Matchbox Twenty let fans ‘direct’ with 360° music video

By Kira Grunenberg

“I’ve like watching music videos, but what I’ve really always wanted to do is direct…”

Directing may not be as easy as just shouting “Action!,” sitting in a chair, and being ‘in charge,’ but a couple different musicians are trying out something that puts viewers in control.

90s rock radio stalwarts, Matchbox Twenty, have stepped up the uniqueness factor in the currently vacillating medium of music videos. Something that used to be so key to artists and their newest releases no longer has a standard of straight-to-TV debuts, held by only a handful of secret music industry executives in some storage room at MTV or Vh1. With some bands staying on TV rotation, others strictly transitioned to internet debuts, and still others a mix of both, videos themselves don’t have the standalone foothold they used to, and it’s up to the artist’s creativity and the clever marketing thereof to entice viewers to watch (whether on TV or not) and make doing so feel like a necessary and special experience.

With their latest video work for the single “She’s So Mean” (for their upcoming album, “North”), Matchbox Twenty has handed over visual control to the viewers by incorporating camera panning technology that can be manipulated in the video while the video plays.

Making the manipulation actually occur is camera and software technology from GoPano and for Matchbox Twenty’s particular project, video production company The Integration Company, got involved, using the camera tech. While rotating in one circle may seem like a short-lived thrill, it can be just the contrary, as it lets viewers observe even the smallest things (e.g. other people the background) that maybe you don’t notice in a straight play through on a standard music video. A bit meticulous, but still interesting because you never know what you’ll find!

Other than Matchbox Twenty, rough-and-tumble country girl Miranda Lambert has also tried her hand at an interactive camera experience for her newest video release, “Fastest Girl in Town” that comes from her album, “Four the Record,” released last November. Unlike Matchbox though, “Fastest” doesn’t use 360° as its vehicle of interaction but has a specific portion of the video -specifically a car chase scene- prompt viewers to select various camera angles and the video switches from automated to interactive throughout. Not as movement-liberal as “She’s So Mean” but there’s more to see in terms of types of views outside of circular panning.

In addition, Lambert’s video includes a “treasure hunt” type feature wherein viewers watch for special “posters” that pop up during the video and pause it to reveal behind-the-scenes clips and info from shooting. Furthermore, if viewers manage to find all four, they can enter a contest to win an autographed copy of a video poster signed by Lambert and her co-star, Danica Patrick.

Lambert’s video worked with interactive technology company, Interlude and a link to the interactive version on Lambert’s site is here.

Matchbox Twenty – She’s So Mean (360° Music Video)

Kira is an old school music nerd with a love for all things creative; always searching for music’s common ground. She graduated with an M.A. in Performing Arts Administration from New York University. Drop her a tweet @shadowmelody1