Lady Gaga takes viewers behind the scenes during the filming of her surreal video for Chromatica song “911” in a new virtual reality experience via the CEEK VR app.
The 360-degree CEEK VR experience was captured on set in Valencia, California during the filming of the Tarsem Singh-directed short film.
“The stylish, fever dream-like visual finds the pop star waking up in a desert and heading to a town where she stars in a series of vignettes featuring oddball characters,” describes Rolling Stone. Things are not what they seem in the end as she later comes to after a bad accident and encounters the same characters in a different light.
The VR experience highlights various scenes from the set, with Gaga and a couple of the other cast members appearing in elaborate, colorful costumes.
When the video for the single was released, Gaga said on Instagram, “This short film is very personal to me, my experience with mental health and the way reality and dreams can interconnect to form heroes within us and all around us.”
Of course, Gaga is not the first artist to wade into the VR pool, as an article at The Latch points out. The trend has steadily gaining popularity since YouTube and Facebook enabled posting 360-degree videos back in 2015.
Gorillaz “Saturnz Barz” video, for example, has been viewed 24 million times since it was posted in March 2017.
The trend has also proven useful during the pandemic for music festivals such as Splendour in the Grass, which offered up a VR version in July 2021 after it was cancelled due to the COVID-19 situation in Australia.
A mind-boggling 38-years ago, the hype generated around the budget busting video for Michael Jackson’s “Thriller,” directed by John Landis, sealed MTV’s position as a major cultural force, revolutionized music video production, popularized the making-of documentaries, and drove rentals and sales of VHS tapes (arguably also helped disassemble racial barriers for black artists).
The Latch writer Lyndsey Rodrigues asks whether something similar might happen with VR.
“So much of art is about being seen as cutting-edge and cultivating something unique that your audience can find an emotional connection to that they would not be able to find anywhere else. It’s going to be interesting to see how musicians continue to break the mold and engage their fans in out-of-the-box ways and what role VR could potentially play in that.”
The ‘911” 360 VR experience is available at CEEK.