The things go a long way.
June 30, 2020 4:54 PM   Subscribe

Here's a continuous-shot video of a surprisingly complicated backyard Rube Goldberg mechanism. [SLYouTube]
posted by eotvos (39 comments total) 17 users marked this as a favorite
 
Improbably, it worked...so many close-calls!
posted by lathrop at 5:02 PM on June 30


I always wonder how things like this are planned!
posted by KleenexMakesaVeryGoodHat at 5:18 PM on June 30 [2 favorites]


Oh my goodness, watching this made me so unexpectedly full of happiness and joy! Tears! So wonderful, thank you for posting!
posted by hippybear at 5:24 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


That's some backyard.

Seemed like it was missing something without the jingle
posted by ctmf at 5:26 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Improbably, it worked

What hasn't been posted are the other 934 takes where it didn't work.
posted by hippybear at 5:28 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


Well I for one am disappointed that it wasn't a alarm clock that awoke his sleeping parent.
posted by sammyo at 5:36 PM on June 30


The sheer amount of...stuff that suburban families accumulate is alien to my experience.

Neat contraption, though.
posted by escape from the potato planet at 5:41 PM on June 30 [12 favorites]


I had my snarky comment at the ready about the fact that they didn't "swish" the trigger for their "Swish Machine."

My review:
Machine quality: 8/10
"Yard" envy: 10/10
Camera operation: 9/10
Fisheye usage: 🤮/10
posted by Riki tiki at 6:18 PM on June 30 [4 favorites]


Surprised that nobody has commented on the city park-sized back yard in this clip. This goes hand in hand with the stuff that escape from the potato planet mentioned. Big house, big yard, big pile of mostly useless... stuff.
posted by ivanthenotsoterrible at 6:19 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


The sheer amount of...stuff that suburban families accumulate is alien to my experience.

Yeah that’s like two entire neighborhoods’ worth of suburban outdoor flotsam and jetsam.

Looks of clever gags, but I think I like best the way the shovel wiggled it’s way down the pipe.
posted by notyou at 6:34 PM on June 30


I loved the shovel part, too! Totally expecting a gorilla somewhere in there, though. Strange the way he waited until the camera was on him before shouting excitedly at the end.
posted by klausman at 7:10 PM on June 30


Enormous yard aside

I've watched a lot of Rube Goldberg videos over the years

And this is definitely one of the most ridiculous ones, beside those Swedish engineers in a warehouse that I also probably saw first on metafilter

Now I know what to do with the rest of this weird, glorious summer
posted by SystematicAbuse at 7:12 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Honestly, as far as "Rube Goldberg" devices go, it was mostly balls rolling along things and hitting things. Actual examples drawn by Rube Goldberg were much more imaginative.

And also much more improbable to actually work.
posted by hippybear at 7:15 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


A fair critique, but this was still summerspirational!
posted by SystematicAbuse at 7:18 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


So fun! But the whole time I also couldn't stop thinking about all the STUFF (and wow that backyard). Mostly because we're moving soon and piles of useless stuff are my present bane. Someone make a Rube Goldberg machine for packing plz.
posted by k8bot at 8:10 PM on June 30


Awww, I thought this was amazing. And also we have an acre of suburban yard and way too much accumulated flotsam and jetsam so this was inspirational. Maybe we could do something with all this shit. Three kids, two combined households, neighbors who are always giving us stuff-oh thanks for that crappy mini trampoline.
posted by purenitrous at 8:24 PM on June 30


crappy mini trampoline.

Now you just need a whole bunch of bowling balls.
posted by sammyo at 9:16 PM on June 30


And a slide.
posted by sammyo at 9:17 PM on June 30


And some Crisco from Costco
posted by thelonius at 9:18 PM on June 30


The shovel was good, but the rake? Sublime.
posted by janell at 9:25 PM on June 30 [3 favorites]


Yeah but the song was kind of... oh wait, this wasn't OKGo?
posted by zompist at 9:47 PM on June 30


this is what comes from isolating in place, I guess. We need more isolating in place.
posted by philip-random at 9:51 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


No! They did this with no corporate sponsorship at all, unlike OKGo!

