Friday, May 12, 2006

New Things #74 and #75...the case of Jennifer Aniston's mysterious THIRD HAND continues...

I have to share some pictures with you. These pictures are so exciting--so tremendous, in fact--that I'm going to go so far as to say that they might be the best pictures ever taken in the history of photography.

Okay, maybe not. But they ARE better than these pictures (CLINK), and they do prove that I have a future in investigative journalism.

So here's the deal. A while back, I was reading Premiere Magazine and I noticed this picture of the cast of Friends With Money, starring Jennifer Aniston (note, this is not one of the tremendously exciting pictures I was just talking about) (you're gonna have to wait a few minutes for those pictures) (unless you just scroll down and look at them right now) (but then you'll be looking at them out of context and that's so totally fucked up and I'll be mad at you) (it's like going to to find out how Gilmore Girls was going to end before watching the season finale) (which is a lame thing to do) (and I can call it lame without being judgmental because I myself did it) (so I'm judging myself) (I don't have any idea how Grey's Anatomy is going to end their season) (because even if there were spoilers out there, I would rather lose my left foot than have a single moment of Grey's Anatomy ruined for me) (same thing with Survivor) (I want Terry to win, or Cirie) (but not Danielle because she's kinda blah) (and not Aras because, even though he's hot, he's a cry-baby) (Terry should win because HE ROCKS more than Superman) (or Cirie should win because of that giggle of hers) (and speaking of people winning things, Joanie had better fucking win America's Next Top Model) (I'm just saying) (or if she doesn't win, they should give the crown to Kim the Lesbian from last season) (how fucked up would that be if Tyra was like..."America's Next Top Model is...(and in my head, the final two is between Joanie and Danielle...because even though Jade is a better model than Danielle, they never let the crazies get to the final two)...Kim!" And then Kim marched out and started crying and Joanie and Danielle would be like, "what the fuck?") (speaking of reality TV [and how did we start speaking of reality TV?], I miss Derrick) (speaking of Derrick...)


(that's Derrick on the left, and Landon on the right)

(I heart Derrick)

(anyway, I think that was a long enough moment) (respect) (imagine that I pounded my chest with my fist and then pumped my fist into the air a couple of times right after I typed the word "respect") (because I did)

Okay, earlier when I said "I noticed this picture of the cast of Friends With Money, starring Jennifer Aniston," I wasn't talking about the above picture of Derrick and Landon being all hot and manly and shit.

I was talking about this picture (which still is not one of the tremendously exciting pictures I was talking about way at the beginning of this post):

There's something really interesting going on in this picture. Let's call it "The Case of the Mysterious Hand That Doesn't Belong to Anyone Featured in the Picture." I blogged all about it HERE. (Go there and read that and then come back to this, if you don't remember what the debate was about or you never read it in the first place.) (SERIOUSLY, go back and read it before you continue reading this post.) (Read the comments too, so we're all on the same page.) (I AM SERIOUS HERE, PEOPLE.)

Okay, you went back and read that other post? Good, so that means you're familiar with this picture:

Now, this picture has been the subject of some heated debate. For a long time, I maintained that the hand in the photo did not belong to Scott Caan (pictured in the bottom right of the photo, sitting in front of Jennifer Aniston). Other people maintain that he's just sitting in a really awkward position and that it is, indeed, his hand. Yet other people suspect that Vince Vaughn was crouched behind Jennifer Aniston (causing her to laugh an the others to look slightly weirded out) and that it's Vince's hand poking out from behind her. While a few others think that the hand looks so weird and alien because it is Scott Caan's hand, but we're looking at two different photos that were photoshopped together because Jennifer looked better in one of the photos and Scott Caan looked better in a different photo and the photoshop artist neglected to notice that Scott's hand (from the Aniston-looks-better version of the photo) looks really weird when it's slapped onto Scott's body (from the Caan-looks-better version).

The indisputable facts (in my opinion) are these:

(a)--You can clearly see that Scott's right shoulder is touching the mysterious hand's wrist.

(b)--The mysterious hand is jutting out from Jennifer Aniston's crotch area.

