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Manipulating the Press: When CGI Becomes Reality

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posted on Sep, 5 2006 @ 02:33 AM
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First, let me say this is a long post, because it covers a broad subject I've been thinking about for a long time. Please try to stay within the subject matter. But I know threads have a tendancy to evolve, and that I welcome. Please read on.

Do you enjoy movies? What kind? Action? Sci-fi? Fantasy? How many times have you seen CGI in a movie and marvelled at the realism, at how well it blended in with its environment and live actors?

Do you watch the news? And how about live news? I know I like "live" news because it's not controlled, and thus anything could happen. Well, how do we know it's "live"? Because the little animated icon in the corner of the screen says "live"? Or is it because the anchor says "We now have Bufort Blunderbuns reporting live from Detroit.."?

While you're thinking about that, let's get hypothetical. Let's build a time machine. We're gonna go back to 1985.

Ok, now we're in 1985. We're gonna manipulate a few million people. How, you ask? Easy, with the media. See here, my VHS tape with various clips from the new "War of the Worlds" movie. No shots of Tom Cruise in here...but there's plenty of clips of the "tripods" doing their thing. What's the point, you ask?

We'll invent one.

Yeah, that scenario sounds silly. But, on a serious note, what happens if you're watching a mundane, "Live" broadcast on whatever network, and something extraordinary happens onscreen? A high-profile assassination where the attacker is a Muslim? A black man being beaten by hooded klansmen? Or even an invading army from our current enemy of the year?

Well, if this happened on "live" TV, it would have to be true, right? The general populace would think just that. "I seen it with my own eyes!" they would insist. "Stinkin' Muslims'r invadin'. Kill 'em all, I says!"

So what stops this from happening? What keeps our government from absolutely controlling the media? What keeps realistic computer imagery, these days so common and overused that it's taken the "special" out of "special effects", from being reported as news to sway the public in favor of a specific goal or ideal?

There are a few logical conclusions. The first is that the government would have to break through the barrier presented by the press itself; although networks are generally biased by their owner's personal ideals, most individual reporters are disdainful of government interference in their work. If a country-wide crackdown were to take place, and the government to tell reporters they are no longer allowed to report the news, it's highly likely that at least a few die-hard individuals would leak this and other relevant information wherever they could, mainly the internet, which leads into the next conclusion.

The internet is the second barrier, and represents within itself a spectrum of obstacles the government would face in this situation. If something sensitive hits the internet, it's not likely to be recovered unseen, having been cloned and mirrored many times over before anyone can do anything about it. What we do here at ATS is a good example of how this information would be seen and swapped.

But the third, and bleakest conclusion, is that nothing stops them, and they're already doing it to some degree. If an "independant" (read: government setup) nobody-news-station catches a big, ground-breaking story that is sure to be big news, you can bet the other networks will mirror the story and report on it as much as possible. It may or may not be later disproven, but the public has seen it. The damage is done.

And even if it is proven false later, maybe they wanted that way. Disinformation. Maybe it was just a little something to keep us occupied. Maybe the NSA wiretapping really isn't a big deal to them.

To look at everything this way, watching the world around you and accepting all things within simultaneously as fact and lie, would lead to madness, in my opinion. But how else would you get the news?

Your thoughts?



[edit on 5-9-2006 by Astygia]




posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 01:17 AM
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No piqued interests, huh? I got more to add, anyway.

If the media ever were compromised, and complete fiction allowed to be reported as news, the implications are endless.

Simple anarchy could be caused nationwide by showing various ficticious scenes of carnage and looting throughout the nation. A particular demographic could even be targeted with made-up footage depicting riots or other violence from one race directed at another.

Another attack on the nation could be set up and broadcast, again motivating the American people to back their administration in war against whatever country takes the blame.

From a religious aspect, it could imitate the coming of the anti-christ, who is believed to "die" from a head wound, then come back to life three days later. Biblically, the AC will attract a massive following, since he would have all the answers and appear to be immortal. If the press were under total control. this could very well be faked. Even if you're not religious, you gotta recognize the hell that could cause.



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:18 AM
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"How many times have you seen CGI in a movie and marvelled at the realism, at how well it blended in with its environment and live actors?"

