OK Go’s video for “Writing’s on the Wall” will make you feel like you’re being sucked into a sci-fi/Van Gogh vision of Alice in Wonderland! Your mind will be working over time with this one! The band is composed of Damian Kulash, Tim Hordwind, Dan Konopka and Andy Ross.
“Your mind will be working over time with this one!”
“It’s fun for us, because we love making them,” Kulash says of the videos. “They’re sort of Trojan horses for whatever type of art projects we feel like making. There’s this assumption that we must be bummed or ashamed that they’re such a huge part of who we are. I guess that reflects the world’s abiding thinking about creativity – that we’re still stuck in the last century, where musicians are people who play guitars and filmmakers are people who use cameras. In the world I’m living in, musicians and filmmakers both make 1s and 0s.”
Fans of OK Go know the creativity that their videos contain. The 2014 video quickly grabbed people’s attention it only took two weeks for the video to reach 12 million views on YouTube!
Even with the talented minds of OK Go it still takes a lot of planning, practice, and patience (that is shown in the video.) They looked to the people at 1stAveMachine to make the moving series of visual perspective illusions, shot in just a single take. “Finding the right collaborators was the first obstacle to overcome.” Kulash said
“They looked to the people at 1stAveMachine to make the moving series of visual perspective illusions, shot in just a single take.”
1stAveMachine also had to consider who they were working for, and the importance of the style of music video that has become a cornerstone for the band.
“It was a lot of pressure, I think, because you see the sort of curve of success the band has had with their videos,” Duffy says.
“You also want to try to take a medium or a set of rules they’ve created – like doing it all in one shot and doing it practically – and also bring something new to that. The illusions part of that ended up being a really great way to do that, because, really, if you do a post-effected version of illusions, that’s really not exciting whatsoever.”
“That was one of the reason’s for having the band involved in moving the camera around, at least for some parts of the video, because the positioning of the camera is so important for some of these illusions to work, we felt we should give them the power to either get it right or get it wrong,” Duffy adds.
Once the concept was set the illusions and continuity happened naturally.
“We had some of the smaller illusions happen at the beginning, then tried to build up the more surprising illusions toward the middle and end. Each illusion came to us as we put them in place, because they were quite dependent on what the space was.”
The most difficult part was the last shot with the “Writing’s on the Wall” mural. “It was just a really large amount of space to figure it out. So everyone’s just painting on the ground and hoping they’re painting in the right place, because they can’t really tell what they’re looking at. Doing (bassist Tim Nordwind’s) beard and doing the paint thing were definitely the ones that were hardest in the moment because of the reset time, and it was a messy process.”
Duffy says they tried putting gyroscopics on the rig, but those got finicky whenever the camera was turned upside-down. So instead of relying upon new technology solutions, the crew went back in time a bit.