Face Punching (UPDATED)

This video by Action Figure has been making the rounds lately, so it seems very well suited to be up here as well.

Their site describes that they had some extra time with a Phantom HD camera and took the opportunity to capture some people on set getting punched in the face. Really, there isn’t a much better excuse out there for a director to take. Even though I’ve seen some videos like this floating on the web already, I still feel giddy watching how distorted a face can get from a good solid punch.

UPDATE: Although the face-punching phenomenon has been around since slow-mo video, it turns out this project is awfully similar to this video from Digital Kitchen, made many moons ago but only recently posted on YouTube.

I originally thought this was a “blatant rip-off” (to quote myself), but as is often the case, there was more to the story. I called Jason Marlow, who came up with the idea of shooting his co-workers getting punched while working on another project for which Action Figure had rented the Phantom camera. He assures me he had never seen or heard about the DK video. And I believe him.

Why? Well, let’s break it down: You have a camera capable of shooting 1,000 fps. You have some time to kill. There’s a boxing glove sitting on the desk at your office. Is it really that much of a stretch to see where this is going?

About the author

Jon Saunders

/ www.jonsaunders.tv
internet surfer/designer extraordinaire



That is insane.

The distortion is unbelievable.

Yet people still claim boxing doesn’t cause damage. hard to believe after seeing this … hard to believe anyway.

Lee Stranahan

If sometime did an effect like this, people would say it’s unrealistic.


i prefer the ‘robyn remix by ocelot’ version…


fits the beat-ing a bit better imo…


Hmm I thought it was a piece to show off their VFX skills when I first saw it… like warping the faces and adding the water and smoke in composite.

I’m confused obviously

Robby Trione

pretty cool stuff. It does seem like there is trend for slow motion work right now. I’m not sure I like the punches in the face as much as I like the water balloons in slow motion. https://youtube.com/watch?v=Z6n6-f3v4Es

I guess I just think punches work better when they are a surprise.

original gangster

this is a total rip off a project that was done by the designers at DK, its almost shot for shot a complete remake, but 5 years late.

someone from DK please post the original!!!!


Umm, rip off? Isn’t the first thing you think of when you have a high speed camera “hey, hit me in the face!”? I forgot everyone is supposed to have seen every project that has ever existed. I like it.


splashing water, bursting bubbles, shattering glass, girls with long hair jumping up in the air, and faces blobberingly moving around via wind machine/slapping/punching/shaking/etc are all decades-old clichés of high-speed cinematography and it’s safe to say they’ve all been done literally thousands of times before, all across the globe… most of the readers of this blog are just unaware because until the phantom, designers didn’t really ever have such convenient access to high speed cameras.

…i don’t say this to discredit any of the projects mentioned here, but rather to indemnify action figure.


sorry guys….
but slow motion is a very lazy way of creating emotion. That’s why designers use it all the time.
Is live-action’s flying ribbon.


Damn, I thought it was composited too!! It just doesn’t look real, I was watching it thinking that they had warped the faces too much and that they went back to normal way too quickly, guess I need a slap in the face too!!

Marc B.

Does anybody know where i can get a phantom camera for cheap? I’d like to shoot a kitty slurping milk in slomo.

Marc B.

No kitty, bad kitty!!! I’m not done with shooting yet! Go back to your little milk plate!

Simon Robson

Can someone call a doctor for Marc B? I think he’s having a turn…

Marc B.

Hey Simon

Simon Robson

Hey Marc

Marc B.

Motionographer has a new reply function now if you haven’t noticed :)

Simon Robson

oh yeah, there we go…


Get a room:)

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