While I don’t tend to follow the actual Grammy awards, I do look for the nominations. This year’s list convinces me that I am increasingly incapable of saying I have any meaningful connection to pop music. Still, there are jewels every year, and one of them is the new video by OK Go, “Upside Down and Inside Out.” A costly video for an indie band, OK Go secured the sponsorship of S7 Airlines in Russia. We learn that
the band traveled to Moscow to develop the video, spending three weeks of training and filming…. The first week was used to train and get used to the flight patterns while experimenting with various motions and props they could use. By the second week, they had decided on what elements would be in the video and used subsequent flights to plan out the choreography, and used the third week to film the various takes.
The training shows, and this is my vote for video of the year.
As the band has been working for years on this concept, it is no surprise that the line, “gravity’s just a habit that you’re pretty sure you can’t break,” sets out the challenge that OK Go takes on in this visually imaginative video.
I first met these guys back in the heady days of facebook video sharing with their hypnotic 2009 treadmill video, “Here it Goes Again.”
Not to be left in the dust–and not to be outdone by their incredible anti-gravity video, a second visually stunning and precisely choreographed video is “The One Moment.” The majority of the video is 4.2 seconds of action slowed down over three minutes. In the midst of this 4.2 seconds are moments of incredible synchronicity and planning.
The gluten-free crowd won’t love this one, but the band claims that all 215 loaves of bread used in the making of this video were past their sell-by date and rescued from the clutches of certain disposal. Quite apart from this great deed, think of the intricate work that went into the hundreds of sketches needed to produce this visual story.
While I don’t know anything about dancing, this video shows a skillful use of colour:
Choreography with Dogs!
Check out this incredibly scientific video from 2010, all in a single shot, with references to a number of other videos they produced.
And this one blows me away. In a stunt that takes Walk off the Earth to a new level, their video for “Needing/Getting” shows the hundreds of hours of planning, building and practicing must have gone into four minutes of music.
Even if you don’t prefer their sound–and I do–these guys know how to integrate music, story, technological manipulation, art, illusions, instrumental improvisation, and unusual materials into highly choreographed videos. They know how to play in light and sound. Enjoy your Friday Feature!
Oh, this one’s for free: