Plunge into the core of a hazy night where sensitive feelings and psychotropic effects are running high in Los Angeles based-new media artist Vince McKelvie's interactive music video for With You’s "Ghost" featuring Vince Staples. Real footage and computer-generated images fuse together to provide first-person experience that's akin to Enter the Void meets "Smack My Bitch Up," but from the comfort of your web browser.
In the past, McKelvie's Instagrammed mini CGI masterpieces and created interactive virtual vacations. For "Ghost," the artist explains, “I had the idea of inserting interactive arms into live action footage and it was really exciting, so I pitched the mechanic for the video and we landed on the story based on the lyrics of the song.” McKelvie tells The Creators Project, “The avatar select option was an obvious decision once we landed on the mechanic. I wanted the user to be able to select from a range of different arms to experience the video with.” Viewers can explore the web-based rager with tattoos, stickers-filled arms, or even weird jelly-skin.
Part of the interactivity of "Ghost" involves letting viewers decide on their own point of wastedness. “Since consuming drugs is the main mechanic in the video I wanted to gamify those actions, adding trophies if the user drank or smoked too much,” McKelvie explains. “Also, Peep Show is one of my favorite shows, which inspired me to add some of the unabashed drug use and griminess to the project.”
Beyond the wildness of the content, the video offers a unique way to switch up the perspective of rap videos. “In 'Ghost,' we flip that stereotype and have the viewer doing all the drugs while Vince Staples is performing,” McKelvie says. “Vince is also straightedge so it worked out well for the concept.”
As far as the technicals behind the video, prolific creative coder McKelvie used a powerful combination of C4d, blender, and three.js to handle the 3D asset creation and animations that he then merged with live-action footage. “It was a first for me as far as doing a proper live-action shoot for an interactive concept, so there was a ton of planning in making sure the live-action shots would work with the digital arms,” he tells us. “Once we shot it was just a matter of asset creation and tying it all together with the enlisted help of Ezra Miller, Great Nordic Sword Fight, and some others.”