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Vincent Morisset On Interactive Filmmaking, Arcade Fire And Sigur Rós

Close collaborator of Arcade Fire, Vincent Morisset talks about combining interactivity and filmmaking.

Director Vincent Morisset can proudly lay claim to making what's widely considered to be the first interactive music video ever made. That was for Arcade Fire's track "Neon Bible" back in 2007. Fast forward six years and Morisset is again at the forefront of interactive filmmaking with his "virtual projection" music video Just a Reflektor, made in collaboration with Aaron Koblin for Arcade Fire's song "Reflektor".


In this new project viewers use their cellphone to act as a projector for an unfolding narrative on their computer screen, controlling graphics using hand-based gestures utilizing the phone's gyroscope and accelerometer. The film, shot in Haiti, follows a young woman on a Shamanic journey into other worlds.

Just a Reflektor

In the video above Morisset talks about how he came to interactive storytelling, merging his skills as a developer/ programmer with his passion for making short films—resulting in projects that have challenged how we interact with a story. One great example was his piece for the National Film Board of Canada, BLA BLA, described as an "animated film meets picture book." The "film for computer" relies on the actions of the viewer to drive the narrative forward.

Just a Reflektor

Bringing to mind Arthur C. Clarke's famous quote about technology and magic Morisset notes that, "In all my projects I try to make the technology disappear, so it just feels like something a bit surreal or magical."

Just a Reflektor

For Just a Reflektor he utilized the capabilities of WebGL, which lets you create interactive graphics in a web browser. Rather than just interacting with a mouse, the project lets you use two devices simultaneously to heighten the experience and make the viewer a firsthand participant in the action. "The latest project I've done I've been interested in going beyond traditional control, like the mouse and the keyboard"  Morisset explains, "and just exploring other interaction that feels more visceral and direct."

To find out more about Morisset's interactive approach to filmmaking, watch our video above.

Just a Reflektor @CreatorsProject