In collaboration with director Chris Milk, Aaron Koblin, Rick Rubin, and the Johnny Cash Estate, we produced an interactive website and completely crowd-sourced music video celebrating “American VI: Ain’t No Grave”, Johnny Cash’s final studio recording.
We developed a custom web-based painting tool that allowed visitors to create and share their vision for any single frame of the music video.
These original portraits were then strung together and played in sequence over the song, creating a moving, ever-evolving homage to the musical icon. Site visitors can stop the video at any point and witness that frame come to life with a time-lapse of the artist’s brush strokes.
The complete crowd-sourced animated music video resulted in a breathtakingly beautiful homage to The Man in Black.
Below is the "Director's Cut" version of the music video, containing over 1,300 of our favorite frames, submitted by people from across the world. The introduction includes perspectives from some of the contributors about what makes this project, and the enduring legacy of Johnny Cash, so special.
Each submission – created entirely through the interface of the website's drawing tool (no uploads!) – is a unique piece of art unto itself, ranging in style from from photo-realistic, to abstract, to interpretation, and more.