On an otherwise unremarkable street in an otherwise unremarkable warehouse in a wholly unremarkable section of Los Angeles, the father of OK GO frontman Damian Kulash is working intently on a low-fi, yet meticulously constructed mechanical arm that will eventually unleash a torrent of balls over a series of books until they set off a catapult. It sounds just plain weird until you realize that this isn't just an old man playing with bizarre toys --it's the set of OK Go's new video, and there's a method to the madness.
The forthcoming video for the band’s latest single, “This Too Shall Pass,” is set to be filmed in one continuous, three-minute-plus take over two stories in this sprawling warehouse. The action starts with a series of dominos falling outside and ending with a band member being thrown by a giant slingshot all the way across the room; each action setting off a different, more precarious reaction, each one timed down to the millisecond. "The Machine," as Kulash repeatedly calls it during an intimate, hour-plus walk-through of each motion, has been put together by more than 40 people during the past few weeks, each of whom has helped take hundreds of everyday objects like tennis balls, film canisters and VHS tapes, and made them into an impressive, Mouse Trap-style maze (which, coincidentally, also includes dozens of actual mouse traps).
The new video also contains shout-outs to the band's previous viral work, from using the wiffle ball bat from "WTF" as a lever that unleashes a barrage of metal ball bearings, to a TV that gets destroyed by a not-so-errant sledgehammer while showing the treadmills that made the band famous. It's tongue-in-cheek without being cheeky; like the rest of the band's prodigious output, it balances how'd-they-do-that geekiness with an irreverent reverence, letting the visuals speak for the song, rather than vice versa. It may have been shot in an unremarkable way, but chances are that it'll look pretty remarkable when it's all done. -- Jeff Miller