Cheerleader Toss

The cheerleader goes up, and comes down exactly through the basketball hoop. It seems like there has to be a trick to it somehow, though I can't figure out what the trick might be. As I watched the movie clip, I kept thinking 'what if her foot got caught in the net'. At the very least the net must be rigged so that it would rip away from the hoop if her foot were to catch it.


Posted on Fri Dec 24, 2004


Did you notice that, at the end of the clip, the girl is holding the back of her head as if she hit it on the hoop while going through it? I don't know if this thing is fake or not, but if it is, that's a nice touch.

Does anyone know the diameter of a regulation basketball hoop? They seem pretty small to me. How tiny would a person have to be to fit through one?

Another observation for what it's worth: at the end of the stunt, the guys are all high-fiving each other and mostly ignoring the girl who actually DID it. Just amusing.
Posted by crankymediaguy  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  04:12 AM
hmmmmmmm interesting.
Could be faked. But its a very high tech good fake. I think it is real but crankymediaguys observations make it look strange...

I paused it as her head was going through and it does look very like she could have hit her head.
Posted by Tom  in  england  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  09:04 AM
This commercial -- for that is what it really is -- has the same kind of production values as the ads for videogames that appear to be "home video" but include bizarre special effects. You know, the ones where the kids accidentally turn mom into a goat with a sci-fi weapon, etc.
This has all the hallmarks of those ads -- the effects, the concept, the humor, and the guys who are way too proud of themselves.
It's interesting to note that the net stops moving at the exact moment the girl passes through it -- it doesn't sway or quiver. Is that the normal behavior of a net after the ball is dunked?
Posted by Gene  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  09:38 AM
From my experince, basketball nets swish when something goes through it.
Posted by Dany  in  Texas  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  03:23 PM
Fake... totally fake... If you pause it, and look at the few frames that you can, her upper torso and head would have passed thru the rim itself. Anyways, click more than once on the page, it's a comedy movie. Why would anyone think that this isn't fake?
Posted by Drunk Stepdad  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  03:41 PM
I did see her holding her head which made me laugh a little, as did the guys who didn't give a shit.

I didn't watch it in slow-mo or see any stills, but in my one viewing, the net did look a little suspicious.

I'm sure you could find someone who could fit through a basketball hoop (hell, I might be able to), but I don't think a couple of guys could throw someone into one with that kind of precision.
Posted by James D  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  05:16 PM
It's fake. They are standing several feet in front of the basket so they could throw her high enough and she would not even come close in reality. But from the perspective angle it looks like she is going thru. If you grab the frames one at a time, you can see where they "photoshopped" the rim over he feet, but the next frame shows her back clearly outside the rim area. Nice though.
Posted by Mike M.  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  05:58 PM
I've watched it a few times, and I think it's a fake. Because the camera never pulls back or down enough to show the peoples' feet. If it's a legitimate stunt, there's no reason not to do that, since it would let you judge the perspective much better.
Posted by El Guapo  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  06:45 PM
Here's how they do it...

It's a complete optical illusion. They DO throw the cheerleader up in the air and catch her. However, she never goes "through" the basket, but is actually in front of it. The illusion is that she went through the hoop, but in reality, only her left hand brushes it to make it appear that she has.

While her feet appear to be going through the basket, her torso does not. (a little creative editing) The camera never shows where the group is actually located. (you don't see their feet) By positioning the camera far away, you lose the perspective of how close the group is to the basket.

'nuff said.
Posted by jack  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  07:20 PM
Oops, I need to read better. I agree with Mike M. and El Guapo. (not my fault, look at the posting time) smile
Posted by jack  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  07:22 PM
Gene said:

"This commercial -- for that is what it really is -- has the same kind of production values as the ads for videogames that appear to be "home video" but include bizarre special effects. You know, the ones where the kids accidentally turn mom into a goat with a sci-fi weapon, etc."

Yes, exactly. I thought of those ads, too, when I saw this one. They are for a video game called "Ratchet and Clank" and they are shot in the same hand-held style and feature impossible special effects. It seems probable that this was done by the same people and that it also features special effects (in other words, the girl didn't really go through the hoop). Nice job, though, you have to admit. The guys conferring before throwing the girl and the hand-held camera work are nice touches.
Posted by crankymediaguy  on  Fri Dec 24, 2004  at  08:09 PM
she didn go thru the hoop ,as she would have slowed down....hoop drag you know...all they had to do was stand far enough away ,throw the girl in the air and have her hand brush the net on the way down... other than photo-shopping.
Posted by e m butler  in  NJ  on  Sun Dec 26, 2004  at  07:38 PM
This is definitely not real. If you look at the other things on the site, the trailer for the movie is an AMC theaters turn off your cell phone spot, and the old school cheerleading moves are all jokes like "probed by aliens." Definitely a nice job though. I'm sure it will end up with some moronic cheerleader getting maimed actually trying to do the stunt.
Posted by Jay Wulff  on  Sun Dec 26, 2004  at  09:58 PM
Did you notice those guys are gay? I'm just saying, I'd be grabbing and groping the girl instead.
Posted by Craig  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  10:11 AM
Inside diameter of a regulation hoop is 18". I looked at the video a few times and noted that there is no reflection on the glass as she passes through the hoop. The lighting is set rather flat and appears to be directly in front of the backboard--there should be a distinct reflection as she passes six inches from the backboard.

