Around the World in OKGO
February 11, 2016 7:43 AM   Subscribe

 
Wow.

I don't know which part I love better, the zero-G acrobatic flight attendants or the zillion floating disco balls. Well done, gentlemen.
posted by Gelatin at 7:50 AM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I love this so much. People doing fun things that bring joy to other people is the best thing.

But it's "free fall", not "zero gravity" and I am a big giant nerd.
posted by bondcliff at 7:52 AM on February 11, 2016 [15 favorites]


the paint balloons at the end is what sealed this for me. How fun does that look!
posted by INFJ at 7:53 AM on February 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


I was going to save this for later because I'm at work, but reading the words "zillion floating disco balls" has made me say "fuck it, I'll just put headphones on."
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 7:57 AM on February 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


I have had a lot of fun in my life, but I am now sad that I may never have THIS much fun.
posted by 256 at 8:00 AM on February 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Is there a making-of anywhere? They only have 30 seconds at a time in the parabolic arcs, I think, so the coordination and the editing must have just been crazy.
posted by damayanti at 8:01 AM on February 11, 2016 [9 favorites]


I love starting a day off with an OK Go video. =)
posted by curious nu at 8:01 AM on February 11, 2016


There's been several recent posts about space exploration where the inevitable topic of why spend money for rockets when there are starving babies come up. Well this link needs to be posted in every lame jaded "why space" forum post.


Going into outer SPACE TO HAVE FUN!!


and science
posted by sammyo at 8:02 AM on February 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


The only thing that might be better than the video itself is the "making-of" account.

Amazing!
posted by Hellgirl at 8:02 AM on February 11, 2016 [13 favorites]


Jesus lord, in one take?? There must be a lot of tedium involved in something like this, but it looks so worth it.

The effects of zero gravity, and the double gravity you feel just before and after the weightless periods, can make people very nauseated. A lot of our crew got sick; over the 21 flights, there were 58 puke events. Luckily, this was a group of very committed adventurers, so we all soldiered through and eventually got accustomed to the crazy sensations.

Ok, there's the not fun part.
posted by Huck500 at 8:03 AM on February 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


How do I make it play?
posted by Rock Steady at 8:04 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


This is incredible. In an interview one time I saw the lead singer of Coheed and Cambria say that all their concept albums would work better as a comic book series, but he was a better musician than comic book artist so he just kept writing songs til they were a big enough deal that he could parlay it into a comic book series. I'm pretty sure the same thing is basically true of OK GO and music videos.
posted by DynamiteToast at 8:04 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


How do I make it play?


It didn't show up for me in Safari, but worked fine in chrome.
posted by Huck500 at 8:06 AM on February 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


See, now that's a creative endeavor I can get behind. Fully original and totally awesome.
posted by grumpybear69 at 8:07 AM on February 11, 2016


Huck500: "It didn't show up for me in Safari with Adblock and Ghostery on, but worked fine in chrome with just adblock."
Turns out that it's actually a Facebook video (!) embedded on their web page.
posted by brokkr at 8:10 AM on February 11, 2016


Neat stuff. I watched with the sound off but 90% of OK Go is the visuals anyway. I can't actually remember a single song of their off the top of my head but I remember their videos.
posted by octothorpe at 8:16 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


They only have 30 seconds at a time in the parabolic arcs, I think, so the coordination and the editing must have just been crazy.

Here's an interview on how they made it.
posted by mayonnaises at 8:16 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


"But it's 'free fall' not 'zero gravity' and I am a giant big nerd."

According to General Relativity, those are the same thing.
posted by biogeo at 8:18 AM on February 11, 2016 [8 favorites]


Turns out that it's actually a Facebook video (!) embedded on their web page.

Heh. That explains it -- FB is blocked at work. I found it embedded here and that worked just fine, in case anyone else has similar problems.

I love the OK GO boys messing around, but it was the "flight attendants" who were obviously trained professional dancers who were the real revelation. Just a hint of what zero-g dance might look like, but it was really phenomenal.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:19 AM on February 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


According to General Relativity, those are the same thing.

