OK Go knows no limits in its zero gravity music video
Rock band OK Go is no stranger to creative and borderline crazy music videos. The band has proved that their artistic abilities have no boundaries through filming a one-shot video entirely on treadmills, creating a larger-than-life Rube Goldberg machine and now filming a music video entirely in the air, completely weightless.
Courtesy of S7 Airlines, OK Go was able to shoot the video for their song “Upside Down & Inside Out” from their senior album Hungry Ghosts while flying.
Directed by lead singer Damian Kulash and Co-director Trish Sie, the video features the band in zero gravity while sending laptops, colorful balls and balloons filled with paint, hurdling through the cabin of the airplane.
Kulash explained in a behind-the-scenes look, the band posted on YouTube, that a parabolic flight pattern is what makes the weightlessness possible.
“On each parabola what you feel is 20 seconds of double gravity while the plane is throwing you into the air then you feel weightless for about 27 seconds while you go up over the top then kind of sail back toward the ground,” Kulash said. “Then at the bottom, the plane catches you again, and you feel 20 more seconds of double gravity.”
The group was sent to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center in Moscow for a week-long rehearsal to see if the video they were looking for was possible to create.
The song was broken into eight 27-second periods of weightlessness, cutting out the four to five minutes of cruising the airplane needed to regain altitude.
In the behind the scenes, Sie said that the timing is the most important part of the video in order for it all to flow properly.
“When we were about five seconds away from zero gravity, the pilot would signal our cosmonaut trainer,” Sie said. “The cosmonaut trainer would signal the audio playback guy, Roman, and Roman would start sort of a count off to the correct section of the song, and then we would sit perfectly still, and no one would move until we heard the music. When the music started, we would launch into the correct section of our routine that corresponded with that section of our routine.”
OK Go faced many new elements and obstacles that came with this creative rendition.
“Over the course of 21 flights, we had about 58 unscheduled regurgitations,” bassist Tim Nordwind said behind the scenes.
Because most of the band had not dealt with this newfound feeling of weightlessness, some members had to medicate themselves routinely in order to continue filming.
“The band members were on pretty intense anti-nausea medication,” Sie said.
It took eight attempts to create the final video for “Thunderdome,” which was released on YouTube Feb. 13.