Fake fireworks in China?

In Culture, Politics, Sports, The news biz, Unfettered stupidity on August 13, 2008 at 5:45 pm

So now it’s being reported that some of the exceptional Olympic opening ceremonies, which really were impressive, were faked. When I watch the Olympics, I realize some of the stuff I see isn’t going to be live — NBC, et al., show the popular stuff during prime time, regardless of when it really took place halfway ’round the world. I understand about the scheduling. 

But I don’t expect computer-generated fireworks. WTF, NBC? You don’t have your own cameras? You just blandly let the Chinese pop a tape in the machine? Those overhead shots really brought to us by the Politburo, not Goodyear, as advertised? It’ll be interesting to see how this happened; haven’t seen the reporting on that. 

Now, the little girl lip-synching, I can understand. The networks have no control over that. But it does seem like they’d have control over their video feeds. Makes you wonder about some of the other cool visuals. Were those thousands of tai chi practitioners really in sync that closely? Or did they use the same CGI software that movie directors use to create huge battle scenes? 

What’s next: CGI balloons at the Democratic convention, inserted by special agreement with the networks? Will we be able to see unretouched coverage on C-SPAN?

Update: Better reporting here from Bloomberg.

“You’re looking at a cinematic device employed by Zhang Yimou here. This is actually almost animation. A footstep a second, 29 in all, to signify the 29 Olympiads,” (Matt) Lauer said, according to a transcript ….

(Bob) Costas replied: “We said earlier that aspects of this opening ceremony are almost like cinema in real time. Well this is quite literally cinematic.”

I missed that part of the broadcast. Did Lauer and Costas admit that some of the broadcast was faked?


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