I'm unfamiliar with that band, sorry.
posted by bondcliff at 8:20 AM on February 11, 2016 [19 favorites]


it was the "flight attendants" who were obviously trained professional dancers who were the real revelation

Oh wow, interesting bit from the "Making-Of":
Tatyana Martynova and Anastasia Burdina, our S7 air hostesses, are trained aerialist acrobats. It was quite a challenge to figure out what type of performers would be best to work with in these very unusual circumstances. We considered several types of acrobats, dancers, gymnasts, and swimmers, because each of those fields has some overlap with the set of skills we thought we’d need. In the end, the pair of aerialists we chose were perfect for a few reasons. First, the routines they are trained to do usually involve a lot of very fast spinning in circles, meaning that they’ve developed incredible vestibular systems (the bodily system for balance). [...] Second, they really know how to control their bodies using only their own strength and balance. Gymnasts push off the floor and swimmers push against the water, but aerialists have very little to push off of, so they develop incredible skills just using inertia and balance. Third, Tatyana and Anastasia were already friends and were great at working together and coming up with their own ideas. Since so much of our process is about experimenting with things and stumbling into new ideas along the way, we were excited to find a pair of performers who could jump right in, experiment together,and help us come up with the ideas. The coolest tricks they do are all moves that they came up with themselves, or with the help of our incredible Cosmonaut Trainers.
posted by Rock Steady at 8:30 AM on February 11, 2016 [15 favorites]


I remember when he was only Colonel Relativity.
posted by Greg_Ace at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


Yeah their spinning ring move they do I don't know about 2/3rds of the way through the video made me gleeful and the grace with the falling spirals (for lack of a better term) they did before that was amazeballs (I hardly use that word, but given the number of balls in this video, I think its totally appropriate today)
posted by drewbage1847 at 8:36 AM on February 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


That guy in red looks really sick throughout.
posted by Lord_Pall at 8:39 AM on February 11, 2016


Do I want to know how much it cost to rent a white-interior plane that is capable of doing free fall (don't you need a special type of plane for that?) with one of the goals being to splatter paint everywhere?
posted by INFJ at 8:41 AM on February 11, 2016


My guess is that the airline (correctly) viewed this one as a worthwhile part of the ad budget.
posted by brennen at 8:49 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Ok, there's the not fun part.

And now you know why NASA called their version "The Vomit Comet."
posted by eriko at 8:49 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


there were 58 puke events.
posted by sammyo at 8:55 AM on February 11, 2016


The balloons were filled with puke.
posted by DynamiteToast at 9:03 AM on February 11, 2016 [4 favorites]


And you can, too!
posted by MrMoonPie at 9:05 AM on February 11, 2016


don't you need a special type of plane for that?

The trick is the plane has to fly parabolic coursei.e. very steep climbs followed by very steep descents...lather, rinse, repeat. Here is a video of an Airbus A300 performing that kind of flight (sorry the video is in French and the flight starts around the 3 minute mark). S7 Airlines flies mostly A319/A320/A321 which are smaller planes than the A300.

I won't pretend to have comprehensive knowledge of all aircrafts but presumably any plane that can sustain the step climbs and steep descents can give its occupants the sensation of zero-g.
posted by mmascolino at 9:29 AM on February 11, 2016


I've taken people flying in my propeller-driven plane and offered to let them enjoy brief periods of weightlessness. Kids are usually more into it than the adults.
posted by exogenous at 9:35 AM on February 11, 2016


How do I make it play?

For me, this involved finding it on YouTube.
posted by flabdablet at 9:35 AM on February 11, 2016 [5 favorites]


Man, I wish synchronized floating was a sport now.
posted by divabat at 9:48 AM on February 11, 2016


Man, I wish synchronized floating was a sport now.

Just wait til the 2028 Tycho Base Olympics!
posted by Gelatin at 9:55 AM on February 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


that was awesome! I love OKGO's videos. I wouldn't listen to those songs without the videos though, but they're great!
posted by numaner at 10:15 AM on February 11, 2016


I couldn't get it to play in any browser due to it being a Facebook embed, and I have various plugins such as Disconnect keeping Facebook out of non-Facebook pages. If you have the same trouble, go to their Facebook page and you can play it there. Impressive video, pretty good music.
posted by Hot Pastrami! at 10:18 AM on February 11, 2016


Yeah, it's fun to watch the times where they weren't quite in freefall - the balls all collecting on the floor and to the sides of the plane, for example, while in zero-gravity they would keep noodling around. On the other hand, that was clearly planned so that they could have discrete prop events; they knew exactly when they wanted the balls to stop and the disco part to begin, and then when they wanted THAT to stop and the paint to begin. That's some cool planning and it's invisible unless you look at the previous props hanging out on the floor of the plane.
posted by chainsofreedom at 10:48 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Must have been some tricky editing to cut out the positive-G climbs while still getting everything to flow correctly.
posted by ckape at 11:05 AM on February 11, 2016


OH COME ON. My band did a video with forward and backward work and it took us all day and was so worth it, but then I watch this and I'm like "I can't compete."