(c)--Therefore, either the mysterious hand DOES NOT belong to Scott Caan, but rather belongs to someone who is crouched hiding behind Ms. Aniston, OR it is Scott Caan's hand, but it's been photoshopped in because there's no way that Scott Caan's hand could be jutting out from that angle while his body is sitting the way it's sitting (unless he's a member of Cirque du Soleil).

Still, the mystery lingers. It festers. It eats away at your soul.

So in an attempt to find some closure, frequent commenter Lindsay suggested that we recreate the photo. By recreating the photo, we hoped to solve the mystery once and for all.

I have three photos to show you.



THEORY #1: It's Scott Caan's hand. No photoshopping. Just weirdly contorted bodies and odd camera angles.

(pictured: in the back row, from left to right, we have some random guy I don't know as Jason Isaacs, my friend Leslie as writer-director Nicole Holofcener, and my friend Alex as Greg Germann; in the front row, from left, we have: some random guy I don't know as Simon McBurney, some random woman I don't know as Catherine Keener, my friend Lindsay as Jennifer Aniston, and me as Scott Caan)

As close as we got to recreating the actual Jennifer Aniston photo, you can see that I wasn't able to recreate the illusion that his shoulder is touching his wrist. THAT'S BECAUSE IT'S PHYSICALLY IMPOSSIBLE TO MAKE YOUR SHOULDER TOUCH YOUR WRIST and not look REALLY WEIRD. Unless you're, like, a monkey, or, like I said before, a Cirque du Soleil performer, and I am neither. Neither is Scott Caan. (It felt weird to use the word "neither" as both the last and the first word of consecutive sentences like that.) And even though the Jennifer Aniston photo looks strange, Scott Caan himself doesn't look strange. Just the hand.

Conclusion? It's probably not Scott Caan's hand.

Let's take a look at the two photos side by side, just to make sure we analyze this beyond the shadow of a doubt.

Let's face it...


Simply isn't this:

The angles are all wrong!!!!

End of story.

THEORY #2: It's someone else's hand. Possibly Vince Vaughn's. Possibly a production assistant's. Possibly Robert Redford's. (The photo was taken at Sundance, after all.)

Now, aside from the fact that this photo actually gets a few more details right (i.e. the guy on the left in the back touching the guy's shoulder in front of him), it also looks more feasibly like it could be what happened in the real Jennifer Aniston photo shoot.

Scenario: they were shooting photos. Vince (or whoever) was there. They were all fooling around. Things got a little goofy (as things are want to do when Vince, or whoever, is around). And then, inexplicably, Vince (or whoever) crawled in between Jennifer Aniston and the people in the back row and he stuck his hand in between Jennifer Aniston's legs, and snap, the Photo That Would Inspire So Much More Scrutiny Than Any One Photo Deserves was taken.

Conclusion? It's probably definitely not Scott Caan's hand.

I'm a fan of this theory because it's kinda naughty, but I still think that the third theory holds the most plausibility.

THEORY #3: The weird hand that seems to come from nowhere is the result of bad photoshopping.

Case in point:

When I did this little photoshop job, even though I am admittedly very very terrible at photoshop, it hit me that we are super-geniuses for discovering what was obviously a photoshopping snafu (I have to give credit to David Newsom for first floating the photoshopping theory) because this is TOTALLY the answer to our riddle. I mean, look at the above photoshopped photo and then compare it to the real photo again:

HELLO, right?

Therefore...conclusion? It IS Scott's hand, but the hand is from a one photo in which Jennifer Aniston looked smokin' while the rest of Scott Caan's body is from a photo where he looked smoking but Jennifer didn't so much.

Oh, and by the way...

New Thing # 74: I recreated the Jennifer Aniston photo, and New Thing #75: I used photoshop.

(P.S. My "d" key isn't working very well, and so when I was just rereading this post, I kept noticing that a lot of words that were supposed to have the letter "d" in it, don't have the letter "d" in it, like, for instance, it says "an" several times where it's supposed to say "and," but I'm tire and I'm flawe and I accept it, goamnitt.)


Bonnie said...


TheDarkerUma said...

derrik looks like he is holding something...

Dave said...

Ok, I saw those photos and had a whole other theory, but now that I see the photo again, I just don't know.

I say it's a either Anniston's little talked about third hand OR it's been photoshopped as you say.

I still vote for the third hand theory though.

christy said...

Erik, we need to have two tin cans connected by a string between your window and my window so whenever you post you can tell me so I can be first.

