Superhuman Tape Measure Skills DEBUNK



(drum roll) Greetings, children.
Captain Disillusion here. Now that I've
correctly explained every single video
mystery on the internet, we can finally dedicate
this channel to more… grown-up topics. I'll start off easy by discussing… religious appropriation
of gendered race politics. Now, my opinion on the
subject is rather controversial and it is as follows.
Anyone who– (fast beeping) I'm sorry…
(beeping louder) Apparently there is one more
viral video left to debunk. And it comes as
a special request from an ambitious little
boy named Jason Rodgers– J-Jackson Roberts, who's made a grassroots
hoax-busting effort of his own! JACKSON: You've all seen
this video before, right? I mean, five million of us have. It's in the "important videos"
playlist, so it's gotta be popular. I think a lot of people
have realized it's fake. I mean, they must have by now, right? I mean, I can't be the first
one to realize this, right? Right? CAPTAIN D: Yeah, yeah.
You're totally not. Now, get to the point, please. JACKSON: I think a variety of
techniques were used, and that's why I am calling out (dubstep music)
to Captain Disillusion to come help me out with this because this video
was really hard to make for just this one shot. So, um, I'm calling out to my–
to my savior, my idol, my strength Captain Disillusion to come and help me with this project. CAPTAIN D: Why, Jensen, that's so sweet! Of course I'll help! What have you been able
to figure out so far? JACKSON: I've figured out
that this is an ad for glass. If you see, in the background
of all these shots, the stickers on the glass say
"Integrity," and that's the brand that produced this video. And I have no idea
how they're selling it. I just don't understand
advertising nowadays. You're a glass company, let's make a
video about a f*****g tape measure– (record scratch)
CAPTAIN D: Whoa, okay. No need for foul language, Jamie. You're right! It is a f*****g viral ad. Those are usually produced by ad agencies, and if we knew which
agency created this video, it could lead us
to more information. So, let me show you
this one weird trick to quickly and easily
identify the agency behind any successful viral ad campaign. All we have to do is search
the name of the brand, followed by "viral ad," and "award." Advertising firms crave validation and constantly submit everything
in their portfolio for awards, so this works every time. See? The "Superhuman
tape measure skills" video was one of five spots that
Martin Williams Advertising, an agency that describes itself as
"Charming and relentless," produced for Integrity
Windows & Doors by Marvin. The others weren't as successful,
but with the tape measure spot they struck a perfect
balance of virality because precision
tape-measure tossing seems a little more plausible than
reproducing the Mona Lisa with a nail gun, but not as simple to fake
as throwing a single nail. Now, the whole campaign is from 2010
and has long ago served its purpose, so maybe if we just ask
Martin Williams politely, they'll tell us all about
the visual effects in the ad. (dramatic sting) (ping) (Robotic, female voice reads text on-screen) CAPTAIN D: Well, that doesn't
help us very much. Looks like I'm going to have to teach
you some of my world-famous debunking skills after all, Jeremy. (clears throat) First, a lot of these viral
hoax videos do a trick where they film everything on a tripod
to make the visual effects easier, and then they add the
fake camera shake later. You might want to– (bang)
JACKSON: A lot of these viral hoax
videos do a trick where they film everything on a tripod
to make the visual effects easier, and then they add the
fake camera shake later. And that was actually done
on a few of these shots. Here, you can see.
I've stabilized a couple of these shots– (bang)
CAPTAIN D: Oh. I'm… glad you know that already. Well, one thing I like to do
is study shots frame-by-frame to catch any weird anomalies
that might give away the– (bang)
JACKSON: Right as the
keys get grabbed, they actually start moving before
the tape measure touches them, which is just a complete giveaway. And then there's one frame, while
they're being lifted up, that they sort of stick. They're on top of each other. (bang) CAPTAIN D: That's great. You're very clever, Jasper. But you should also consider
that sometimes one shot might be made up of several
split-screen elements where different– (bang)
JACKSON: So there's a plate with
these three guys on the left, and the one guy throws the tape measure and then there's another
shot on top of that of the tape measure
going through the air starting after the point
where it changes direction. (bang)
CAPTAIN D: You think you're so cool,
don't you, Jacob Ronalds. Like a young Captain D who
doesn't have to dye his hair or frame himself above the waist. Well let me tell you something. You don't even know half of what you think you've
figured out about these effects. Now watch and learn as
a professional breaks down every single shot in the video. There are six scenes in all,
and, yes, four of them were filmed statically with fake
camera motion added in post. But the other two
really were shot hand-held, as we can see from the parallax
in the deeper parts of the background. (mechanism shifts) In the window scene, the throw seems
simple enough to be done for real, but stabilizing the shot
in a more thorough way that counteracts lens distortion reveals some odd things happening
with this guy's lower half. It's an attempt to clean up a cut
hidden in the camera move. When filming, the main actor
launched the tape measure, then everyone froze. An assistant came in, hooked the end of the tape measure
where it's supposed to land, left the scene, and then
action was resumed. The missing motion of
the tape hitting the target was added later by warping
still images of the real tape. This could've been done
completely seamlessly, but without taking
lens distortion into account, or working out the
exact timing of the cut, it ended up being a sloppy patch job. Maybe the assistant was
even visible too early in the corner of the shot, and that's what this little
artifact is covering up. (mechanism shifts) The porta-potty scene
is also made of two pieces, but not in the way you might expect. The tape throw is real! Assisted by a wire run
