Koi UFO Video 109 :  Ultimate baseball practice (Easton Baseball)

 

[DEBUNKED] Koi UFO Video 109 (with "UFO" standing for "Unbelievable Filmed Occurrence", an acronym for which you can credit/blame ufologist Curt Collins...) appears to show two men engaged in baseball batting practice, with four "pitch back" baseball nets set out in a way which allows the baseball to be hit all four nets before making it's way back to the hitter.  The original upload of the video has nearly 5 million hits as at November 2015 (with multiple other copies of the video also having substantial numbers of views).

An article on the "Last Angry Fan" website asking whether this video is "fake or not?" refers to the video as showing "some sort of batting practice perpetual motion machine culled from the mind of Ted Williams".  Several online articles have questioned the plausibility of the physics involved in the video, with the Deadspin.com website pithily referring to the "egregious sodomy of physics" in the video.  As with most UFO videos, even articles that have questioned the validity of the video have generally not gone on to credit the creditors of the video.  Personally, I think the creativity involved in such videos deserves to be acknowledged.

In fact, this video was uploaded in August 2011 as part of a viral advertising campaign for Easton Baseball. (The "Easton" name appears prominently on the baseball bats in the relevant video). This video was directed and edited by Ross Harris (a versatile "Director / Photographer / Editor / Creative / VFX artist") with special effects by Joel Fox (who has created segments for the Yo Gabba Gabba show). The other viral video in the relevant advertising campaign is equally amusing, appearing to show someone batting baseballs to hit clay targets being launched from a skeet launcher.

 

 

 

 

 

Sections below:

1. The relevant video

2. Stories and claims relating to this video

3. The real background to this video

4. Relevant online discussions

 

 

1. The relevant video

This video appears to show two men engaged in baseball batting practice, with four "pitch back" baseball nets set out in a way which allows the baseball to be hit all four nets before making it's way back to the hitter. 

Screen shots from this video are included below for ease of identification.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

     

2. Stories and claims relating to this video

The original upload of the video has nearly 5 million hits as at November 2015 (with multiple other copies of the video also having substantial numbers of views).

Several online articles have questioned the plausibility of the physics involved in the video.

 

3. The real background to this video

In fact, the video was uploaded in August 2011 as part of a viral advertising campaign for Easton Baseball. (The "Easton" name appears prominently on the baseball bats in the relevant video). This video was directed and edited by Ross Harris, with special effects by Joel Fox. The other viral video in the campaign is equally amusing, appearing to show someone batting baseballs to hit clay targets being launched from a skeet launcher.

The original upload was by Youtube user "Eastondreamcrazy" on 8 August 2011 with the title "Ultimate Batting Practice" and a caption stating "Dude smashes pitchbacks like a video game"

Apart from the "Easton" name appearing in the relevant uploader's Youtube username, the "Easton" name also is prominently displayed on the baseball bat in the video (as can be seen from the screen shots above).

The Easton.com website gives details of the baseball bats and accessories (such as gloves and helmets) sold by Easton.

The relevant Easton advert can be found in online databases of viral adverts, including on the Coloribus website

 

 

 

The viral marketers used by Easton have (quite understandably) included this highly successful video on their webpages.

Ross Harris directed and edited the video. Ross Harris is clearly rather versatile, describing himself on his website as a "Director / Photographer / Editor / Creative / VFX artist" and "Specializing in Web Content / Viral / Behind the Scenes / Music Video and Broadcast Advertising".

Apart from Easton, his clients have included Apple, Ford, Starbucks, Honda, Yo Gabba Gabba and Coca Cola.

A summary of his past projects on his website includes the relevant Easton video.

 

 

 

Joel Fox provided the special effects for the "Ultimate Batting Practice" video. His website states that his "animations and artworks have been seen in galleries and film festivals in the US and Europe". He has created "many segments" for the Yo Gabba Gabba show, also creating short films and lectures. 

A list of Joel Fox's previous clients on his website includes Easton Sports, referring to his "technical direction and effects" for the "successful viral" video "Ultimate Batting Practice". 

 

A page of past projects on Joel Fox's website includes the "Ultimate Batting Practice" video.

 

 

A Deadspin.com article has referred to the "egregious sodomy of physics" in the video and shown how various blogs were sent emails by purported fans to encourage them to share the video with their readers - including at least one sent directly from Easton.

 

 

 

The original uploader of the "Ultimate Batting Practice" video (i.e. the Youtube user "Eastondreamcrazy") also uploaded a related video called "Ultimate Batting Practice - Skeet Ball". That video is equally amusing, appearing to show someone batting baseballs to hit clay targets being launched from a skeet launcher. 

 

Some screen shots from the skeet shoot video are included below for ease of reference.

 

 

 

 

 

 

4. Relevant online discussions

Relevant discussions include a Deadspin.com article.

 

 

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