I love this video so much. The piñatas? The paint? And especially the aerialists? I mean, come on, that is awesome.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:41 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


*also they're better musicians than us. I mean, WTF.
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:41 AM on February 11, 2016


Man, I wish synchronized floating was a sport now.
You mean, like this?
posted by MrMoonPie at 11:44 AM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Yeah, those dancers must have some SERIOUS core strength - pay attention around 1:48 while they remain standing during one of the double gravity sections.

In HEELS, no less.
posted by Paladin1138 at 11:53 AM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I tried to gif the insane acrobat circle move. Didn't quite nail it, but it does capture some of the madness of this thing.
posted by gwint at 12:06 PM on February 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


Great video.
If only the song was good...
posted by enjoymoreradio at 12:29 PM on February 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


From the RedBull interview, about planning in time with the weightless parts of the flight:
Kulash: We also came up with a system for doing a single take over eight parabolas. In each flight you have 15 parabolas and in each parabola you have 20 seconds of double gravity, then 50 seconds of weightlessness and few minutes of setting it all up again. So to make it one take, we took eight of these in a row over 40-45 minutes.

Sie: We also we slowed our playback of the song down a bit (28.5 percent, to be exact) and performed each portion of the dance a little slower. This way, the 21 seconds of song fit neatly into the 27 seconds of weightlessness. [The duration of the parabolas can't be changed.]
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:31 PM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Oh, and better more specific on the timing, from their making-of FAQ:
The video is a single take, but there is some time removed to make that possible.

The longest period of weightlessness that it is possible to achieve in these circumstances is about 27 seconds, and after each period of weightlessness, it takes about five minutes for the plane to recover and prepare for then next round. Because we wanted the video to be a single, uninterrupted routine, we shot continuously over the course of 8 consecutive weightless periods, which took about 45 minutes, total. We paused our actions, and the music, during the non-weightless periods, and then cut out these sections and smoothed over each transition with a morph.

You can spot the moments in the video when we skip ahead in time because they are points when gravity briefly returns. This happens at 0:46, 1:06, 1:27, 1:48, 2:09, 2:30, and 2:50.

You might notice that these moments aren’t 27 seconds apart. That’s because the song moves in musical sections that are a little less than 21 seconds long, and it was important to us that the punctuations of gravity in our routine work musically with the song. To fit the 27-second periods weightlessness into 21-second sections of music, we performed our routine slightly slower than what you see here (the song is normally 92.5 BPM, and we performed it at 72 BPM), and later sped up the footage (28.47%) to bring it back up to normal speed.

Before and after each period of weightlessness, there is a roughly 20-second stretch when it feels like there’s increased gravity. These are most easily understood as the periods when the plane is throwing everyone up out of their seats into weightlessness, and then catching them again when it ends. (For a better explanation of parabolic flight, see the link above) In this video, the first scene, in which we sit waiting and then do the goofy laptop dance, was performed while we were experiencing double gravity, just before the beginning of the first weightless section. The first round of weightlessness hits at about 0:26, and you can see us all lift a little in our chairs when double gravity gives way to zero gravity. You can also see double gravity at the end of the video. When the last weightless period ends, at 3:20, the paint we’ve splattered all over the plane comes raining down with double force as we are all pressed into our seats.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:38 PM on February 11, 2016 [3 favorites]


I suffer from sympathetic nausea enough to know when someone's trying to hold it in. They were trying to hold it in, and oh man I am so queasy right now.
posted by mudpuppie at 12:38 PM on February 11, 2016


Jaw droppingly fun, what a glimpse of space choreography. It's all really cool, but those paint balloon bursts are triumphant.

I'd heard enough about the way these flights work to watch out for them periodically heading for the seats, but it's pretty interesting to go back with the list of time codes and see them scrabbling to land each other. The fact that the women just stand for one of the climbs is nuts.
posted by lucidium at 1:01 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I tried to gif the insane acrobat circle move. Didn't quite nail it, but it does capture some of the madness of this thing.

I am seriously having a hard time wrapping my brain around the fact that that really happened and was not a special effect.
posted by Rock Steady at 1:12 PM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


Nice video (shame about the song).

I couldn't watch it in my main Chrome browser, due to various anti-infoleak blockers. I've taken to having a Firefox install set to start up in incognito (or whatever FF calls it) mode, which I just use to paste links into from Chrome when this or that link fails to load. I don't have any personal info on that second browser and have never logged into anything on it, so it keeps my inner paranoid a little happier.
posted by Devonian at 1:14 PM on February 11, 2016


I suffer from sympathetic nausea enough to know when someone's trying to hold it in. They were trying to hold it in, and oh man I am so queasy right now.

