Was this OK GO video really shot in a vomit comit?

Video here:

Here is their claimed behind the scenes explanation:

THey’re not claiming its one continuous shot, but rather they paused and used morphing to join 8 takes together, but I’m still not buying their explanation. Reasons why:
• I used to work in visual effects, I know this could be done with green screen, wires and CGI and it would be cheaper to do so.
• Their movements are too smooth and perfect, take a look at real vomit comet footage:
I’ve never seen these sorts of acrobatics done in any other video, especially things like them perfectly returning to their seats. There is also no sign at all of camera shake. Even if you use stabilising software you get parallax artefacts where people at different depths move slightly differently so you can’t 100 percent stabilise the entire shot.
• AFAIK you can’t safely fly parabolic arcs for hours at a time in a standard passenger jet. NASA and Zero G corp use modified planes and pilots trained for this manoeuvre. They claim the video was sponsored by Russian airline S7. However S7 is not listed as having offered parabolic flights in the past. If they had gone to the effort of modifying a plane and training pilots to do this, I’d expect them to be offering them publicly, since I believe there is a fair demand in the research and “space tourist” market for these flights.

I guess we could get to the bottom of it one way or the other by searching public flight records, if they really had done this the flight paths for the 21 flights they claim they used to do this would be recorded on various flight tracker websites. Anyone know how to check that?


Yes, most likely it was done as they explained. OK GO has done several complex videos and there’s no reason to think the would resort to green screen at this point.

One more giveaway: Watch the coloured balls, they fall to the ground, then all conveniently stay close to where they land and don’t roll all over the place. If it was real they’d all roll back when the plane started climbing, then roll forward again when it started to nose down for the free fall section.

I’m aware of OK GO’s reputation. They’d resort to green screen because they know people would believe it at this stage and because pulling it off the way they claim ain’t possible. S7 doesn’t have the plane to do it, and balls in weightlessness just don’t behave the way we’re seeing them here.

Rolling Stone article.

Their reputation is built on no tricks, it’s all real.
Though this did break their run of one-take videos.

Not sure why you would doubt it. They claim it and they are obvious dancing in zero gravity.

The hardest part would be rehearsing it on land.

Obviously it’s a number of takes. No plane could sustain that long a dive at one go.

This site is about fighting ignorance not taking the PR of a band at face value. If they really did it the way they claim then their will be public flight records available of the 21 claimed flights. Also as I’ve said S7 doesn’t have a plane that can do hours of parabolic arcs, it needs a specially modified Jet.

And someone please explain the ball physics to me?


Flying a parabolic arcs involve climbing at 45 degrees, arcing over into 30 degrees down then pulling out and pulling 2G’s while climbing out of dive. From here:

S7’s largest plane seems to be a 767-ER. I’ll let one of the pilots on here comment on if its safe to pull 2G climbs for hours at a time on a standard passenger jet.

But for me the balls is the dead giveaway. They should roll forward when they start to climb again and they don’t. Obviously the director didn’t want them flying around again as that would make the scene look ‘messy’, but in real life theres no way to prevent that. Its CGI.

I haven’t seen the video, or know who these OK GO people are. But maybe the balls are the only CGI bit? I’m sure I don’t know what I’m talking about. I’m just bored.

NASA has used rather ordinary MD C-9B and Boeing 727s as vomit comets in the past. I don’t see any reason why S7 couldn’t have something suitable in their fleet or rent an aircraft from another company (which airlines do all the time.)

There are lots of production photos here, including photos of the plane. It appears to be an Ilyushin Il-76 cargo plane. There are numerous cites for the Il-76 being used for parabolic flights (example).

BTW, Go Zero-G also uses Boeing 727s and will sell you 15 parabolic arcs for the low low price of $5,000.

From here.

The article doesn’t say it was S7’s plane but they provided the funding and the two acrobat/hostesses.

p.s. It appears to be the same plane Space Affairs offers rides on. I’m guessing S7 was a sponsor for the music video, but not the owner or operator of the plane.

p.p.s. I wonder if the film was sped up to make the motion quicker. They clearly did that for I Won’t Let You Down, and it has a somewhat similar feel to it.

That was filmed at normal speed but the song and the dancers were at half speed to make it easier to hit the marks.

Then played back at double speed.

Ok fine, they claimt to have used the Ilyushin 76 not one of S7’s, fair enough. Still not believing it because of other issues with the physics.

Watch at 2:07 when the two air hostesses are holding him while he spins. They seem to be “standing” holding the top bar to maintain their position. Except zero g doesn’t work like that. Their feet have no grip to maintain position because its obviously weightless since he’s floating. To maintain their position they’d have to be straining and stretching to put pressure against both the top bar and the floor, which they are not. Their legs should be floating with no way to maintain their positions.

Plus there is the balls strange physics, and again the disco balls magically clump together and get out of the way once they are no longer needed. No matter how many takes you do you’re not going to get all the random motions of the balls and disco balls to be as aesthetically pleasing as this. Now it’s possible that they used a combination of real people on a vomit comet and CGI but thats not what they are claiming.

I assume you mean 1:07. The “air hostesses” are clearly gripping the ceiling bars tightly to maintain position. They may be putting enough pressure on their feet to stay in position. Or their legs may be strapped to the floor. Note how each of them has one leg hidden from view, and also, the floor has straps and grab bars all over the place.

That’s when the plane came out of the parabolic dive and accelerated upwards. Later, in parabolic flight again, the balls later fly around, as you would expect.

They appear to be straining and stretching to me so I don’t see your point here.

BTW your timestamp is wrong, you meant 1:07. Coincidentally, when I started at 2:07, shortly after that I did see something strange about the stewardessess–they seem to be sitting on the floor at the same time that others are floating. I’m not sure it’s possible to pull this off (maybe velcro could be involved though)–but given that there is also the strange disconnect between ball physics and what’s going on elsewhere on the screen, and given that later when the stewardesses are floating around doing things they seem to go through some of the “morph” transitions at different times than others on the screen, what I think is happening is that sometimes different objects onscreen at the same time are actually from different times during the shooting–in other words, while everything you see happen may really have happened, it may not all have happened at the same time as shown in the final video.