Research: Popular Interactive music videos and the software behind it

Nowadays we’re seeing more and more interactive music videos surfacing the web. From Coldplay’s Ink to Bob Dylan’s Like A Rolling Stone, these videos are revolutionizing the way fans engage with their favorite artists.

“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.” – Byrne (2014)

The music videos that I’ve mentioned above were created with a software called Interlude, which was founded in 2010. This software allows users to make selections within the video for an immersive experience, making the production of interactive videos tremendously easier. The availability of the video includes a change in viewer perspective or for narrative-branching. I’ve personally tried out the software myself and it is extremely user-friendly.

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Various companies have used Interlude to produce interactive videos. There is also a free HTML5 web-app version of the suite called Interlude Treehouse, which can be published to websites, blogs, Facebook, iOS, and Android. This could possibly be an execution method for my project, but I would have to look into it a little further and familiarize myself with the software.

 

Reference:

Byrne. (2014). Top 5: Interactive Music Videos (2014). [online]. Available at: http://www.submarinechannel.com/top5s/top-5-interactive-music-videos/ 

Interlude. (2010). Interlude | A New Entertainment Medium. [online]. Available at: https://interlude.fm/

Idea Development W7: Updated SOI

After several stages of research and refinement, I have decided to update the Statement of Intent (SOI) document with all the updated details of my project.

The big idea I started out with was a collaboration project, which led to the research of the exquisite corpse, and frame-by-frame animations. Through these findings, I realized that each contributor has a different perspective and idea of the frames they were given to draw. So, I’ve decided to look at it from the perspective of music videos and the purpose behind them.

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The progress that I’ve done so far is scoping down and fixing on the type of project that I want to produce based on collaborative action.

The key idea of my project is to allow the targeted audience to contribute their ideas and imagination to a collaborative music video based on their own perspective, and turn them into a frame-by-frame animation. These contributed frames will be collected and compiled prior to the release of the music video. After the video has been compiled, viewers are able to switch “scenes” of the music video by clicking or tapping on it.

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There will always be an evident relationship between the visuals and the music, however these visuals will differ depending on the perspective, imagination and ideologies of the producer. The main purpose of the interactive music video is to give a sense of freedom to the targeted audience to express their imagination while allowing them to gain insight on how other people perceives the visuals in the music video as well.

 

UPDATED SOI: Final Degree Project_SOI_UPDATED

W6: Tutorial

After doing several research on collaborative action, I’ve decided to narrow my scope down to the exquisite corpse. This means my project will be heavily influenced by this method and it can be understood clearly through the experience of the project.

Tutorial with Mervin (10.20AM at MM Lab 1)

Notes of Discussion:

  • Inspiration – the exquisite corpse, surrealism
  • Main topic / message
  • Collaboration

Agreed Actions:

  • Narrow the scope and find a solid topic that you want to express through this project.
  • E-mail Mervin once the topic is chosen
  • Re-do Statement of Intent

Research: The cut-up technique

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The cut-up technique is an aleatory literary technique where a text is cut up and rearranged to create a new form of text or sentence. In a sense it’s also another way of collaboration.

Cut-up techniques are not only used in texts but also in many other forms.

A few months ago, I had the privilege of working on a project with Ogilvy Malaysia. We were asked to cut up a pizza box to form an art piece for an ad, completely made out of the materials from the pizza box, without losing its identity.

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Above is one of the images Gavin Simpson had shown us during our two-week visit at Ogilvy. We were asked to create a similar art piece with the reference drawing he provided us. There were almost 10 of us working on a few pizza boxes, the details on just a single pizza box took us days to complete, but the outcome was nothing short of pure satisfaction. Collectively, the bits and pieces came together and created an amazing piece of work which sends a clear and direct message to its audience.

It’s a great inspiration that could possibly influence my final degree project. And I’m glad that I was able to be a part of it.

 

Research: Exquisite Corpse

Exquisite Corpse, invented by French artists in the early 20th century, is a method where words or images are collectively assembled by different collaborators. It’s an old game where a player writes a phrase on piece of paper and passes it to another player to continue the phrase.
It’s a great way of collaborating to see the different types of outcomes that appears by the end of the experiment.

Some projects which were inspired by the idea of the exquisite corpse are:

The Exquisite Forrest

The Exquisite Forest is a collaborative frame-by-frame animation where each frame is drawn by a collaborator. There are a lot of possibilities that could happen through these sort of animation that has no boundaries.

