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David Knight - 24th May 2016

On one level director Maximilian Neimann's video for German rapper Kontra K's An Deiner Seite (Next To You) is a nailbiting Nordic Noir thriller. But it also happens to be much more. Unit 9 have created the first interactive music video where the user is invited to switch between two timelines - the past and present - to uncover clues to solve a murder mystery. 

It starts with a fisherman coming across a crime scene in the beautiful setting of a lake house, where he stumbles a weapon, a corpse, a blood-stained boat. But by tapping the space bar on the website, or simply tapping your smartphone, reveals the actual, quite terrifying events (in which Kontra K plays one of the protagonists). 

The video can be watched in linear format, or on a dedicated microsite for the most optimal experience. As viewers investigate the crime scene, they are encouraged to tap their phone or press the spacebar on their keyboards. Viewers can choose to see the present (don’t press space) or the past (press space). There are clues hidden in the video, but viewers must be clever enough to figure out when to look into the past and when to look into the present. They are given visual clues while they’re watching the video so they know to look for a key moment. Depending on how many of them they find, the video can have three different endings.

It's clever and unique, and what really makes it work is the standard to which its been achieved. You wouldn't care to know what happens if this wasn't dramatized to a high level, and from the location to the performances, the photography and the technology, its all here.

MAXIMILIAN NIEMANN:

“Our immersive experience challenged everyone to keep both films in mind at all times. At all points in the experience, the storylines need to work on their own but also together. This was a challenge in terms of planning, but also for everybody involved on set. The crew did an outstanding job and I was especially impressed with how readily our actors embraced the concept and brought it to life.”

Credits

DirectorMaximilian Niemann
ProducerGerrit Klein
Production CompanyUNIT9 Films
Director of PhotographyMarkus Gebhart
EditorFabian Gustus
LabelFour Music
Production designerTonia Hochsieder
Production ServicesFilmakademie Baden-Wuerttemberg
Other creditsWriter: Maximilian Niemann Idea: Maximilian Niemann & Gerrit Klein Digital Concept & Interactive Art Direction: David Brenner & Philipp Mooren Sound Design: Jascha Viehl UNIT9 Producer: Marta Dopierala Tech Lead: Bruno Imbrizi Front-end Developer - Damien Seguin Front-end Developer - Scott Ashmore Back-end Development - Piotr Rogulski Creative Partner: Piero Frescobaldi Head Of QA: Dominic Berzins QA Senior Tester: Ayesha Evans QA Senior Tester: Tom Watson QA Tester: Andrew Heraty Managing Director: Valentina Culatti Creative Partner: Gilles Boisselet Chairman And Creative Partner: Piero Frescobaldi

David Knight - 24th May 2016

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