Band OK Go Takes the Idea of a Music Video to New Heights (Literally)

Ok Go is a band whose internet fame probably started with the music video for their song "Here It Goes Again." The brilliant part of that video is the production quality. It isn't your typical cinematic, beautifully lit, shallow depth of field aesthetic; it looks like a VHS tape from a family gathering in the 90s. The video gained its fame from the pure creativity involved. Since then, their videos have all shared one other quality that makes them so entertaining and captivating: they are all just a single take.

Last year, we covered their video for "The Writing Is On The Wall," which was a one-take masterpiece of optical illusions and splashes of color. While it certainly is impressive to create a video with that complicated of an idea in one take, OK Go took their newest video to another level entirely. 

The band's newest video, titled "Upside Down & Inside Out," has them performing the song during zero-gravity flight. While there are few details on the actual production, we can see in one of their teaser videos that the camera crew is huddled together at one end of the plane while the band sits at the other. 

​What may be even more ridiculous is the nature of the set they're shooting in. The plane in which the video was shot uses a series of steep, quick ascents and descents to create a zero-gravity environment as the it plummets towards the earth. On the ascent, the occupants are slammed towards the floor as effective gravity increases. What this means is that the whole performance had to be timed just right in order to keep the whole crew safe through the flight. If they were to take too long to finish a part of the performance, it would have likely been a disaster. 

Now, it could be multiple takes. Until we see more detailed BTS footage, we can't be sure it wasn't just clever cutting. The camera only moves a few times through the video, which would allow for easier cuts, unlike their past videos, in which splicing takes together would be next to impossible. On top of that, the timing of the zero-gravity sections doesn't seem consistent. Zero-gravity flight involves repeating periods of maneuvers lasting about 65 seconds, of which about 25 seconds are weightless. Regardless, the video is a true feat of film making and on-camera performance, and I commend OK Go for constantly pushing the limits with their videos.

What do you think: one take or multiple cuts? I sure would love to see how this video was made in a more detailed manner than their short 15-second teasers.  



Spencer Lookabaugh's picture

Spencer Lookabaugh is a lifestyle and portrait photographer located in Columbus, Ohio, as well as an employee of Midwest Photo Exchange. He is a firm believer in printing, shooting film and digital, and the power of photography. He also shoots landscape work in his spare time.

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It looks like one take, but the trick is filming at multiple speeds, and so at moments where they'd be finished early and gravity would return, they'd just freeze and fast-track it a minute until it ascended. Watch the other objects in the plane, they show when gravity returns or leaves, and it's all at a faster speed than normal.

Ok, found one cut when the yellow suitcase flies in front of the lens. But otherwise, pretty tight editing if there's more!

I think you're right Derek. At 1:25 the girls, especially the one on the left, walks off as if there's gravity and everyone else is stationary. At 1:43 the guys in red and blue look to have gravity helping them back to the chairs, and everyone else is getting very stationary. Just a few seconds later, before they release the balls, you can see the guys rise in their chairs and a computer at the very back of the plane leap off the floor, as if weightlessness had just returned.

There's also a time you can see the balls all fall to the floor and everyone is very grounded, and a time the disco balls fall to the floor with everyone very grounded.

Probably 4-5 separate intervals of weightlessness.

Very impressive.

It's so refreshing to see people still have creativity and IMAGINATION!

This is the best music video ever. I can't believe they keep outdoing themselves.