Interactive Filmmaker Chris Milk
Cinema & New Media Arts | On Apr 07, 2013
Milk is a filmmaker, and latterly one seduced by the possibilities of the internet – a medium most filmmakers seem to shy away from. Approached by Google’s Aaron Koblin, creative director of the data arts team, Milk had his interest piqued by some of the Chrome experiments being promoted by Google. Arcade Fire have an impressive roster of interactives on their discography, including several projects with Canadian Vincent Morisset; Neon Bible, Sprawl II, and the synchronised artwork project Morisset made for The Suburbs album.
Milk started talking to Arcade Fire, who shared unfinished songs while working on the album The Suburbs and sent him We Used to Wait.
“I wish I could tell you there was some great piece of art that was the inspiration for it, but I basically listened to the song a thousand times to see what came to mind. In this case, it was a dreamscape from my own life, of footsteps, and the rhythm that sounded to me like running. I’d been exploring my own house recently on Street View and it reminded me of that moment with the girl I’d been seeing when I was 17, so I built on top of that.”
This became the Wilderness Downtown project, which set something of a high bar for the mainstream music video scene when it was released in 2010, given the poor state of both technology and imagination in most commercial music videos. Openness to experimenting with technology has an obstacle with adequate funding, despite an obvious creative curiosity in what is possible. “I knew a bit about the capabilities of HTML5 and have always had a preoccupation with technology. I wanted to delve deeper, to see what else it could do. The technology becomes the palette that you make the artwork with, your palette and your paint.