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?
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.