Watch: OK Go, zero gravity and an amazing video

12 Feb 2016

OK Go, performing Upside Down & Inside Out, via YouTube

Long known for their incredibly choreographed music videos, OK Go’s latest attempt, in zero gravity, is magnificent.

“What you are about to see is real. We shot this in zero gravity, in an actual plane, in the sky.”

So starts OK Go’s latest (successful) attempt at making a music video to remember, with Upside Down & Inside Out their most ambitious video to date.

Heading up into the skies on an S7 airline, the four-piece makes one continuous take to dance around in zero gravity, with flight attendants, balloons filled with paint and an awful lot of spinning around included.

Illusion of time

Filmed over the course of 45 minutes, the band manipulate time so that it looks like one, simple, three-and-a-half minute take, however, there’s a lot more to this than you’d think.

To achieve weightlessness, the plane they were in had to create a series of parabolas, which is basically the plane flying downwards to generate enough speed for a quick rise.

Each one produces around 20 seconds of double gravity, and 50 seconds of weightlessness, according to Damian Kulash, frontman for OK Go, who directed the video.

Divide and conquer

Only a small number of parabolas can be achieved in each flight, so they cut the song into chunks of 27 seconds of weightlessness. That way they could get their choreographed zero gravity moves done and then wait a few minutes for the whole process to start again. The timing is well hidden, though, so it seems like the 45-minute flight, which had eight parabolas, is a mere track-length.

It took 10 pilots to fly the plane, which is used to train cosmonauts, and a full behind-the-scenes look (in Russian) is here.

So, zero gravity within the Earth’s atmosphere is now complete, making space the next logical step?

“I’d love to make a video in space!” said Kulash to Red Bull after making this video. “It’s not top secret, if you know anyone who has a spacecraft they’ll let us borrow definitely give me a holler.”

Gordon Hunt was a journalist with Silicon Republic