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OK GO's zero gravity clip a web sensation

Francisco PerezFebruary 12, 2016

Indie band OK GO's latest video clip showing them performing in zero gravity has been widely shared since its release on Thursday. On social media, compliments abound as the video has reached over 20 million views.

Screenshot Youtube OK Go - Upside Down & Inside Out
Image: YouTube/OK Go

OK GO’s viral zero gravity clip takes internet by storm

On Thursday, Chicago-based rock band OK GO published a video clip for their song "Upside down and out" showing them performing one of their characteristically elaborate choreographies though, this time, in zero gravity.

The band flew aboard a reduced gravity aircraft, a plane which was repeatedly flown to a high altitude before sharply dropping downwards, creating temporary near-weightlessness.

The clip was shot in Russian airspace with the collaboration of the Russian air company S7 Airlines.

Band members had to train for weeks to prepare themselves for the effect of the intense flight, a training usually reserved for Russian cosmonauts. In the days leading up the release of the video, OK GO published several teasers, including some behind the scenes clips showing their preparation.

Due to GEMA restrictions in Germany this video is unavailable to users there.

The filming involved an important technical challenge: the band and dancers had to be perfectly timed, since the near-weightlessness achieved by the plane’s dive only lasted for thirty seconds.

Each time, the crew had to freeze in their spots and wait for the next dive, repeating the motion eight times for the entire clip. Special effects were later added to make it look as though it was filmed in a single shot.

This allowed the band members to float their way through a series of colorful stunts involving paint balls, piñatas and disco balls, which quickly grabbed the internet’s attention. Upon being published, the video was all over Twitter, grabbing compliment after compliment from fans and non-fans alike.

Soon, other musicians and celebrities - including fictitious characters - followed, retweeting the video clip and extended their own accolades to the US musicians.

The launch of the video also happened to coincide with a major scientific breakthrough, as researchers at an American observatory announced the discovery of gravitational waves on Thursday, a phenomenon first theorized by German physicist Albert Einstein in 1916.

With the scientific community already overjoyed on social media, the science behind OK GO’s video also got a lot of attention.

The coincidence was not lost to social media users, who noted it had been a "big day for gravity."

Others, however, seemed to have mixed up the two events.

OK GO has become famous over time for their video clips, which always involve visually powerful stunts, each amassing several million views on YouTube, with successes such as "Here it goes again" (27 million views since 2006), "This too shall pass" (48 million views since 2010) or "Needing/Getting" (32 million views since 2012).

This time, the band published “Upside down and out” exclusively on Facebook, where it amassed 24 million views in less than a day.