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“The Writing’s On the Wall” by OK Go

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“The Writing’s On the Wall” by OK Go

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“The Writing’s On the Wall” by OK Go


song info

    “The Writing’s On the Wall” by OK Go (official video) is an alternative song.

    Song Title: The Writing’s On the Wall (official video)
    Artist: OK Go
    Album: Hungry Ghosts
    Genre: alternative rock, rock
    Lead Vocals: Damian Kulash, Jr.
    Backing Vocals: Tim Nordwind, Andy Ross
    Guitar: Damian Kulash, Andy Ross
    Keyboards: Andy Ross
    Bass Guitar: Tim Nordwind
    Drums: Dan Konopka
    Percussion: Dan Konopka
    Director: Damian Kulash, Jr., Aaron Duffy, Bob Partington
    Released: 17 June 2014
    Number of listens: 6196
    Current rank: 1712 (updated weekly)
    Highest rank: 1712 (play the video all the way through to register a vote for this song)


    Summary quotation from Wikipedia:

    “The Writing’s on the Wall” is a single written and performed by the alternative group, OK Go, the first single from their upcoming album Hungry Ghosts. The single premiered along with the music video on June 17, 2014, and was published as part of the band’s EP Upside Out, released the same day. Like previous OK Go videos, Writing’s video is a one-shot music video where the members of the band interact with a number of props to create numerous optical illusions during the course of the video, reflecting on the theme of a song about a failing relationship due to the couple having different points of view.


    Kulash stated that “The Writing’s on the Wall” was written around “that moment in a relationship when you realize it’s coming to an end and that it’s inevitable”, where there is the “feeling of having something coalesce and fall apart, like chaos and order”. As such, the song is written to be “melancholic and jubilant at the same time”, according to Kulash. “Writing” has been compared to have a New Order-feel to the melody, according to the Los Angeles Times’s Randall Roberts.


    An example of the types of optical illusions used in OK GO’s video, this specifically created by Felice Varini, in which the illusion is achieved by viewing from a specific angle.

    The video for “Writing” was co-directed by OK Go frontman Damian Kulash, Jr. along with Aaron Duffy and Bob Partington, creative personnel from the Special Guest and 1st Ave Machine agencies, respectively. The music video premiered at a special presentation at the Los Angeles Museum of Contemporary Art on June 16, 2014, with its world premiere the next day via Rolling Stone’s website and OK Go’s YouTube channel.

    The video is shot in a single take using a hand-held camera mounted with round handles, moved about by members of OK Go and assistants through a warehouse with various stations created by everyday objects, clothing worn by the band, and painted surfaces in specific arrangements. Each station plays on the use of optical illusions once the camera is set in position, such as those by Felice Varini that play on the illusion working from one specific point, or illusions like the Necker cube that are based on a lack of depth perception. All the illusions were created by the camera shots, without the use of any post-processing special effects.

    The illusions were tied to the theme of the song, as described by Rolling Stone, “a pre-break-up report from a relationship in which two people keep seeing things in different ways”. Kulash felt in planning the video that the use of illusions was a good representation of this concept. The band and crew were careful in selecting objects to use for the illusions and stuck to more common household objects, not wanting to create any unintentional meanings behind their selection that they knew some viewers would search for. In the song’s bridge, the camera is mounted on a rolling device as it passes by wooden creates painted and populated with various objects, such that the words “I think / I understand you / but I don’t” appear briefly when the camera rolls by and in the correct position. Kulash emphasized this segment as “where the song comes out emotionally”, and used the tighter confined space created by the crates to punctuate this segment from the larger warehouse space they had set the video in.

    Pre-planning of the video was done about two months prior to the physical set construction, determining how the video would progress and using computer mock-ups to figure out the concept. The warehouse set was located in Bedford–Stuyvesant, Brooklyn, where the band resided during the setup and filming of the video. It took about three weeks to assemble the set, finding that some of their original concepts did not play out in real life and required some fine tuning, such as positioning an apparent pile of junk as to resemble band member Tim Nordwind’s face at the right angle without losing the fact that the junk was still made from common household objects. The video took about 65 takes to get right during filming. The concept of the one-shot was considered critical to the video as it provided immersion for the viewer in the unfolding of the video, making them more interested in the song. Nordwind considered this video to be the band’s most difficult one to film given amount of involvement they themselves were in, including manning the camera and performing costume changes. The film was arranged to put most of these complicated shots where mistakes would be made at the front of the video to reduce the amount of time to reset the warehouse for subsequent takes.

—from Wikipedia (the Wikipedia:Text of Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 3.0 Unported License applies to Wikipedia’s block of text and possible accompanying picture, along with any alterations, transformations, and/or building upon Wikipedia’s original text that applied to this block of text)

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most recent comment

    Andrew: The Writings On the Wall is Mathis’s favorite song.

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