The group OK Go has gone all “Upside Down & Inside Out” in their new video. Literally. Released today, the music video begins with the statement, “What you are about to see is real. We shot this in zero gravity in an actual plane, in the sky.” Of course they did. Why wouldn’t they?
OK Go are sort of like those neighbors kids down the street who are always getting into trouble, but not causing any crimes. They like to break the rules and see how far they can get away with things. In the past, the music group have performed their song “Here it Goes Again” on treadmills, created a Rube Goldberg machine for the song “This Too Shall Pass,” and performed tricks with dogs for “White Knuckles,” but “Upside Down & Inside Out” is by far the group’s most ambitious project to date.
“Upside Down & Inside Out” was co-directed by singer Damian Kulash, Jr. and his sister, Trish Sie, and the whole project was partnered with S7 Airlines. The idea of filming such a video was the brainchild of Kulash who had a desire to create “space art” since 2007. “I remember thinking, ‘Oh my God, people are going to be making art in space soon, and I wanna do that!’ ” says Kulash in a recent interview for Red Bull.com. He and Sie told Gemma Lacey asked they group and Sie how the project all came together.
“Damian and I went to Cape Canaveral [in Florida] and flew on NASA’s version of the ‘Vomit Comet’ back in November of 2012,” says Sie. “We were excited to have the zero-g experience, of course, but we also wanted to see if there was music video potential there. We were left pretty bummed out about the possibilities, to be honest. It felt so promising, and yet so insurmountable at the time.”
“Then I met with people from [Russian airline] S7 at a media event at the Cannes Lions Festival in France, and that’s where the adventure began,” says Kulash. The airline agreed to fund the whole project.
The overall look of the video looks fairly simple, featuring the band tossing random items around before flying about the cabin with a pair of stewardesses, but there was a lot of prep work that went into this project. OK Go members had to agree to three weeks of training at ROSCOSMOS, which is basically the Russian version of NASA.
The logistics of creating the video alone without adding any of the choreography was a feat in itself. “In each flight you have 15 parabolas, and in each parabola you have 20 seconds of double gravity, then 50 seconds of weightlessness and few minutes of setting it all up again,” explains Kulash. “So to make it one take, we took eight of these in a row over 40-45 minutes.”
Trying to become weightless for “Inside Out” was not all fun and games as the flight can cause terrible nausea and create an environment where one could toss one’s cookies. “To start with it was extremely nauseating, the band were on pretty heavy anti-nausea drugs — none of us actually puked, though,” says Kulash. “Of course, given roughly 25-30 people on the plane and over the course of the 20 flights we did, we think there were 58 times that people puked. So it was averaging two to three per flight.”
Despite what some might think, Kulash says that the group never think of their video ideas before the music. So, it is pretty impressive that a video that shows the four guys bopping along dodging balloons full of paint and cracking open piñatas would work with the song “Inside Out & Upside Down.”
“It’s so unlikely we’d ever get to do this, that when the opportunity did come up it was amazing we had a song that was so relevant, like it actually is about discombobulation and gravity being subjective, which is perfect.”
“Upside Down & Inside Out” is featured on the OK Go’s new album, Hungry Ghosts.
[Photo by Kevin Winter/Getty Images]