The oft-mentioned Nell Minow introduced me to the bizarrely amazing videos by the group OK Go. (She is not just a fan of the videos, but the group, as well, having gone to numerous concerts. Though "fan" may not be a fair term. When Nell likes something this much, she goes all-out Full Geekk) Anyway, thanks to Nell's ravings, I've posted a couple on this site, and they're highly-worth checking out, notably the one on treadmills, and a Rube Goldberg-based video.
Just today, though, another county was heard from -- this time, it was the inveterate Chris Dunn who sent me both a new OK Go video, for their song "Inside Out and Upside Down," as well as a wonderful article in Slate by Phil Plait that includes an interview with one of the band members about how on earth they made the video (and being "on earth" had nothing to do with it...) and an easy-to-follow discussion of science by the author how it physically got done.
The article is terrific, and you can read it here (and should, after watching the video), but this is video itself. It's embedded in the article, but we like to make things easier for you.
But wait, before we get to the video, just to show you how remarkable and unearthly odd they knew this video would be, the band released four very short "teaser" videos for it. And they, as much as anything, do a great job setting up how unearthly odd this would be. So, here are the 15-second teasers first --
And indeed, as they say at the end of the video above, yes, "It's Happening."
And so, finally, we get to the OK Go video! This is what a wildly-inventive group of people make when they have a song called "Upside Down and Inside Out."
(If for some reason the video doesn't load, you can find it embedded in the Slate article I reference above, here. Then, just scroll down three paragraphs and click on the video.)
My question when watching it was not the science of it, but rather -- “How in the world did they do that in just ONE freaking take??!” No matter how many rehearsals.
Even before reading the article or seeing the teasers, I did figure it was in an airplane with the zero-G dives, but couldn’t figure out how it lasted so long, because I knew that dives tend to be very short. The article’s explanation of it all make it all the more fascinating. But even that didn’t really quite address my other question: “How in the world did they look so natural doing it??! And even smile??!” Yes, the author points out that they did a lot of tests and rehearsals. But still, they’re going in a series of sudden dives and pull-ups. There's actual reality to deal. Even if you’re comfortable enough not to vomit, after all, your body is still reacting to going into a series of sudden dives and pull-ups. Yipes, indeed.
And all this begs the ultimate question -- Fine, yes, we now know exactly how they did this...but...how in the world did they do this????!! I mean, it's one thing to say, "All you have to do is jump out of a fourth-floor window, cut a doily pattern of a snowflake while doing somersaults, change your shoes, and land in a bulls-eye on your big toe," but...how do you actually do that? Oh, and do that all while lip-syncing seamlessly to a song. Watch the video again, knowing that you know how it was all done -- and you still can't help but ask -- how in the world did they do that?
Now, go back up to the top of this piece and click on the links to watch the two other OK Go videos I mentioned. And you'll likely then dive in to seeking out more...
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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