Doug Stanglin, USA TODAY
A Montreal design college admitted Wednesday that three of its students faked a YouTube video that purported to show an eagle snatching up a baby playing in a Montreal park.
The video, titled "Golden Eagles Snatches Kid"
and posted Tuesday by MrNuclearCat, shows a bird swooping down,
snagging the child off the playground, then dropping him a few seconds
later. It has received over 2.7 million views in two days.
"Both the eagle and the kid were created in 3D animation and integrated in to the film afterwards," according to a statement from Centre NAD, which was headlined: "Centre Nad Reassures Montrealers: No Danger of Being Snatched by a Royal Eagle."
statement from Centre NAD said the video was created by Normand
Archambault, Loïc Mireault and Félix Marquis-Poulin, students at Centre
NAD, in the production simulation workshop class of the Bachelors degree
in 3D Animation and Digital Design.
"The production simulation
workshop class, offered in fifth semester, aims to produce creative
projects according to industry production and quality standards while
developing team work skills," the statement said. "Hoaxes produced in
this class have already garnered attention, amongst others a video of a penguin having escaped the Montreal Biodôme."
Although the video crew much attention, the skeptics were out early.
one commenter said on the YouTube site: "This is fake and you can tell
by listening to the voices in the videos. Nobody talks like that."
wrote, "I've been working with digital images professionally for 15
years, and I'm convinced this is fake. The swoop down at 0:10 looks just
like cheap CGI to me."
The New Statesman's Alex Hern dug deeply into the story (by online standards, at least) and noted that the eagle's right wing, oddly, becomes transparent in one frame.
The New Statesman also noted the observation on Twitter
from the Isle of Mull Eagle Watch team that claims the bird is not, in
fact, a golden eagle, but a "juv eastern imperial eagle not known to
frequent Montreal parks!"