THE FIRST-EVER SHOT ENTIRELY IN ZERO GRAVITY
OK Go is celebrating its 10th year of making pioneering music videos by unveiling its most ambitious clip yet. Upside Down & Inside Out – which premiered today on Good Morning America and Facebook – was shot in zero gravity in the skies above Russia. Fans can view Upside Down & Inside Out on OK Go’s Facebook page, and have fun with Instagram’s special in-app Search & Explore experience that features a selection of exclusive, behind-the-scenes Upside Down & Inside Out video clips. Anticipation has been building ever since The Nerdist began posting teasers of the video last week.
“It was nearly a decade ago that the world started buzzing about commercial space travel and exploration. When I heard about Virgin Galactic and Space X, it dawned on me that soon enough, people will be making art in space,” says OK Go singer Damian Kulash, Jr., who co-directed the video with frequent collaborator, Trish Sie. “So for years, we’ve been looking for the opportunity to make a weightless video. I mean, what could be more thrilling than astronaut training? I met with people from S7 at a media event at the Cannes Lions festival in France and that’s where the adventure began.”
In line with their mission to inspire people to chase their dreams, and to provide them the means to do so, S7 Airlines signed on to support the video. Together, they proceeded with a lyric from the song as their motto: “Gravity is just a habit.”
“We at S7 Airlines are proud to have supported OK Go in achieving their dream, thus creating the first art piece shot entirely in zero gravity. We believe that however hard the journey might be, every goal is attainable if you put your mind to it and won’t settle or give up,” commented Tatiana Fileva, S7 Airlines Chief Marketing Officer.
After months of planning, OK Go headed to the Yuri Gagarin Cosmonaut Training Center for ROSCOSMOS (the Russian equivalent of NASA), where they spent three weeks playing, testing, and filming. In total, they flew 21 flights, with 15 zero gravity parabolas per flight, for a total of about two hours and fifteen minutes in weightlessness. ROSCOSMOS provided the Il-76 MDK plane and cosmonaut training staff.
Upside Down & Inside Out – which features the band and S7 air hostesses Tatyana Martynova and Anastasia Burdina, who are trained aerialist acrobats – was shot in an airplane that flies parabolic maneuvers to provide brief periods of weightlessness. The longest period of weightlessness it’s possible to achieve in these circumstances is 27 seconds, and after each period of weightlessness, it takes about five minutes for the plane to recover and prepare for the next round.
“Because we wanted the video to be a single, uninterrupted routine, we shot continuously over the course of eight consecutive weightless periods, which took about 45 minutes, total,” explains Trish Sie. “We paused the action, and the music, during the non-weightless periods, and then cut out these sections and smoothed over each transition with a morph.”
This is the fourth OK Go video that Sie directed with her brother, Damian Kulash, Jr., including the GRAMMY-winning clip Here It Goes Again. She also directed the band’s video for Skyscrapers. Her films include the 3D feature Step Up All In (Lionsgate/Summit 2014) and numerous award-winning shorts. Her latest, The Big Breakup, an exploration of America’s dysfunctional love affair with guns, will be released in March 2016.
Upside Down & Inside Out is a track from OK Go’s latest album, Hungry Ghosts (Paracadute/BMG). While the band now resides in Los Angeles, it was founded in Chicago, where boutique donut shop Do-Rite is celebrating the release of the video with a new creation. For a limited time, customers can feast on the Upside Down & Inside Out donut – an upside down brioche bullseye, dipped in dark chocolate and toasted peanuts – then inverted – filled with an espresso cream and glazed in vanilla bean glaze with peanut bits.
With a career that includes award-winning videos, New York Times op-eds, a major label split and the establishment of a DIY trans-media mini-empire (Paracadute), collaborations with pioneering dance companies and tech giants, animators and Muppets, and an experiment that aims to encode Hungry Ghosts on actual strands of DNA, OK Go continue to fearlessly dream and build new worlds in a time when creative boundaries have all but dissolved. The band has been honored with a GRAMMY, three MTV Video Music Awards (one of them from Japan!), a CLIO, two WEBBY Awards (including one for their collaboration with The Muppets and Sesame Street), a spot in a Guggenheim installation, and a total of eight Cannes Lions – the advertising world’s most prestigious awards.
Reflecting on the past decade, Kulash, Jr. notes, “We were so lucky to have our first homemade videos land right at the moment when internet video was just starting to open up as a new cultural phenomenon. It gave is a new sandbox to play in and it emboldened us to keep chasing our wildest creative ideas, both in music and video, regardless of where they lead.”