Without A Net

Pop culture from Southern California and beyond.

Funny or Die apparently behind fake 'Back to the Future' hoverboard video

BELIEF
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Read the update here: Funny or Die admits hoverboard prank in new video starring Christopher 'Doc Brown' Lloyd.

Ever since "Back to the Future Part II" came out, people have wanted to believe in the idea of the hoverboard — a hovering skateboard — so, so bad. The idea has crept back up in the popular imagination as we grow closer to the time of that film — 2015 — and the latest to seize on the eagerness of the public is HUVr Tech, who claimed to have created the world's first hoverboard and released a video displaying the device shot in downtown Los Angeles.

The video includes endorsements from pro skater Tony Hawk, Moby, Terrell Owens and the "Back to the Future" franchise's own Christopher Lloyd. It's a compelling video, but there sadly seems to be less here than meets the eye.

There was speculation online that it's to promote a new "Back to the Future" movie, or the new "Back to the Future" musical, but it appears to be part of a Funny or Die project. A costume designer who worked on the shoot posted the experience on her online resume, which was later pulled. You can view the cache here.

The "lead engineer" seen in the film is an actor, Nelson Cheng, whose website you can see here.

Christopher Lloyd also mentioned doing a shoot with Funny or Die late last year on the Nerdist podcast.

In addition, fans have posted what look like crane shadows from the crane likely used to hold these celebrities up on their hoverboards and still images that seem to catch the harnesses beneath their clothes. In particular, fans have cited a shadow on the booth at 3 minutes and 28 seconds into the video.

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HUVr tried to add to the believability with a video featuring one of the company's alleged engineers explaining the thing to ... actor Billy Zane? Sure, why not. He did play one of Biff's goons in the first "Back to the Future" after all. They also have a quote on their website from billionaire Mark Cuban, citing him as an investor.

Billy Zane video

The site's legal terms page includes a lot of stuff you'd expect from a site selling an item like this, like height restrictions for users and safety disclaimers, but also includes lines like "The inclusion of any products or services on this website at a particular time does not imply or warrant that these products or services will be available at any time." In other words: Don't hold your breath.

HUVr Tech's Facebook page was created in Nov. 2013, so this looks to have been in the works for a few months at least.

As everyone started posting about how, no, you cannot actually fly on a skateboard yet, HUVr dared people to believe by continuing to insist on its reality with posts like this:

They also posted an FAQ asserting "Yes! This is real!" and added that they would have a series of public live events across the United States.

We'll have to stay tuned to find out if there is anything more to this, or if it's just another quickly debunked Internet prank.

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