Take two as videos help win bid again

Updated: 2015-08-05 07:45

By Sun Xiaochen(China Daily)

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Take two as videos help win bid again

Yao Ming speaks during the presentation for Beijing 2022 Olympic bid in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, July 31. [Photo/chinadaily.com.cn]

Basketball star Yao Ming's impersonation of a giant ice hockey goalkeeper in a promotional video for Beijing's 2022 Winter Olympics bid raised smiles at the Kuala Lumpur Convention Center on Friday - and Meng Qingzhi, the video's executive director, was able to take a deep breath.

"From the reactions of the International Olympic Committee members, I knew it worked," Meng, a director with China Central Television's sports channel, said on Tuesday.

Following Beijing's final presentation, which included four official promo videos, the IOC voted to award the city the right to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.

"It seemed the message in the video was perfectly passed on to the IOC members, and the funny plot helped ease tensions during the serious presentations," Meng said.

In the 170-second video produced by Meng's crew, the 2.26-meter-tall Yao is a goalie in front of a child hockey player attempting to shoot a goal.

"Yao's towering frame contrasting with the little kid symbolized the challenge of Beijing's ambition to promote winter sports in China, while the scene of the child hitting the goal in the video implied that China will fulfill the promise," said Cai Lu, producer of the promotional video series.

Headed by renowned movie director Zhang Yimou, a team including members from CCTV, Beijing Television, Beijing Global Focus Media Co and Beijing Crystal Digital Technology Co shot the four videos played during speech breaks while Beijing made its presentation in Kuala Lumpur.

The production crew overcame technical challenges as well as the difficulty of finding a set of hockey gear big enough to fit Yao.

The biggest challenge was to appeal to an international audience again after the dramatic presentations for the Beijing Summer Olympics in 2008.

"The world has been used to seeing red lanterns, calligraphy and tai chi as symbols of Chinese culture, so to outplay that seemed a big task," said Wang Hui, deputy secretary-general and the spokeswoman for Beijing's bid committee.

In the fourth video, titled The Journey Is Reworded, somersault performances in the style of traditional Peking Opera ended with similar stunts during freestyle ski aerials.

"The smooth edit of cultural elements together with winter sports action worked well as a new approach to attract the foreign audience," said Tian Yuan, executive director for some of the video scenes.