Sweety High Interviews OK Go's Creative Force: Brian L. Perkins!
If you don't already know OK Go for their amazingly viral music videos, you probably saw their latest, "Needing/Getting", which debuted as a Super Bowl commercial. This incredibly creative film shows the band using a car to play instruments and make a song.
Sweety High was able to interview Brian L. Perkins, one of the creative forces behind the video, to find out how he drew inspiration and made this fantastic video come together. Check out the interview below!
SH: Your new "Needing/Getting" video is such an original concept, how did
you come up with the idea?
I've been working with the band since they started, about ten years ago, and have known Damian since college (we were in a band together) — so he and I are in a pretty constant conversation about projects we think would be cool. We were developing a couple other car ideas last spring, and at one point, he wrote something like, "We could make percussive music by driving past things with some sort of pole or protrusion sticking out of a window."
After a few emails back and forth, we had a treatment. –that process took a day or two. Then actually making it took another six months.
SH: It seems as though filming such a video must have been very hard to pull
off. What was the biggest challenge in getting it right?
Oh man. Everything.
The first big problem was I wanted the track to be enormous and sculptural — like a giant metal centipede in the desert — but it turns out that super-big objects don't make lovely musical noises. Simply building big instruments that would look awesome and sound awesome was a huge challenge so to everyone out there who thinks science and math have nothing to do with showbiz — you're wrong. Learn that stuff. It's useful and amazing.
The bigger challenge was how weird our ideas are. We have to work with super-seasoned professionals, who have been doing this stuff longer than we have, and we had to tell them, "Forget all the smart things you do to make your job easier. Please instead join us in doing something stupid, hard, crazy, and wrong. Trust us — it'll be cool."
SH: How does it feel knowing that this video had over 4 million views
and 7 million shares in only 2 days?
Awesome. It's just plain awesome.
SH: When did you first start directing film projects?
Around 1997. My friend Matt Smith made a short film that I saw. And it blew my mind. I was like, "Wait a minute? You're just allowed to go make a movie? Why are we not doing this?" (this was before YouTube and cheap, high-quality video cameras).
So my friend Paul Charney and I immediately went out and made a ridiculously stupid movie called Space Chocolate, about a flaming piece of chocolate, in space, landing inside a pizza box. And we shot it on film — 16 mm color film. Which is not cheap. It was the dumbest thing ever. And it was so fun.
After that, I just didn't stop.
SH: We have a lot of young Sweetys that are filmmakers themselves. Do you
have any tips or advice on how to practice your craft?
A friend of mine, Chris Baty, started a thing called National Novel Writing Month. Every November he gets hundreds of thousands of people all over the world who have never written before to write the first draft of a novel.
I was at his house the other day and he has this poster on his wall that says, "Done is better than perfect." And that's the key right there. Start something and finish it.
The only difference between wanting to be a director and being a director is actually doing the project instead of just talking about it.
Done is better than perfect. Start now, finish soon, and then do it again.