through the door handle and pulled from the inside. But when the door opens, the wire operator is
masked from our view by a different take of
an actor on the toilet. In both takes, the door was
opened at about the same speed, and any slight discrepancy was easy
enough to adjust on the tape measure. But it wasn't so easy
once the toilet guy starts to close the door in his take. In the thrower's take, the door stayed open. We see the real tape measure
suddenly replaced with a stretchy, animated mess
that follows the door back. It wrongly connects to the door
at the edge instead of the handle, and peeking above it,
we can see the wire that actually pulled the
door open in the toilet guy's take. The ladder scene is one of
the genuinely hand-held ones, and stabilizing it reveals something obvious. Before the tape measure is launched, the entire path where
it's going to travel boils and glitches with
messy cloning patchwork. Once again, the tape was being
pulled by a wire toward its target. The cup starts to
get tipped by the wire before the tape
measure even reaches it. But the filmmakers couldn't pull the
tape fast enough over this distance. So at the start of the shot, the tape
measure is already partially extended and hidden by the clone patchwork. It's rapidly wiped away until it catches up to
the real end of the tape just as it bumps the cup. After that, no visual
effects are happening, but we can see
the tape bowing as the end continues
to hang from the wire instead of diving straight down. The boombox scene is simple. First, a blank plate was shot with the guy in the
background reacting. Then, the tape measure
was pulled into place and dropped to capture the action
of it being reeled back in. The quick throw was easy to simulate later by once again warping
a still frame of the tape as well as wiping on
its shadow and reflection. Except, they forgot
this second reflection, so it just suddenly
pops into existence on the frame where
the tape becomes real. And the boombox
getting bumped is probably the result
of an on-set mistake. It must have been moved
slightly between takes, and this inspired them to animate it
from one position to the other. But it's done so crudely. Even down on the
boombox's shadow. They should've just left it still. The same "top-notch"
compositing skills were applied to the
only scene in the video where the effects had to look perfect
because the camera doesn't move. You're right, Jefferson, the keys shift a couple of frames before
the tape measure reaches them. It's because the shot cuts to
a version where they are connected to a clearly-visible filament
that really pulls them off the shelf. This motion probably
wasn't fast enough, so it was sped up by showing
only a few handpicked frames, one of which was accidentally
left visible for an extra frame. But this is not as weird
as what's happening on the other side
of the composition. See, the filming process
was similar to the window scene. After launching the tape measure,
the actors froze in place, and an assistant pulled
the tape all the way to the target. Only this time it was
captured as a visual reference and then attached to the
keys below the shelf. The assistant hid, and the
actors resumed their actions. But the compositor
was left with the task of seamlessly blending
a glaring jump cut from this to this. And they achieved it with
the most obvious morph in the history of visual effects. The background guys were easy, but the main guy's hand needed to
move in front of his body. But the morph
was done without it, and a still frame of the hand
was animated across until it reached the position of
the real hand in the second shot. The tape measure itself
was again an artificial element built and animated using the
reference footage captured earlier. In fact, there seems to be
an additional morph on the actor's face at
the beginning of the throw probably to remove
the real tape measure, which went up and in front of it. Also, it's hard to make out, but at the very end, the keys
slide and stop abruptly at his feet. This also seems to
have been added in because the real keys stated attached
to the end of the tape measure, which didn't make sense. And, finally, the light switch scene. Here, the ladder and
the keys methods are combined. The actors freeze after the throw, someone pulls the tape
close to the target, and attaches it to a wire, which is threaded through
a hole in the stud. Action is resumed, and the wire pulls
the tape measure across the switch. Of course, the light switch doesn't
actually control the light. It's in the down
position the entire time, and the light is turned off from
elsewhere at the right moment. For the first frame of the tape
measure entering the area, It's superimposed on top of a
separate shot with the light switch up. On the next frame, it's the real shot,
and we can even see the wire. After the hit, the wire operator
once again took too long to release it back, so the
tape measure lingers there. The compositor
was forced to wait out the few frames it takes for the
incandescent light to dim before the background could be
switched to a plate captured later, and a still image of
the measuring tape could finally be
animated to go down. Here, it connects to the real tape, which is masked away
by a pretty clunky matte, and can be seen still
curving up toward the wire. Also, this happens. Was that detailed enough for you, Jethro? I own this gig!
Do you understand me!? I own it! (sighs) But don't feel bad. When you step back and look
at the video as a whole, a picture starts to form. A picture of a commercial
director just winging it on set and passing the buck
of making things look real to some woefully
under-qualified effects artists. All of it produced by
an agency with a lobby like this for a high-profile company on a budget of probably
hundreds of thousands. Meanwhile, you're a film student
with 29 subscribers, Jackson, and I can honestly say that the quality
of work on your YouTube channel is better than the quality of work
in this whole campaign. So, yeah. I don't understand
advertising nowadays, either. (mysterious sting) But now I'm afraid it's
time for me to go, kids. A newborn baby in Tulsa is being
taken to her chiropractor appointment. Remember, love with your heart.
Use your head for everything else. Captain Disillusion! (tape measure whizzes) ♪ ♪

