CBS broadcasts impossible views of 4th fireworks

Questions, speculations & updates on the techniques and nature of media fakery

CBS broadcasts impossible views of 4th fireworks

Unread postby guivre on Fri Jul 08, 2011 8:25 pm

Boston gets a nonreality show
CBS broadcasts impossible views of 4th fireworks


http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/2011/07/08/cbs_broadcasts_altered_views_of_bostons_fourth_of_july_fireworks/

Those who watched Boston’s revered Fourth of July celebration Monday night on CBS were treated to spectacular views of fireworks exploding behind the State House, Quincy Market, and home plate at Fenway Park, among other places - great views, until you consider that they were physically impossible.

As viewers began to point out yesterday, it would not have been geographically possible to see the fireworks above and behind the landmarks in question, since the display was launched from a barge in the Charles River and in directions away from those places.

“According to CBS, you can see the fireworks from the right side of Quincy Market, even though Beacon Hill is in the way,’’ wrote “Kaz,’’ whose real name is Karl Clodfelter, a commenter on the Boston blog UniversalHub.com. “Also, they come up behind the State House when you’re standing across the road . . . which means the barge must have been parked on the Zakim this year,’’ wrote Clodfelter, a research scientist from Brighton.

David Mugar, the Boston-area businessman and philanthropist who has executive produced the show for nine years, confirmed yesterday that the footage was altered. He said this was the first year such alterations were made.

Mugar said the added images were above board because the show was entertainment and not news. He said it was no different than TV drama producer David E. Kelley using scenes from his native Boston in his show “Boston Legal’’ but shooting the bulk of each episode on a studio set in Hollywood.

“Absolutely, we’re proud to show scenes from our city,’’ Mugar said. “It’s often only shown in film or in sporting matches. We were able to highlight great places in Boston, historical places with direct ties to the Fourth. So we think it was a good thing.’’

A CBS Television spokesman declined comment about whether the network was aware of, or approved of, the fireworks show being digitally altered.

The footage of the landmarks was shot several weeks ago. According to Mugar, camera crews from Boston 4 Productions, the production wing of Boston 4 Celebrations Foundation, the fireworks show’s parent, crisscrossed Boston and Suffolk County shooting video of famous landmarks one evening in May.

“I’d say we shot from about 8 p.m. till 4 or 5 the next morning,’’ Mugar said. “Among other places, we got video of the Old North Church, the State House, Quincy Market, the statue of Paul Revere, Fenway Park, with the full cooperation of the Red Sox, who let us in and turned on certain lights for our shoot. And we did it all with the intention of superimposing the fireworks over the images. The technical process is called matting.’’

Entertainment or not, some viewers were not amused to learn that the footage was altered.

T.J. Jeffers, decked out in a Celtics T-shirt and Red Sox cap, stood outside the JFK/UMass T stop yesterday and, with a toothy grin, declared his love for Boston and the Independence Day celebrations.

“It’s one of the biggest times of year here,’’ an animated Jeffers said. “Man, it’s huge. The fireworks, the crowds. It takes you back to your childhood. . . . But I’m shocked they changed stuff on TV, because they didn’t need to. The fireworks don’t need dressing up. They’re fireworks.’’

At a Shaw’s grocery store in Dorchester, Penny Thompson, who described herself as “a lifer, born and raised in the Boston area,’’ expressed disappointment, but not over the quality of the fireworks display.

“I thought it looked fine,’’ Thompson said. “I just don’t like knowing it wasn’t real. I mean I know the fireworks were real, but I’m saying not real like they changed stuff. That’s not cool.’’

Eric Deggans, a Florida-based media critic and regular panelist on CNN’s media critique show “Reliable Sources,’’ said the altered video presents a potential credibility problem for CBS.

“It is an ethical issue, and to say it’s not because the show was aired through CBS Entertainment is to imply that the entertainment side of CBS has no ethics,’’ Deggans said. “I think - especially in today’s media environment - the most important commandment for media is to not mislead the viewer. . . . If you’re a viewer who doesn’t know Boston, you’re getting a picture of the layout of the city that doesn’t exist.’’

David A. Perry, a Massachusetts native who watches the televised fireworks each year from his home in Delaware, Ohio, and who first alerted the Globe to the altered video, had a similar, if more tempered, reaction.

“I was already just dismayed with the coverage,’’ said Perry, a 45-year-old computer programmer who left New England five years ago to relocate to his new wife’s hometown. “They didn’t pan out enough to show what was probably a crowd of half a million. They made it seem like just 2,000 people were there. But then I started seeing some of the angles. And let me tell you, I’ve been to plenty of Sox games. So I knew the angles and the backgrounds weren’t right.

“The shame is I’ve always thought the fireworks were among the best in the country. So there was no need to add anything. The fireworks by themselves would have been good enough. Why?’’

