According to recent reports, some of the fireworks seen during the opening ceremonies of the Olympics were computer generated. Since Beijing Olympic Broadcasting is the only network allowed to film the Olympics, foreign services were forced to accept the doctored footage. The scene of the 29 footsteps above the Bird’s Nest was the section that was faked, according to The Beijing Times. Computer graphics artists spent a whole year creating the 55 second clip. In order to make it look realistic, they added a slight smog to the entire scene and forced the move shakily, as if it were being filmed from a helicopter.
The Chinese claim that they were forced to generate the fireworks due to the danger the helicopter would face if it were filming the scene. Most viewers were unaware of the fake fireworks due to NBC announcers refusal to state outright the truth. The following is a transcript of the NBC announcers during the faked segment of footage.
Matt Lauer: “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.”
Bob Costas: “We said earlier that aspects of this Opening Ceremony are almost like cinema in real time. Well this is quite literally cinematic.”
They hint at the fireworks not being real, but they never come out and say it. When Matt Lauer says “This is actually almost animation,” they come close to mentioning the CGI fireworks, but they just ignore the point after this and continue with their commentary. This is quite upsetting, especially with other allegations floating around that NBC moved the US entrance last so that they would get more viewers earlier in the show. These scandals have marred the most spectacular opening ceremonies to date, and will cast a shadow over the rest of the Games.