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But how many dog treats did it take?
September 21, 2010 11:45 AM   Subscribe

What does four weeks, 124 takes, 12 trainers, two furniture movers, 12 dogs, one goat, 38 buckets and a bunch of furniture equal? OK Go's new video White Knuckles, all shot in one single take. A behind the scenes look at the video here.
posted by MaryDellamorte (94 comments total) 19 users marked this as a favorite

 
Well trained animals doing synchronized dancing for my amusement.

The dogs are cute too.
posted by keratacon at 11:52 AM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Oh. I see. It's an Ikea commercial.
posted by schmod at 11:53 AM on September 21, 2010 [8 favorites]


That song makes me want to listen to some old Prince records. Early Revolution era, none of this New Power Generation nonsense.
posted by adipocere at 11:55 AM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I said it when that record came out, and I'll say it again: They need to be writing Prince some royalty checks, especially on that song.
posted by jbickers at 11:58 AM on September 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


It would be funny to find someone who really liked OK Go's music. Like not just thought it was sort of ok. Really liked it.
posted by I Foody at 12:00 PM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


This video is a step down for them, honestly.
posted by reductiondesign at 12:01 PM on September 21, 2010


I'm just not seeing the "rolled-up white pants with no socks" look taking off any time soon.
posted by Thorzdad at 12:01 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm worried about when OK Go starts running out of ideas for things to do in one take and resort to throwing babies out of airplanes or something.
posted by shakespeherian at 12:02 PM on September 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


Bah, you gave away the goat! Way to spoil the ending
posted by Think_Long at 12:05 PM on September 21, 2010


I Foody: I really like their music. Like, I listen to it without the silly videos. Often. This one, I think, is weak sauce. It actively makes it hard to listen to the song, which is a good song. The two videos for "This Too Shall Pass" didn't do that, to their credit. Otherwise, the videos for this album have not been remarkable for anything but exploting various technical gimmicks.

I love the album though.
posted by rusty at 12:05 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm worried excited about when OK Go starts running out of ideas for things to do in one take and resort to throwing babies out of airplanes or something.
posted by cmoj at 12:05 PM on September 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


They always get an "A" for effort in my book. It's obvious that a lot of time and patience went into making this video, as with every video they make. But even with the 95% perfect execution they achieved here, it still falls short of the "This Too Shall Pass" Rube Goldberg video. The two were probably of comparable difficulty to pull off, but that one had a lot more whiz-bang than this. I guess my point is, when you set the bar too high, even the highest jumps aren't high enough anymore. Not that they should all quit trying, but what's really left to jump over, once you've jumped the shark?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:08 PM on September 21, 2010


They're determined to find the moment when something they do really well that's really awesome becomes tiresome and despised due to repetition.

In the days of vaudeville, they could have done an act like this for a decade. Now its lifespan is approximately that of a mayfly.
posted by Astro Zombie at 12:08 PM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


I love their music and I love their previous videos (I made the first OK Go post to mefi way back before youtube existed) but this one feels oddly weak. I kept seeing people on twitter say it was "full of awesome" but it's about one-quarter full of awesome, honestly.
posted by mathowie at 12:11 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Awesome production. I hear that the youtube sound destruction algorithm is still in use. That had a lot of that crackling, nasty distortion that so many Youtube content providers are complaining about.
posted by bz at 12:11 PM on September 21, 2010


Unpopular opinion time: These guys should give the music a rest and just focus on videos for a while. It's obviously their calling.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:11 PM on September 21, 2010 [3 favorites]


Also, maybe part of the problem is how tired they look and how focused they are on getting everything right. Without ease or (rehearsed) spontaneity a lot of joy is sucked out of the finished product. Of course, it really wouldn't be possible to do that with this concept, without a ton of CGI and editing tricks.
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 12:12 PM on September 21, 2010 [4 favorites]


What does four weeks, 124 takes, 12 trainers, two furniture movers, 12 dogs, one goat, 38 buckets and a bunch of furniture equal?

The Aristocrats!


(seriously this is just a circus act what's the big deal)
posted by naju at 12:12 PM on September 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


Maybe I'm too cynical, but I doubt it was shot in a single take and not subject to skilled digital editing. It was even shot in front of a blue screen!
posted by exogenous at 12:12 PM on September 21, 2010


Maybe I'm too cynical, but I doubt it was shot in a single take and not subject to skilled digital editing. It was even shot in front of a blue screen!

