The band OK Go is out with a new music video, and if you haven’t seen it, it’s amazing.
They’re in zero-G! They’re not on a green screen and this most definitely isn’t CGI. They really did choreograph an entire routine — complete with flying laptops, acrobatic flight attendants, and a storm of colored floating balls — all set to a remarkably catchy song.
But OK Go definitely didn’t go to space for this.
OK Go is known for doing some crazy stuff in their videos, like dancing on treadmills or constructing a musical car obstacle course, but even they don’t have the wherewithal to blast into space. Instead, their latest video all takes place on a special airplane from S7 airlines in Russia that can simulate zero gravity.
How it works: The plane flies in long arcs up and down. At the very top, right as it stops going up and is just starting to fall back down, the passengers can experience what it’s like to be in space. It’s like how a pop-fly in baseball will sometimes appear to hang in the air for just a second before falling back to Earth.
A lot of people have used this technique before.
In fact, you may have seen it before and not even realized it.
It’s been used in movies, such as the weightlessness scenes in “Apollo 13.”
But it has applications beyond the silver screen as well. It’s been used to train astronauts, for one thing.
And in 2007, physicist Stephen Hawking got to go for a ride as well!
But the secret behind this production is more than just a special plane. It also took a little video magic.
Here’s the rub about making a three-minute video on this plane. Each bout of zero-G only lasts about 20 seconds. After that, the plane needs about five minutes to reset.
And, fun fact, that weight they lose at the top of the arc comes back with a vengeance afterward. Any passengers on the plane will be plastered into their chairs for a few seconds.
So while they were able to film the entire thing in one continuous shot — by pausing their actions for the non-weightless periods and snipping that out of the video — the actual trip took about 45 minutes! You can read more about how they found those amazing flight attendants, how many people it took to do this (a lot), and how many times the crew experienced stomach troubles from the constant up and down (also a lot) on the video’s FAQ page.
Or you can just go ahead and indulge in the catchy, pastel awesomeness of OK Go: