Can-Throwing Skills

Status: Real (I think)
image Check out this video that shows a bunch of kids casually tossing empty soda cans into trash bins. They make perfect shot after perfect shot, from behind their back, thirty feet away, beneath their legs, etc. And always as if they're not even trying to make the shot. You can watch the video either on their website, (scroll down to the link that says The Caca Cola Company), or on youtube. The question is, how did they manage all these perfect shots? Was it through some kind of cgi or digital special effects, or did they simply do repeated takes until they made the shot and then edited the successful shots together?

Most of the commenters on youtube seem to think it's all fake (i.e. digitally manipulated). Many of them point to a scene at 1:32min where the can appears to bounce off of air. But I don't agree. To me it looks like the can is simply bouncing off the rim of the trash can. (Scratch that... I was looking at min 1:32 on a downloaded version of the movie, not on the youtube version... On the youtube movie, at min 1:32, the can does indeed appear to change direction suddenly in mid-air. The scene is the one in the thumbnail. However, this could simply be an illusion caused by the angle of the camera. Or maybe there was some liquid or a weight in the can.) Also, although I don't know a lot about video editing, this looks like a very low-budget movie, and I suspect it would be a lot cheaper to do repeated takes rather than to do fancy cgi or otherwise manipulate the video. So I'm voting that it's real, in the sense that they actually managed to get the cans into the trash bins in real life without the use of special effects. (Thanks to Bart Goovaerts for emailing me about this video.)


Posted on Fri Jul 28, 2006


Reminds me of the Lebron James Powerade commercial.

I dunno--something looks odd about the can's shadow. I'm no expert on video, but that shadow sure looks "intentional".

Wouldn't the low-budget look make it easier to fake (with careful editing anyway--maybe not much cgi)?
Posted by JoeDaJuggler  in  St. Louis, MO  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  10:33 AM
I suspect some are done via lots of practice. Try sitting about 7-8 feet away and throwing the can about 20 times. After awhile, you get it.

The scene where one guy kicks the can and rebounds it off a rain spout into the garbage seems like maybe a monofilament line and reel, especially just before the can goes in, it seems to speed up just a bit unnaturally.

I suspect really clean plexiglass or glass in at least 2 where the can rebounds off nothing at all.

Finally, I see several 'basket ball' trick shots where the can goes out of frame and then reappears just before entering the receptacle. Guy on a ladder out of frame with identical can; either catches the thrown can and drops the dupe, or the dupe goes wild and he times dropping it in.

Finally, none of them are actually drinking the soda, although some get close to "acting" like they are.

And some of the cans look weighted, as well...

Just my 1.5 cents
Posted by OriginalSim  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  10:45 AM
I think the only 'cheat' they might have used is something for weight in the cans. Besides that it all looks pretty legit. They just spent a lot of time and takes to get a collection of clips with made shots. You can kinda tell from the way they're acting what they were doing.

I also used to be a young man with a lot of free time on my hands, (like a year ago) and can totally understand how these guys could spend countless hours to get all these clips of them making these shots. And with digital cameras now, it doesn't even cost them anything to film-delete-refilm.

They were like "Dude, lets make this awesome tape and post it on YouTube, it will be so cool" And I guess they were successful in getting the attention they wanted.
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  12:00 PM
In the scene where a can appears to bounce off of the air, look in the top right corner as the man walks by. You can see a reflection on the glass in front of the camera. I think they just took a lot of shots until they got it. They had to have weighted down the cans, for some of those shots are far away for something that light to get there.
Posted by Hutch  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  12:54 PM
Nearly all look fake to me. Very few seem to be close to "natural flight" for cans. I agree that most could be done with weights and practice but some of them some flights are so "unnatural" that they seem to be CGI (can fixed on stick and stick edited out later). The kicks are totally and obviously fake (and most likely CGI).
Posted by Floormaster Squeeze  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  01:32 PM
There's something fishy with that video...
and they should be recycling their cans.
Posted by Ian  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  05:16 PM
The one where the can looks like it changes direction in mid air looks to me like it bounced off of a piece of plexiglass such as would be used in a bus stop.
Otherwise, it looks like a bunch of young men with too much time to waste and I agree that they should be recycling!
Posted by thephrog  on  Fri Jul 28, 2006  at  08:30 PM
Dollars to donuts, as was the case with PS2 and the graffiti, bet this is a Coca Cola advertising campaign. Please note that all the soft drink items represented are Coca Cola products... 😝
Posted by Christopher  on  Sat Jul 29, 2006  at  07:40 AM
It's fake. In the scene where the guy throws a can across the road as cars drive past, the trajectory of the can through the air is completely wrong compared to the angle at which he 'threw' it.

Some of the bounces around the rim of the bins look suspicious too.
Posted by Jonty  on  Sat Jul 29, 2006  at  11:58 AM
Yea I think the whole the thing is real, just done with lots of practice.

About the can at 1.32...the camera is behind a plexiglass bus shelter and that is what the can bounces off, not thin air. You can see the reflection of the guy in the glass in the top right as he walks on.

But has been said, the guy throwing the can in between two cars passing, the can speeds up as it approaches the bin, and almost shoots in.
Posted by Alun  on  Sat Jul 29, 2006  at  02:02 PM
For all of you who think all of these tosses are real, I've got a bridge I've been wanting to sell...
Posted by coit  on  Sat Jul 29, 2006  at  03:50 PM
Well, I can't actually see any of the videos. But as has been mentioned, these video clips could be the few times that they did manage the shots, as opposed to the 1,346,843 times that they missed. Try something often enough, and you may get at least one or two spectacular results.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat Jul 29, 2006  at  07:40 PM
The throw at around 1:40 is also incredibly suspect. The can appears to be totally CGI as it morphs on it's way down into the bin.
Some of them seem real though, and not that hard to achieve with a few takes.
So, I give it a combination of real and CGI.
Posted by AussieBruce  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  06:36 AM
I can't see the vid either - but from what everyone's saying it sounds like maybe they used a load of different tricks. Could it be a vid they've made to pitch a special effects company or something?
Posted by outeast  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  07:19 AM
I think its a combination of real shots and manipulation, and "powerade" type shots.. some of those shots quite clearly cant be made namely the rebound ones and the can hitting the top and falling back in.. I thought "viral ad campaign" myself after noticing they were all coke products, not to mention the "new line media" intro...
Posted by Gutgut  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  02:14 PM
Does anyone know if YouTube videos show at different resolutions and clarity depending on computer? I'm on a T1 here at work, but crappy video card (non-existent, motherboard video) and the videos on YouTube are so blurry there is no way I could ever tell those were all coke products.
Posted by Grain  in  Bay Area, CA  on  Mon Jul 31, 2006  at  02:26 PM
Look at the thumbnail up above and how perfect th coke logo appears, you cant determine that EVERY can is a coke product but out of all the ones visible I see coke, diet coke and sprite...
Posted by Gutgut  on  Tue Aug 01, 2006  at  10:38 AM
check this :

bottle throwing profs vol 1
Posted by Bennito  on  Mon Nov 05, 2007  at  11:43 AM
Definetely CGI animation...looks like a school project that they got an A on. Mike -
Posted by Mike  on  Tue Feb 05, 2008  at  07:44 PM
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