Wilderness Downtown: interactive video merging with googlemap imagery

A media practice that ushers in a novel kind of storytelling.

COMMENT#1 WIRED

BEHIND THE SCENES: CODING ‘THE WILDERNESS DOWNTOWN

Google’s collaboration with Arcade Fire, dubbed The Wilderness Downtown, yielded an in-depth interactive experience for the band’s single “We Used To Wait” that just might point to the future of the music videos. The experiment relied heavily on HTML5 and quite a bit of clever JavaScript to pull off one of the better interactive multimedia sites we’ve seen.

The Wilderness Downtown, features HTML5 native video and audio, Canvas-animated birds that fly away from your mouse clicks, interactive SVG fonts, and photo panoramas from Google Maps Street View. You enter in the address of where you grew up and it pulls the images for that neighborhood to personalize the video to match your own memories. Cabello is no fan of JavaScript frameworks, so you probably won’t find these libraries popping up as JQuery plugins, but most of the code is available as standalone libraries hosted through GitHub. While neither offer any documentation, both three.js, a lightweight 3D engine and Harmony, a drawing library, were both use extensively.

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COMMENT#2 B-REEL

The first web experience to match the emotional power of a song

A great song sticks with you — it hits an emotional chord that few other art forms can. Working with Arcade Fire, director Chris Milk and Google Creative Lab, we challenged ourselves to create a web experience that matched the power of music.

The Wilderness Downtown is an interactive music video that dynamically incorporates the viewer’s childhood home. It uses the Google Maps API to pull imagery from your hometown, so the streets in the experience are the real ones you grew up on.

The Wilderness Downtown showcased the emotional possibilities of the web and ushered in a new style of storytelling: videos designed to be uniquely personal to each viewer.

Straddling the line between technical pizzazz with good old-fashioned emotional storytelling.

AdWeek

B-Reel continues to crank out an impressive array of creative technology mashups.

Fast Company

The We Used To Wait site is another huge step forward into an interactive future for music videos

Creative Review

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CHECK OUT WILDERNESS DOWNTOWN HERE.

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