Is This Video of a Man Falling Down a Flight of Stairs Real?

A video showing a man falling down a flight of stairs features computer animated graphics and was likely created for a 2008 commercial for Levi's Jeans.

Claim

A video shows a man surviving a tumble down a long flight of stairs, only to be hit by a car in the street.

Rating

Origin

A number of theories have been posited over the years about a decade-old video depicting a man falling down a long flight of hard steps, only to be struck by a car when he reaches the bottom. (Don’t worry, he’s shown afterward walking away as if nothing happened.) Was is created using CGI? Does it show a stuntman performing a trick? Was the man drunk and therefore impervious to the multiple painful blows he undoubtedly received? Most important, does this video truly a capture man tumbling down a long set of hard steps and being struck by a car at the end, yet incredibly surviving that entire ordeal with no apparent injury?

One reason why viewers can’t seem to agree on just what this video shows is because the most popular versions of this footage, such as the one posted to Facebook by Damn Live in February 2018, are so degraded that it’s difficult to get a clear picture of the fall:

Fortunately, a much clearer version of this clip exists online.

On 12 October 2008, filmmaker Toben Seymour posted a version of this video entitled “Toben falls down the steps” to his YouTube page. Toben wrote in the description that he “walked away” from the fall “with only a couple bruises”:

The conceit of this video is that the spectacular accident was coincidentally caught on camera by someone coincidentally present who was simply trying shoot some video of his wife and children, yet that unseen videographer somehow managed to keep unexpected events perfectly centered in his camera at all times, as if he somehow knew that a man would just happen to fall off a ladder to the ground, successively tumble down several flights of steps, and be struck by a car in the street at the end before walking away. The camera never jitters, shakes, or goes out of focus throughout the entire clip, nor does the man experiencing the prolonged “accident” ever come close to going out of frame.

Fernando Luz, an advertising copywriter, posted about this video shortly after it first appeared online back in 2008. Luz reported that it was created for a Levi’s Jeans commercial by the production company Anonymous Content, with visual effects by MiniVegas.

Mattias Peresini, the Creative Director and Motion Designer of Mattrunks, also credited MiniVegas with the digital effects for this video, adding that this commercial was likely created with the software “Euphoria” and pointing to a video showing the creation of a similar ad for Pepsi:

We’ve reached out to Seymour, a music video director whose film reel features a number of special effects but did not hear back by press time. We’ve also reached out to both MiniVegas and Anonymous Content for more information about this advertisement.

  • CGsociety.com.   “The Mill — Pepsi ‘Glue Boy.'”
        25 February 2005.

  • Mattrunks.com.   “Viral Spot for Levis by Minivegas and Dynamic Motion Synthesis.”
        17 December 2008.

  • FernandoLuz.com.   “Levi’s: Cutwater.”
        Retrieved 17 August 2018.

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