|Olympic "Footprints" Faked
File under: Too good to be true.
When I watched the opening ceremonies of the Olympic Games in Beijing, I was amazed. And I still am. The show was incredible, and London certainly has its work cut out for it in 2012.
The "firework footprints" countdown, however, looked a bit odd, and it turns out it was because they were 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.
Gao Xiaolong, head of the visual effects team for the ceremony, said it had taken almost a year to create the 55-second sequence. Meticulous efforts were made to ensure the sequence was as unnoticeable as possible: they sought advice from the Beijing meteorological office as to how to recreate the hazy effects of Beijing's smog at night, and inserted a slight camera shake effect to simulate the idea that it was filmed from a helicopter.
See articles in the Telegraph
, and Daily Mail
Bit of a shame, really.
Monday, August 11, 2008