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How did Adam Sadowsky Do That?

by on August 18, 2010


Adam Sadowsky's Rube Goldberg machine featured in OK Go's music video.


Adam Sadowsky, an American entrepreneur joined forces with Chicago-born band OK Go to create a machine that would be featured in the band’s video, “This Too Shall Pass.” 

Sadowsky spoke to an audience at the TED conference about the building of this machine that has been seen by more than 50 million people on  Youtube. OK Go has a history of utilizing machines in video, including treadmills, and upped the ante big time for this video. Sadowsky would create a Rube Goldberg machine with very specific guidelines. (To clarify, a Rube Goldberg machine is ” an over enginerred machine that performs a simple task.”)  Sadowsky was assigned a difficult task. He was given the 10 Commandements, or list of requiriements, for the machine that would featured in the video. Among the stringent list of requirements, the machine would have to incorporate  “band integration” and “action should follow song feeling.” The machine itself would start the music and finish in sync with the song’s end. 

It took 85 takes before the machine-song synergy was successful. Among technical elements, Sadowsky used what he had to on many occasions, including the high heel of someone who had left her shoe in the studio. Sadowsky offers some advice. “Put reliable stuff last.” And after all of the complications, takes and retakes, he stated, “This too shall pass.”

OK Go made an appearance via in after his speech. 

You can follow Sadowsky at and view his web page at


From → United Kingdom

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