La Satira News Service
Beset by a series of high-profile problems during the increasingly elaborate opening ceremonies, members of the International Olympic Committee announced that they were considering a strategy to reduce the risk of malfunction by rendering the ceremonies in computer graphics.
The most recent embarrassment occurred in Sochi, when a plan to have five giant snowflakes transform into the five rings of the Olympic symbol failed, leaving four rings and a snowflake.
“Of course we cut away and used rehearsal footage, in which all five snowflakes opened properly,” said Jacques Bourdes, a member of the Ceremonies subcommittee of the IOC. “The symbolism of the five rings is sacrosanct. Can you imagine if we’d permitted footage to go out showing the four rings and a snowflake? People would have spent the next four years talking about how this Olympics had a big asterisk beside it.”
The error followed incidents at the Beijing Olympics in 2008, in which television footage was supplemented with extra fireworks footage and a young girl was presented lip-synching a song actually sung by a girl deemed not “cute” enough by the organizers.
In order to avoid future problems of this sort, while still maintaining the “wow” factor that audiences have come to expect from the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, organizers are suggesting that future hosts execute these important events as CGI movies.
“Let’s face it: it’s awkward for everyone when things don’t go as planned, especially when national prestige is on the line,” said Hans Schnitzer, another member of the Ceremonies subcommittee. “We’ve reached the point where having something done right is more important than having it done live. Since computer-generated imagery has gained such a wide acceptance in the general audience, it makes sense that maybe some of the more extravagant effects ought to be done in CGI rather than attempted live.” Mr. Schnitzer suggested that moving to CGI would also reduce the risk of life and limb from some of the acrobatics that have marked recent ceremonies.
“Even the introduction of the athletes could be rendered in CGI,” Mr. Schnitzer added, pointing out that attendance at the ceremonies can be unnecessarily tiring for athletes competing in the earlier events. Mr. Schnitzer suggested that athletes might use something like a Wii profile to generate an avatar that could be used in their place.
Asked whether attendance at the Olympic ceremonies themselves might suffer, if most of the action was to take place on the screen rather than live and in person, Mr. Schnitzer demurred. “I don’t see why: there will be a large screen in the stadium, so they’ll be able to see everything that goes on. And anyway, there are a lot more home-viewers than people there in person. But if attendance does suffer, is it that big a deal? That reduces the logistical problems and risks; and if people want to see a larger audience in person at the Opening and Closing Ceremonies, thanks to CGI, we can always add one.”
Asked whether, if the goal of the organizing committee was to prevent unexpected things from happening, it might not be better to cancel the live events and give the medals to the top-seeded participant in each sport, Mr. Schnitzer replied, “Now there’s an idea.”
Rumors that movie directors George Lucas and James Cameron were each maneuvering for an opportunity to take creative control of the 2016 ceremonies were, at this time, unsubstantiated.