Becky Stern of Make: Online interviewed the crew of the latest OK Go video, which was a single-take Rube Goldberg machine.
Becky: How many takes did it require to get the final?OK Go Rube Goldberg video: meet the makers!
DB: I lost count. I think we did that first sequence about 70 times. When we got past the tire, we knew we had a chance. When the piano dropped without triggering the flags or chairs, we started getting excited. If the sledgehammer blew up the TV we were in the home stretch. It was a tense video to film!
PyroPenguin: Did you need to employ failsafes? If a component didn't activate because the component intended to trigger it was off by just a hair, did you have a system to activate it manually?
BD: Not re ally. I think if we were more film oriented rather than machine oriented we would have built in more manual "cheats". As it is, I think we did some things (or at least I did) that didn't play as well to camera as it could have just because I was preoccupied by the mechanism. But we were pretty determined that the thing work. In some cases, we spent a lot of time working out a mechanism that doesn't even show up on camera- like the pneumatic paper airplanes. it's a really reliable mechanism that is triggered by the machine, and yet that's happening amid such chaos that in afterthought I guess we could have just had a guy pushing a button. But I don't think anyone even considered that. There was a little assist in the curtain pull, because the curtains had a tendency to stick together, so if that was having trouble there was someone available to pull a little string to help things out. But I think that's it.
Mark Frauenfelder is the founder of Boing Boing and the editor-in-chief of MAKE and Cool Tools. Twitter: @frauenfelder. His new book is Maker Dad: Lunch Box Guitars, Antigravity Jars, and 22 Other Incredibly Cool Father-Daughter DIY Projects