Just a few weeks ago we talked about the Black Eyed Peas' 360 degree music video, and subsequently, how disappointing it was, being that it was being presented by Black Eyed Peas and all. Thankfully, ex-Shudder to Think vocalist Craig Wedren went ahead and took the bulk of their idea and did it better.
While you won't get the iPhone augmented reality feel the Black Eyed Peas were going for, you will get an experience that's about a million times more fluid and interesting. We've seen a few innovative music videos in the last year, including Arcade Fire's "Wilderness Downtown" HTML5 video and an amazing choose-your-own-adventure video from Andy Grammar, as well as a couple not-very good 360-degree videos from Doritos, but this one takes the cake for one-upping all the multi-billion dollar bands.
Wedren's video is for the song, "Are We," from his upcoming solo album, Wand. It's directed by Tim Nackashi, who has done videos for OK Go, Gnarls Barkley and others. It's not exactly a fully immersive 360-degree video -- you're only allowed to click and move your head with the mouse, not move around and explore -- but there are bits where the cameras are moving. And it marks an incredibly interesting first look at where music videos can still go. As a bonus, we're pretty sure we spotted a few members of the '90s sketch comedy show The State on here, too, but maybe we're just seeing things.
The song is pretty damn good, too, which certainly helps the experience trump the complete boredom of the Black Eyed Peas experiment in the same tech. As the scenes change and move, the music does, as well, tossing in choral singing into the already oblique imagery.
This project manages to engage the viewer and gives them a dreamy, beautiful world to look around in. You'll start on a beach before moving onto a morbid tree, a home and back to the beach. The whole thing really is a sight to behold and well worth the relatively long load times you'll have to wait for while the video cues up.
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It's also just the first part of a series of videos coming from Wedren that'll accompany each song on the album, but he's already set the bar pretty damn high.