By 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?