Wouldn't be the first time.
posted by 2bucksplus at 12:15 PM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


Glass half full vs. Glass half empty people
Glass one quarter full of awesome vs. Glass three quarters full of meh people
posted by Babblesort at 12:17 PM on September 21, 2010


Imagine how good an OK Go produced video of a Lady Gaga song would be.
posted by oddman at 12:18 PM on September 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


This isn't going to be as positive as the EN thread, is it?

Saw the video this morning UK time, as I was going through my Twitter stream, finishing off the coffee, with five minutes to go before hoofing off to catch the bus. I hold the default OK Go position - great videos, wallpaper music - but if you're holding out for a last burst of mild pleasure before the working day kicks in then a great video ain't so bad.

It wasn't a great video. There was one witty moment - the lab slipping the beardy one some paw, if I remember my animals aright - but otherwise it didn't go anywhere beyond the initial conceit. In fact, it left me feeling uneasy, and that's what sat with me as I sat on the bus.

Performing animals. They're not cool any more, are they? Even trained dogs, which one imagines are as happy doing their thing as dogs doing anything within their social systems are, seem somehow exploitative. (There's been some fuss about dogs recently here, with the BBC pulling out of Crufts - the UK's biggest dog show - because of questions over breeders selecting for fashion at the expense of the animals' health.)

Although if you're going to start worrying about exploitation in the music industry...
posted by Devonian at 12:21 PM on September 21, 2010


IT'S LIKE THEY MADE THIS JUST FOR ME!!!
posted by One-quarter Full of Awesome at 12:22 PM on September 21, 2010 [12 favorites]


Imagine how good an OK Go produced video of a Lady Gaga song would be.

Is this a reference I'd need a suit made of meat to understand?
posted by shakespeherian at 12:24 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


(seriously this is just a circus act what's the big deal)

Context. They're musicians, a pretty damn good power pop act. Not trained acrobats. The fact that they pulled it off and made us smile a little is pretty nifty.

There's a scene in a movie I know where a little boy sings the national anthem and murders it. Butchers it. No ability to handle a tune, the pitch is all off, and don't get me started on the fact he screwed up the words. But we give him a break because he's a little boy. He's not supposed to be able to sing "The Star Spangled Banner" all that well.

When people you don't expect to normally pull something off actually do it, it's kind of neat to see it done.
posted by grubi at 12:26 PM on September 21, 2010


Some of you people have hearts made of pure glacier ice.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 12:26 PM on September 21, 2010 [9 favorites]


OK Stop.
posted by The Ultimate Olympian at 12:26 PM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


These guys should give the music a rest and just focus on videos for a while.

That's kinda what they do now.
posted by jbickers at 12:28 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I, too, would like to state, for the record, that I am no longer amused by this thing that used to amuse me.
posted by bondcliff at 12:30 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I like their music. Sure, it's lightweight guitar pop but within that garbage-strewn field they're better than most, I reckon. And anyone who doesn't enjoy their videos must have a heart of stone.

That said, I'd like to see them do something using about a hundred takes next time. Just for the obviousness of it. Meanwhile, let us remember the way they were in simpler times (and simpler videos)...
posted by Decani at 12:32 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


What does four weeks, 124 takes, 12 trainers, two furniture movers, 12 dogs, one goat, 38 buckets and a bunch of furniture equal?

Another video of four guys working their shtick. They need to team up with Pomplamoose. They could all wear wax Nataly Dawn masks.
posted by pracowity at 12:35 PM on September 21, 2010


My favourite bit was the bit when the gorilla walked slowly across the screen from right to left.
posted by The Discredited Ape at 12:36 PM on September 21, 2010 [21 favorites]


Uponapesterical
posted by One-quarter Full of Awesome at 12:39 PM on September 21, 2010


Look at all of those good dogs! They're so good. I want to give them all treats.
posted by stoneweaver at 12:40 PM on September 21, 2010 [19 favorites]



I'm just not seeing the "rolled-up white pants with no socks" look taking off any time soon.
posted by Thorzdad


Hipsters have been doing it all summer in Vancouver. It's cute, aping ME circa 1986. Pop those collars too!

The best parts of getting older is the realization that retro fashion is an attempt to recapture something you did un-ironicly the first time around. That and the ability to enjoy OK Go videos without being cynical. And having kids to show them to.

