One Direction releases Houston filmed music video

Alyssa Lobue, Teen Interest Editor

One Direction, a global boy band based in London, chose to have their new music video for the single Drag Me Down filmed at The Johnson Space Center. The buildings used were Building 9 Space Vehicle Mockup Facility, Robotics Lab, and Building 49 Vibration and Acoustics Test Facility. This is where all of the filming with the props and Orion mockup scenes occurred. They also filmed all the vocal scenes at Ellington Field, an airport used by the pubic and military. When watching the video, you can slightly notice the cut differences. The production film shoot only took two days, one day at Ellington Field and one at JSC.

It has been confirmed by Jeff Loechel, current NASA employee and witness of the 2-day film shoot, that all props used for the music video were real National Aeronautics and Space Administration, or NASA, hardware. The props used were T-38 Jets, Robonaut, prototype Lunar and Mars Rovers, and training and exercise equipment that had been used by astronauts.   The orange suits worn by Harry Styles, Niall Horan, Liam Payne, and Louis Tomlinson were real flight training suits as well.

“The smoke or fog for the building 49 scene was used to make the lights show up better and to screen out the elevator floor. It kind of helped give off the whole thought of larger than life heros,” Jeff Loechel, laboratory manager, said.

“The film crew used our industrial looking freight elevator because they wanted something that looked believable as a launch gantry,” Loechel continued.

Although production time was so short, crew from Fulwell 73 came to scout locations to film and plan scenes weeks before the band showed up. The crew and band worked days as long as 13 hours but were able to stay confident and happy through the dragging days.

“The band members were pleasant, you could tell they were all pretty excited to be at NASA. All four were very spirited, full of energy and fun,” he said.

Loechel continued by describing each of the boy’s personalities and attitudes while on set.

“Niall seemed to be fairly quiet, but laughed quite a bit. Liam was cutting up and teasing everyone the entire time. Louis was hilarious with Liam and Niall, he and Liam were definitely the most talkative. Harry seemed to keep to himself the most of the four. He seemed pretty much like a free thinker, often walking ahead of the group,” Loechel said.

Few people are aware that Horan actually came to visit JSC during August of 2014 alone. He came for a tour of the space center, and some news sources state that he loves to learn about NASA and space overall. This leads fans to believe that Niall’s visit was the inspiration of the exploration of space theme behind the Drag Me Down music video.

The JSC SWAT team members provided security for the boys while working. Only a select few people could enter the filming areas and they were required to have special wrist bands worn at all times. It was kept secret and the people working at NASA could not disclose any information until the date of the video release to avoid crowds.

“Did you know JSC has a fully trained SWAT team?! You don’t mess with those guys!” Loechel said.

“It was great to see how the production mixed the band with a story about real life space exploration soon to come, using Orion’s spacecraft. The song’s pretty great too!,” Loechel continued.