People say that video killed the radio star, but we think using 360 video and immersive experiences are just another way to get fans to really engage with you. Just ahead of her upcoming album Reservoir, Australian singer-songwriter Gordi decided that instead of only releasing a 2D version of her latest single, “Bitter End”, that she would release a 360 version too. We spoke to Gordi and the film’s director, Michael Beets, to discuss how VR and music videos are a match made in 360-heaven.
When you were writing the song, Bitter End did you have a concept in mind when you developed the video?
Gordi: To be honest I didn’t and when we first started talking about VR as a component of the video, I didn’t know much about it. I saw some footage recently for the first time of an advertisement in 360/VR and just thought it was amazing. It wasn’t until after the song was recorded that I started to imagine the visuals that might go with it. I knew I wanted the video to be simple, because the song has so many lyrics I wanted the visuals to be simple with some sort of beautiful movement. I had this idea that I wanted a lone figure to be creating something and for the viewer to learn about their journey just through their movement. When Beets put forward the idea of the marionette I thought it was the perfect fit. I felt like it fit so well with this idea because the viewer can insert themselves inside the tiny life of this marionette and be totally absorbed by the visuals as the song swims around them.
As a director, what were some of the challenges posed by shooting in VR?
Michael Beets: The challenge was understanding the strengths of each platform (2D and VR) and creating content that fit respectively in each of those experiences. The core concept of this music video was that the audience experience different perspectives of the same world through a 2D and a 360 version of the song. We couldn’t simply film the 360 in the same way as the 2D as the audience experience is entirely different. There’s no point in creating a 360 version if it replicates the 2D version so we really had to think about the strengths of each medium and then create the content around that.
What do you the see as the future of musicians using VR ad 360 video as a way to communicate with their fans?
Gordi: It’s a pretty incredible medium. With social media, fans can already have quite a real connection with artists and VR will only enhance that. They’ll be able to peak into the lives of artists in the studio or backstage and feel a part of that world, which hopefully will leave people feeling even more connected to the music.
Michael Beets: I reckon fans appreciate a musician who is willing to take risks and push the boundaries a bit. I’m humbled by the fact that Gordi and her label and management teams were willing to go on this journey with us, and to try something new. There’s a lot of potential in the collaboration between musicians and interactive/ 360 content creators and it’s most likely something that is going to grow as Augmented Reality and VR become the norm. I’m personally fascinated by the idea of offering different entry points to the world of the musicians and hopefully this is something that continues.
Watch Gordi’s latest video on Jaunt VR and catch her on tour through the rest of the summer.