Giant Drone Show Skeleton Marches Through Dubai … Or Does It?

November 1, 2023 by Dave Haynes

The CGI stunts appear to be continuing in Dubai.

On the heels of a Lionel Messi digital tribute in a giant roadside picture frame, and a Godzilla-sized Barbie taking a step by the Dubai Mall is video overnight that purports to capture a huge drone show with a skyscraper tall moving skeleton, done to mark Halloween.

The short video has predictably generated a lot of online buzz on TikTok, Instagram, Linkedin and other social channels, but it is almost certainly just a computer-generated fake. The main “tell” is that while there are crowds of people in the video, there appears to be all but one available video of the show – and people in that video don’t seem to even notice the spectacle … probably because it’s not there.

If this was real, would there not be a pile of videos, shot from different angles and different phones?

That would all be OK if whoever developed this made it clear this was purely a concept. I don’t know much about drones but the videos I have seen of drone shows that definitely did happen suggest this sort of walking skeleton thing is possible. Or will be.

I saw the video, and said to myself, “Wow, these drone shows are getting pretty sophisticated.”

Then I saw this skeptical post from AV Magazine, and realize what I saw might not be the real deal.

We have caveat emptor for buyer beware. We now need a Latin phrase for Viewer Beware. With AI and deep fakes, it is only going to get harder and harder to discern what’s real and what’s been cooked up in edit software.

David Title of Bravo Media had a great podcast chat with me recently about the merits and problems with the wave of CGI’d we’ve all seen in the past year or so.

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