41 thoughts on “Superhuman Tape Measure Skills DEBUNK”

  1. you know what was the best idea? to make all those mistakes so people can go and "debunk" it. further spreading the message about some window company

  2. good video, they really should have just hired an actual construction framer to do the easier ones instead of faking all of them, if you use a stanley fatmax or thicker tape measures, some of the easier tricks could probably be done for real with a bit of practice and a few takes – similar to bottle flip videos- just try it enough times and you will eventually get it.- it would have probably been cheaper on the ad company's part.

  3. Okay… officially this channel is too high quality to be on youtube. Please go and form a tv channel. Oh wait

  4. How am I just discovering Captain Disillusion!? His content is so incredibly well shot, edited, written, performed; and the actual subject matter is explained with so much detail. The vfx are so incredible, this is like a network TV studio quality show! Thank you CD, I have subscribed, and will consider supporting your videos on Patreon.

  5. 11:41 you forgot to put a shadow for the measuring tape when it is atracking back to it 😂😁 but everything else was good!

  6. I wish Captain could be my tech teacher instead of my current tech teacher. He is OK but I just think Captain is a lot more funny.

  7. Couldn't they have played the opening of the door backwards with the actor closing the door being added in for a better closing door effect?

  8. a little question.Why you have that gray thing is it makeup or you have it with no idea please tell me

  9. Each of your videos is a piece of art, mastered to perfection! Huge fan… This perfection is what everyone should strive for…

  10. A baby booked for a chiropractic appointment, if anything needs disillusioning its the pseudo science idea that popping and twisting a baby is a good idea.

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