The Johnny Cash Project
www.thejohnnycashproject.com

The Johnny Cash project is also a frame-by-frame animation in memory of the late Johhny Cash. It is a collaborative project where fans all around the world contribute to his music video.

 

The Exquisite Corpse Project
Unlike the first two, this project is a motion graphic piece created by a bunch of artists from around the world. They are all experienced artists sharing a canvas, whereas the other ones can be submitted by anyone, artists and non-artists alike.

Last but not least, there is the famous music video by Skrillex, Diplo and Justin Bieber – Where Are Ü Now:

This video contains multiple frames drawn by contributors. You can see that each frame is entirely different but it also fits to the actual content inside the video, as most people drew around the character and used it as a guideline. This way there is a certain control in the outcome of the final music video. The interactive part of this music video is that most people would actually try to pause at certain scenes to take a closer look at each frame, it’s interesting to see the different results you get each time you pause the video.

Reference:
Google. (2012). The Exquisite Forest. [online]. Youtube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=nnhJ1841K-8

Milk, C. (2010). The Johnny Cash Project. [online]. Available at: www.thejohnnycashproject.com

Waldron, M. (2015). The Exquisite Corpse Project. [online]. Vimeo. Available at: https://vimeo.com/130900978 

Research: Issues involving collaborative action

Howard Rheingold, a writer, artist, designer, theorist and community builder, talked about the power of collaboration and collective action in a 2005 TED talk. Collaboration is a natural instinct rooted in the human mind in order to work in a group. Rheingold covered the impacts of a collaborative mindset, from the ancient ages of hunting with a tribe, to building empires, to the digital era where Google is able to enrich itself by enriching others.

So, if collaborating is able to bring us such great things, why do we struggle to work with one another?

In the video, Rheingold discusses about The Prisoner’s Dilemma and The Tragedy of The Commons which are both tied to social dilemmas involved in collaboration.

The prisoner’s dilemma is a game theory that shows why two individuals might not cooperate with each other, even when it’s beneficial to do so.

These individuals would much rather pick an option which benefits themselves the most, rather than risking what they have to cooperate with the other person.

Similar to The Prisoner’s Dilemma, The Tragedy of The Commons is another theory about the issues involving open access. According to Investopedia (2016), it is an economic problem in which every individual tries to reap the most benefit from a resource that was given to them. In that case, the more an individual takes from the given resource, the less that are left for others to benefit from it.

Rheingold mentions that he wants to continue to explore and understand the forms of suffering that could be alleviated from these issues and what forms of wealth that be gained if we learn how to cooperate just a little bit more.

 

Rheingold, H., (2005). Howard Rheingold: The new power of collaboration. [online]. TED. Available at: https://www.ted.com/talks/howard_rheingold_on_collaboration?language=en#t-518967

Agar, J., (2014). The Prisoner’s Dilemma. [online]. Youtube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=t9Lo2fgxWHw

Agar, J., (2015). Tragedy of the Commons │ The Problem with Open Access. [online]. Youtube. Available at: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WYA1y405JW0 

Issues regarding development process

Certain issues regarding the development process of this module have surfaced throughout these few weeks, and I hate to admit that I’m quite far behind on schedule for this module, but certainly, I will do whatever I can to speed up this process. The issues that I have faced are indecisiveness of choosing a topic, lack of research and proper time-management.

I could not find a suitable way to bridge the organization that I wanted to work with and the usage of interactive murals, it took me weeks to finally realize that my mind had been so clouded on trying to force a contribution / collaboration project with the execution method that I couldn’t properly link them together.

My tutorial session with our module lecturer Sweii (23rd June 2016) has also made me realize that my lack of research on these topics heavily affected the development process. She mentioned that I did not have enough on my hands therefore I do not have any options to work with. This was a real problem that I needed to solve ASAP.

Thus, I have made some decisions to ease the research process and help me work towards a better pathway for my final project:

Cancel out any forms of execution method and just focus on the big idea that I wanted to start with:

  • Organization: Refugee charity
  • Execution Method: Interactive Mural
  • Key Idea: Collaboration

The main part of this project will be focused on the idea of collaboration and bringing people together, that’s the big idea. Now I have to think about the group of people that I want to address, what is the topic that I want to use to bring people together, what is the best possible way to share this message.

The next few weeks will be nothing but challenges after challenges, but the time is ticking and I REALLY have to take things up a notch in order to catch up to the planned schedule. Students make mistakes, and unfortunately, I have been stuck at a dreadful stage. I can’t change my beginnings but I can decide my ending. I will be putting an extra effort in researching, brainstorming and refining this idea in order to bring about the best execution method for my final project.