As if this wasn’t obvious enough after “The Writing’s On the Wall,” “I Won’t Let You Down” or “This Too Shall Pass” (although the Rube Goldberg video is incredible, we’re more fond of the version for band geeks), the latest video from OK Go shows that we should just crown them the kings of all video making.
The band has turned most all of their music videos into brilliant pieces of performance art that combine technology, ingenuity and creativity into visual masterpieces. The band’s latest video, “Upside Down and Inside Out,” cements this further. The video was released today on the band’s Facebook page, and we have A LOT to talk about. First off, though, watch it for yourself:
Crazy, right? So let’s break this down. From the beginning, we get this disclaimer, preparing us for the one-take wonder that’s coming.
No wires, green screen? We take that into account when we see the guys sitting in an airplane, banging on laptops.
It’s here, at about 25 seconds in, that we start seeing the gimmick. Dude throws a laptop, and it hovers in the air. Then tablets, and a magazine.
It’s here, at about 37 seconds in, that shit gets REAL. Singer Damian Kulash, Jr., defies all the rules about moving around the cabin when he floats out of his chair.
The rest of the band joins in, and as can be expected in an OK Go video, props get involved.
Oh look! Helpers!
So what’s the trick? How are they doing this with no green screen, wires or Wingardium Leviosa spells?
The band worked with Russian-based S7 Airlines to film in an airplane specifically built to simulate zero gravity. Wikipedia has a lot of great information about how this works. In a nutshell, the plane is going up and down steeply, like ocean waves. During the descent, the speed and direction create an environment that simulates a lack of gravity. When the plane is pitching back up, the force of gravity is about twice as strong.
Those phases can be seen in the video, especially when band members open suitcases filled with all sorts of balls.
As the video progresses, there are parts where you can see all the balls fall to the ground, and the people appear to stand and sit normally. There’s one part where the attendants are sitting on the ground, then reveal themselves to be aerial acrobats with this beautiful stunt.
The back and forth is further demonstrated when balloons of paint are popped.
The paint globules float like the Klingon blood in “Star Trek 6,” then fall to the floor like rain when the gravity returns.
This appears to be done all in one take, and if that’s accurate, that is IMPRESSIVE BEYOND BELIEF. To make this video, band members had to be able to physically withstand all those G-forces and still nail their choreography — including timing certain actions to moments when gravity vanished. Rolling Stone reported that they were required to take three weeks of training in preparation.
And while the video was shot in only one take, it can’t be the only take. How’d they clean up all the paint between takes? Thinking about all the production details, just to capture this visual beauty, boggles me.
Well done, OK Go. Here’s your crown and scepter.