Never....I can't name one movie that has real looking effects outside of blood splatters, or knife/blade cuts.Which for the most part don't use any CGI at all.I'm a 3d modeler/animator.....I have never seen "realistic" CGI. I think more mudane visual techniques would be harder to spot than CGI. Like an assination, just put an exploding blood packet under a shirt....no computers needed. But even then people react in certain ways when shot...if the person that gets shot is a bad actor and responds wrong, the hoax is over. I can't name one CGI artists work that couldn't be identified by other CGI artists.The programs that are used to produce these effects are availible to almost anyone, and each program has certain "tells" as to what program is being used. Heck, most CGI artists can easily tell which render engine is being used as well. If you learned how to use these programs(or learned more about them, you too would see just how fake our current CGI looks. What movies do you consider to look real( or even specific scenes in those movies)? Just wondering what you consider as real looking. How could you stage something in a populated area using CGI, without people from that area refuting it outright, as they wouldn't have seen what was shown on the television screen. They can't control the mass flooding of info that would pour onto the net( such as undoctored videos/photos).The more CGI that is used, the easier it is to spot.



posted on Sep, 6 2006 @ 06:43 AM
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"Yeah, that scenario sounds silly. But, on a serious note, what happens if you're watching a mundane, "Live" broadcast on whatever network, and something extraordinary happens onscreen? A high-profile assassination where the attacker is a Muslim? A black man being beaten by hooded klansmen? Or even an invading army from our current enemy of the year? "

None of those situations would even require CGI(computer generated graphics), they are all easily doable in real life. It would be a waste of money to fake any of those situations, you could easily make them happen for real, and report on that.


A high-profile assassination where the attacker is a Muslim?
I bet there are alot of muslim extremists that would jump at the chance to do that.

A black man being beaten by hooded klansmen?
Again, what racist fool wouldn't go beat a black man if the situation presented itself.

Or even an invading army from our current enemy of the year?
why fake it, we can easily get another country to hate us through economic bullying and butt-head-ery.They might want to invade us( or our friends) because we deserve it. I think a reporting blackout would be far worse than any CGI effects possible. If we don't know what our govrment is actually doing, then we cant stop bad stuff from happening. The gov just can control that many people...a black out of info is immpossible, just like stopping the sale of drugs. An unstoppable black market for info would come into effect making it even harder for the goverment to plot things without us knowing. Infact, we would probably start spying back, and infiltrate the Goverment. I am sort of suprised that no one is doing this now.



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 12:36 AM
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I can offer no proof of my claims, but would like to share a story with you.

When i was in college in the early 90s i did a report on the assasination of Prime minister of Israel. I also showed news clips and reports from the assasination to the class.

3 years later i saw a scene being displayed on what i think was CNN. It was a video of a histerical middle eastern woman which was played in coordination with a suicide bombing that had happened earlier that day. The footage was identical to the footage that was presented 3 years earlier depicting the same middle eastern woman who was histerical. I saw it and recognized the 5 second clip immediatley, as i had incorporated it into my report.

I laughed and at the same time became a conspiracy theorist.




posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 01:53 AM
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Originally posted by LordBaskettIV
If you learned how to use these programs(or learned more about them, you too would see just how fake our current CGI looks. What movies do you consider to look real( or even specific scenes in those movies)? Just wondering what you consider as real looking. How could you stage something in a populated area using CGI, without people from that area refuting it outright, as they wouldn't have seen what was shown on the television screen. They can't control the mass flooding of info that would pour onto the net( such as undoctored videos/photos).The more CGI that is used, the easier it is to spot.


Actually, I'm an avid fan of 3D Studio Max, and although I'm not really good, I do know some about the subject. Now, when I said staging something using CGI, that's also why I mentioned a staged, nobody-news-station, which would be the original to "record" the story in motion and send it to whomever. Or the station itself could prepare the footage, then broadcast it as "live" somewhere.

Obviously these all have their people-related faults, I can't come up with a perfect example. And I'm not trying to make a claim that this is already happening... it's just that every time I see a film rich in CGI (action scenes, like city-wide carnage a la War of the Worlds), I can't help but think what kind of shock factor a fakery like that might have if done on "live" news.

Anyway, thanks for your response. I was hoping to twang some paranoia nerves.

Esoteric:

That is possible alarming, but definately interesting. Thanks for sharing that with me.

[edit on 7-9-2006 by Astygia]



posted on Sep, 7 2006 @ 02:16 AM
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This very subject crossed my mind just this past weekend and it all started with a Toyota car commercial. I noticed in their ad that the vehicles they were showing didn't quite look right and it was then I realized they were CGI. They weren't showing actual cars in the ad. That led me to this very quick thought process:
1) I guess it's cheaper to pay a programmer then use real cars.
2) Hey, they could manipulate the models much easier than a real car and that smacks of false advertising.
3) Geez, at a cursory glance they look like real vehicles.
4) Holy crap, a few subtle changes in real footage with some CGI could change any news story.
5) Oh, good my show is back on.

Ok, so the thought process wasn't quite like that, but I did realize that while a wholesale CGI 'news' story isn't likely yet it just might be in the future. Hell, I have a hard enough time believing what I see now. Fooling me with great eye-candy would have me doubting the weather.



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