Monday, July 5, 2010

Ok, Go Be a Rube, Goldberg and End Love!

First of all, if you haven't seen the new Old Spice commercial, here it is:

Good stuff. Color me impressed.

Now that we've gotten that out of the way, let's talk about Ok Go. As a band, they're not bad. Their music is fun and catchy. Their music videos, however, are pure genius!

Most people got to know Ok Go when their "Here It Goes Again" treadmill video hit the web. Some got to know them beforehand with their simple, yet impressive, "A Million Ways" video. Well, the Ok Go gang is at it again with these visual masterpieces.

Here's the music video for "This Too Shall Pass:"

The original music video for this song was much simpler, mechanically, and featured the Notre Dame marching band and camouflage. It was done in one take, like many of their music videos, and it's pretty cool, but this new one just plain rocks! I mean, I always find Rube Goldberg machines (deliberately over-engineered machines that perform a very simple task in a very complex fashion) fascinating, but when you put that kind of machine to music, it takes it to a new level of awesome!

Ok Go got people from Syyn Labs and MIT to help construct the machine and they spent about $90,000 doing it! No computers or motors were used, just simple physics. They filled a two-story warehouse with a half-mile course of around 700 pieces. After two months of planning and around four months of designing they were ready for filming.

Filming took place on February 11th and 12th of 2010. It took them around 60 takes to get the footage they needed. Mechanical failures, camera issues and human error all took their turns messing things up. They had a team of 30 people who had to reset everything after each take.

In the end, they got the Rube Goldberg machine working all the way through a total of three times on film. However, in order to get the timing right, they had to make a few cuts in the final video. So, yes, they did actually make the machine and yes, it actually does work, but in order to get the best shots, they had to mix a couple takes together.

Now let's move on to their latest video, for their song "End Love:"


Ok Go filmed for over 18 hours to get this music video. It was filmed in Echo Park in Los Angeles, California. The mixture of time-lapse, slow-motion and and stop-motion photography is quite impressive. This kind of filming would involve an incredible amount of choreography and practice for both the band and the film crew.

Other things to note, the goose that you can see following the band around is named "Maria." And she, apparently, is a park regular. And finally, the end shot, after the music stops, reportedly shows eight days of footage! It makes me wonder if that was a mistake, like the many times my dad left the video camera on when it was hanging around his neck.

Keep it up, Ok Go! We are all very impressed. Don't pull an M. Night Shyamalan and start sucking after the first few times!


Crystal Ross said...

Um, I love that Old Spice commercial. LOVE IT. Mostly is low voice.

Felicia said...

A new Old Spice commercial! Yes! Thank you, Joel!

But how did this video not make the list?

The Former 786 said...

You're welcome Felicia. And this post was mostly about the Ok Go videos, but I threw in the Old Spice commercial because everyone was wanting to see it.

Maybe I'll do that wedding announcement video on another slice. :)

The Former 786 said...

And Crystal, we ALL like his low voice. It's so soothing!