I blogged about OK Go’s videos last February when I was in the midst of tax-induced despair. They released another one yesterday and watching it has proved able distraction from my book-induced despair.

This is OK Go’s thing–to make these crazy one-take videos that explode the internet. They’ve been continually one-upping themselves in the Holy Jim Thome, that’s one take! department with the big marching bands and crazy Rube Goldberg machines of last spring’s “This Too Shall Pass.”

So I imagine when they were planning the next video, the conversation went something like this:

Ok Go Guy #1: “So, what are we going to do this time?”
OK Go Guy #2: “I dunno.”
OK Go Guy #3: “I dunno.”
OK Go Guy #4: “Dogs.”
Ok Go Guys #1-3: “Cool.”

The choreography and stagecraft are exuberantly low-rent (apparently I’m not the only one who’s dropped a big chunk at Ikea lately.) But, you know, dogs. Apparently it took about 200 takes to get it right. That’s what it takes sometimes, and sometimes your supporting cast will poop on your shoe, but eventually all your dogs are beautifully in sync and you have something to marvel at. The effort doesn’t show, there’s no trace of poop anywhere–the product is simply this effervescent bit of three-and-a-half minute silliness.

I’m having a lot of conversations lately about the hard patches of writing, those times when you’re so stuck in the mud you start to think that mud is part of your identity. Just play, I tell my students. Free yourself. Have fun. See what happens. Then I go wallow in the mud myself. But this is the goal, we play, we try, we do 200 takes, and by the end your dogs are springing out everywhere, joyously.