The guy in the red was especially prone. Oof.
posted by chainsofreedom at 2:38 PM on February 11, 2016


I dunno if they're ever gonna top the one with the car, which is I think also one of their better songs as a song, but this was pretty rad.

It seems to me like they get kind of a bad rap on the songwriting just 'cause the video stuff is so out front. I'd go see 'em play, anyhow.
posted by brennen at 2:42 PM on February 11, 2016 [6 favorites]


I always want to hate on and be super annoyed by OKGO with their twee little outfits and their precious concept videos and their not-really-very-good songs, but god damn if they don't win me over pretty much every time. This is fucking delightful.
posted by dersins at 3:15 PM on February 11, 2016 [10 favorites]


I could watch OK GO videos all day long.
posted by rabbitrabbit at 4:02 PM on February 11, 2016


Great video.
If only the song was good...


That is my reaction to every one of these. Can't they just give up the pretense of being a band and devote themselves to being experimental filmmakers? They are so much better at that part, and it is where the joy seems to be.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:38 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


I didn't see it linked above, but their ad for a Chinese furniture company is one of my favorites.
posted by bradf at 6:42 PM on February 11, 2016 [2 favorites]


Oh, god, I'm gonna be such a wet blanket here and say that, like, it's OK, but isn't also kind of cheating to have filmed it in *actual* weightlessness? I'd much have preferred something cooked up by Michel Gondry that looked that good but then left me scratching my head for days wondering how the heck he did it. Like this.
posted by Insert Clever Name Here at 6:46 PM on February 11, 2016 [1 favorite]


I wonder how much these insanely expensive concept videos translate into album or download sales? Because the kind of cheery late-90s alt-pop-rock that OKGO do wasn't really a moneyspinner back then, and it sure isn't now. It's like they're a one-hit wonder, except the 'hit' is a kookily elaborate video that they remake every year. The song itself is interchangeable - all you remember is "oh it's those guys with the treadmills/car/colorful bouncy balls/antigravity/sharks with frickin' laser beams."

I mean you could put "Smooth" to this video and everyone would lose their minds.
posted by prismatic7 at 11:16 PM on February 11, 2016


Correction: You could put "Mambo No. 5" to this video and everyone would lose their minds TWICE.
posted by prismatic7 at 11:17 PM on February 11, 2016


"One take but with cuts" seems like cheating. Like you could redo a scene and then cut it out, as long as you film everything in chronological order.
posted by smackfu at 4:46 AM on February 12, 2016


smackfu, once you get to the paintballs, it seems like you're pretty much committed. It must have taken a week to clean the plane after that.
posted by scolbath at 8:35 AM on February 12, 2016


I understand that taste is relative, but I don't really get why people are generally so negative about OK Go's music. I went to see them play at a small venue in Baltimore last year, not expecting much, and it turned out to be one of the best live shows I've ever attended. The music is catchy, the guys in the band are personable and funny, they're all talented musicians, and they manage to capture a certain amount of the visual gimmickry of the videos in the live show -- lots of confetti, black light effects, scrim, and other fun. We were on the floor, and were the only 30-40-somethings surrounded by a mass of 18-21s, but we still managed to have a super time. I'd see them again in a heartbeat.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:48 AM on February 12, 2016 [3 favorites]


WOW! Watching it again and knowing where the cuts (er... morphs) are is totally amazing! If you know when to look, you can totally see where gravity cuts back in, but the transitions are completely seamless. Extra points for the guitarist (the plainly nauseous dude in red) barely getting back to his seat at the end of the video as double gravity kicks in.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 10:54 AM on February 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


What an age, where a band is more famous for their videos than their music.
#nohate
posted by Theta States at 12:38 PM on February 12, 2016


What an age, where a band is more famous for their videos than their music.

Eh - Devo did it first.
posted by YAMWAK at 12:53 PM on February 12, 2016 [1 favorite]


Not to mention every band during the first, say, five years of MTV.
posted by Ben Trismegistus at 1:35 PM on February 12, 2016


There's a seven minute long behind-the-scenes of the last day of shooting over here.
posted by flatluigi at 12:01 PM on February 15, 2016 [1 favorite]


That making-of video is so great, especially for the last shot, where one of the band members says something to the effect of, "Who knows what OK GO is going to do over the next ten years," and I'm pretty sure there was a brief flash of terror on his face as he thought about what that might mean.
posted by Rock Steady at 2:25 PM on February 15, 2016 [2 favorites]


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