Arcade Fire’s ‘The Wilderness Downtown’ is more than just a music video – it is an interactive experience that takes music and integrates elements from your personal life, interactivity and a choreographed HTML5 wow-fest. When you arrive at The Wilderness Downtown website (only from Google Chrome), you are asked to enter the address of the home you grew up in, and then the fun begins.
The music starts to play and one video window pops up, followed by another and another. Choreographed pop-ups appear on your screen in time with the music. The clips are a combination of produced segments and Google Maps pictures of the house you grew up in. Birds fly across your browser and flock to your mouse, trees grow on the streets of your childhood neighborhood, and you even get the chance to draw a picture or write a letter to your younger self in a cool viney font or pen. The video is definitely worth checking out, and if you don’t have Google Chrome yet you can give it a try in your regular browser (but beware the consequences!) or watch the YouTube demo below.
This is certainly one of the coolest uses of HTML5 I’ve ever seen, and quite possibly the most comprehensive yet. Of course, Arcade Fire has help with this Chrome Experiment from friends at Google and it looks like it must have taken a lot of time to put together. However, I think that the time and effort spent on The Wilderness Downtown was entirely worth it. Indie band Arcade Fire is getting their name out there and they are sure to blow up the music scene even more than they already have.
I’m keeping my fingers crossed that we will see a lot more great uses of HTML5 like this one in the future. Perhaps this is the future of online music videos – bringing the viewer into the clip with a personalized experience. I think it’s amazing. Have you seen Arcade Fire’s The Wilderness Downtown yet? What do you think of this and the possibilities of HTML5 video in general?