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Beijing Olympics Opening Ceremony August 11, 2008

Posted by faelix in ocity.
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StupendoMan and I watched the opening ceremony on tv on Friday night. Well, we saw up til the athletes started parading around. I’d already read in the paper that Australia wasnt going to appear on the tv until 1am our time, so I figured I’d just watch the first part.

Was it great? We couldn’t really tell all the time.

Now, I don’t claim to know how the set up of these things work, but I can imagine that the Chinese organisers did not let every single broadcaster send an army of cameras into shoot footage that could be broadcast. So, I assume they had their own little army of camera people in the stadium (who knew where to go so they wouldnt stuff up the amazing displays and knew which bits the viewers might be interested in seeing) and they sent these video feeds to each of the approved broadcasters for their own artistic directors to pick and choose.

So, Mister Artistic Directory (or whatever s/he’s called – the person who chooses which video feed to be broadcast to their viewers at any given time) :

  • chose lots of close ups of the performers – hello? it’s a MASSIVE display, designed to be seen from further away so you can see the whole effect, but not so far away that the entire stadium on your tv can be obscured by your hand.
  • chose the dumb angle for the “Footstep” fireworks – leading me to think that the Chinese fireworks people had slacked off and couldn’t make perfect circles from their fireworks anymore, but it wasnt until one chance shot closer to the stadium that was from below the fireworks that we could see it was ACTUALLY a footprint.

With the technology we have these days, it would be cool if we could get all of the feeds, and we could be our own artistic directors, choosing the shot we want to see. It would mean we could have seen the entire drumming effect instead of just those 20 guys over and over. We would have been able to see when the dancer left the paper scroll instead of her just disappearing all of a sudden. I could have shown StupendoMan the empty seats in the stadium behind where the flag poles were.

I must say however, the smiley-face fireworks were the best. :D

[update]
I think I must revise my thinking on how these events are broadcast – I just read this fake singer and the broadcast looks exactly the same as what we watched. I’m even more disillusioned now.

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