Chicken Plays Billiards

A lot of people have posted this video to youtube in the past month, but no one identifies where the clip comes from. My question is: How was the shot created? The table looks like it's tilted to help the balls roll towards the pockets. Also, I'm assuming the egg is not real.

Animals Photos Sports

Posted on Mon Mar 03, 2008


I don't know. It looks like stop-animation to me.
Posted by Ray Fowler  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  12:39 AM
It's split screen.

Put your camera on a tripod pointing at the table. Put a chicken on the edge of the table and film it for awhile.

Now, without moving the camera, simulate the shot. The balls seem to roll kind of funny. That makes me think either it's a tilted table, they're hollow with loose magnets in them, or it's stop-motion. Look on the right side pocket. It doesn't move until a ball goes in it. That, and the fact that the balls move in opposite directions at the same time, makes me think the table isn't tilte. And the swinging of the pocket when the ball goes in could be simulated with stop motion, but it would be hard. So my guess is hollow balls with loose magnets in them. First someone hits the fake egg with a cue stick, and it rolls and hits the balls. You then run powerful magnets along under the table and the balls follow them. Since the magnets in the balls are loose, they appear to roll. You might need a couple people under there moving the magnets, and a couple tries to get it to look right.

Then you combine the footage of the chicken with the footage of the egg rolling and hitting the balls. So essentially everything from the chicken to the lower left corner of the screen is from the chicken footage. This covers the person who hit the egg with the cue stick. If you put the seam between the two shots along the chicken's butt, the egg appears to roll out of it, then the balls move magically around the table and into the pockets.

That is my guess.
Posted by Crazy Ivan  on  Tue Mar 04, 2008  at  11:43 AM
The split screen makes sense. The egg and balls looked like stop animation to me, but I couldn't make sense of the chicken. I go with live action chicken split screened with stop animation for the rest of the shot.
Posted by Ray Fowler  on  Wed Mar 05, 2008  at  11:18 AM
I'm almost positive I've seen this one on America's Funniest Home Videos. It was at least a decade or so ago. A farmer spent several months building a table with slight grooves in it so all the balls would roll right into the holes.

This could just be a copycat thing, but it looks about the way I remember it.
Posted by WoodenTable  in  Canada  on  Thu Mar 06, 2008  at  08:56 PM
it's from the TV station Super RTL, a german station
Posted by mefilas  on  Mon Mar 17, 2008  at  07:55 AM
Commenting is no longer available in this channel entry.