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December 15, 2010 6:09 AM   Subscribe

Fun things to do and film in reverse.

Hello there, I'm looking for ideas.

I'm having fun setting up a little project where I talk in reverse while walking around the house. A friend will film me, so that I have both hands available. And the whole thing will then be played in reverse, for all to smile at.

Now, I'd like to make it more fun by doing a few things while reverse-speaking. Ideas so far:
- playing guitar and singing (short song excerpt, I'm pretty confident I can pull that off),
- drinking (first shot, obviously),
- juggling 3 balls (teaching myself just that at the moment),
- somehow jumping on/from something (meh...),
- sliding down the stairs' handrail.

The video will be short (2/3 minutes at best, don't want to learn too much of a long reverse text), and feature only me doing those things in front of the camera.

So, I'm up for any idea; please, shoot! :)

Thanks a lot!
posted by XiBe to Media & Arts (24 answers total) 7 users marked this as a favorite
Chopping vegetables?
posted by jon1270 at 6:12 AM on December 15, 2010

Delivering a baby?
posted by StickyCarpet at 6:21 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

Shave. Pop balloons. Smoke a cigarette. Make an omelette.

The things that are the most fun to watch in reverse are changes that are normally irreversable. Basically you're looking for stupid entropy tricks.
posted by nebulawindphone at 6:22 AM on December 15, 2010

Best answer: Just came here to mention entropy.

Stir things, drop things, break things, heat things, and so on.
posted by empath at 6:23 AM on December 15, 2010

Blowing bubbles, winding a scarf off/onto yourself, pouring pennies or marbles or some collection of small objects out from a surface into a jar/box, generally anything that takes up more space in forward time but gives the illusion of disappearing in reverse, like the opposite of the eating/drinking idea.
posted by Mizu at 6:26 AM on December 15, 2010

Best answer: I saw a video of a guy "solving" a Rubix cube with his feet. What he was actually doing was just mixing it up with his feet and then he played the video backwards. I think it might have even been on Metafilter.

So something like that. Maybe tear a jigsaw puzzle apart with your feet.

Other ideas:

Make a pizza
Blow a bubble so big it pops into your face
Clean peanut butter off a shag carpet
posted by bondcliff at 6:28 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

unzipping and eating a banana is a classic
posted by fearfulsymmetry at 6:41 AM on December 15, 2010

Best answer: After you finish juggling, you could nonchalantly throw the balls off camera over your shoulder or through your legs. So in reverse it looks like you stylishly caught balls being thrown at you without even looking.

You could do simple "psychic" card tricks. For example, have two piles of cards split into red / black face down on a table, show them to the camera, then pick them up very quickly and shuffle them.
posted by lucidium at 6:52 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

(I mean, pick the cards up one at a time, randomly switching from one pile to another.)

Just had another couple of ideas as I walked away:
You could have some elaborate origami prepared and quickly unfold it, or anything similar like a modelling clay sculpture or magnetic poetry that you can quickly disassemble.

If you had some balloons blown up, you could hold their necks in your hand and glare at them as you let them deflate. So it looks like you can inflate balloons through sheer force of will.
posted by lucidium at 7:03 AM on December 15, 2010

Gunshot trauma surgery. (LOL Time's Arrow.)
posted by cog_nate at 7:19 AM on December 15, 2010

That gum you like is going to come back in style (Relevant reversed reverse talking begins at about 0:45.)

It would probably take a lot of practice and choreography, but you could do something like this. (Warning: unbearable 80's cohost banter.)
posted by usonian at 7:21 AM on December 15, 2010

I really like what this hamster did here. You could do this for the title! If you don't have a rodent handy you could do the same thing by sweeping small objects off a table into your other hand.
posted by hydrophonic at 7:48 AM on December 15, 2010

This music video has a cool idea.

Michel Gondry has also done some neat things, such as the Rubik's Cube trick mentioned above. Check out some of his stuff.
posted by orme at 8:19 AM on December 15, 2010

Get an ebony, conical bathtub, and fill it with white sand. Then pull the drain plug, film the sand leaving the tub, and then play it in reverse.
posted by backseatpilot at 8:28 AM on December 15, 2010 [2 favorites]

Maybe you could learn a song backwards, and sing it backwards, so that when you reverse it the songs plays forward, similar to Amish Paradise?
posted by I am the Walrus at 8:34 AM on December 15, 2010

You might get some ideas from this clip. It's from the movie Top Secret, one of the funniest movies ever made.
posted by Sculthorpe at 9:53 AM on December 15, 2010 [1 favorite]

The moment of orgasm.
posted by griphus at 10:09 AM on December 15, 2010

Just came in to recommend the Top Secret clip...

If you're talented enough with your mouth, fill it with water and slowly spit a stream of water into a glass. In reverse, it looks like you drink thru a straw, but w no straw there.

I'd think that doing just about anything where gravity is a factor would be cool.
posted by Pickman's Next Top Model at 10:10 AM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: Thanks for all the great ideas. Some of them are completely un-doable (remember I'm just walking around in the house while reverse-talking, and the camera only films me, for roughly 3 minutes. and there might be more than one take).

I love the Rubik's Cube one -- I actually saw the Gondry video, and forgot about it. That'd require to reset the cube after each failed take, but that's nothing that can't be done with a cube-solver at hand.

For the curious among you, my initial inspiration is this (french speaking) funny TV sketch by "Les Nuls" from many years ago. Watch it, it's a real tour de force. They all speak simple reversed words/phrases ("merci", "bravo", "Mark"...), and even the music is reversed (and played live!). I wanna make it harder on me :)
The Pharcyde's "Drop" music video is also an inspiration.

Walrus, yeah, the singing-in-reverse/playing-guitar-in-reverse is among my initial ideas, but only as a short intro/outro. I already know the song, just have to work it out :)

I think I'll use some entropy-related stuff, thanks for coming with that simple pattern!

Keep'em coming!
posted by XiBe at 10:22 AM on December 15, 2010

Check out the work of UK artist Mark Wallinger, "In the Beginning was the Word". I laughed so uproariously everyone in the screening room at the Tate was frightened of me.
posted by effluvia at 10:43 AM on December 15, 2010

Pop a water balloon.
Drop a bag of flour.
Squeeze toothpaste out of a tube and write a word on the table.

Why yes, I *am* trying to mess up your house. ;)
posted by shino-boy at 10:52 AM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: Had a great idea on the way home: balloon eating! Also, as seen in the French TV show linked above, putting a painting straight.

Pickman: yeah, drinking from a glass (or, spitting water to fill a glass in) is also on my list (and logically, first thing to do on the video :) ).

Effluvia, that's pretty much what I intend to do, only with my own words :)

Shino-boy, I'll see about the toothpaste ;)
posted by XiBe at 11:16 AM on December 15, 2010

Yeah, entropy is key:
  • Set up wall of cardboard boxes, walk through them backwards.
  • Put feathers in front of a fan, flip switch as you walk by
  • Knock over a row of dominos
  • Make a rocket out of teabag by lighting it on fire

posted by jeremias at 1:10 PM on December 15, 2010

Response by poster: For those interested, here's the final result. It doesn't have as much stuffs happening as I would have liked to, but I kinda had to rush it, so there :)
posted by XiBe at 6:43 AM on February 5, 2011

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