Well, it turns out that the bird-man -- whose name really is Floris Kaayk
-- now says that he animated the whole thing.
Somebody better give this guy a well-paying job and pronto. Even professional CG work usually shows a "tell" or two -- a shadow going in the wrong direction, something like that. Frankly, I've always taken some comfort in the belief that CG, even really good
CG, is discernible to those who study a shot carefully.
There's nothing in Floris's previous work
to indicate he could create effects of this quality. (The "metalosis" stuff is pretty cool, but it wouldn't fool anyone -- and in a key shot, the shadows are all wrong.)
I knew he couldn't be flying on his own power (not physically possible), but my first reaction was to look for a lower-tech solution.
Admittedly, I fell in love with the "he's using a balloon" theory because it reminded me of an idea that, in earlier times, absolutely jolted my imagination. What would happen if you tethered your body to a lighter-than-air balloon which canceled much (but not all) of your body weight? If the balloon had too much uplift, you would be at its mercy. But if it effectively reduced your weight to, say, one-fifth of normal, you could remain in control.
Under those circumstances, couldn't you pull off a video like this (or something basically similar) without CG?
I'm no longer young, no longer in the shape I was in the 1980s, so someone else will have to conduct the experiment.
But as I look back, the great regrets of my life have nothing to do with the usual things. The girls who got away? Not having kids? The job offer foolishly rejected? No, those things don't haunt.
The foremost regret: Not taking up that invite to try out for the chorus singing a performance of the Mahler Second.
But just below that comes the almost-foremost regret: Not buying a balloon
Even if the experiment had failed, it would have been better to have tried.