The Telegraph picked up a story in the Chinese newspaper the Beijing Times which explained that filming the 29 firework “footprints” from the air would have been impossible. So visual effects artists spent a year creating a computer-graphic simulation — inserted precisely at the same time the real fireworks went off — to bedazzle home viewers as if they were at the actual ceremony. The fireworks themselves were real enough, but if you were watching on TV, what you saw was a CG simulation of that reality, happening in real-time.
A 7-year-old Chinese girl was not good-looking enough for the Olympics opening ceremony, so another little girl with a pixie smile lip-synched “Ode to the Motherland,” a ceremony official said–the latest example of the lengths Beijing took for a perfect start to the Summer Games.
A member of China’s Politburo asked for the last-minute change to match one girl’s face with another’s voice, the ceremony’s chief music director, Chen Qigang, said in an interview with Beijing Radio.
At this point, assume everything was faked.
UPDATE: Oh, and don’t forget the landlocked aircraft carrier, either.