Menu

Technology

3,000 Pieces of Toast: The Making of OK Go's Next Big Viral Video

Last Leaf Video

The video for the latest song by viral-video experts OK Go features stop-motion animation -- on nearly 3,000 pieces of toast.OK Go

They already did treadmills and room-sized Rube Goldberg machines. Toast simply had to be the next frontier.

The latest video from Grammy Award-winning viral video specialists OK Go features a unique application of stop-motion technology -- involving lasers and 3,000 pieces of toast.

"No one has done anything in this magnitude in animated food art," Nadeem Mazen told FoxNews.com. Co-founded by MIT grads Mazen and Ali Mohammad, design firm Serious Business that helped create the video for OK Go. They described it as a play on a popular Internet meme -- the discovery of a religious image in a piece of bread.

"We thought taking the whole existing meme of 'Jesus toast' -- or any type of image on toast -- to a fully creative, fully animated place was interesting," Mazen said. So he and Mohammad bought a few hundred loaves and hit the drawing board.

The video was made with more than 3,000 meticulously laser-etched pieces of toast, photographed with a Samsung NX100 digital camera. And don't worry, all that toast wasn't just wasted food: Mazen noted that all bread used was well past its sell-by date.

Last Leaf, posted November 10 on YouTube, already has more than 250,000 views and it's growing steadily. For fans of the band, the success is not all that surprising. Creating clever videos is modus operandi for the group, which has consistently mesmerized the world with its creative, often very low budget visions.

OK Go's first true web sensation was a novel display of treadmill choreography. "Here it Goes Again" was released in 2006 -- and now has more than 53 million hits on YouTube.

Earlier this year the group released the outlandish "This Too Shall Pass," which featured a warehouse-sized Rube Goldberg machine. That video also became hugely popular.

"They're the kings of viral video," Mazen told FoxNews.com. Along with Mohammad, the pair first brought the toast idea to the band about a year ago.

OK Go's success is a testament to the growing online ecosystem for art expression as well, Mazen said, pointing out that consumer electronics giant Samsung worked with the band to make the video happen. The Internet can empower individuals, but the type of collaboration seen in these projects is unprecedented, Mazen said.

"It's just a totally new model to get a company [like Samsung]  that's that interested in something just because its creative," Mazen told FoxNews.com. "To get this funding and to get this energy all in the same place is totally unique, and that's one of the huge inspirational messages of this video."

But for those at home looking to create the next Internet sensation, Mazen acknowledges that there is no secret formula.

"We're a company that does social media marketing," Mazen told FoxNews.com. "We have a good idea of who perpetuates these things and what the distribution networks are." It's about the art and creating something that would stand on its own without the Internet. "If the idea isn’t there, it just isn’t going to spread," he concedes.

Next up for Serious Business is an unexpected philanthropic detour, following concerns about the amount of food wasted. 

"It was really nice to see people who thought the bread was being wasted speak out, because it shows that there is a lot of latent energy and interest," Mazen said.

The team is now looking to harness that energy in a research project for exploring ways to alleviate hunger, and will be hosting a benefit event in December. Look for it to go viral everywhere shortly thereafter.