Guitars blowing up, exploding paint buckets and 128 water balloons: The remarkable OK Go music video filmed in just 4.2 seconds

They have become famous for their trippy, eclectic, creative music videos, which have even been exhibited in the Guggenheim.

But rock band OK Go have outdone themselves with their latest effort – a video filmed in just 4.2 seconds. 

The montage – for the band’s song The One Moment – is then slowed down to  four minutes, 12 seconds, showing colourful paint explosions, bursting water balloons and blown up guitars.

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The bright stuff: The video opens with bassist Tim Nordwind flicking a book of images of singer Damien Kulash as coloured salt bursts  around him

The bright stuff: The video opens with bassist Tim Nordwind flicking a book of images of singer Damien Kulash as coloured salt bursts around him

‘The whole point of the video is to explore a time scale that we can’t normally experience,’ says the video’s director and the band’s lead singer Damian Kulash.

‘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 three seconds in real time.’  

Flying band members: The awesome video features liquid paint and the band on high wires 

Flying band members: The awesome video features liquid paint and the band on high wires 

No more guitars: Suspended from the ceiling, the instruments explode in a sequence which is 200 times slower than reality 

No more guitars: Suspended from the ceiling, the instruments explode in a sequence which is 200 times slower than reality 

Shattered ceilings: The guitars are in splinters falling to the floor

Shattered ceilings: The guitars are in splinters falling to the floor

The video was planned using whopping spreadsheet 25 columns wide and nearly 400 rows long.

It was then enacted using precise digital triggers synchronized to high speed robotic arms which controlled the cameras.

With no single camera able to capture the complexity or speed of the unfolding action, Damien explains the band had to connect seven camera movements to create the finished product. 

Several hundred events including 23 exploding paint buckets, 128 gold water balloons bursting and 54 coloured salt bursts were then set off in short succession. 

Water balloon burst: Damien is subject to getting soaked by a wall of balloons 

Water balloon burst: Damien is subject to getting soaked by a wall of balloons 

Burst: The slowed down tape shows the singer's face immersed in water 

Burst: The slowed down tape shows the singer’s face immersed in water 

Drenched: 128 gold water balloons were used in the sequence according to Damien 

Drenched: 128 gold water balloons were used in the sequence according to Damien 

Splash down: The video beautifully captures the colours of the paint 

Splash down: The video beautifully captures the colours of the paint 

Damien says he and the band were seeking to create a more ‘heartfelt and sincere’ tone with The One Moment. 

‘Most of our videos have sought to deliver wonder and surprise, and this one is no exception,’ he admits. 

‘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!’

The white stuff: Most of the video was filmed using a white studio giving the colours a stark contrast 

Flick book: Tim flicks a book which shows Damien lip syncing to the band's song 

Flick book: Tim flicks a book which shows Damien lip syncing to the band’s song 

Shattered glass: The video employs the use of matter exploding and breaking 

Shattered glass: The video employs the use of matter exploding and breaking 

The big dropL The flick book is again employed as paint is dropped from the ceiling 

The big dropL The flick book is again employed as paint is dropped from the ceiling 

Pots of paint: 23 exploding paint buckets were used in the video, according to Damien 

Pots of paint: 23 exploding paint buckets were used in the video, according to Damien 

Covered: The end of the film shows the singer immersed in turquoise paint 

Covered: The end of the film shows the singer immersed in turquoise paint 

Despite the band’s acclaimed videos regularly going viral, the singer insists the music always comes first. 

‘With music, it’s like – we go into a room and play until we’ve landed on something that seems magical and bigger than ourselves,’ he told website BGR.

‘Once we’ve got that record together, then we start a new process of figuring out how to do that same thing visually.’

Real time: The shot featuring Damien lip syncing holding an umbrella was the only 16 seconds of real time employed in the montage 

Real time: The shot featuring Damien lip syncing holding an umbrella was the only 16 seconds of real time employed in the montage 

Visuals: The band have become famous for their creative videos 

Visuals: The band have become famous for their creative videos