If you haven’t seen the “Flying Like A Bird” video on youtube, here it is.

Today, an email went out to former ILM employees looking for a VFX expert to analyze the video and discuss whether it’s real or faked. The more I look at it, the more I believe it’s fake. I have three reasons:

1. The sudden focus shift when he takes off is very suspicious.
2. The shot of him in the air could have easily been faked practically. Those wings would probably allow the wearer to glide some distance, so he could have jump from a height to get the short clip.
3. The landing is distant and blurry.

ILMers weigh in in this article. They propose the wings are all CG.

Honestly, I wanted it to be real. And it’s that desire that is significant. People want to see fantastic things. We know the magician fools us, but that’s okay. And when someone creates an illusion that we take to be real, we are even more impressed at having been fooled. That is how P.T. Barnum became an icon of American culture. He concocted outrageous exhibits and spectacles. He would create a public buzz, put on a great show and collect the money. Imagine what Barnum would do with the social media of today. Which reminds me, please pass on this link!

The fraudsters remind us of our own foolishness. To create fraud in the name of entertainment is an art form, and I enjoy it. I salute you, Birdman!

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