OK Go Rube Goldberg video: meet the makers!


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?

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.

OK Go Rube Goldberg video: meet the makers!


  1. Brett Doar here. I was on the make:way team, and I’m one of the builders of the machine. So I brought the car in.

  2. The performer roster for the 2010 Bonnaroo Festival names is slowly being released. The June 10th to June 13th event so far has locked down Jay-Z, Dave Matthews Band, Stevie Wonder, Kings of Leon, Jeff Beck, John Fogerty, OK Go, Martin Medeski & Wood and the Avett Brothers.

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