OK Go have been the kings of viral videos for the last decade, and their latest offering is among their most impressive yet. For “Upside Down & Inside Out,” OK Go decided to forgo gravity while keeping with their one-take reputation; this fits the energetic, frenzied song as frontman Damian Kulash sings, “Gravity’s just a habit that you’re really sure you can’t break.” The zero-gravity video took months of preparation, weeks of training, and the help of Russia’s S7 Airlines, and the finished product is something you won’t want to miss.
Check out the video for “Upside Down & Inside Out” below:
OK Go talked to Adweek about how they managed to do a one-take video in zero-gravity:
Yes, it’s all one continuous take, but there’s a bunch of time removed. Again, the longest stretch of zero gravity we can get is about 27 seconds, and then it takes five minutes to reset to do it again. We wanted the whole video to take place in weightlessness, so we designed the routine in 27 second chunks, scenes that start and end right at the moments gravity is going and coming back. After we filmed a scene, when gravity returned, we stayed as still as we could for the five minutes of the plane climbing, and then began the next scene as soon as we were weightless again. When we were done, we chose our best take and cut out all of the long reset periods, so the routine is continuous and feels seamless.
The “Upside Down & Inside Out” video also took plenty of preparation:
It took months to plan and set up, but we were actually on site near the Cosmonaut Training Center in Russia for three weeks. During that time we did 21 flights, with 15 zero gravity parabolas per flight, for a total of about two hours and fifteen minutes in weightlessness.
For the first week we did test flights to figure out which ideas would work and which wouldn’t. How hard is it to control yourself? If you do a really cool flip once, can you repeat it? What looks cooler in zero gravity: a chain of a string of beads? Toothpaste or a shaken can of soda? How hard is it to place place a tablet in the air and just have it stay still?
By the second week, we’d chosen our favorite ideas; we had our bag of tricks, and we assembled them into a routine and rehearsed it. The third week was proper shooting, we just ran the routine eight times over eight flights.
“Upside Down & Inside Out” is the first track from OK Go’s latest album, Hungry Ghosts, released late in 2014. That album also launched the songs – and viral videos – “The Writing’s On The Wall” and “I Won’t Let You Down.” You can download the album on iTunes now. Keep checking back here for all the latest OK Go news.