Asked about Mugar’s argument that the show was entertainment so the usual rules did not apply, Clodfelter, the commenter from Brighton, said if that’s the case “why not superimpose Neil Armstrong on the moon?’’


Image

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=WG3l9oP6BmE

Shot@4:25

Personally I find the reaction and confusion between reality/entertainment/news reporting more interesting than the fakery.
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CBS fakes fireworks

Unread postby Gracist on Fri Jul 08, 2011 10:49 pm

I hope its okay I started a new thread about this but I found it strange.

Boston gets a nonreality show
CBS broadcasts impossible views of 4th fireworks

http://www.boston.com/ae/tv/articles/20 ... fireworks/

Those who watched Boston’s revered Fourth of July celebration Monday night on CBS were treated to spectacular views of fireworks exploding behind the State House, Quincy Market, and home plate at Fenway Park, among other places - great views, until you consider that they were physically impossible.

As viewers began to point out yesterday, it would not have been geographically possible to see the fireworks above and behind the landmarks in question, since the display was launched from a barge in the Charles River and in directions away from those places.

“According to CBS, you can see the fireworks from the right side of Quincy Market, even though Beacon Hill is in the way,’’ wrote “Kaz,’’ whose real name is Karl Clodfelter, a commenter on the Boston blog UniversalHub.com. “Also, they come up behind the State House when you’re standing across the road . . . which means the barge must have been parked on the Zakim this year,’’ wrote Clodfelter, a research scientist from Brighton.

David Mugar, the Boston-area businessman and philanthropist who has executive produced the show for nine years, confirmed yesterday that the footage was altered. He said this was the first year such alterations were made.

Mugar said the added images were above board because the show was entertainment and not news. He said it was no different than TV drama producer David E. Kelley using scenes from his native Boston in his show “Boston Legal’’ but shooting the bulk of each episode on a studio set in Hollywood.

“Absolutely, we’re proud to show scenes from our city,’’ Mugar said. “It’s often only shown in film or in sporting matches. We were able to highlight great places in Boston, historical places with direct ties to the Fourth. So we think it was a good thing.’’

A CBS Television spokesman declined comment about whether the network was aware of, or approved of, the fireworks show being digitally altered.

The footage of the landmarks was shot several weeks ago. According to Mugar, camera crews from Boston 4 Productions, the production wing of Boston 4 Celebrations Foundation, the fireworks show’s parent, crisscrossed Boston and Suffolk County shooting video of famous landmarks one evening in May.

“I’d say we shot from about 8 p.m. till 4 or 5 the next morning,’’ Mugar said. “Among other places, we got video of the Old North Church, the State House, Quincy Market, the statue of Paul Revere, Fenway Park, with the full cooperation of the Red Sox, who let us in and turned on certain lights for our shoot. And we did it all with the intention of superimposing the fireworks over the images. The technical process is called matting.’’

Entertainment or not, some viewers were not amused to learn that the footage was altered.Continued...

Is the media reporting on their own fakery to somehow make people feel okay about it or that its normal and nothing sinister? Like, "yes we put up some fake images of fireworks, its called matting,..." Kind of like how they reported on faking photos of the president or other people so the noise of camera shutters wouldn't disturb them? Make fakery seem totally innocent?

Or are they just so sloppy (those fireworks look obviously fake) that more people are realizing that they are faking images and so they have to do damage control?
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Re: CBS broadcasts impossible views of 4th fireworks

Unread postby grav on Sat Jul 09, 2011 6:52 pm

I saw that story headlined e on the Boston Globe newspaper the other day when i was buying a burrito. Trying to imagine what the average unaware viewer is thinking when he/she reads it...

It's interesting the "entertainment"-related media fakery stories have been hitting MSM lately

Hell's Kitchen cloned crowds
CGI Japanese pop-star
Boston Fireworks compositing

think there was one or two more but I can't recall... Just seems odd that the subject is all of the sudden getting some attention. my guess is they are trying to control search-engine results on "media fakery" to lead to these 'mischievous' harmless entertainment stories... in any case it is becoming increasingly difficult to avoid the subject. CGI tricks are becoming too easy to do and common-place.
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Re: CBS fakes fireworks

