This week Robert Ellis released an interactive clip for his latest single "Friends Like Those" off of his 2011 Photographs LP. You can check out the clip here at friendslikethose.com preferably with your Google Chrome browser.
The video, which uses a plug-in from your personal Facebook account and culls through your profile pictures to personalize the video for you, was the brainchild of Ellis and friend/fellow musician Ben Godfrey, who works here in town at Web design house Adcetera. Over a few beers, the two stumbled upon the idea for "Friends."
"We bounced around ideas for something more interactive and came up with this," says Ellis.
"He had come to me first and said he wanted to design something cool and online for me. I don't know if you knew this, but he is kind of an incredible Web designer," he adds.
It's true. Besides being one of the best Web designers in the city, he is also the mastermind behind listenlisten, various solo ventures, and one of the biggest estate sale magnates in the area.
Ellis says that sometime next week they are beginning work together on Godfrey's next batch of songs too.
"I wanted it to be a really cool e-card -- not in the cheesy way -- but something you could send as a personal link to a friend you haven't seen in a while," he says, alluding to the song's lyrical content. This could be perfect for a college kid away from his friends this first semester.
People who previously hadn't heard "Friends" or even Ellis' work will find themselves attaching personal memories to the song.
The video uses Google Chrome and Facebook to link your pictures into words in the clouds. It takes a second to connect the two, but the results are worth it. Funny enough, when I used the application, some of my pictures were from Ellis shows.
Around the release of their album The Suburbs, the Arcade Fire also had an interactive video of their own, wherein you added your childhood home address into a Google Map widget and your neighborhood and the streets surrounding it became part of the video.
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Here is Ellis doing "Friend Like Those" sans clouds and Facebook.