Yay old people.
posted by Keith Talent at 12:44 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


Did you see the gorilla?
posted by bonehead at 12:48 PM on September 21, 2010


I liked it, and my kids liked it, but they did seem like they were concentrating and working hard--there's one scene where the four guys are all staring fixedly at something above the viewer's head as if waiting for a cue of some type to move on. Their other videos have been so playful, and the idea of this one was, too, but I felt like I could really see the effort.
posted by not that girl at 12:56 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Wow, that's impressive.
posted by carpenter at 12:57 PM on September 21, 2010


I have OK Go to thank for hours of entertaining my two-year-old toddlers. They LOVE the marching band version of "This Too Shall Pass" so much; if they see my laptop open, they yell, "Band! Band!" I haven't shown them this new one yet but given their affection for "doggwees" it could take over the #1 spot.

The music grows on you after hundreds of repeat viewings.
posted by candyland at 1:01 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


The dogs on the other hand look happy and relaxed throughout.
posted by not that girl at 1:02 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I liked it, and my kids liked it, but they did seem like they were concentrating and working hard--there's one scene where the four guys are all staring fixedly at something above the viewer's head as if waiting for a cue of some type to move on.

I was probably overthinking it, but I thought that was intentional -- they were trying to look just like the dogs who were doing the same thing with a trainer offscreen.
posted by malphigian at 1:02 PM on September 21, 2010 [6 favorites]


OK Wait For Your Cue
posted by One-quarter Full of Awesome at 1:05 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


I'm worried about when OK Go starts running out of ideas for things to do in one take and resort to throwing babies out of airplanes or something.

But what if the airplane..... is on a treadmill??
posted by inigo2 at 1:05 PM on September 21, 2010 [5 favorites]


This video lost me because they looked so focused on not making mistakes. It's sort of like a juggling act, or a summer popcorn movie. Making it look hard for the hero to succeed is good. Letting us see that you actually screwed it up the last 123 times and think you might screw it up this time takes some of the fun out.
posted by jhc at 1:05 PM on September 21, 2010


There's a moment at about 0:57 when two of the guys have looks on their faces like "Stonehenge..."
posted by swift at 1:07 PM on September 21, 2010


What breed of dog is the brown dog with the dark face at 0:58? I must have one.

Actually I think I need to go and get that particular dog and take him home. They're done with the video so he's free now, right?
posted by Space Coyote at 1:07 PM on September 21, 2010


Time passed and they kept rehearsing until there were only four days to go. It was time to film. It wasn't until take 49 when things clicked, dogs, band, and music all in perfect synchronization. It was on take 60 when new problem appeared: The dogs were doing it perfectly and enjoying it. But they were enjoying it so much that they started to do it faster than than the music. They had to correct that and, with just one day to go, everything really worked out for the first time

*heh* I've had exactly that problem with human actors doing musicals in community theater. They forget that there is actually a correct pace for things, and their excitement and familiarity with the piece overcomes them and they start accelerating everything. It can be hard to pull them back down to earth sometimes.
posted by hippybear at 1:08 PM on September 21, 2010


Letterman did it first
posted by not_on_display at 1:08 PM on September 21, 2010


I'm worried about when OK Go starts running out of ideas for things to do in one take and resort to throwing babies out of airplanes or something.

And even this has already been done. [warning: cute]
posted by quin at 1:08 PM on September 21, 2010 [2 favorites]


I love this.
posted by Joey Michaels at 1:15 PM on September 21, 2010


psssssst, peeps, they look focused because they're pretending their dogs
posted by liza at 1:23 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


psssssst, peeps, they look focused because they're pretending their dogs

Don't leave me in such great suspense! Pretending their dogs what?!
posted by zephyr_words at 1:31 PM on September 21, 2010 [10 favorites]


I liked this one. I also like the simplicity behind the video for WTF.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 1:33 PM on September 21, 2010


I thought it was fun, plus it gives hope to balding, pot-bellied wannabe musicians everywhere.
posted by mr_crash_davis mark II: Jazz Odyssey at 1:36 PM on September 21, 2010


OK Go away.
posted by timsteil at 1:44 PM on September 21, 2010


One-quarter Full of Awesome: "OK Wait For Your Cue"

I remember when I first saw the treadmill video. I had no idea what OK Go was and imagined that they were like an indie dance group or something. And I decided that "OK Go" was a kind of perfect name for what they were doing. Like, it's what I pictured someone whispering right after starting the camera.
posted by roll truck roll at 1:47 PM on September 21, 2010


I'm just not seeing the "rolled-up white pants with no socks" look taking off any time soon.

