Olympics Fireworks As Real As Lord Of The Rings

Remember that cool visual during the Opening Ceremonies on Friday of a helicopter tracking firework footprints going across the Beijing skyline, leading to the stadium? THE TELEGRAPH reported that it was lie, created by CGI and inserted into the broadcast coverage in order to spruce things up a bit. How would that make you feel about the reality you’ve created for yourself? I’m trying to free your mind, Neo.

The organizers claim that fireworks did happen - it would have been impossible (and too dangerous for the helicopters) from them to capture it live. So, they did the next best thing: spend six months working on CGI footage to insert into the broadcast.

But rest assured, the rest of the Opening Ceremonies were completely on the up-and-up. Famed gymnast Li Ning really did levitate from the floor and run across the stadium in order to light the Olympic flame. Except that they didn’t use a real flame - who knows if it would have actually caught fire or not, so they just added that in editing. And that wasn’t really Li Ning. With Chinese national pride at stake, how could they run the risk that a human might screw things up? So, they created an animatronic Li Ning based on old parts from a discarded Abe Lincoln from Disneyland’s Hall of Presidents.

But sure to tune in for the closing ceremonies, where they promise that everything will be live, legit, and with no special effects. The highlight: a thousand Chinese warriors rise to do battle with real, live dragons, as Sun Tzu reads passages from his book The Art of War. Also, David Copperfield is going to make The Great Wall of China disappear.