Still basking in the glow of its successful landing of the Curiosity Rover on Mars, NASA is getting some extra publicity from a music video shot in Seattle – complete with a lookalike of the former University of Washington student who has come to be known as “Mohawk Guy.”
“We’re NASA and We Know It” is a parody of LMFAO’s hit “I’m Sexy and I Know It.” The video includes NASA animations interlaced with dance sequences which were shot in Seattle. Westlake Park is used as a backdrop in much of the video.
The video’s creator, David Hudson of Seattle, says the effort is the launch video for a new YouTube Channel, YouTube.com/Satire. The channel is comprised of filmmakers from Hudson’s company, Cinesaurus, the web series Job Hunters and other film and tech companies around Seattle.
The rover landed on Sunday, August 5. Three days later, the group met to start putting it all together.
“We're all big fans of NASA and watched the live stream of Curiosity landing, but at the time it happened, internet fame wasn't something we were concocting,” said Hudson.
Hudson said the lyrics were written last Thursday. The song was recorded and the costumes, props and locations were prepared on Friday and Saturday.
Filming happened over a nine hour period on Sunday. Westlake Park served as the scene for dance sequences which included two people in space suits, NASA “engineers” and a woman in a stars and stripes bikini with a rover camera for a head.
The other location was the Jet Propulsion Laboratory control room, which was actually shot using a green screen.
Editing occurred Monday and Tuesday and the video launched on YouTube Wednesday. As of Thursday morning, it had been viewed over 250,000 times.
Hudson credits former NASA engineer Anne Ketola, one of the production’s collaborators, with obtaining NASA badges and gear, and for providing some insight on details to include in the video.
The biggest star – besides the rover and the Red Planet – was the hairdo Hudson wore for the video. He visited a barber the day before the shoot to get his hair dyed from blonde to black, had it cut into a Mohawk and had stars shaved into the side of his head. It matches the hairstyle of one of the crew members in the NASA control room, Bobak Ferdowsi. He graduated from the University of Washington astronautics program in 2001 with a 4.0 GPA.
The video also pays homage to renowned astrophysicists Carl Sagan and Neil deGrasse Tyson.
“Creative people know no bounds when the universe serves as their daily muse,” Tyson tweeted about the video.
Hudson hopes his new group will produce weekly videos for popular, trending topics on its new YouTube channel.
“The entire process was a fast-paced blast!” said Hudson. “It's thrilling to create content so quickly and release it while it's still relevant to the news. That's the mission statement we've set for ‘Satire,' and our group just met last night to plan what we will launch next Wednesday.”