Everyone always asks me, “what was your favorite shoot?” I don’t really have one answer for that question, but I do have a few that come to mind and this shoot with the band OK GO is definitely one of them. I was asked to fly to Oregon to shoot one of their videos. I had to sign an NDA and wasn’t told anything about the shoot or the video. I loved their previous videos, so I was really excited to get to see the making of one of them.
My assistant and I got off the plane and drove for a while to get to the location in Corvallis, Oregon. We pulled up to a seemingly abandoned business park. We stepped into what looked like an office building and I immediately thought that we must be in the wrong place. We were met with a cacophony of barking and the first thing that went through my mind was, “why would the gps take us to a dog kennel!” Then I saw a couple of the band members and figured we were at the right place. We met everyone, from the band to the craft services people, and then were led to the stage. There were dogs and trainers everywhere! Jack Russels jumping, Huskies running, Golden Retrievers barking, and more were all being instructed by a crowd of trainers. If any of you know me personally, you know that this is my dream come true. I love dogs, some may call it an obsession, but…
We were to watch a take and get a kind of feel for what they were doing before we started shooting. Anyway, the idea behind most or all of OK GO’s videos are that they get them in one take. They had been practicing this one take for weeks on end. My assistant and I weren’t really sure what to expect, but when filming started our jaws dropped. It was a choreographed routine that included the dogs, band and even a goat. It was perfect chaos! On the sidelines it was even crazier than the stage with dog trainers screaming, signing, and running all over the place. I had never seen anything like it and am convinced I never will. At the end of the take, which was flawless everyone freaked out- screaming, clapping and pure elation could be heard from miles around. Little did I know that it was the eighty somethingth take and they had finally done it all the way through. Here is the video which happens to be the first take that we saw:
The day continued with filming the same thing over and over again to see whether they could get it better. It was amazing to see the determination of everyone involved. In between takes I got to decide what we were going to do for the main shot of the story. I decided that we would recreate the Golden Retriever crashing through the Ikea trash can pyramid. We got all set and ran through the first try. Well what you see above is the first try! Everyone on set erupted as they saw the frame because it looked as though we had retouched it to perfection. It just worked. I still can’t believe it. I love the shot, but also love the circumstances that surrounded it. It is not often that you get something on the first frame, especially something in motion that is not human! Still one of my favorite days ever, period.