Boy are you wrong about this one.
posted by nathancaswell at 1:50 PM on September 21, 2010


I'll bet it was a lot easier to teach the routine to the dogs then to the musicians.
posted by jamaro at 1:52 PM on September 21, 2010


I'm just not seeing the "rolled-up white pants with no socks" look taking off any time soon.
posted by Thorzdad at 8:01 PM on September 21


Not always white, but it was big in the early eighties.

I hated the early eighties.
posted by Decani at 1:53 PM on September 21, 2010


Quin, that was the weirdest thing I intend to see all week.
posted by randomyahoo at 2:02 PM on September 21, 2010


Some of you people have hearts made of pure glacier ice.

Last night, the possibility that this a disease brought on by repeated visits to Metafilter was pointed out to me as a I issued a "meh" to the oh-so-terribly-tiresome and nearing passé idea of watching yet another trendy and fun OK Go video.

And I realized that if left unchecked, it would progress and eventually I would find myself criticizing free pancakes.

I watched the thing and had a good time, really.
posted by weston at 2:11 PM on September 21, 2010


"psssssst, peeps, they look focused because they're pretending their dogs"

Pretending their dogs are doing what?

You got the first one right and hosed the second one. They are pretending they are dogs = they're pretending they're dogs.
posted by PuppyCat at 2:14 PM on September 21, 2010


Pfft ... what? No cats?
posted by ericb at 2:15 PM on September 21, 2010


Guess what I'm pretending to be right now?
posted by One-quarter Full of Awesome at 2:19 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Less than one third full of awesome?
posted by The Winsome Parker Lewis at 2:23 PM on September 21, 2010


Close. But I'm typing in a European accent. So think metric units of awesome.
posted by One-quarter Full of Awesome at 2:28 PM on September 21, 2010


Umm, a litre full of awesome?
posted by not_on_display at 2:32 PM on September 21, 2010


Nicely done, but even though I believe that the looks of concentration were meant to emulate the dogs, and the song was reasonably catchy, it was insufficiently awesome. (And yeah, my first thought was, "What would happen if you locked 4 musicians and 12 dogs in an Ikea overnight?")

Still awesome:

- Dog from Hyperbole and a Half (not being featured in any videos any time soon)
- And speaking of Nataly Dawn, a non-Pamplamoose video that is pretty damn addictive, thanks to Lauren (starts a little slow, wait for the chorus)
posted by maudlin at 2:39 PM on September 21, 2010


I got to see something fun and imaginative for free. This makes me happy. Thank you. (no, I am not being sarcastic)
posted by quadog at 2:39 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


On the Internet, nobody knows you're [not] a dog metric fuckton of awesome.

assuming you're willing to ignore all evidence to the contrary
posted by One-quarter Full of Awesome at 2:46 PM on September 21, 2010


Anyone who thinks this isn't impressive has never tried to direct animals before. Maybe their next video should have choreographed three-year-olds, that's the only thing harder.
posted by fungible at 3:03 PM on September 21, 2010


It wasn't their best, but I went back and watched the Rube Goldberg one and the treadmill one, and I thought they were all a lot of fun.
posted by OmieWise at 3:24 PM on September 21, 2010


Wow. I had missed the marching band version of the This Too Shall Pass video. That was awesome! Even better (because more fun) than the Rube Goldberg one.
posted by OmieWise at 3:29 PM on September 21, 2010


If you don't like the music just switch it out like I did. I won't self-link here but it is in Projects (in the comments section because YouTube blocked the video and I had to put it somewhere else).
posted by mikepop at 3:37 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Anyone who thinks this isn't impressive has never tried to direct animals rock musicians before. Maybe their next video should have choreographed three-year-olds, that's the only thing harder.
I say this having just made a music video designed to be done in one take (although I ended up inserting some closeups, the main shot's all from the same take).

I kid because I love

although I'm not really kidding

posted by jtron at 3:53 PM on September 21, 2010


Wouldn't be the first time.

