A British band by the name of Shaking Chains has taken a unique approach with its debut single, “Midnight Oil.” Rather than film a single music video that’s the same every time it is viewed, they’re using technology to create something that is truly unique each time you watch.
The brainchild of Jack Hardiker (lead vocals / guitar), the project is labeled as an experiment in algorithmic filmmaking. Each time the music video is queued up, algorithms behind the scenes select random bits of video footage from YouTube based on a list of specific (yet evolving) keywords like "Black Friday Fights.”
The chosen clips are then assembled and stitched together to create a music video that’s entirely unique.
In the example I watched, I saw clips of food, parties, dancing, pets, Oprah Winfrey, kids, natural disasters, naked native people and more. It seems that noting is off-limits.
Hardiker told Vice Creators that he loves the idea of the film living on, autonomously, beyond the kind of attention span [that most videos receive]. What might it become a year from now, he asks? The answer, he said, is that it would be dependent on what's happening a year from now and what the Internet holds for us at that time.
It’s too early to know if this sort of storytelling will ever take off but it’s a neat idea and one that certainly has potential, especially as machine learning and further curatorial power is handed over to the computers.