Drive-By Shooting Video

image A video clip that's been circulating around appears to show a violent gang murder in Compton. A group of gang members driving in a car shoot and kill a guy on the street. It all looks frighteningly real, but according to LA CityBeat writer Mark Cromer it's a scene from the movie Gang Tapes. However, for a long time many police officers who saw the clip were convinced that it was real:

Several officers told me the video had been discussed during briefings. Two officers who evaluated the clip numerous times pointed to a variety of nuance that led them to believe the video was of a real shooting, including what appear to be sparks from the bullets striking the sidewalk... Helmed by director Adam Ripp, the shooting is a scene from the film Gang Tapes, a straight-to-DVD release from Lions Gate Films in 2002. Billed as a “coming of rage” story, the movie is essentially an urban play off The Blair Witch Project, with gang members using a stolen video camera to document their lives and crimes. The movie’s cover jacket quotes The New York Times as heralding the film as “engrossing” and Daily Variety calling it “relentless.” But Ripp’s film is getting the ultimate thumbs up from cops and civilians alike: “Real.”

Posted on Fri Aug 19, 2005


It's kind of pathetic that the cops, who clearly have the ability to do so, didn't bother to check their records to see if there was any such murder actually committed. After all, if this tape was real, it would constitute evidence, wouldn't it?
Posted by Cranky Media Guy  on  Sat Aug 20, 2005  at  01:56 AM
Ah, The Blair Witch Project, that takes me back. 1999! Seems like only a few years ago.

The chaps over at "Insultingly Stupid Movie Physics" convincingly debunk the myth that bullets make sparks when they hit things, which suggests either that the police in America aren't use to shooting things, or they're deliberately trying to mis-inform film-makers.

And the report doesn't state that the murder *isn't* real, only that it's in a film; the director could have been going for ultimate realism, or the whole thing might have been an elaborate way to kill someone and cover it up. I don't believe this for a second, but still.

As for being evidence of something, why would the police want to investigate this kind of thing? According to the report it happens all the time; the residents of Compton must love it, and it would be morally wrong to stop their fun.
Posted by Ashley Pomeroy  on  Sat Aug 20, 2005  at  08:31 AM
Bullets do sometimes make sparks when they hit, just not quite as often as movie effects people seem to think. Copper-jacketed or lead bullets won't usually spark on metal, although steel-jacketed ones will. And any bullet may cause sparks when they hit concrete or rocks, although that's probably more a result of particles of the concrete banging together than from the bullet itself. I can't actually see the movie, but it looks from the little picture like there's a concrete sidewalk and wall there, so there could very well be some sparks. Probably not as much sparking as the special effects people added in, though.

And of course, any tracer or exploding bullet will cause lots of sparks, but I doubt any of those were used in the movie.
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sat Aug 20, 2005  at  09:27 PM
I was once the victim of a Drive-By Shouting...this jerk yelled the nastiest crap, like "Go back to school, get a degree, and make your Mother proud, you lazy shlub", and "Register to vote, you non-participant of Democracy, you" really hurt, y'know? Oh, wait...ShoOting... sorry, my mistake
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Sun Aug 21, 2005  at  09:59 AM
So did you notice any sparks, Hairy? Or were you too stunned by the verbal onslaught to notice such details?
Posted by Accipiter  on  Sun Aug 21, 2005  at  12:28 PM
actually, I did notice some "sparks", but not at that time..."Sparks" was the name of a bad band in the early '80s, memorable only for the fact that they had one member who had a Chaplinesque mustache and mascara...I once went into a record store in NYC with my brother, and was horrified to see that Sparks was there for a record signing bro and I were the only customers in the store, and the band kept looking at us expecting we would recognize them..., we did...that's why we bought a Bill Nelson tape instead...that poor dork with the bad 'stache looked so pitiful, but we laughed and laughed as we left the store...then we were shot by a passing gang...true story
Posted by Hairy Houdini  on  Mon Aug 22, 2005  at  12:15 PM
aww, the link wont work... :(
Posted by thunder  in  England  on  Mon Aug 22, 2005  at  01:51 PM
oh, wait, there it is!
Posted by thunder  in  England  on  Mon Aug 22, 2005  at  01:52 PM
plz let me se thizz video.....

is really importen...gat to se it
Posted by luis  on  Sun Sep 30, 2007  at  02:28 AM
right on, cranky.
Posted by Meet Women  on  Mon Jun 02, 2008  at  08:17 AM
oWw ! Link Don't work :(
Posted by film seyret  on  Mon Jan 24, 2011  at  10:03 AM
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