The New OK Go Music Video is an Optical Illusion Tour de Force Shot in a Single Take

The indie rock band OK Go has an uncanny ability to come up with some of the most creative, fun and visually compelling videos in the entire music industry. Over the years we’ve featured several of the music videos they’ve come up with, and today we have another that is perhaps the most impressive of them all.

Released yesterday, the band’s video for “The Writing’s On the Wall” toys with you by presenting one optical illusion after another. And what’s more, it was all shot in a single continuous take! (after 50 tries and 3 weeks of rehearsals…)

True, it’s not strictly photography-related — we beg the purists’ forgiveness — but what it lacks in relevance it makes up for in creativity and inspiration. We can’t think of a better way to waste 4 minutes at work today. Enjoy!

(via Laughing Squid)

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  • David Portass

    Brilliant :)

  • Travis Johansen


  • Paul Pond

    neat, but a not a single continuous take…

  • Mark Palmer

    When is there a cut?

  • Thomas Kryton

    Brilliant and must have taken some pretty serious planning.

  • Jason Clark

    There were multiple. Watch for quick camera moves and every time they pass a pylon. The Spice Girls did this in their “Wannabe” video. Boo, DL Cade. Boo.

  • Mark Gold


  • SeoulFood

    How do you know this?

  • OtterMatt

    It’s neat, yeah, but their previous was better (with the Rube Goldberg machine), and that’s not really the point anyway. OK Go are the kings of style over substance, to the point where I don’t actually think I’ve ever heard any of their songs because I’m paying so much attention to the damned videos. Why the need to do it in a single take (whether it actually is or not, it’s clearly meant to look as though it is)? Parts of it look like crap, so the single take thing is just for the sake of kitsch or bragging rights (for whatever that’s worth these days).
    To me, they’re the Kickstarter of music. Lots of promise, not actually very much realized in the long run, and built completely out of hype.

  • MickO

    “not actually very much realized in the long run”

    They’ve had a career lasting 16 years playing music. If you don’t pay attention, that’s your own issue. You’re way off base here. They do the videos because they like doing creative stuff. Hype? I haven’t seen any. People just like ‘em. If you don’t, that’s fine. But style over substance? That just makes no sense in this context.

  • MickO

    FWIW Mashable says they were there and saw it happen in one take

  • Eden Wong

    Bullseye, Otter…… but their videos are for the most part hilarious and I always love seeing a new one.

  • MickO

    I wonder if what you think are cuts is really the artifact of stabilization during quick camera movements. The whole reason they did it was to do it in one take and they tried it 50 times. I don’t think it was cut,

  • OtterMatt

    16 years playing music, perhaps, but then they dropped their managers and started making odd home movies instead. When every video they do goes “viral” instantly, yes, I count that as hype. And it makes perfect sense. The videos they make are just weird ideas acted out, they don’t accentuate, support, or define the song in any way at all. Sure, “Weapon Of Choice” was one giant non-sequitur, but it’s not like that song even had lyrics of any substance. OK Go wants to sing songs about… something (not like anyone actually is listening during these videos), but they want to be random and goofy at the same time. I don’t think that you can have it both ways and call it art. There’s just no /point/ to what they do. The video would be exactly as good with someone else’s song as background or no song at all, so it’s doing a pretty horrible job of selling OK Go as a band and not just a gimmicks team. And their gimmicks aren’t even all that high quality because they’re busy doing OTHER gimmicks on top of them (c.f., the one-take nonsense). It’s all just a gigantic mess with a GoPro in a steering wheel pointed at it.

  • OtterMatt

    Fair enough, man. Fair enough.

  • OtterMatt

    If I had to guess, that was them handing the camera rig off between people. They’re wasting WAY too much time and everything is way too sloppy to be including multiple takes in this video.

  • Jason Clark

    Well, I could stand corrected. I was speaking from the facts that 1) producers are far too picky and humans far too fallible for any producer to be happy with a single cut and 2) there were enough situations in the video where they could have put cuts without anybody noticing. It took the Spice Girls a couple of weeks to admit there were actually 3 (I think it was 3) cuts in their “Wannabe” video, so we’ll see what info comes out in the near future. It’s not impossible, but it takes enormously more work, especially with the complexity of their set.

  • Eric Frame

    what a crappy song,

  • Anastasia

    Sometimes there is “no point” to the audience when an artist expresses themselves. It is subjective.

  • Bre

    Why do they have to fit into the musician role only? Can’t they be doods that make music and do really awesome videos for fun and entertainment? They are taking gimmick and owning it… making it their own thing. I don’t see the problem.

    Sometimes you can do stuff just for fun and no reason at all. Did you see how happy those people were? I was smiling while watching the end as well. I think they do it because they like it.

  • bbear

    Man OtterMatt, you must be fun at parties!

  • Nic Lindbergh

    It’s art. Art doesn’t have to have a point. That’s why it’s art.

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  • Jim Johnson

    You are correct when you are talking about “professionally” produced videos.

    OK GO is kind of their own thing. They usually produce their own videos without a producer (from the record label). They consider them art projects and usually what they do breaks the rules a bit.

  • James

    They run their own record label anyway, there’s no such thing as a separate producer from their record label.

  • Jim Johnson

    Well, there you go. They’re calling the shots instead of answering to someone else.