MAKE WAY

Haunted Authors

The Haunted Authors are a hip-hop band from Bellingham, Washington. My nephew is a member, so in spring of 2015 I approached him and the group with a proposition: I wanted to make an interactive music video. I am a huge fan of their music, which was inspiration enough for me, but their creativity took it to a new level, instantly visualizing their role and storylines immediately after it was first mentioned. It was a great ride. With help from DJ Einstein and one long day of shooting, the result was an interactive experience that forced reconsidering expectations of this established genre.

Challenging Expectations

In April of 2016, I was invited to present my video at the Bellingham Music Film Festival. Shortly after setting up my presentation, a man showed interest. He was dressed like a film director from the 1920s, but despite the paradox of his dress and the technology presented before him, his interest was evident. I proceeded to explain the idea behind the music video, gave him a brief description of the band and their music, and my overall approach to production. I could immediately see that my words were challenging his expectations of the music video genre, so I asked him, “Are you familiar with the ‘director’s cut’ in film?” He responded, “Yes, of course.” To which I replied, “Well this is the ‘viewer’s cut’, and it’s different every time.” His reaction was subtle, but the raised right eyebrow told me that I had caught his attention, and that he understood. He wasn’t a fan of the music, so most of his feedback related to the production of the music itself. But I could tell that he was still trying to process what he had just experienced, at least from a filmmaker’s perspective. If anything, I felt I had captured his attention, and although he hadn’t made sense of it yet, it had made an impression.

HAUNTED AUTHORS: MAKE WAY

Impact

Only just prior to shooting and editing this video had I experienced or even known about the interactive music video. Not only was production and editing a unique endeavor, but the experience at the Bellingham Music Film Festival was an eye-opening interactive experience. The true value of this design event experience for me was not in observing interaction with technology, but with the interaction with people. We can choose to learn passively, but the key to creating meaningful interactions is talking with the people who are experiencing them. This is exciting, considering the available pool of potential users is vast, allowing limitless opportunity for growth and impactful design.

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