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  #1  
Old 11 March 2010, 05:47 PM
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Driver BMW's tablecloth trick

Comment: We are having a big discussion on if this clip is fabricated or real:

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  #2  
Old 11 March 2010, 05:55 PM
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Obviously fake. In one of the place settings, the salad fork is clearly on the wrong side of the dining fork.
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  #3  
Old 11 March 2010, 06:15 PM
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The one thing that convinces me that this is real is that they use a rod between the two attach point on the cloth. A normal person would not think to do this if they were some how faking it. On the other hand it is necessary to have the table cloth attached to something in order to allow for an even pull. It also prevents the two attach point from pulling toward each other.

As for the stunt. We do not know how many attempts there were be for they got it right. I would be surprised they got it right on the first try. Wounder what they did with the cloth and plates to reduce friction coefficient, because I would be surprised if nothing were done. First guess is cloth is silk.
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Old 11 March 2010, 06:27 PM
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Just a quibble. The tablecloth trick is not, as the clip claims, "the oldest trick in the world."

That one is "Hey, Ogg. Pull finger."
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Old 11 March 2010, 06:58 PM
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I would think it's fake because the tablecloth trick is done by pulling the tablecloth more down than straight out.
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  #6  
Old 11 March 2010, 08:14 PM
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The items could be magnetised to that they stay on. Or the itms on the table were CGIed in later.
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  #7  
Old 11 March 2010, 11:24 PM
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If I ever make a fake (or real) video of anything, I will have to remember to include the "spontaneous" shots of all the person's friends going "Wahey! High Five! Wooh!" and dancing about in an unconvincing manner as though they're all surprised that the professionally filmed stunt has actually worked first time. Even if the trick is real, that kind of nonsense makes it look less convincing, yet you see it in every example.

I was going to say that I couldn't see why it wouldn't work in principle, but thinking more, the acceleration would have to be pretty smooth and impressive (presumably what they're trying to suggest). Also the place settings seem to stay completely immobile. Even in the small-scale demonstration you can see them move slightly - it seems unlikely that they wouldn't move at all in the larger trick.
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Old 11 March 2010, 11:29 PM
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As it comes off it looks a bit like there's a thin sheet of glass between the tableware and the tablecloth.

Dropbear
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  #9  
Old 12 March 2010, 12:04 AM
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Yes, that might be a good way to do it "really". Glue the place settings to the glass, then perform the trick with the only thing on the table being the glass sheet. It would explain why none of the place settings seem to move relative to each other, at least.

Either way, they admit it's a "trick" in the description. What exactly are we trying to decide? Is everything that's unlikely these days assumed to be done "with computers"? There are ways to do that without CGI, I'm sure. Or the whole thing including the motorbike and the people could be animated. Where's the medium?
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  #10  
Old 12 March 2010, 03:58 AM
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I think we are just trying to decide how it might be possible, just like some other threads where we are challenged to work out how a magic trick works. It's the same thing - we know for a fact that you cannot really cut a woman into pieces (well you could but it would be nasty) we know that what we saw (no pun) happened so the question is how did they do that and make it look convincing?

I'm going with the sheet of glass (or plexiglass) theory. I think if the tableware had been magnetised to the table the magnetic attraction would have held the cloth onto the table until the power of the bike overcame it - at which point the whole lot would have come crashing down.
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Old 12 March 2010, 05:07 PM
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Chroma key? They could at least have made it slightly more realistic by using a longer cord.
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  #12  
Old 12 March 2010, 05:23 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
If I ever make a fake (or real) video of anything, I will have to remember to include the "spontaneous" shots of all the person's friends going "Wahey! High Five! Wooh!" and dancing about in an unconvincing manner as though they're all surprised that the professionally filmed stunt has actually worked first time. Even if the trick is real, that kind of nonsense makes it look less convincing, yet you see it in every example.
Why wouldn't you celebrate when a trick finally went off properly? If I made a giant Rube Goldberg machine, after much testing and practice, and then filmed it going off and everything worked correctly and I got the take, you bet your ass I'd be celebrating.
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Old 12 March 2010, 07:28 PM
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Agree. If it was so unsurprising that it would work (let alone first time) then why on earth is it even worth filming at all? No, any 'stunt' that works is worthy of celebration. Besides, who says first time? If I've spent all day and hundreds of dollars trying to get it right, you can bet your ass I'd be high-fiving the others involved when it finally came together!

As for this clip - clearly a manipulation of some kind. Apart from a bike simply not pulling fast enough on takeoff to do this, the cloth takes a second or two to pull through the entire table. There's no way the items wouldn't go along with it if it were as presented.

