His Disney-fied A Christmas Carol may have opened to big bucks last weekend, but it seems like Jim Carrey might be angling for roles more akin to Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland. His new site, jimcarrey.com was submerged in a flood of clicks late last week as fans and haters spouted off about the creepy-beautiful experience that's as visually bizarre as a Magritte painting and as flat-out weird as Monty Python.
The site is the brainchild of 65 Media, and although they'd worked on sites for Carrey films like the The Truman Show and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, this one was different from the beginning, says founder and CCO Albin Reif. "In this case we were going into the mind of the genius." 65 Media presented Carrey with several concepts, one of them being this visually-driven idea that instantly resonated with Carrey. "He opened up his world to us," says Reif, giving the team full access to his archives of personal photos, both of himself and his family. The "Origins" page is made up of photos from his childhood and very, very embarrassingly-early footage of stand-up shows.
Using full-screen video allowed the designers to create cinematic-quality imagery, meaning moving between the pages upheaves the entire world as the characters, structures and creatures compress into a wormhole-like tunnel into another scene. Nearly everything on the site animates, or employs some kind of sound design, and result is a unique convergence of visual delight and raw personality. "We think it's the first of its kind," says Reif. "It's a portrait of a person that allows users to interact with the inner thoughts of a brilliant actor."
On each page there's a way for fans to plug directly into Carrey's current consciousness: That spray of words being spit out by the Jim Carrey head on the body of a bird is his Twitter stream, which you can watch as it's tweeted word-by-word, then evaporates into space. Or, wait long enough and you'll see a man with antlers for a head leap out of the ground and snap a photo. If you're nimble enough to click the figure in mid-hop, you'll be rewarded with a Polaroid-type shot: Carrey's commentary on the paparazzi.
And that eye? That creepy, unblinking eye that displays his biography (yes, click "biography," rendered in vein-type). That's really Jim Carrey's eye you're staring into.
One more Easter egg we just have to give away, but we won't tell you where it is (hint: click on the smokestacks, then the skull's eye). There's actually a hell-on-Earth parallel universe to the site, where you can find a video of a surgery being performed on Carrey, with Carrey himself narrating the procedure. Gross! Were these little touches Carrey's idea? "He definitely wanted to show his dark side," says Reif. Okay, Carrey's succeeded in convincing us he's not disappearing into some Eddie Murphy-like Disney retirement. But forget Tim Burton, somebody let Carrey direct!