done: http://ricardocabello.com/blog/post/705

November 21, 2013 at 8:16PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Pierre Paré-Blais

I watched it last night when I saw Salman Rushdie mention it in a tweet. I imagine it was a lot of work, but I have to confess that it doesn't do much for me. Isn't it just a few versions of the video and your get to switch between them, which isn't particularly interactive? Admittedly,"interactive art" in general doesn't seem to be my cup of tea. I've never experienced any that I've enjoyed as much as reading a good book, watching a good movie or staring at a painting.

November 21, 2013 at 10:44AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Tom

Since when is art a competition?

This tickles my brain in a unique way, as I imagine it does for a lot of people. It's creative and masterfully executed. What more do you want?

November 21, 2013 at 4:58PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Hummer

I love creative stuff like this, it's innovative and makes me want to be more creative and unique.

Thanks for the great post

November 21, 2013 at 11:49AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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JAYEEE

Is this really storytelling? What does the video really add to the song? Are we sure this isn't just a gimick?

November 21, 2013 at 10:23PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ant

I don't think the specific shots add anything to the story, but the overall concept makes a poetic statement about the virtues or lack thereof in a consumerist society. Okay, I admit that sounds artsy-fartsy pretentious, but it's the truth, and I dig it :)

This is indeed a one-trick pony that can really only be done this way once in my opinion, but it really works here. It was the right project to do this with, and that's a decision that makes me really respect the team involved here. Go Israel! (look at the bios for the people who pulled this off)

The question on my mind, is where can this sort of platform be used going forward, on limited budget (not everyone can afford Drew Carey and a dozen or so actors)? This sort of thing has been on my mind for a long time (you can see via my portfolio at http://davidkomer.com - I've made my living bouncing back and forth between film and coding, and the overlap of the two has been a sweet spot that really piques my interest)

November 22, 2013 at 12:53AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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PRICING...

Did anyone look at the pricing for this? if its a personal project its free but if your doing a corporate or commercial job its $1000 'PER PROJECT' This is a ridiculous price point and they are really pushing out a huge part of the market. namely, small indie companies and one man studios. If your a big agency or studio then thats an ok price but there are way more smaller companies out there...

I would like to see more pricing options in the future.

November 22, 2013 at 2:55AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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TJK

I worked with this company on an interactive long form TV show a year ago. Alon and the guys are really cool and down to earth. Lots of film makers on staff and less "techies". Their original pricing was $50 000 per project so to bring it down to $1000 is way more affordable for the clients who would use this. Lots of work goes into this editing is a real nightmare.

November 22, 2013 at 11:18AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Mobile99

FUCKING AMAZING

November 22, 2013 at 6:15AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Love Bob Dylan so I love, love this!

November 23, 2013 at 4:49PM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Ronn

Hey if you enjoy interactive music videos, check this out: http://www.tellmewhatyousee.ch/

It's the Worlds first Interactive Super Slow Motion Musicvideo and it has won several advards. It's really awesome and the song too!

November 26, 2013 at 10:16AM, Edited September 4, 11:21AM

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Samuel