It's a bit curious when a band is known for videography, rather than their music, but American rock band OK Go had done just that. From filming in zero gravity to performing complex routines on treadmills, their music videos have always had a special, creative element thrown into production.
Their latest project, The One Moment, is no exception. The first three-quarters of the video are shot in 4.2 seconds in real time; with an added 16 seconds of real-time lip-synching and a final scene of 3 seconds, the video totals out to 23.2 seconds shot in real time. The video was then slowed down, toggling at different speeds, to sync with the 4.5 minute song. It's no wonder Rolling Stone called this music video a "marvel" (an understatement, in my opinion).
"The song is a celebration of... those moments in life when we are most alive. Humans are not equipped to understand our own temporariness," front man and video director Damian Kulash, Jr. said about the song. "For the video, we tried to represent this idea literally — we shot it in a single moment. We constructed a moment of total chaos and confusion, and then unraveled that moment, discovering the beauty, wonder, and structure within."
With a total of 318 events happening within the filmed 23.2 seconds of the video, the final product involved hours of planning, patience, and hard work. For Kulash, this meant a spreadsheet of 25 columns and 400 rows to synchronize the timing of the song with every single salt explosion and exploding guitar:
OK Go's project relates to Czikszentmihalyi's idea of dichotomies (1997). The bright colors and fast pace represent a playfulness, yet, as seen with this spreadsheet, it took a great amount of discipline to pull off. OK Go's reputation for imaginative videos is backed up with the reality of creating a spreadsheet like the one above to make sure the product comes out well-timed with each event and each beat of the song. And finally, the band plays music in line with classic alternative rock music, yet rebels against with traditional music videos with their creative concepts.
OK Go is masterful at keeping everyone on their toes, so I'm excited to see what their next music video concept will be.
Csikszentmihalyi, M. (1996). Creativity: Flow and the psychology of discovery and invention. New York: Harper/Collins. - Chapter 3