Net is probably rigged with a thread or they rotoscoped out a basketball going through it and layered her in.

The bump on the head is a nice touch.
Posted by ktownson  in  Slidell, LA  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  10:40 AM
The way the blond guy is looking up at the rim, right before the toss, he should be directly under it and have to strain much harder to look up and see it. He is in front!!!!!
Posted by sbnature  in  sb ca  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  06:58 PM
>>>Did you notice those guys are gay? I'm just saying, I'd be grabbing and groping the girl instead.<<<

Heh. If you 'grab and grope' random girls every single time you get the opportunity, you're going to end up in jail pretty quick.
Posted by Barghest  on  Mon Dec 27, 2004  at  09:00 PM
Nope. Been at it for 35 years and have YET to land in jail.
Posted by Craig  on  Tue Dec 28, 2004  at  05:51 AM
I dont know about you all, but I can see a reflection in the backboard as she passes. Since the camera is right in front of the backboard the edge of the reflection is very close to the cheerleaders body. Look carefully it is there.

Also, if she faked the head hitting the rim, she did a masterful job as a frame by frame examination shows that her head moves forward at the exact time the rim appears to hit her head. Much like the Zapruder film!

As to the net moving, you can see it follow her feet as she moves through the rim. As she drops through, you feet move to the right. The net follows her feet as she passes through. And for those of you asking about moving nets, because of the way they are designed, they do not move much at all after the initial motion. After a ball (or cheerleader) moves through, they become still quite quickly.

And my number one reason for believe this.....They are college students. College students are the only folks dumb enough to try this! And college guys are the only ones dumb enough to ignore the girl afterward!
Posted by thorndike  on  Tue Dec 28, 2004  at  04:24 PM
"Nope. Been at it for 35 years and have YET to land in jail."
Don't know if any prosecutors are reading this, but I think Craig just confessed.
Posted by Big Gary  in  Dallas, Texas, USA  on  Tue Dec 28, 2004  at  06:22 PM
For me the most suspicious thing is that elaborate measures were taken to prevent the curious from downloading the actual clip and looking at it closely. The second most suspicious is that if I were actually able to pull of such a stunt it would be after lots and lots of practice and I would NOT skimp on the videography and would be wearing something presentable. In other words, why have crappy hand-held video of a practice session? If you can *really* do the stunt, you would want it to be as slick as possible.
Posted by John.  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  10:05 AM
"In other words, why have crappy hand-held video of a practice session? If you can *really* do the stunt, you would want it to be as slick as possible."

I agree. Further, if it's a legitimate stunt, why not set up an extra camera or two at different angles?
Posted by ElGuapo  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  10:14 AM
i think it is real, when she start to pass through the hoop, you can see her left leg reflected in the glass, the reflex can be seen at the same size that her real left leg.
this only can happen if she is passing by very close from the glass.
Posted by angelo  in  mexico  on  Wed Dec 29, 2004  at  12:53 PM
I watched the clip and happened to pause it as she was "passing" through the hoop. The hoop is visible behind her back but not on her shirt. Even though she is wearing a white shirt, the same shade as the hoop - surprise! - there is no shading from the hoop cords on her shirt. And, if she indeed did go through the hoop, how do we know it was a regulation hoop? The clip is of such low quality the shading of the hoop cords might be there and just not visible. I haven't been on a basketball court in years, but that backboard looks larger than I remember compared to the people in front.
Posted by Christopher Cole  in  Tucson, AZ  on  Sat Jan 01, 2005  at  09:37 PM
Yep, this is really fake, and it doesn't appear that anyone spent very much time on it. The framerate is very low, presumably because it's a streaming video, but actually the framerate is kept low to avoid actually having to edit any video. There's exactly one frame where you can see her actually interacting with the basket, and, funny thing, it appears the rim has blurred and her body is being peirced by the basket, as there is person where rim should be. They didn't even take the time to edit the *one* image where you see her touching the rim. Fake. Fakefake.
Posted by antivert  on  Sun Jan 02, 2005  at  03:27 PM
It appears the video is showing more frames when playing than when seeking, so there appear to be more frames where she's interacting with the basket. So they may have spent a little more time on it than I first thought.

I also forgot to mention how I think it was filmed. The people were shot throwing the girl with no basket, then the basket was shot by itself and the two videos were composited and then edited to look more realistic. This should have been easy because of the indoor environment, the lighting is extremely controllable. There are other ways it could have been done, but this seems to be the easiest and fastest.

They could have done a better job on the editing, as it doesn't look very real in slow motion, but it probably wasn't a very big deal to whomever was working on it.
Posted by antivert  on  Sun Jan 02, 2005  at  03:46 PM
Who cares it is fukin' funny
Posted by Knobson  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  03:34 AM
its real. period. if you keep zooming in it allows you to look at more frames. when her feet first go in, the hoop swooshes to the right(the direction her feet are going), but as her head comes through, the hoop swooshes to the left(the direction her head is going). how could you fake the hoop switching directions. even if you could, who would think of doing that. as for them not showing their feet, its probably because they dont want you to see the mats they have incase they mess up.
Posted by mike reed  on  Tue Jan 18, 2005  at  10:42 PM
Looks real to me too. Made a gif anmation just to see for myself

Posted by Paradroid  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  04:38 AM
The diameter of a basketball hoop is 18". The diameter across an typical economy airline seat is 17"
Posted by Dr. Dre  on  Wed Jan 19, 2005  at  04:54 PM
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