Kobe Bryant Jumping over Car: Fake, but Cool

Chad RidgewayCorrespondent IApril 11, 2008

You may have seen the video of Kobe Bryant jumping over the Aston Martin at 50 mph on ESPN or around the Internet. It's shocking, unexpected, cool, and completely 100% unadulteratedly fake.

As a visual effects artist, I can say that this kind of thing isn't too complicated. You can shoot it in multiple passes. No green screen work, no intense color correction (as long as you shoot quick so daylight doesn't change), and you'd get realistic lighting and shadows (because both "plates" are real). The edges on Kobe look questionable when he's up in the air and there seems to be a slight transition at the moment the car enters the frame. (A better version is at the official KB24 site)

Plus, if this really were just an amatuer video with Kobe and a couple of his buddies, the camera would have been handheld. The fact that this is filmed from a straight-on angle and the camera is locked off reaks of post-production.

And remember; this is a commercial. He's advertising his new Hyperdunk shoes! What kind of person shows the camera his shoes, and then puts them on right before he jumps over a car, and then talks about them when he lands? Someone trying to sell you shoes! It's a great idea, it's great marketing!

As a basketball fan I can completely assure you that logically this could never happen. No player (but ESPECIALLY one of Kobe's stature and importance) would do this. Vlad Rad got busted for snowboarding. Greg Oden got busted for a pickup game. NBA players aren't even supposed to ride motorcycles! Kobe's putting off surgery to win a championship now, but he's jumping over cars?

Regardless, it's nice to see the lighter side of Kobe and it's cool that he's doing something fun for the fans (and generating buzz for his shoes).