Olympic Footprints Faked!
I didn’t watch the Olympic opening ceremonies because I tend to find them boring. But there’s a little bit of controversy in that the big, giant phosphorescent footprints in the sky were (gasp) faked:
As the ceremony got under way with a dramatic, drummed countdown, viewers watching at home and on giant screens inside the Bird’s Nest National Stadium watched as a series of giant footprints outlined in fireworks processed gloriously above the city from Tiananmen Square.
What they did not realise was that what they were watching was in fact computer graphics, meticulously created over a period of months and inserted into the coverage electronically at exactly the right moment.
The fireworks were there for real, outside the stadium. But those responsible for filming the extravaganza decided in advance it would be impossible to capture all 29 footprints from the air.
As a result, only the last, visible from the camera stands inside the Bird’s Nest was captured on film.
The trick was revealed in a local Chinese newspaper, the Beijing Times, at the weekend.
So, sorry to disappoint those of you who were under the impression that the Chinese had used a giant, air-walking Sasquatch with luminescent feet.
That CGI were used for the enjoyment of the home television audience was apparently a closely guarded secret, available only to those with access to the Chinese Communist Party press and those who listened to the announcers on NBC tell them that, “You’re looking at a cinematic device, it’s actually almost animation.”