People are wonderful and creative, and gravity works.
posted by hippybear at 9:53 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Super impressive.

Why do they have so much stuff? Do they own a sporting goods store?
posted by Lord_Pall at 10:25 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


I’m just wondering how they filmed it. Seems to be a continuous tracking shot but despite the twists and turns, you can’t see any signs of gear. That’s more impressive than the Rube Goldberg stunts. Drones maybe? But then the sound seems pretty continuous and no drone buzz.
posted by sjswitzer at 10:49 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Couldn't it be one person chasing the action with a hand-held camera on a motion stabilizer?
posted by lostburner at 10:52 PM on June 30 [1 favorite]


Hand held 360 camera according to the Youtube comments (possibly hand held with damping camera holding stick, though, whatever they are called). Lots of people commenting on the great camera work on there.
posted by Brockles at 10:52 PM on June 30


Has there ever been a non "continuous-shot" video of a Rube Goldberg machine?
posted by fairmettle at 11:25 PM on June 30


I liked the parts where it went back and reused former elements of the path. Like knocking over stuff that previously was a ramp for a ball or something.
posted by Harald74 at 11:35 PM on June 30 [5 favorites]


Right after his celebration, a SWAT team should have shown up and cuffed him on camera for looting the toys, garden implements, and bric-a-brac from 42 backyards in his suburban subdivision.
posted by jamjam at 12:28 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


In the UK, this would be a "Heath Robinson contraption".

With the caveat that it's corporate not home-brew, I still like Honda's Cog ad from 2003. Real, not CGI.
posted by Klipspringer at 3:39 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


With the caveat that it's corporate not home-brew, I still like Honda's Cog ad yt from 2003. Real, not CGI.

I just watched it and some things seemed improbable - there didn't seem to be enough momentum for the tires to roll uphill or the muffler to flop over that many times. Some of the comments imply that the entire thing was filmed on a sloping floor. Still real of course but a tiny bit dishonest too...
posted by vacapinta at 4:00 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the tyre momentum thing always struck me as weird. You can see the same uphill acceleration even in the failed attempts (2:39 in the Making Of video). And, in a successful take (3:15), the middle tyre comes to a halt and then starts moving uphill again. Odd! Given it occurs in the failed attempts, there must be a physical reason — perhaps the wheels carry hidden weights?

There's (lots!) more detail on Wikipedia and the Making Of. My memory is that, in summary, is the ad was constructed and shot in reality but in many different shots which were stitched together in post (with a splash of effects e.g. highlighting the water).
posted by Klipspringer at 4:26 AM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Couldn't it be one person chasing the action with a hand-held camera on a motion stabilizer?

you can hear some heavy breathing toward the end after a bit through the trees that would've required some running to keep up with, so yeah, assuming no digital or editing trickery, I think it's as simple one guy following with a camera.
posted by philip-random at 7:10 AM on July 1


on review of the vid, it's not breathing you hear, it's footsteps.
posted by philip-random at 7:16 AM on July 1


All I kept thinking was, "That's a gorgeous yard. Why is he cluttering it up with all of that stuff?"
posted by Splunge at 8:56 AM on July 1


Great title to the post but perhaps above some people's heads given the Honda Cog discussion. The original is The Way Things Go (and from that page: Honda's advertising firm Wieden+Kennedy eventually admitted to copying a sequence of weighted tires rolling uphill.)

The Snopes article is about the Cog ad is good.
posted by stevil at 4:27 PM on July 1 [1 favorite]


Has there ever been a non "continuous-shot" video of a Rube Goldberg machine?
It's been a long time, but my memory of The Way Things Go is that they had a lot of obvious cuts while filming liquids and other foamy/burny things. I don't actually know whether that is just because they wanted to shorten the film or they had to reset things that failed. It's probably unfair to assume the later, but I've been doing so for a long time. (It's still great, though.)

I'm also now curious how it was filmed. Cropped and image stabilized? Seems like this guy would have a very nice cell phone, but probably not a steadicam. Or there's some trickery.
posted by eotvos at 1:37 PM on July 2


There are selfie stick gimbals.
posted by janell at 6:05 PM on July 2


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