OK Go The One Moment for Morton Salts

OK Go has partnered with Morton Salt, a salt products company, to release a music video for “The One Moment”. The OK Go The One Moment music video explores the slow-motion rendition of a sequence filmed in 4.2 seconds. Seven cameras powered by high speed robotic arms capture 318 events, including colored salt bursts, exploding paint buckets, gold water balloons, water melons, spray paint cans, and Fender acoustic guitars. The music video was commissioned by Morton Salt as part Walk Her Walk, a campaign to support a group of people who are bravely making a positive difference in the world. Morton Salt has pledged funding and assistance to inspiring and effective young innovators who are tackling difficult issues like the global water crisis, the plight of young female refugees, systemic failures in arts and music education, and children’s health and wellness education. The five innovators are Michelle Edgar, founder of Music Unites, Blair Brettschneider, founder of Girl Forward, Haile Thomas, founder of Happy Organisation, Adarsh Alphons, founder of Project Art, Seth Maxwell, founder of Thirst Project. The #WalkHerWalk slogan is a reference to the girl in the Morton Salts logo. See more on the WalkHerTalk campaign at MortonSalt.com/WalkHerWalk. “The One Moment” track is from the 2014 OK Go album Hungry Ghosts.

OK Go The One Moment

Behind The Scenes with Director Damian Kulash

The song “The One Moment” is a celebration of (and a prayer for) those moments in life when we are most alive. Humans are not equipped to understand our own temporariness; It will never stop being deeply beautiful, deeply confusing, and deeply sad that our lives and our world are so fleeting. We have only these few moments. Luckily, among them there are a few that really matter, and it’s our job to find them. (We had no idea when we wrote the song that we’d be releasing its video in such critical moment for our nation and the world. It’s one of those moments when everything changes, whether we like it or not, so the song feels particularly relevant). For the video, we tried to represent this idea literally — we shot it in a single moment. We constructed a moment of total chaos and confusion, and then unraveled that moment, discovering the beauty, wonder, and structure within.

Most of our videos have sought to deliver wonder and surprise, and this one is no exception. But usually our tone has been more buoyant, more exuberant. For this song — our most heartfelt and sincere — we wanted the sense of wonder to be more intimate and contemplative. Having said that, there is still a huge amount of paint slung around. I guess you can take the band out of…..

How did you do that?
We used very precise digital triggers to set off several hundred events in extremely quick succession. The triggers were synchronized to high speed robotic arms which whipped the cameras along the path of the action. Though the routine was planned as a single event, currently no camera control systems exist which could move fast enough (or for many sections, change direction fast enough) to capture a movement this long and complex with a single camera, so the video you see connects seven camera movements.

How long did the routine take in real time?
The first three quarters of the video, from the beginning of the song until I pick up the umbrella at the a cappella breakdown, unfold over 4.2 seconds of real time. Then I lip sync in real time for about 16 seconds (we thought it was important to have a moment of human contact at this point in the song, so we returned to the realm of human experience) and we return to slow motion for the final chorus paint scene, which took a little longer than 3 seconds in real time.

How many things happen in it?
It sort of depends how you count “things,” but the there are 318 events (54 colored salt bursts behind Tim, 23 exploding paint buckets, 128 gold water balloons, etc.) that were synchronized to the music before the breakdown. After that there are only 9 digitally triggered events.

Just how slow is this, and is it all one speed?
It is not all one speed, but each section is at a constant rate, meaning that time does not “ramp” (accelerate or decelerate). We just toggle from one speed to another. When the guitars explode, we are 200x slower than reality (6,000 frames per second), but Tim and Andy’s short bursts of lip sync (Tim twice and Andy once) are only 3x slower than real life (90 frames per second). The watermelons are around 150x, and the spray paint cans are a little over 60x.

How did you plan all this?
The whole point of the video is to explore a time scale that we can’t normally experience, but because it’s so inaccessible to us, our tools for dealing with it are indirect. The only way we can really communicate with that realm is through math. The choreography for this video was a big web of numbers — I made a motherfucker of a spreadsheet. It had dozens of connected worksheets feeding off of a master sheet 25 columns wide and nearly 400 rows long. It calculated the exact timing of each event from a variety of data that related the events to one another and to the time scale in which they were being shot. Here’s a screen shot of just the first few lines, to give you a sense.

