Bob Dylan‘s iconic music has been woven into the tapestry of American culture for decades, and has spoken to multiple generations with equal resonance.
Now, in order to promote the first volume of the Bob Dylan Complete Album Collection, released just in time for the holidays (of course) by Sony Music Entertainment, comes a music video unlike any we’ve ever seen.
The interactive video, set to Dylan’s classic “Like a Rolling Stone,” seems to symbolize the permeation of the artist’s songs throughout our daily lives by allowing viewers to flip through sixteen different “channels,” each playing authentic-looking footage of everything from a home shopping network to a tennis match, with each actor on screen perfectly lip syncing the lyrics to the song in what otherwise seems like a legitimate TV broadcast. At the end, the viewer comes to actual footage of Dylan performing his song, which ties the whole surreal experience into a grounded moment of realism — hearing the song in its original context after so many out-of-context scenarios makes the simplicity of one man alone on a stage, singing a song he wrote, all the more powerful.
“The effect can only be surrealistic if the channels are realistic,” Vania Heymann, the video’s director, told Rolling Stone.
“In reality, channel-flipping is a very passive act. You’re sitting back in your house, doing nothing. We wanted to make it an active thing, reediting the song itself to make a new version.”
That strategy is working.
The video had close to a million unique viewers in its first day (its first day!), with more than 90% of those viewers actively flipping through the channels. Yoni Bloch, the CEO of Interlude Studios, the digital production company behind the project, said that the video is not only popular, but is garnering the attention of big names who want in on the action.”I can’t say who, but our inboxes are flooded with big networks asking if they can add their shows to the mix. It’s like we’re building a format.”
And what a format it is.
The above video is only a sample; To actually flip through the channels yourself, head over t0 the official website. But heads-up: this may eat up the majority of your workday (we just can’t stop!). Don’t say we didn’t warn you.