Yesterday I randomly found out about a NIN fan project entitled “The Gift” from the fan group This One is On Us/Another Version of the Truth. What this is, is a a full length concert video created from over 450 gigabytes (GB) of video footage shot from HD cameras by the NIN crew that was released by NIN.com to see what their fans would produce. The end result is a full length concert video containing 32 songs, 5.1 surround sound, and released in a variety of formats (including a single layer Blu-Ray). All variations are available via BitTorrent downloading for free. Just to be clear, the video is professionally shot, the completed Blu-Ray/DVD/video files are fan made from that video.
To get an idea of what it looks like, you can view it on YouTube in HD (720 and 1080 resolutions) here. I recommend one of my favorite tunes, The Hand That Feeds, because a lot of people recognize this song (from Rock Band if nothing else).
This is extremely cool for a number of reasons. First and foremost is that the NIN crew gave the rough, uncut video away for free. All it cost you was the time to download it. This shows that Trent Reznor is still looking at changing the way bands and music fans think about music and band/fan interaction. Reznor trusts his fans to do good by his good will and they continually show that they will. It is also important to note that other fan-made videos and DVDs have been made from the video data supplied by NIN, this project is just a group effort by one set of fans. This is also cool because of the fact that it is so well done. You feel like you’re watching something professionally done by some people sitting around in a video studio cutting/editing video. The sound is fantastic and the overall experience of watching the video is great (assuming you like Nine Inch Nails). Finally, the fact that this video is available for free to anyone that wants to download it, just shows that if a band trusts their fans, they can do wonderful promotion for your band. Nine Inch Nails gave their community the video, and in return got a lovely concert video that many people will download, show to their friends and say “this was cut and edited together by fans, not the band” and that is going to speak volumes to those watching it.
I’m not the largest NIN fan, I’ve said that here several times. But what they’re doing with projects like this is important, its showing that you can do things on your own, without large record label backing you. Also it’s showing that the idea of free in music can lead to wonderful things. Both NIN and the people who put work into this “Gift” should be given a round of applause.