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How OK Go Built the Craziest Rube Goldberg Machine Yet

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OK Go's new music video for "This Too Shall Pass" is four minutes of pure Rube Goldberg insanity. And as these behind-the-scenes videos show, it was every bit as monumental an undertaking as you'd expect:

What started with a two-paragraph synopsis of the band's vision quickly ballooned into a massive-scale project requiring 20 engineers. The work was headed up by Syyn Labs (formerly Mindshare), a collective of "creative engineers" who explore the intersection of art and technology.


The planning started last November, according to Wired, with actual construction not beginning until January. It was a massive undertaking: eight core builders responsible for most of the design and building, 12 additional part-time builders, and six weeks of uninterrupted work.

The result: a Rube Goldberg machine with dozens of moving parts filling an entire Los Angeles warehouse, and—important to OK Go lead singer Damian Kulash—no computers or other "tricks." Just pure physics in motion.


Shooting the video took two days and more than 60 takes, with most attempts failing at around the thirty second mark. To reset the entire contraption took a team of 30 volunteers close to an hour. It's all really remarkable stuff—and it doesn't hurt that it's accompanied by a such a catchy tune.