OK Go — you know, the treadmill guys — have returned with a new music video that makes their previous quirky clips look quaint. For “Upside Down & Inside Out,” the opening track on 2014’s Hungry Ghosts, the alt-rock band took to the skies to film the first zero gravity music video in history.
“It was nearly a decade ago that the world started buzzing about commercial space travel and exploration,” OK Go’s singer Damian Kulash, Jr. explained in a press release. “It dawned on me that soon enough people will be making art in space. So for years, we’ve been looking for the opportunity to make a weightless video. I mean, what could be more thrilling that astronaut training?”
To turn their lofty dream into reality, the band’s members teamed with S7 Airlines (along with partners Good Morning America, Facebook, and Instagram) and travelled to Russia to train at ROSCOSMOS, Russia’s version of NASA. Over the course of three weeks, OK Go took one of the lyrics in “Upside Down & Inside Out” to heart — “Gravity is just a habit” — and flew 21 flights, with 15 zero gravity parabolas per flight, to rack up more than two hours spent in weightlessness as practice.
But making the video took some creativity, director Trish Sie explained, because the II-76 MDK plane the band flew in could only achieve weightlessness for a maximum of 27 seconds at a given time. “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,” said Sie, who also directed 2006’s treadmill-featuring “Here It Goes Again” video. “We paused the action, and the music, during the non-weightless periods, and then cut out these sections and smooth over each transition with a morph.”
Beyond their iconic treadmill clip, OK Go has a history of getting creative with their music videos. They camouflaged themselves in wallpaper for “Do What You Want,” designed an elaborate Rube Goldberg machine for “This Too Shall Pass,” and have debuted a number of other quirky clips.
Check out the video for “Upside Down & Inside Out” below.