It’s pretty exciting when your friend posts a brand-new album of Facebook snaps, bursting with glossy images of your very own mug, right? We’re guessing you get a little tag-happy, no? Well, take the words “Facebook album” and replace them with “music video” and include the ability to tag. Are your ventricles freaking out all over the place yet? Yup, we thought so.
The splendor of appearing in a music video coupled with the satisfaction that is pointing out that you are appearing in a music video comes together in “Rivers and Homes,” a vid by Israeli producer/songwriter J.Viewz (a.k.a. Jonathan Dagan).
The video has dual storylines: There’s a narrative featuring Dagan dressed in a cat suit, frolicking in the wilderness with band members, and a narrative featuring fans of the band. The cat suit story was shot on film and then printed out onto 2,000 still frames. Dagan then enlisted fans to hold up the pictures and the story within-a-story (cat suit frolicking, etc) was animated via stop motion. If that sounds a little confusing, just watch the vid below.
The song is the title track off of Dagan’s new album, which he released track by track as he finished each tune. Songs were released piecemeal to fans who helped fund the album, and the finished deal was packaged in a photo book replete with images of the fans in question. The endeavor scored the artist a Grammy nomination for Best Recording Packaging.
In the same way that Dagan worked with fans to make the album manifest, he also turned to his followers when it came time to create a video for the titular song. “That song resonated with a lot of people in a way that has a stark sense of community, togetherness, being together in general,” Dagan says, asserting that the tune isn’t the most radio-ready of works (in that it’s mostly instrumental), but that his fans dug it. “You hear that song and you think of confetti cannons, bonfires, people being together.”
The section that takes place within the pictures — directed by Shelly Carmel — echoes that feeling of bonfires and confetti. The section that takes place around the photos — directed by Eran Amir — depicts fans supporting (literally) the band.
The 300 fans who are in the video were able to put themselves into the action even more via a taggable version of the video, which let them mark where in the action they appear. “The idea was that they would be able to dedicate the frame within the taggable video — they could treat the frame as their own,” Dagan says.
Image courtesy of J.Viewz, Facebook