My money's on the plexiglass concept, and quite likely held back at the far end that's cut off the frame, as well.
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  #14  
Old 12 March 2010, 09:20 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Aimee Evilpixie View Post
Why wouldn't you celebrate when a trick finally went off properly? If I made a giant Rube Goldberg machine, after much testing and practice, and then filmed it going off and everything worked correctly and I got the take, you bet your ass I'd be celebrating.
It's filmed and edited together so tightly that there's no way it's a genuine celebration. The crew behind the scenes might well have cheered when it finally worked (assuming that it was done in a "real" way that took many takes to get right, rather than in a fairly reliable way by trickery) but do you honestly think they went through that ritual of smoothing down the tablecloth each time? Or that the choreographed celebration shots are all spontaneous, and the cameras just happened to be in place? Or even that they would have practiced with all that get-up, if they'd not known it was going to work?
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  #15  
Old 12 March 2010, 10:42 PM
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This is obviously a professionally done commercial. That means professionally done editing. A editor will take all the film shot and cut and piece it together to tell the story they want. There may have been hundreds of hours of film from several diffent camera and angles before they got everything they needed. We only though watching the video have no way of knowing how many tries it took or in what order things really happen.

If the cloth were coated or made from teflon and everything on the table had a coating of teflon. Would that reduce the friction coefficient enough to make this trick at least plausible.
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  #16  
Old 13 March 2010, 07:27 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
It's filmed and edited together so tightly that there's no way it's a genuine celebration.
I'm sorry, but are you nuts?

The only celebration shown is a high five and then some of the other guys (crew?) come in and high five and clap the biker on the back. How is this even remotely unplausible?

I do agree it's a professionally created and scripted ad, and the celebrations are done to script, but they are not at all even slightly unlikely were the stunt to have actually been real.

Indeed, many similar celebrations can be seen if one is a fan of Nitro Circus, Jackass, or similar stunt shows.
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  #17  
Old 13 March 2010, 07:44 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
It's filmed and edited together so tightly that there's no way it's a genuine celebration.
Eh The cameras are in place because basically they have set it up and are filming it so they already put the cameras there. I do not understand this counter argument. It is not unconventional on a professional production to have ten, twenty or thirty cameras at different angles especially if one is filming a tricky possibly one-off stunt, then only pick footage from two or three in the cutting room.

Yeah they might have smoothed down the tablecloth between failed takes - why not? I read an article once about the old Guinness floating on lemonade poster ad - they had about 500 tries at that before they got it right. That must have been equally frustrating. Or it was either luck or judgement that it worked first time (or on an early go).

The celebration shots might well have been added after event though, I will accept but that's part of the ad.
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  #18  
Old 13 March 2010, 08:26 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by One-Fang View Post
I do agree it's a professionally created and scripted ad, and the celebrations are done to script, but they are not at all even slightly unlikely were the stunt to have actually been real.
You also agree that they're not real, then? That was my point. In trying to make it look as though it's all spontaneous, when it clearly isn't, they reduce the credibility of the whole, to my mind.

No, I'm not "nuts". It's just that I've seen enough viral videos to tell what they're trying to copy. In the first instance, the videos really were amateurs filming difficult things, and probably they had taken lots of tries to do so, and the "high five" celebrations were real. (That one of the guy putting his trousers on in a variety of interesting ways, say.) No problem. Then the videos were edited together and put online as interesting things in their own right.

Then advertisers got hold of the idea - together with their own professional resources - and decided that their adverts would be better if people passed them around going "Ooh, look at this interesting thing!", rather than having to distribute them themselves. So, because they were trying to copy the amateur look, they used to make them a bit shaky, disguised any professional CGI or signs of staging, and copied the celebrations too, to increase the impression that it was a difficult thing that they'd just managed to get right, when they weren't sure if it would work.

Now, though, even the "amateur" side of it's been dropped. That is very clearly professionally produced, immaculately staged and edited together. It's obvious that they would have known exactly how it was all going to work (however that is) before they even started to produce it. The celebrations are meaningless, other than as a scripted part of something that would originally have been supposed to make it look amateurish. Which it obviously isn't.

They annoy me because apparently it's been forgotten why they would originally have been there - either that, or the producers still think they are fooling people. You're the first person to respond to this idea and say that you also can see that it's obviously scripted, so unless everybody else found it too obvious to mention, then perhaps they're right about that.
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  #19  
Old 13 March 2010, 08:34 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Richard W View Post
So, because they were trying to copy the amateur look, they used to make them a bit shaky, disguised any professional CGI or signs of staging, and copied the celebrations too, to increase the impression that it was a difficult thing that they'd just managed to get right, when they weren't sure if it would work.
But the possibility that a stunt may have been professionally designed and executed, with staging used to enhance its likelihood of success, doesn't necessarily mean that it was an easy thing to do or could be accomplished in a take or two.
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  #20  
Old 13 March 2010, 08:41 PM
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Richard W.

So what exactly are you complaining about? It is an advertisement. By their very nature most advertisements contain an element of falsehood - as long as no blatently false claims are made about a product and its virtues then the advert is fine.

I don't for one second believe that if I buy car X I'll magically end up driving through the Swiss Alps with a beautiful woman in the passenger seat giving me that "shag my brains out and soon" look. If the ad for Cereal Z says it will give me all the vitamins I need in one bowlfull then I am entitled to believe that, and complain if it turns out to be untrue. I also don't believe that children who ate Ready Brek in the 1970's glowed red.

The hooplah, staged as it may be is part of the directors notion for the ad.

Some ads work for me (and for you) and some don't. So what?

Last edited by Eddylizard; 13 March 2010 at 08:52 PM.
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