Pharrell Williams is a genius. No really. I mean, we all sort of knew this back in the early 90’s when The Neptunes began working their magic on all of our favourite hits that he was destined to creatively go places but little did we know that Pharrell would bring the future to us right now, in the present.
The new frontier of music videos is the interactive music video. Days of MTV and BET playing videos directed by one person with one creative angle are long gone. The interactive music video is the format of the future and this allows the viewer to play with, manipulate and design music videos all from the convenience of their computers or smartphones. Although the concept isn’t entirely new – the National Film Board of Canada actually has a website that’s been up for quite sometime featuring videos that are meant to be interacted with by the viewer – more artists are now exploring this new format as an option for video treatment.
Why? Well because in a world where 3 seconds of one image is considered too long and the risk of losing the viewer’s attention is very real (we are the ADHD generation) artists need a new and innovative way to not only refocus their audience’s attention back to their music, but also to create a sense of intimacy with their fans. Let’s face it, we are the generation that illegally downloads music and that doesn’t mind streaming concerts live or even getting our information from live tweets instead of purchasing a ticket. So how else are artists supposed to maintain that bond with their fans? Well, this is the answer.
I commend Pharrell for being the first major hip hop artist to pursue such an endeavour. Dubbed as “the world’s first 24 hour music video,” yes, Happy is 24 hours in length. It is directed by We Are From LA and produced by Iconoclast. It has a time cursor in the middle of the screen that allows the viewer to gauge which time frame they’d like to view as the 4-minute song plays in a loop. Happy is from the Despicable Me 2 soundtrack and features a sporadic Pharrell as well as both dancers and regular folks dancing happily to the cheerful song on a beautiful Los Angeles day/night. You can even catch cameos by artists such as Janelle Monae, Odd Future and actor Jamie Foxx among many more.
There are clips on YouTube however the video in all it’s stunning cinematography and HD glory is best view on the microsite at 24hoursofhappy.com In a world where our (often) stuck up attitudes clash with others as we oscillate between the neuroticism in our minds and the chaos in the world around us, sometimes it’s nice to just sit and veg out at something. Except, instead of vegging, you’ll be more so marvelling and it’s impossible not to crack a smile at least once.