Did you really blow up all those guitars?
Yes, but they were already being scrapped by Fender for not meeting their quality control standards, which is to say they were defects. No playable guitars were harmed in the making of this video.

What role did Morton Salt play, and what is #WalkHerWalk
Morton Salt have recently launched a campaign to support a group of people who are bravely making a positive difference in the world. They’ve pledged funding and assistance to incredibly inspiring and effective young innovators who are tackling difficult issues like the global water crisis, the plight of young female refugees, systemic failures in arts and music education, and children’s health and wellness education. The slogan for this campaign is #WalkHerWalk, a reference to the girl in their iconic logo, and you can learn more about the innovators and the many facets of the campaign at http://MortonSalt.com/WalkHerWalk.

Morton was moved by the message of “The One Moment,” and felt it captured the spirit of what they are trying to do with #WalkHerWalk, so they reached out to us and asked if we were interested in making art with their salt – a video that could fly the banner for their initiative. We were impressed with their efforts to support positive change, so we proposed this idea, and together we collaborated to bring this video to life.

OK Go The One Moment Credits

OK Go members are Damian Kulash, Timothy Nordwind, Andy Ross and Dan Konopka.

Creative work was done at Ogilvy Chicago by chief creative officer Joe Sciarrotta, executive creative director David Hernandez, creative director Amy Gozalka, associate creative director Kara Coyle, executive producer Gayle McCormick, senior producer Annie Larimer, project manager Philip Puleo, management supervisor Paige Robinson, and assistant account executive Katie Quinn, working with Morton director of communications and corporate brand strategy Denise Lauer, senior communications manager Paul Jackiewicz, head of sales and marketing Shayn Wallace and senior director of brand marketing Peter Sashin.

Filming was shot by director Damian Kulash via Park Pictures with director of photography Shawn Kim, executive producers Justin Pollock and Jackie Kelman Bisbee, producer Pat Frazier, production designer Bradley Thordarson, executive brainstormer Elan Lee, first assistant camera Chris Slany, second assistant camera Matt Sumney, Phantom tech Patrick McGraw, behind the scenes director Ross Harris, stills photographer Daniel Goldwasser, Bolt programmer Simon Wakley, Bolt assistants Chris Toth, Leo Roberts, gaffer David “Blue” Thompson, best boy Randy Dye, electric team Jeff Matthews, Adan Galindo, Shaun Stallard, Louie Manzo, art director Steve Christenson, art coordinator Katy Shirey, set decorator Tally Duke Floyd, leadman Lance Rosa, set dressers Andre Price, Kevin Quinn, Silvio Scillone, Tony Alvarez, prop master Ben Ferene, prop assistant Mark White, lead painter Jamie McElrath, painter Molly Holnick, production supervisor Ari Chang, second assistant director Ricky Weaver, assistant production supervisor Amanda Andrews, scriptwriter Kristy Kelly, VTR operator Tom Myrick, craft services director Michael Backlinder, production assistants Brian Lierk, David Rada, Robert Lomeli, Oscar Matute, Chris Maltauro, Morgan Pham, Melanie Cycz, make up artist Kristen Shaw, wardrobe stylist Christina Blackaller, and assistant stylist Laurel Rose.

Special effects were produced through Beyond L.A. Productions by SPFX supervisor Kelly Kirby, foremen Robert Garrigus, Doug Calli, Tech team Steve Shines, Bill McGinley and Rich Jacobs, and set dresser Aaron Ferene.

Editor was Cass Vanini at Work Post with assistant editor Ben Foushee and producer Sari Resnick.

Visual effects were produced at Artjail by VFX supervisor/creative director Steve Mottershead, head of production John Skeffington, VFX producer Adriana Wong, compositors Chris Memoli, John Geehreng, Ben Vaccaro, Elsa Tu, Sam Caine, Brian Benson, Dayung Jo, Eric Concepcion, Chris Russo, Sohee Sohn, previz Darren Chang, titles artist Ryan Hawthorne and colorist Shawn King.