Unread postby pov603 on Mon Jul 25, 2011 5:49 pm

Similar thing happened with Beijing Olympics even with the CGI 'view' from the Helicopter including vibrations and side-to-side movement.
http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/olympi ... faked.html
The sad thing is that almost nothing can be trusted from what is shown on or by the news media [as well as 'personal' vids posted on YouTube etc.
Trouble is then, when you have the news media reporting on this fakery, are they 'cocking a snook' to the general public, are they telling you 'You Can Trust Us' or are they confirming 'You Cannot Trust Us'.
The only thing that we can try to do is possibly bring these people to task ie the folks in Boston and make it clear that it will not be tolerated though, unless they are up for some sort of re-election it will be such an uphill struggle to be almost not worth the effort.
My concern on a slightly different note is along the lines of the following: Early last year, when in a playoff football/soccer game for a place in the 2010 World Cup between France and Rep. of Ireland, one of the football players for France; Thierry Henry, up until then a player of great skill and seeming integrity, not only handled once but did it twice in succession with it being noticed by everyone except the referees/umpires at the game leading to France scoring and going on to win the game.
There was scant conciliation when France ultimately imploded at the W/C finals.
Anyway my point is that children having watched this [and many other travesties of justice] on TV and seeing that there is no comeback on Thierry Henry or by France on him by the governing bodies will ultimately accept this as 'par for the course' and shrug their shoulders or act accordingly [as far as TPTB are concerned] to whatever is placed in front of them.
As these people are the next generation of voters and/or activists they are being culled [metaphorically] as we speak [or at least watch] and things do not bode well unless something can be done about it.
Maybe we need to entwine what we are saying with links to optical illusions/cgi/magicians/magic shows so that the younger folk grow up with the inherent understanding that what they see is not necessarily what they see.
In a way, as Steven Pinker quotes in his book 'The Stuff of Thought':'I know that you believe you understand what you think i said but i am not sure you realise that what you heard is not what i meant.'
So, it would seem the choice could be to either push the message until some of them get the point and we reach a tipping point and get the groundswell required/desired or we turn the tables by pushing something so ludicrous [a la Emporer's New Clothes] and then turn the tables at the 'Prestige' in the same way the magician does only this time showing one and all what's behind the smoke and mirrors.
I prefer option 1 but probably option 2 in this media savvy/hungry world is the one that would reach most before the plug could be pulled.
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Re: CBS fakes fireworks

Unread postby hoi.polloi on Tue Jul 26, 2011 4:21 am

We've jokingly tossed around the idea of faking something to reveal as a hoax later, but that doesn't seem to the best option for a number of reasons. One of them being we couldn't sufficiently fake something with as grandiose a budget as something like NASA, and another being people won't believe it's a hoax even when you are the creator of the hoax and you tell them it's a hoax. People get attached to the misunderstanding.

My main objection, though, is I am not that into "pranksterism" as the best means of revealing pranksters.
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Re: CBS fakes fireworks

Unread postby pov603 on Tue Jul 26, 2011 1:04 pm

@hoi.polloi
Totally agree with your sentiment.
My earlier most was only a musing about what is there that can be done [however extreme or impractical]
I'm entirely with you regarding 'pranks' not being the best means.
All i can say is if you guys keep up the good work and good research and can put up with any bits that i can throw into the mix, I will keep plugging the site with like-minded people and hopefully get the word out to the small group of people i know that there is a site which offers evidence and informed debate regarding the 'fakery' and conspiracies in general.

In getting the message out there, part of the problem, or at least two parts of it that i can see are as follows:
One is the use of the word conspiracy which immediately polarises some people [making them anti-conspiracy so to speak] even though they buy into the conspiracy being real when they are asked 'Do you believe JFK was shot only by LHO?' to which they usually and smugly answer 'No' after which i explain that they therefore can believe in conspiracies, but by then they are already entrenched.

Is there a better word to use than conspiracy? Fakery?

The other issue is, and not wishing to sound out of order, women.
Oddly enough the women i have talked to about conspiracies in general are more open in believing there is conspiracy but tend to limit the range at which they will be open-minded.
For example my wife is very taken with the death of Diana [ex-wife of Charles] and the conspiracy surrounding that and [as she is a trained actor] takes great notice when the likes of a fellow actor; Keith Allen [father of Lilly Allen], from the UK, makes a film called Unlawful Killing which looks at the death of DIana and subsequently is banned in the UK.
She immediately gets vocal and wants to challenge the system etc because of this.
She gets very agitated when she reads up on it looks at the evidence and comes to the conclusion it was murder or otherwise.
Unfortunately she glazes over when i bring up the other issues that are there such as the Moon [fake] landings, 9/11, London bombings, Madrid and of course now Norway.

I can imagine there are many others like her.
Not wishing to sound sexist but for some reason women don't seem to be too vocal about the more evident fakery going on but do understand that things are going on that shouldn't with the likes of Diana.
If there was some way to bring more women into the fold [and this is not being critical as there are sure to be some on this forum already so please do not take offence] it would help grow the message of September Clues and the major crimes being committed in the name of 'Government' around the world.
If we could tap into that 50% that would be something, but how?
Is it worth bringing some topics more focused on women and topics they would be interested in such as Diana to attract people who would not normally take too much of an interest in the more obvious and important ones?
Like i said, i am not wishing to sound sexist or chauvinistic but only want to broaden the appeal of the website and issues in general to get closer to a 'tipping point' or some sort of groundswell.
Anyone any ideas?

A collaboration between the Women's Institute and September Clues?

[I almost think i am sounding like the teacher in Ferris Bueller's Day Off! "Bueller...Bueller...Bueller..."] :unsure:
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