One Frame Of Fame shows us how a band can use viral culture and crowdsourcing to grab some publicity and make a couple of thousand people “stars” of a music video. But what could you achieve if you already have a surfeit of fans? For a couple of years, Trent Reznor and the Nine Inch Nails’ crew have been exploring new ways of releasing music and interacting with fans: Getting them to create visuals for their Ghosts release, having art director Rob Sheridan shoot video on stage with his DSLR, creating innovative, interactive concert visuals, and sharing insights on how less established artists can use technology to support their careers. The next level of the band’s relationship with their fans was revealed recently, with the release of Another Version Of The Truth: The Gift, a fan-edited, 2 hour long concert video produced from footage released by the NIN team. Like most of Nine Inch Nails’ work, this really is next-level stuff. Even if you’re not a fan, the Lights In The Sky setup is required viewing for visualists.

The show combined lighting, visuals, interactivity, set design, and show direction into the most epic, futuristic, cohesive works of live performance ever (for some more details, check our previous post on Moment Factory‘s “Show Environment” for the tour). With so much creativity and money put in to the show, it’s gratifying that they’re not only comfortable to let a project like this happen, but are actively supporting its dissemination


Our 2008 Lights In The Sky tour was an ambitious multimedia production on a scale well beyond anything we’d ever attempted before. Everyone involved was extremely proud of how it came together, and we were devastated when, for a variety of reasons, we were unable to capture it professionally for a theatrical or commercial release. As a “plan B” of sorts, early last year we released a massive 405gb free download of raw HD footage captured at three different shows during the tour. The idea was to get the footage out in the wild and see what our notoriously enterprising fans could do with it. There were no rules. No strings attached. This was a gift, and an experiment, and for the past year we’ve watched it come to life in more ways than we could have ever imagined. … This is yet another example of a devoted fanbase and a policy of openness combining to fill in blanks left by old media barriers. The entire NIN camp is absolutely thrilled that treating our fans with respect and nurturing their creativity has led to such an overwhelming outpour of incredible content, and that we now have such a high quality souvenir from our most ambitious tour ever. Or, as Trent simply put it, “Nine Inch Nails fans kick ass.”

And there’s still more to come. An “Extras” disc containing “behind the scenes footage, alternative visuals, interviews and a lot more” is scheduled for release on January 25th.

Another Version Of The Truth: The Gift download page from This One Is On Us.

  • massta

    Great News..  Can't wait to see what they do next.

  • batchass

    this is the future! nin rocks!!!

  • Tom

    I don't get this.

    "we were devastated when, for a variety of reasons, we were unable to capture it professionally" but "we released a massive 405gb free download of raw HD footage"

    Right so, there is footage, which needs editing. So you hire an editor for a decent wage … or you 'crowd source' it for free.

    In the design industry there's already a backlash against companies that mix marketing with free loading – another blog got into deep doo doo for advocating such a scheme. The 'crowd' is wising up – and needs to wise up that free work for corporates is not a equal exchange.

    They've got enough money. Pay a damn editor.

  • Jaymis Loveday

    @Tom: If they were going to use it for a commercial release, or if NIN had made some "competition" for people to remix it, then I'm definitely with you there. Design competitions and remix competitions are utterly played out, and generally seem to me like cynical attempts to get cheap marketing or work done.

    However, there were no strings or instructions attached to the NIN footage release. Fans just took the material and ran with it.

    Also, I think that having raw, multi-camera concert footage out there is an absolutely fantastic resource, and there needs to be more of it.

  • azxtlx

    "Even if you’re not a fan, the Lights In The Sky setup is required viewing for visualists."

    …strongly agree.  I'm not particularly interested in NIN music- but I was at the Vegas show- and there were a half a dozen times where the band's interaction with the projected video was unlike anything I've ever seen

  • Cort3x

    Alright, so I'm strongly tempted to convince my bro into watching the PS3 version with me on his system, even though we're not fans of NIN, just a couple of guys with audiovisual interests and hobbies.

    However, can anyone tell me whether the sound in the concert videos is outboard, or whether it has been recorded by cameras mics or similar in the crowd? Because, however good the recording gear, I tend to think that stuff that has been recorded this way sounds pretty awful. Outboard recording from the mixer, please… If the video has audio that has been recorded as to capture the acoustics of the concert area, I don't think I can bear watching it for more than some minutes at a time, awesome visuals and songs or not.



    (Excuse me if I've misused some technical terms – English is not my first language, and I'm no stage technician.)

  • Jaymis Loveday

    @Cort3x: Yep, professional audio mix from the desk. It sounds awesome.

  • Sin-R8

    Does anyone know if the "Extras" were released yet?  I didn't see it on there download page and I've been craving it since I watched the first disc.