I maintain my original theory. Which, to reiterate (for anyone who neglected to go read the 15,000 comments swirling about the first posting) is that a) I really want it to be Vince's hand but b) after looking at tons and tons of hand pictures it is clear to me that through some act of God (or Photoshop) it IS Scott Caan's hand.

I actually just logged on to upload my photos for the 12 of 12 project (woohoo!)

And my LAST DAY OF WORK is all over with (Woohoo!)

And I think they're going to try and deduct two days of pay for outstanding "sick" days (sadddd...)

But I'm drinking some really great syrah (Woohoo!)

And even if they deduct pay, I'm never going to have to work their again (the Woohoo still not sinking in...still, "huh? really? no way.")

Syrah! (woohoo) 12 of 12 (woohoo)!



(p.s. I think Lindsay deserves a golden statuette for her recreation of Jennifer Aniston's "laugh")

Anonymous said...

Thank you for this. FINALLY! Oh, so much laughing...

Remember when Jennifer Anniston had pink hair and ate whatever she wanted? Oh wait, that's me. Uncanny.

A little behind the scenes:

Part of the beauty of the theory #2 shot is that Leslie totally felt me up, but you can't really tell in the pic because she was using some of that ninja junior-high-boy-back-of-the-hand technique. (I am not sure when she honed it, but it really worked. For the shot, I mean.)


communicatrix said...

Damn, I love this series.

But you have failed to convince me of my original theory (and no, I'm not going back to find the effing link)--it's Scott's hand, no Photoshopping.

You forget, dearest handsome normal-sized (actually, large-sized) one, that most actors are teeny with really big heads (photographs better). Scott Caan had like a little troll body--tiny + BIIIIIG head. That means tiny arms, which means one could totally be coming out of his shoulder (I mean, look like it) and draped OVER her leg, not under and via the crotchal area (remember, she is also teeny weeny with a big head, so her thighs are as big as well-toned pencils).

In order to stage the pic properly, you need misshapen genetic freaks, like me. I am not as tiny as Aniston, but I could pass. Find a freaky-tiny man-actor (under 5'5") and we will restage that quadrant of the pic and I will show you.

But damn, I think mostly I want to b/c I love this effin' series so much. RAWK!

Bonnie said...

I loves me some CoCo. She's so totally right.

Erik said...

Bonnie...I loves me some CoCo, as well. (And I loves me some BonBon too.) (Is it weird that all of these nicknames share their names with some of my favorite chocolate treats?)

Erik said...

Urp, get yer mind outta the gutter. (But you're right, it really does look like he and Landon are about to go at it, doesn't it?)

Erik said...

Dave, I like the idea of Aniston having a third hand. However, it's no longer "little talked about." That third hand's on its way to famous.

Erik said...

Christy, that's incredibly lame that they might deduct your sick days from your last pay check, but CONGRATS on being done, done, done with the job!

And I think you're right, as much as we ALL want it to be Vince's hand, it just ain't.

Erik said...

Lindsay, sorry it took me so long to post these photos! THANK YOU for coming up with the idea of recreating these photos (in the very first comment of the original Aniston thread) because recreating these photos was one of the funnest things in the history of ever.

And I can vouch for the fact that Leslie totally felt you up. She's a sly one.

Erik said...

Oh, and Lindsay,

Next time you're in Los Angeles, Christy and I would like to bestow a golden statuette to you for your recreation of J. Aniston's laugh in these photos.

It'll be, like, my blog's version of the academy awards!

Erik said...

Colleen, I am SO game for restaging the corner of this picture again, with actors who have "little troll bodies" and really big heads. I never thought of these posts as a series, but you know I usually do think in terms of long-range story-telling, so now you've inspired me to ABSOLUTELY do another Jennifer Aniston mysterious hand post, one of these days, down the line.


Wouldn't it be cool if I could somehow track down the photographer and ask her about it?

That would be, like, zenith.

Total RAWK.

Bonnie said...

I think it's super cool that your loveydovey girls have chocolatey names. And I love that "The Darker Uma" is dark chocolate. Hee!

I agree that Lindsay is brilliant for having come up with the idea to recreate the photo to begin with. You have smart friends! And hot. ;)

I would love to clap politely in the montage of "non-winners" when Lindsay wins her award. She really did nail that Jennifer-laugh pose. Greatness.

