1. Wide of National Stadium (Bird's Nest) at start of opening ceremony
2. Various of fireworks exploding above National Stadium broadcast live by AP Television
Beijing, China - August 12, 2008
3. Beijing Organising Committee for the Games (BOCOG) vice-president Wang Wei walking into news conference
4. Journalist listening
5. SOUNDBITE (English) Wang Wei, BOCOG vice-president and spokesman:
"On the day of the ceremony there were actual footprint fireworks from the south to the north of the city. However, because of poor visibility on the night, some previously recorded footage may have been used."
Beijing, China - August 8, 2008
6. Crowd watching fireworks in Beijing city centre
7. Various of fireworks seen from Beijing city centre
Beijing, China - August 12, 2008
8. Wide of news conference
9. SOUNDBITE (English) Wang Wei, BOCOG vice-president and spokesman:
"If they (venue managers) find that there are not enough people, or if they find there are too many empty seats they will organise some cheerleaders who are volunteers."
The Beijing Olympics may have a potential television audience of 4 (b) billion people, but viewers may not be able to trust their own eyes.
Games organisers have admitted a series of illusions, including a pre-taped fireworks segment and lip-synching during the opening ceremony, and the use of cheerleaders to fill empty stadium seats.
Beijing Organising Committee for the Games (BOCOG) vice-president Wang Wei confirmed on Tuesday broadcasters were supplied tape of the "footprint" fireworks during the "live" opening extravaganza.
In the sequence, 29 footprint-shaped fireworks "walked" across the city skyline from Tiananmen Square towards the National Stadium.
"On the day of the ceremony there were actual footprint fireworks from the south to the north of the city. However, because of poor visibility on the night, some previously recorded footage may have been used," Wang Wei said.
The local Beijing Times newspaper quoted the head of the ceremony's visual effects team, Gao Xiaolong, as saying a 55-second sequence was digitally recreated, as it was impossible to film by helicopter.
Wang Wei did not confirm if the tape contained special effects.
However during the broadcast of the ceremony in the United States, NBC commentator Matt Lauer inferred it had been digitally enhanced.
"You're looking at a cinematic device employed by (director) Zhang Yimou here. This is actually almost animation," Lauer told viewers, according to a transcript.
BOCOG also confirmed venue managers were using volunteer cheerleaders to fill empty seats in stadiums.
Australian Olympic officials have criticised the number of seats left empty - many reserved for members of the "Olympic family" and corporate sponsors.
They say athletes' families have been unable to obtain tickets for some events, while seats sit unused.
In another example of the lengths Beijing has taken to project a perfect image, a 7-year-old girl was replaced after officials deemed her face was "not suitable" for the opening ceremony.
The ceremony's chief music director Chen Qigang claimed on Beijing Radio the change was ordered by a member of China's Politburo.
Instead, an older girl with a perfect smile lip-synched the words to "Ode to the Motherland," which had been recorded by the youngster.
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