The People Versus the Rotating Bar

A video purportedly showing hundreds of people being knocked over by a large rotating bar was created with a computer program.

  • Published 9 January 2017
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A video shows hundreds of people getting knocked over by a giant rotating bar.


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A video that purportedly shows a large group of people getting knocked over by a giant rotating bar has periodically appeared and circulated on social media.  At first glance, it looks slightly alarming: 

The video has been circulating since 2014, and is frequently shared without context or with false information. In November 2014, for example, this video was published to LiveLeak under the title “WTF! DID I JUST WATCH?!” and was tagged with the terms “Japan,” “kill,” and “fan.”

This video, however, does not show a “kill fan,” whether in Japan or anywhere else in the world. It is actually a lifelike animation that was originally uploaded to the web site Vimeo on 16 October 2014, by visual effects artist Dave Fothergill. Fothergill explained that the video, entitled “I’ve Fallen, and I Can’t Get Up!,” was created for a “crowd dynamics test”:


Crowd dynamics test using Miarmy for Maya.
Shows the new servo force feature which allows struggling animation once the agent has become dynamic
Rendered with Arnold