And how cool is it that you just got random people to help with the photo? So cool!

I wonder if one of them is the next busboy!!

Colleen is totally right about the freakishly large head issue in Hollywood. It looks so strange in person, but so normal on camera. Very odd.

And all blogging is creative writing, babe! Esp. when you're you're doing the whole soap opera thing (the continuing story...) as you post. Love it!

You MUST track down the photographer. You seriously have to go to events and find this person and ask about the shot. MUST.

(You could also track down the stylist or one of the actors' publicists, but finding the actual photographer would be so effin' pimp. It would RAWK. Indeed.)

Erik said...

Everyone I love is a different kind of chocolate treat!

Erik said...


re: I agree that Lindsay is brilliant for having come up with the idea to recreate the photo to begin with. You have smart friends! And hot. ;)

Yes, Lindsay is a very smart cookie. And hot, too.

I think all of my friends are hot, actually. You know how, the more you love someone, the hotter they become? I definitely feel that with my friends. My friends are the hottest mofos around.

re: I would love to clap politely in the montage of "non-winners" when Lindsay wins her award.

Don't worry, BonBon--at my bloggy awards, you won't be going home empty handed.

re: And how cool is it that you just got random people to help with the photo? So cool!

It was very cool. They were very willing to help out. And they got into it too!

re: I wonder if one of them is the next busboy!!

I'm okay with not having another busboy for was too stressful...

re: You MUST track down the photographer. You seriously have to go to events and find this person and ask about the shot. MUST.

Well, I know her name...and she works in I'm sure it can't be THAT difficult to track her down, right. (In fact, maybe she'll find ME by self-googling.) (Speaking of which, it's so cool that Nolé Marin self-googled and found your blog. SO COOL.)

re: (You could also track down the stylist or one of the actors' publicists, but finding the actual photographer would be so effin' pimp. It would RAWK. Indeed.)

I should track down EVERYONE involved in the shoot. It should become a mission. An ongoing series. Interview the stylist, the production designer for the photo shoot, the publicist, etc..., the actors...all leading to the BIG COUP, the interview with the photographer. (I like to think of the interview with the photographer as the BIG COUP, rather than the interview with Aniston as the big coup. Because the photographer's the one who would give me the real dirt.)

Bonnie said...

This is brilliant and wonderful.

We need to have a camera crew covering the event, since the real cool stuff is going to be the village of people it takes to MAKE a photo like that. All of the folks on the sidelines, fretting over the lighting, positioning, hair, clothing, makeup, extra hands, whathaveyou.

I am sooooooo into this.

OH! And speaking of (typing of?) other staged photos: I totally need you to do staged photos for me "in the style of" the "bad" headshots I was emailing about last night. I have 'til Sunday (woo! Advance notice this time) to pull this off, and I'm going to use Babes' headshots (sooooo MySpace) and also ask a few other lovely non-actors to do some actor-type BAD shots. You game?

your choco-taco daisy scat

Anonymous said...

Derrick is coming back, so don't miss Fresh Meat on MTV!

Bonnie said...

Oh, and RE: MySpace-style photos, thought you'd find this entertaining: (You're a MySpacer, right? CoCo sent me that link. It made me raff!)

Erik said...

Bonnie, the "beware: quite possibly a ninja" line made me guffaw.

Erik said...

Who is this "anonymous" who gives me information about what Derrick's up to? Are you a blog-blaster? I don't care who you are, I just want more more more. (As long as it involves Derrick.) (Not "more more more" in a weird way. Just in a "he's really hot and the world needs more Derrick" way.)

Bonnie said...

When I saw that comment, I so thought it was Derrick who was self-Googling and ending up here... giving you a bit of satisfaction.


(Do you understand that sound?)


Bonnie said...

Oh, and yes, the Ninja comment was way funny.

Anonymous said...

Couldnt he be LEANING on her knee???


Anonymous said...

Because the gray of his shirt sleeve would have blended with the gray of her pants right? Right?


Erik said...

Komal, I love that you're obsessed with this.

Erik said...

But I don't think he's leaning on her knee in such a way that his arm is disappearing, regardless of the color of his sleeve (which IS gray, from the baseball t)