L.A. based eclectic and electronic dance music artist woodrowgerber officially released his 360 VR music video for his new single ‘Lost Girls‘ today. Almost a year of production went into this awesome music video, which you can check out below. woodrowgerber caught up with Epic Earworm’s Helen Weston before the release to talk about the making of ‘Lost Girls’ in 360-degree Virtual Reality.
Helen Weston: You have a new single dropping soon called ‘Lost Girls’ with an official music video. The videos pretty special because it was filmed in 360 VR (360 Degrees-Virtual Reality). What made you want to go with a 360 video in the first place?
woodrowgerber: I’m always interested in where technology might be applied to music, seeing as how those two things have gone hand in hand for ages. I thought the possibilities of VR pushing people deeper into what my music and woodrowgerber is all about could be cool.
Helen Weston: Did you pre-plan a 360 video first and then choose the track? Or did you know you wanted ‘Lost Girls’ to be THE track that got the 360 treatment?
woodrowgerber: Whenever I make something: an album, single, whatever, I sort of make a mental list of what I want to do with it before I have any idea of how it will actually work. When I started working on Lost Girls I knew I didn’t want to do a traditional music video, so 360 seemed to be the next step in that evolution and would fit the mental narrative kicking around in my head. So the song technically came first, but the video concept was in the mix early on.
Helen Weston: Was there more pre-production for this video than previous music videos you’ve released?
woodrowgerber: Yeah a lot more. Since the technology is so new I had to do months of research. Luckily I was able to meet and consult with a company here in LA called Reverge VR that does true VR applications and content creation internationally. Doing a 360 music video isn’t nearly as complex as the stuff they can do, so they were kind enough to guide me a bit which was amazing!
Helen Weston: Does VR360 make the production process more complicated?
woodrowgerber: I’ve been in a lot of videos over the years, some pretty elaborate, but this took a lot more story preparation and logistical planning than all of them. It felt more like live theatre infused with complicated tech than a typical music video. At the same time it was easier in that we were doing just a one shot take, but had to mark out where everyone had to be and when. We rehearsed the video quite a bit before actually filming.
Helen Weston: Where abouts did the shoot take place?
woodrowgerber: We shot here in Los Angeles on an apocalyptic steampunk set near downtown. Apparently a rap video was filmed in the same location a year ago and somebody was shot out front. A little factoid I learned while packing up my gear.
Helen Weston: What was the video shoot itself like?
woodrowgerber: It was amazing! The director Erin Brown worked with me to get a cast that was fun to work with, talented, and up to the challenge of shooting in 360 degrees. Whoever was going to be on set had to first and foremost be cool to be around, so the whole thing felt like an actual party with friends. It was probably my favorite shoot to date.
Watch ‘Lost Girls’ in 360 VR below:
Helen Weston: Who did you collaborate with on this video?
woodrowgerber: Erin Brown who’s worked with 50 Cent, Eminem, Enrique Iglesias, and a bunch of other artists directed this video. The efficiency at which she worked was incredible. You’ll also probably spot Kevyn Richmond from the Artax music video a few years back. He’s an incredible actor who’s also an old friend of mine and has somewhat become my video muse [laughs]. Overall we had TV and film actors, a professional skater, an internationally recognized fashion designer, a high ranking military veteran and models. A complete mashup of real LA people you might find at a party here.
Helen Weston: You’re sponsored by Armitron watches. How did that deal come about?
woodrowgerber: Well, I love collaborating with brands that aren’t just trying to sell stuff but are honestly interested in being a part of people’s lives in a real way. I never work with anyone who inhibits my creative process or my music in any way. That kind of partnership never works and the fans ultimately lose.
I was already into Armitron Watches and they reached out to me interested in collaborating on something. After some phone meetings and emails I got a feel for what they’re about and was really excited to see what we could come up with. They really got what woodrowgerber is about and jumped on board. The music video was the perfect fit and we’re kicking around ideas for some more future collaborations as well!
Helen Weston: Do you have a favourite Armitron watch or product?
woodrowgerber: They [Armitron] hooked me up so I have several favourites that I cycle through depending on my mood. I tend to lean towards the gold watches because I don’t really come across like a gold watch guy [Laughs]. So wearing an old hoodie, some Jordans, and a fresh gold watch is kind of my go-to. Gold especially while performing… I feel fancy [Laughs].
Helen Weston: What would you say is the best device to watch and experience the ‘Lost Girls’ music video on?
woodrowgerber: Well probably the Oculus Rift or Samsung VR headsets, but those are still pretty pricey, so I would say grab some cardboard goggles (aka Google goggles) and throw your phone in those and you’ll feel right in the mix. Even being in the video and apart of the whole creative process myself, I still get lost in it when I watch it. Otherwise you can just grab your phone and hold it out in front.
Helen Weston: Would you consider making another VR360 video in the future?
woodrowgerber: Definitely. Especially as tech companies catch up to the technology providing us with higher definition phones and streaming that can handle the 4k data even better. I have plenty of ideas for future music videos in 360 along with complete VR interactive experiences for my music. Endless possibilities!
Helen Weston: You have many projects in development right now to keep fans eager. What can you tell them to watch out for from woodrowgerber?
woodrowgerber: I’m back in the studio working on a new 7 track EP that I’m beyond excited about. Like losing sleep I’m so excited. It comes out in October and has an X-Files meets Stranger Things kind of vibe going on. Idealy people would listen to it while driving through a forest in the middle of the night [Laughs].
Just did a television performance cameo on a show called Sacred Steel that will air this fall on Discovery Channel, and am heading into the studio this week to collaborate on a special track for that same show as well.
Going to do some more US dates in between everything and then begin pre-production on the new full length record that will come out end of next year. There’s a few other things sprinkled in there that aren’t locked in just yet but are going to be really cool.
woodrowgerber’s latest 360-degree Virtual Reality music video ‘Lost Girls‘ is out now.
HelenWeston. Photography: (C) Scott Fitzpatrick (2016).