No matter how you feel about Electronic Dance Music (EDM) or renowned French DJ David Guetta, his new “Dangerous” music video is worth five minutes of your time (we promise). Why? Let’s start with it being the world’s first double-screen music video. With a phone and a computer, you’re drawn into the video as it creates a seamless experience across the two connected devices. With tricks like watching Guetta make a phone call on your computer screen and seeing his face pop up on your phone as an incoming call, you enter a new level of visual interaction.
Creating this dual-screen music video for Guetta and his two million YouTube subscribers was no small feat. According to the project’s creative directors, Esteban Merlin and Alexandre Saad, “Making this simple to use for everyone was a huge challenge. We couldn’t use an app, so the pairing had to be done with a mobile browser. Until the end, we weren’t 100 percent sure it would work. As it was a world “first,” we faced some new problems: If a video buffered, the other one had to adapt. The two devices had to be in perpetual communication.”
Merlin and Saad also wanted to produce the concept before someone else beat them to it. “We decided to present the idea to music labels because we knew they wanted to do more interactive experiences,” they explain. “But as it’s more expensive in terms of time and money, we didn’t know what to expect. Luckily, champagne brand G.H. Mumm asked to be part of David Guetta’s upcoming music video, so money wasn’t a problem anymore.”
Budgetary concerns aside, the “first of its kind” project still brought with it a huge amount of pressure. Even though Merlin and Saad have years of experience as creative directors, this was a completely new kind of project. Though they had quality equipment—two Alexa 2K cameras (one in vertical and one in horizontal mounts), they had to improvise for some shots with a new 360 camera developed by DVMobile. “We were coming up with new ideas for the shoot the day before production,” says Merlin.
This hands-on approach was the most rewarding part of the job. “We weren’t just the creatives and the creative directors”, he explains, “but also the accountants, the agency president, the director of the interactive scenes, and even the interns with the photocopies. It was really a huge experience.”
For an undertaking so complex the results are surprisingly perfect, and the final product is a true feast for the senses. While there’s nothing like working with a big celebrity to (potentially) throw a project off course, it seems this is one challenge the team didn’t face. “[Guetta] was super excited and very involved”, says Saad. “He validated every step of the process...He was really nice with us.”