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Richard Roeper Blog

Real or fake?

Real or fake?

As soon as this amateur video of a kid making an incredible shot hit YouTube, the doubters started weighing in, claiming it was a fake. If it IS a fake, it’s an incredible effort that would require some expert video editing—-not to mention the cooperation of dozens of students who perfectly play their parts. (“I played the burly guy in the black T-shirt who ducks just a little bit when the shot is taken. It’s my best work yet.”)

But this is the thing about the times in which we live: any “amazing” video making the rounds, any photo purporting to show two celebrities in a compromising position, any “celebrity sex tape,” will automatically be subject to suspicion. The technology is so advanced, and there are so many people out there who love hoaxing the world, that there will always be doubt in the air.

That will never change. The technology will only get better, and the burden of proving something is authentic will become more and more difficult.

12 Responses to “Real or fake?”

  1. Roger Says:

    Man, PE class has sure gone to hell since I was in school…

  2. Kent from Daftbot.com Says:

    There are few things that make this video rather impressive.

    There’s the shot, which if real, is quite awesome and the kid deserves all the credit in the world for doing something so amazing and having such skill.

    On the flip side if it’s fake, it’s genius. There are a lot of things going on that would leave you to believe it is real. The kids all reacting at the exact same time without an audible queue. Therefore there would have to be a visual queue but everyone is looking at the basket so that means it would have to be removed.

    If it’s fake then some amazing tracking was going on with whatever effect they did use. The camera is really far from being steady and that means they had to track something in order to keep the effect still. Of course it is a basketball court and there are lines of reference everywhere from the floor to the wall, to the square on the basket’s backboard to the backboard itself. These would make it easier to track than most shots.

    One thing that does make me think it’s real is that if it was fake the ball, which can be seen in the background after it goes through the hoop, is bouncing at a realistic rate, and eventually settles, but is left in shot with several subjects moving in front of it. Tracking this many subjects and then having to rotoscope them so you can layer a ball in behind them would take quite a long time. Seeing as how the video is claimed to have been shot this month, I doubt they had that kind of time.

    Chances are it’s real, and that kid is going to be a youtube sensation.

    Of course there’s no way that’s his first try at it, but good job Aaron.

  3. Joe C. Says:

    But Mrs. Schneider was on camera – so it must be real. ;)
    I guess we’ll find out when Conan has the kid on this week.

  4. Michael Desantis Says:

    If that’s fake, the person that made the video, could have a job in the movies

  5. chris M. Says:

    If it really is a fake chances are one of the kids would come forward and say so. It would be difficult for all these kids to keep their mouths shut.

  6. King Solomon Says:

    this video at first looks real. in fact i thought it was real the first two times i watched it.
    but after viewing it more, i’d say some video trickery is going on.

    first of all, when he finally releases the ball, he is still at a nearly horizontal position.
    it would take incredible strength to snap/throw the ball not only cross court in 1-2 seconds
    but high enough so that the arch is so dramatic enough that he ball drops from out of camera view
    into a nearly straight down swish into the basket. the angle of his throw and it’s speed down the length of the court
    and its unlikely straight down swish all account for a fake basket.

    and lastly, there is the fact that when he lets go of the ball, the ball leaves his hands going to the left.
    the ball would have kept going in that direction. once you see it, its hard to miss after each time you watch it.
    the ball goes left, then suddenly 1 second later appears straightened and drops from the top of the basket.

    the reactions can be staged. that’s not a problem. tell them they’ll be in a youtube video and you’ll have several
    Oscar worthy performances.

  7. D. Sutherland Says:

    I do not see that this would be all that difficult to fake. We have the technology to meld different scenes from the same floor. The boy would be placed in a scene that was of some other shot and the real throw across the court would have been made by someone else. Circumstances could have been right for that melding to have occurred. The hard part would be to ensure a similar physical cut between the point he bounces on the ball and when he throws it, to match a shot made by someone else. Maybe they got lucky. The video defies belief: do you really think he is strong enough to throw the ball with two hands after just regaining his balance? He could not have had the strength to make that throw. He looks like he is 5’8″ and 150 lbs or so.

  8. Mardon Says:

    I used to live in Broadview Hts, so I checked it out with friend who’s has kids in the school. Her reply, as she passed the video along: “You gotta see this. It’s is totally unbelievable – a kid from Brecksville-Broadview Heights MS makes an incredible shot. It’s totally real and has been confirmed by my daughter’s friend who was there when it happened……”

  9. Mike Says:

    What would be the need to fake something like that? You could spend a solid month–at least–coordinating and shooting it, and then have to do effects work that’s better than most movies coming out this summer. Or you could spend a single day and let the kid just keep trying the shot over and over and over again until he makes it. It’s impressive that he’s able to do it, but I don’t see a reason to assume it’s faked… other than the sociological reasons you mention.

    Of course, if you were going to do something like this, why not just use 2 cameras from different angles? That’d go a long way towards proving its authenticity–it’d be exponentially harder to fake the same effect from both angles and have them match up perfectly.

  10. Jeff T Says:

    Looks real to me, pretty cool!

  11. Michael Says:

    What is amazing is that all of these kids realized what happened. It starts out as a small group is at one end of the court seemingly in on this attempt at a long distance shot while everyone else in the gym is wandering around in their own world. Within a minute everyone is celebrating as though this was tracked by every kid scratching their asss. …okay so he made the basket.

  12. David Says:

    Well the ball was atleast real when it left his hand because mid flip his fingers were vertical to the ground so there is no way his hand position could have supported his body even with his head on the ground.

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