Dancers Tilt The Hilly Streets Of San Francisco To Create Gravity-Defying Illusions

Lets face it, if you want to make a dance video in today's internet world and make sure it gets noticed then you have a hard task ahead of you, you're going to need to go the extra mile (or hill in this case) and pull out all the stops to make something different.

Enter stage left 'Tilting the Streets of San Francisco', and some very clever bits of camera trickery that is guaranteed to mess with your braicells as you try to work out what the heck is going on.

Two dancers appear like a couple of extras from Michael Jackson's "Smooth Criminal" music video when they take to the hilly streets of San Francisco and cause your brain to be confused with some gravity-defying moves.

Dancer Karen X. Cheng and filmmaker Ross Ching created the video by tilting a camera to make it look like they were able to lean over and not fall down. Creating scenes like this:


Witchcraft! You might say, but no, it just takes some skill and timing and lots of effort. Here's how they describe it:

Ross got the idea for this video after seeing some photos with the “tilted camera” effect on steep streets. Since San Francisco is so hilly, it was the perfect city for this idea. The week before we filmed this, we ran all around San Francisco looking for steepest streets we could find (and gained some killer calve muscles).

The hardest part was coming up with ideas that made the gravity illusion look good - we tried lots of stuff that we thought would look good but didn’t work for various reasons (balloons got blown away, pouring water wasn’t visible enough on camera, moonwalking looked weird at an angle). Our favorite effect is the pendulum!


Related articles: