OK GO + Rube Goldberg = Amazing Video

This is amazing. All done in one shot w/ no video trickery.

OK GO - “This Too Shall Pass”

One wonders how many takes they needed to get it all right, complete with rebuilding all the things that get knocked down, replacing the shattered TV (think they’re sick of treadmills by now?), etc. The Old Spice Commercial (‘I’m on a horse.’) is all one take, with a minimum of digital trickery, and I heard an interview with the creators in which they said this was the fifty-somethingth take; that commercial is about 1/7 as long, and far fewer things need to hit with perfect timing there.

My favorite parts were the flags flipping up as the ball rolled over/thru them and when the band guy got snatched back and flew thru all the cardboard boxes. Classic!

It’s a lot of fun, but some of the sections move so fast that you can’t really tell that there’s a direct causality between one segment or another (which means, while I trust that it’s the real deal, the rapidity means they could’ve strategically rigged things to go “right” at certain points and you’d never really know).

It still doesn’t top the Honda commercial.

What’s most impressive, besides the length and cleverness, is the timing on a lot of the activations… right smack dab on the beat.

Amazing and dizzying.

They’ve got some official “Making of” videos so you can check out how it was done and if there was any rigging.

And for those few who haven’t seen it yet (judging by the number of views) and are confused by the treadmill comment, check out their video for Here It Goes Again.

Especially the guitar turning and hitting glasses to play a little melody. Amazing!


That was true genius!
The timing on the tuned glasses was my favorite part.


Hey, thanks for the link. Lots of fun at lunch!

I thought it was leaps and bounds better than the Honda commercial, which was filmed in two shots and in a perfectly straight line. Here the camera changes direction to follow the action and the sound effects have to be timed just right in order to fit the music.

Oh, I trust that it’s all on the up-and-up.

But unlike the famous (superior) Honda commercial, it’s not quite so readily apparent just from watching it. I would rather be able to see for myself during the video rather than just take their word for it.

The making-of videos don’t really discuss the technical aspects of the making-of, ironically enough. They’re more a discussion of how the idea came to be, and the internet nerd-community of engineer-types who built it. They don’t mention how many takes it took, either. The making-of stuff was released before the video itself, I think as a kind of teaser, so they don’t actually show you much of the video.

I also loved when it played the melody on the glasses.

I thought it more impressive than the Honda spot as well, just on sheer complexity and timing to the music… that is not easy.

That is to say, I love the Honda spot and it’s super polished production, but this gorilla style shoot was more ok go’s look and speed.

Same band, same song, different video.

Not nearly as impressive… but still all in one take and fun to watch.

I wonder why they did two?

No idea… but obviously looks like they worked with a high school marching band. Great idea. Videos like these really strip the veneer off of popular bands… makes me like them more and makes them seem more down to earth, approachable and creative.

Caption on video says that it is the University of Notre Dame marching band.

It’s so much better than the Honda commercial that it’s hard to know where to start.

OK, not that hard. The Honda commercial, for all its cleverness, was two shots.

Hell, the thematic elements in this video are breathtaking. The guitar playing a melody on the glasses. The synchronization of the events with the music. The yellow umbrella “sunrise” coinciding with the beginning of the chorus (“when the morning comes”).

Also, as the music starts to climax, so do the events in the “machine”. They get bigger and more chaotic. The shopping cart spilling everywhere. The rain of umbrellas. The sledgehammer through the TV. The band member crashing through the cardboard boxes. That whole final sequence where the falling file cabinet triggers a huge, cacophonous series of events in which the mannequin flies apart, the oil drum drops, and the pile of garbage cans gets knocked over.

It matches nicely with the theme of the song, which is that “you can’t let it keep getting you down”. Wonderfully done video.

I think there was a cut when they opened the curtain and moved through the window. At that point, they were in a completely different space, but with all the same guys. It doesn’t detract from the awesomeness in any way, however.