Figured out how to accomplish Cyril Takayama's head drop illusion.
November 2, 2011 3:58 PM   Subscribe

Figured out how to accomplish Cyril Takayama's head drop illusion.
Around Halloween 2010 I saw Cyril Takayama's head drop illusion and made a bold promise to myself that I'd figure it out and wear it for our 2011 company Halloween costume contest. Throughout 2011 I pondered on it and eventually came up with a design. I implemented the design and various tweaks in the month leading up to Halloween.

After three trips to Lowe's and getting to use some tools I'd not had the pleasure of using before, it was finally complete and ready for testing.

Since tactile feedback and general body presence awareness kept me from fully enjoying the illusion while looking in the mirror, I video'd myself performing the illusion and was pleased...but still...knowing how it was all done denied my suspension of disbelief. I'd have to wait until Halloween.

As it turned out, our IT department wanted to go for a group Zombie theme. This would end up being the perfect cover to take everyone, except a work buddy that was in on it, completely by surprise.

When it came time for the dozen or so employees to have their picture taken in the reception area for the purpose of an intranet vote, I managed to be one of the last photographed, in hopes of letting more and more people gather. The moment of truth came when the receptionist lined me up for the photo. I requested that she count to three for me. "1......2....." a the moment she was about to say "3", I dropped my head. There was a split second of total silence, then gasps from the 20 or so employees...followed by laughter and a plethora of "Do it again"s.

It went off without a hitch and the reaction was 100x what I expected. The final chuckle I got out of the whole thing was when the receptionist asked me if I'd pose for another picture. She showed me the picture that she had ended up was a nice, full on shot of...the floor. I'm still rounding up any videos that others took to see what it looked like but I did have a friend send me the video she shot on her phone of me performing it again (with sneeze) for some coworker friends.

I was humbled to win first prize ($50 debit card) but I haven't a clue what the hell I'm going to do next year to top it.
Role: Researcher/Designer
posted by qwickset (9 comments total) 5 users marked this as a favorite

Do you mind sharing anything about how it is done? Do you just sort of bend down with a huge coat and have the collar propped up in some way?
posted by mathowie at 3:59 PM on November 2, 2011

You're awesome.
posted by bxyldy at 6:00 PM on November 2, 2011

I was way more impressed than I expected. You should write it up in a blog with the design of the costume *unless you don't want to do that). A nicer video is a must!
posted by cjorgensen at 6:14 PM on November 2, 2011

Awesome. I don't think the Alliance would appreciate revealing the trick.
posted by smcameron at 8:52 PM on November 2, 2011 [1 favorite]

Laughed hard. Showed my wife, she laughed too. Nicely done.
posted by empyrean at 9:33 PM on November 2, 2011

Thanks for all of the positive comments so far. I'm rounding up additional video and will post it here in the comments. There's likely video with better detail floating around the office on someone's phone/camera. If not, I may just shoot a more detailed video of my own.
posted by qwickset at 7:20 AM on November 4, 2011

Its not hard to see 'how' its done but knowing and doing are two different things and your execution is perfect - better than the pro IMO.
posted by missmagenta at 10:47 AM on November 4, 2011

Love it! Agree that your presentation is my preferred of the two, smooth man!
posted by Iteki at 1:24 PM on November 5, 2011

posted by bru at 2:03 PM on November 7, 2011

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