Is The Car Flip Win/Fail Real Or Fake?

You probably saw the video yesterday of the kid jumping over the car racing at him, hitting his feet on the windshield, flipping in the air, then landing on his feet. And like us, you probably thought he was the luckiest moron on the face of the Earth. And also like us, you probably thought it was fake.

But was it fake?

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At first, it appears to be. The video begins with the camera on a tripod, locked off so post-production wizardry is easier to accomplish (be it green screen, simple masking, etc). Next, the car drives into frame, but we can’t see the ground. Since we don’t see the ground, we don’t see him land. Why is that? Is the kid that terrible at framing or is he hiding something?

Then we switch to a handheld shot that matches what the tripod shot recorded. Now you see the road, but you don’t see the kid land. That’s a flag right there.

So we want to say it’s fake. Yet, many things make us pause before going that far.

First, his trajectory. He obviously hits something as he goes up in the air as his angle completely changes and his leg gets bent back.

Second, the reactions seem genuine. In fake videos of these kinds, people tend to get too excited, too loud, and too over-the-top. These three people are sort of muted in their reactions (excited for the jumper at first. He’s very excited. More on that later) as if something truly crazy happened and they are trying to take it all in. The girl driving the car seems genuinely in shock, as if she just almost killed her friend. The girl holding the camera is sort of silent, and the kid celebrates, then starts immediately telling his friend he will fix her car.

Then, the handheld camera doesn’t move right after impact, as if shock stopped the camera operator from doing anything until she realized her friend landed on his feet and not his head, spilling brains everywhere.

Which is it? Real or fake? Let’s look at some an obviously fake stunt and an obviously real stunt before we decide.

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Enter Kobe Bryant. Bryant shot this commercial for his new shoes back in 2008 and it took the internet by storm. How could it not? He jumped over an Aston-Martin!

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But it’s obviously a fake for three reasons.

1. Kobe looks a little clean when he jumps. Watch it again. When he’s in the air, there’s something about his look, like he’s suddenly against a green screen. Maybe we’re looking too hard? Possibly, but let’s move on.

2. Kobe and the car are on different planes. Look at this picture.

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Kobe is closer to the camera than the car. If he wasn’t against a greenscreen, then this is a dead giveaway that the whole thing is staged. And if he is against a greenscreen, then this just shows they weren’t thorough in the fake.

3. The reactions. Everyone goes too crazy over Kobe’s stunt. And those reactions do sound similar to the kid’s reactions in our initial video. Both are screaming at first, full of adulation and excitement that no death occurred.

4. Kobe Bryant is worth untold millions of dollars and who in their right mind would allow this to happen? No insurance company would cover this and no agent would allow their moneymaking client attempt something so dumb.

5. It’s obviously a commercial for shoes. From the first frame, we know this is fake.

If nothing else, these points prove that it only takes a little bit of time and effort to pull of a convincingly fake car jump.

Now, what does a 100% real version of this video look like? Move on to find out.

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This kid is lucky to be alive.

 

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This is obviously real for many reasons:

1. You see it happen in plain sight. The kid jumps, gets hit, flips through the air, and falls hard. Very, very hard. This is like our initial video’s handheld shot. Both of these are shaky which would make any forgery hard. Most teenagers aren’t skilled in compositing, rotoscoping, and greenscreen work.

2. Muted reactions. The driver and videographer barely make a noise because they appear to be in shock, which makes sense because they’re not sure if their friend broke his neck or not. Again, similar to the cameragirl and driver in our initial video. Pure shock.

3. Handheld. Like we said before, it’s harder to fake these things when the camera is bouncing around. The only people that can do that well are real special effects artists and even they mess up sometimes.
 

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That’s from “The Mummy 2” and not from a Playstation One game.

 

Sometimes, you just go with your gut. These points prove that visceral reactions are important and the feeling of something being genuine is harder to pull of that a fake car jump.

So, was our initial video real or fake? The verdict is on the next page.

 

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The arguments on both sides are strong. We want to say it’s fake because we never see the kid land cleanly. In one video, there is no road. In the other, he’s off frame. We want to say it’s fake because it just seems like it should be. We’ve seen so many fake versions of these. Why isn’t this just another one?

But we also want to say it’s real due to the handheld shots and reactions. And the difficulty to fake one this well and their ages makes us think it can’t be fake. Are we seriously wanting to imply they are Oscar-caliber actors?

So which one is it? I decided after this part of the video:

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In this GIF and in the video, you can see the windshield smashing as it drives across frame. It’s either real or a spectacular piece of CGI and we are going with real.

In summary, this kid is lucky to be alive after he really jumped over a car racing towards him. Congratulations, dumbass.

Now, celebrate by watching eight other people who weren’t as lucky as you.
 

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– Mark (follow on Twitter)