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David Knight - 21st Nov 2013

So the lypsyncing might not be perfect, and non-US residents may struggle at first to fully appreciate an idea that uses some real American daytime TV shows and their hosts. But this is just minor quibbling. The fact is that this interactive video for Bob Dylan's 1965 classic Like A Rolling Stone is ingenious. 

First of all, you could just watch it without interacting with it (like this idiot did at first) and think that its a particularly impressive version of an idea that various people have attempted before - TV stars of different shows are lipsyncing the lyrics to Like A Rolling Stone. And even if you have little or no experience of American cable TV, you'll figure out that at least some of these are real shows. That's very cool. 

But then you realise (like this idiot did) that you can channel surf between all these channels, 16 of them, and the stars of the cookery show, property show, fashion show, game show, talk show, news channel, music channel, sports channel, and so on, are always lipsyncing Like A Rolling Stone. This video is, in effect, made up of 16 videos - including an early 70s performance by Dylan of the song on a classic music TV channel.

This is, as all good interactive videos should be, never the same experience twice for any one who watches it - and people are going to watch this again and again. It's as easy as switching channels because its the same as switching channels, which means like morons like me can use it.

And if you're like me, you learn stuff. I now know way more than I did about the Property Brothers. In fact, on a weird level, the warm artificiality of the TV shows, brings the most powerful and painful of Dylan's lyrics into greater focus too. This great idea also embraces irony - which is presumably deliberate.

The project was created to coincide with the release of a massive new Dylan box set by Sony/Legacy Recordings, The Complete Album Collection Volume 1, and uses technology created by the digital media company Interlude - founded by the Israeli musician Yoni Bloch. It was conceived and directed by the young Israeli director Vania Heymann, and produced by Pulse Films and Walter Pictures. 

So the bar for next year's Best Interactive Video at the UK Music Video Awards is already set pretty high. But the significance of this video goes way beyond the technical achievement. It actually changes the dynamic for 'heritage' tracks, and whatever visuals are now made for them. Up to now, videos for legacy tracks - classic songs, in other words - have been lacking in all sorts of ways. Now this arrives, showing what is actually possible. Brilliant - and potentially a gamechanger.  

Watch 'Bob Dylan 'Like A Rolling Stone' (Interactive) by Vania Heymann' here

Credits

DirectorVania Heymann
Production CompanyPulse Films
Production CompanyInterlude
Executive ProducerLihu Roter
Executive ProducerTamara Harel-Cohen
Creative DirectorNatan Schottenfels
ProducerLia Mayer-Sommer
ProducerStacy Vaughan
Production CompanyWalter Pictures
Post production companyArtery VFX

David Knight - 21st Nov 2013

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