Thursday, June 19, 2014

OK Go - "The Writing's On The Wall"

"The Writing's on the Wall" is a single written and performed by the alternative group, OK Go, the first single from their upcoming album Hungry Ghosts. The single premiered along with the music video on June 17, 2014, and was published as part of the band's EP Upside Out, released the same day. Like previous OK Go videos, Writing's video is a one-shot music video where the members of the band interact with a number of props to create numerous optical illusions during the course of the video, reflecting on the theme of a song about a failing relationship due to the couple having different points of view.

The video for "Writing" was co-directed by OK Go frontman Damian Kulash, Jr. along with Aaron Duffy and Bob Partington, creative personnel from the Special Guest and 1st Ave Machine agencies, respectively. The music video premiered at a special presentation at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art on June 16, 2014, with its world premiere the next day via Rolling Stone's website and OK Go's YouTube channel.

The video is shot in a single take using a hand-held camera mounted with round handles, moved about by members of OK Go and assistants through a warehouse with various stations created by everyday objects, clothing worn by the band, and painted surfaces in specific arrangements. Each station plays on the use of optical illusions once the camera is set in position, such as those by Felice Varini that play on the illusion working from one specific point, or illusions like the Necker cube that are based on a lack of depth perception. All the illusions were created by the camera shots, without the use of any post-processing special effects.

Pre-planning of the video was done about two months prior to the physical set construction, determining how the video would progress and using computer mock-ups to figure out the concept. The warehouse set was located in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where the band resided during the setup and filming of the video. It took about three weeks to assemble the set, finding that some of their original concepts did not play out in real life and required some fine tuning, such as positioning an apparent pile of junk as to resemble band member Tim Nordwind's face at the right angle without losing the fact that the junk was still made from common household objects. The video took about 65 takes to get right during filming. The concept of the one-shot was considered critical to the video as it provided immersion for the viewer in the unfolding of the video, making them more interested in the song. Nordwind considered this video to be the band's most difficult one to film given amount of involvement they themselves were in, including manning the camera and performing costume changes.

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