Wednesday, November 30, 2011

OK Go's Viral Video Hits

A rock band originally from Chicago is almost better known for their viral music videos then for their music itself. OK Go is composed of Damian Kulash, Tim Nordwind, Dan Konopka, and Andy Ross. These videos have earned them considerable fame despite their often-low budget and promotion over only the Internet through sites like YouTube. Damian has said, “it has always been our position that the reason you wind up in a rock band is you want to make stuff. You want to do creative things for a living.” Believe me after you watch their videos you will see the creative and imaginative things that OK Go does.

Their most well known video is for their 2006 hit “Here it Goes Again.” It involves a complex routine atop of motorized treadmills. This routine took seventeen attempts and was choreographed by the band and Trish Sie became a viral video hit. This video has received over fifty-one million views! This video even won a Grammy Award for "Best Short-Form Music Video" in 2007.

Probably my favorite OK Go video is their video for 2010’s “This Too Shall Pass.” This video was a massive Rube Goldberg machine that lasted the entire length of the video. The machine even played parts of the song that synced together with the video perfectly! Rube Goldberg machines are named after an American inventor and cartoonist and are deliberately overly complex machines that will do a very simple task after a chain reaction. The simple task in OK Go’s video? To spray the band with paint. One of the most impressive things in the video is how it is shot in one take. Many of OK Go’s videos are shot in one take which Matt Zoller Seitz of Salon Magazine claims "restore[s] a sense of wonder to the musical number by letting the performers' humanity shine through and allowing them to do their thing with a minimum of filmmaking interference." After the Rube Goldberg machine was completed the filming took place over two days with an estimated 60 takes. The first day had 47 takes with no successful completions and by the second day they had at least 3 successful fun runs. They then chose the best take from the three and posted it online. The video has now been viewed over thirty-one million times!

Another recent video combined the creative efforts of OK Go and the dance company Pilobolus. In “All Is Not Lost” the band and dancers dance across a glass floor to create shapes and letters with the use of their bodies. Users can create and send messages to friends by inputting your message into the engine before the video starts. To see another view of the video check out their appearance on America’s Got Talent where they perform the video live! (The video experience works best with the browser Google Chrome).

It is said that “video killed the radio star” and I think OK Go may have killed (or at least injured) conventional music videos. To compete other bands have tried their luck to create unique and imaginative music videos to stand out and hit viral fame like OK Go has. Whether it be groovin' with dogs, using time-lapse compression to reduce 18 hours into four minutes, or just performing a dance routine on their back patio, OK Go has raised the bar for music videos for years to come.

No comments:

Post a Comment