the "Three men and a baby" ghost

If the kid in the window was actually Ted Dansons life size cardboard cut out then why doesnt the person in the window appear to be Teds hight?Also,if it was behind the
curtains for the whole scene then why cant you see it when the camera pans right and follows Ted and the old lady with the baby?the only thing i see where the kid appears when they pan right is a black shotgun.I dont see any top hat on the kid either.if he was wearing a top hat his head would be flat not round.The cardboard cut out has buttons on his shirt.The person in the window doesnt have any.The cutouts head was tilted to the side a little bit but the person in the windows head is straight.The cutouts collar has more of a V shape than the person in the windows collar.The cut outs mouth is open and the person in the windows mouth isnt.How are you not gonna notice a "life size Ted Danson cutout" standing in front of a window?Its kinda hard to miss something the size of a human standing in a open window with sunlight shining in on it.Im no Stephen Speilberg but if i needed a cardboard cutout for a scene i wouldnt keep moving it around on the set.Id wait till the scene/scenes where i needed it to put it on the set just so i wouldnt accidently record like Daniel Jason Heffner is claiming.When u see the shotgun the curtains r closed but when u see the kid/cardboard cutout they r open.And when the The camera pans back left the kid/cutout turns his head to follow the camera.How is a cardboard cutout gonna turn its head or open the curtains?The black shotgun is also in teds viewing range because it was pretty much right in front of him.On my copy of the movie the kid`s shirt is a dark shade of red not black .Thats about it.

Hi SuicideSamurai67 …

It’s requested that when commenting on a mailbag report that you provide a link to the report as well. Here is is for you :

Ghost in “Three Men and a Baby”

Thanks, and welcome to the board!

All of the things you notice are due to perspetive and projection. It doesn’t look as tall because it’s leaning over and in the background. The head looks like it’s at a different angle because we’re seeing it from a different angle, etc. If you take the images, and adjust them so they’re the same size and orientation, they match exactly.

The cutout is a good 15 to 20 feet away from Ted Dansen. How can you tell it isn’t the same height? Compare the two side by side in the third picture down on the snopes page (linked in Staff Report, ), and you will note that the “life size” cutout appears slightly smaller than Dansen.

As for why it is not there for the whole scene, actually it is there in both images on the snopes page. The “shotgun” you see is really the lapel, jacket, and trouser of the tuxedo offset by the white shirt. Notice in the third image down there is a strange fold in is shirtfront that corresponds to the “trigger”. Also note that in the shotgun image the curtains fall across the head and left sleeve of the cutout, whereas in the next image, the cutout is slightly offset from the curtain. Why the difference? Probably because the two images were not shot in one continuous frame, but compiled from multiple shots. That gives plenty of opportunity for minor shifts in props to take place. And don’t bother arguing that the continuity people wouldn’t let that happen - there are plenty of places where continuity people screw up in movies. Happens all the time. I hear there’s a scene in Attack of the Clones with a Coke can in it. Heck, I’ve seen movies in the theater where the boom microphone was visible. I’m talking big production movies, like “Thirteen Days”.

And why is the “kid’s” head round and not flat? Trick of the positioning, lighting, and perhaps the digital imaging from the VCR. The curtains frame the head in that shot, cutting off any chance of seeing the brim of the hat. Add to it that the backdrop has a dark post or window frame that aligns precisely with the hat in that image, and it allows blurring between the edge of the hat and the dark spot, rounding out the top of the head.

And the lack of buttons, or studs, on the image? It’s so far away the small detail of the studs is lost. The camera does not pick it up, any more than it registers the folds in the front of the shirt. It’s the fine art of movie making that small details in the background do not register on the film.

It’s funny that you think the person in the window’s head is straight, because to me it clearly looks more tilted than the cutout image. But that’s just perspective. Note that the cutout is sitting at a different angle in each of the shots. In the window scene, it is leaning more to the visual right, making the head level with the image and the body slanted, while the lower image has the whole cutout leaning left, with the head more tilted left.

The collar is clearly V shaped in both images, just that the window image is farther away in the shot so it is less noticable.

Again, the window image is so far away how can you tell the mouth is not open?

As for your speculations on why a director would or would not include the prop in the set, consider that the script called for a scene that made a big deal out of the cutout. That is just the type of thing that the set designer would keep in the background somewhere because it was specifically filmed as an item that was acquired by the characters. Only in post-production editing did the scene with the prop addition get cut - making the cutout an unexplained oddity in the backgrounds. You say it doesn’t make sense, but what about if they kept the original scene in? Then you have an apartment and the cutout display is nowhere to be seen. That creates a different kind of discord.

The curtains are not closed and then open. They are partially closed with an open gap. The difference between the two images is the precise alignment of the gap in the curtains to the cutout. Note that the curtains are not solid, but sheer. The different translucency vs. opaque states are caused by the number of folds of material due to the way they are hanging. And as I said, they did not have to film that scene all in one take. I haven’t watched the movie lately, but if there are any scene breaks (changes in camera direction), then the film could easily be a composite of multiple filmings taken days apart.

Read the snopes link, and then compare and look closely at your copy of the movie.