I thought I should watch the vid itself before watching this guy show the hidden cuts. Found 'This too shall pass' in the related vids, watched it, came out rather confused: I thought Rube Goldberg was the US Heath Robinson, but there was nothing Heath Robinson about it. Now I realise there are apparently two videos for that track. Bah! So I have to sit through that awful, trite, plodding, awful song again to see the Goldberg fun?* ... ok, I did it. Nice, but I think I prefer Honda's Cog; I found the band/camerawork a bit distracting from following the mechanisms in this one. I liked having the tv with the treadmill one on it, though (and the less annoying mix of the song).

As for the hidden cuts guy... heh, I really wanted him to answer that last question "yes"!

Anyway, back on topic, I liked the dogs, and that song was entirely bearable. But I think the variable speed video with the ducks and stuff is probably the best video from them I've seen.

* If you don't like the music just switch it out - until I'd watched it, I wasn't to know you lose (almost) nothing by muting it. Figured there might be a lot of stuff with lined-up timing.
posted by Slyfen at 4:03 PM on September 21, 2010


Performing animals. They're not cool any more, are they? Even trained dogs, which one imagines are as happy doing their thing as dogs doing anything within their social systems are, seem somehow exploitative.

Late to respond to this (MeFi wasn't shut down after minecraft?). Just a data point, but my dog is clearly happier working for treats than just being given them. Which is why we should really get him to agility training, because he would just adore it. Other animals, I agree, not so much, partly due to punishment/compliance, and partly because a dog's mindset is pretty uniquely eager to please, and to work for reward.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:50 PM on September 21, 2010


Screw you guys. That was fun. Those dogs looked like they had an absolute blast, and few things are more awesome than happy dogs.
posted by valkyryn at 4:53 PM on September 21, 2010


Oh, forgot about This Too Shall Pass. What I thought was a particularly great take is to make the repeated takes evident -- the broken tvs, the paint-splattered jumpsuits.

This was good, though.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:56 PM on September 21, 2010


Great concept, that is.
posted by Durn Bronzefist at 4:57 PM on September 21, 2010


> (seriously this is just a circus act what's the big deal)

To be fair, there are some pretty awesome circus acts.
posted by ardgedee at 5:51 PM on September 21, 2010


Tough crowd! Maybe I just love dogs too much but that made me laugh with delight! By the end with the dogs jumping in the air it was like The Muppet Show but Prince was the guest and the muppets were alive!!
posted by moxiedoll at 6:09 PM on September 21, 2010


"it was like The Muppet Show but Prince was the guest and the muppets were alive!!"
--moxiedoll

Sounds better than it probably was
.
posted by not_on_display at 6:49 PM on September 21, 2010


*faints*
posted by moxiedoll at 7:00 PM on September 21, 2010


My favourite part was when the music repeated itself over and over.
posted by Sys Rq at 7:22 PM on September 21, 2010


Where was the goat? I saw no goat.

I'm definitely a cat person, but I will readily acknowledge that this video would not be possible with felines.

And thanks for including the 'making of' video, because really, the whole video is a tease about what's happening off-camera.
posted by dry white toast at 8:13 PM on September 21, 2010


GOGGIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEES!



and that is all
posted by liza at 8:21 PM on September 21, 2010


Where was the goat? I saw no goat.

Right after the stop-n-go dog walking. It's on a leash.
posted by Sys Rq at 8:34 PM on September 21, 2010


Thank you, Sys Rq. I was thinking it was some obvious gorilla-in-a-basketball-game thing / "OK Go! inside joke thing" that I was missing, and replayed it a few times to see it. Didn't get it until your note.

In case anyone else needs a timestamp, it's at 2:50 in the video.
posted by Alt F4 at 8:38 PM on September 21, 2010


The dog hi-five did it for me.
posted by iamck at 11:03 PM on September 21, 2010 [1 favorite]


Doggies!

I like it! I'm interested in complex one-take shots, and I wuv doggies. They say most of the dog-actors were originally rescues, and they're bringing attention to adoptable dogs, plus they're raising money for the ASPCA. I think this is a good thing.
posted by taz at 6:53 AM on September 22, 2010


Trish rules. She just does.
posted by zoogleplex at 9:45 PM on September 22, 2010


Actually, I think OK Go should do a video like this with cats. Because if they can pull that off then the naysayers and the haters would be forced to admit that they are, indeed, gods amongst men.
posted by Decani at 3:49 PM on September 23, 2010


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