This year’s Oscars ceremony has scored the event’s lowest ratings in six years, averaging 36.6 million viewers.
The figures were down by 16% on last year’s ratings, according to Nielsen figures published by Variety.
First-time host Neil Patrick Harris received lukewarm reviews, while some have blamed the drop on a lack of nominations for films with mass appeal.
Last year 43.7 million tuned in when Ellen DeGeneres was at the helm.
Ellen DeGeneres had powered the show to a 10-year ratings high and proved a tough act to follow.
Critics were unimpressed by Neil Patrick Harris’s performance during the three-and-a-half hour awards show, which saw him stripping to his pants for a Birdman and Whiplash inspired sketch – something the LA Times review called “embarrassing”.
Neil Patrick Harris has previously won four Primetime Emmys for his skills hosting Broadway’s Tony awards.
However, The Washington Post commented: “It was bound to happen eventually. Neil Patrick Harris, the man who can host anything, finally stumbled.”
Not everyone has blamed Neil Patrick Harris for the ceremony’s lack of appeal though, with some suggesting the predictability of this year’s awards race may have put TV viewers off.
Many of this year’s prizes were awarded to favorites including Eddie Redmayne and Julianne Moore who took the top acting prizes on the night.
Birdman triumphed over Boyhood to win both best picture and best director for Alejandro Gonzalez.
The New York Times has suggested the gap between films that are popular in US cinemas and those winning Oscars may also explain a ratings dip, calling the awards “hopelessly detached from movie viewers.”
Box-office smash American Sniper went home with only the sound-editing prize, while the second biggest ticket seller of the best picture nominations, The Imitation Game, also took just one prize.
“After months of intense prize campaigning by the Oscar-savvy Weinstein Company, it lost in seven of its eight nominated categories, winning only for best adapted screenplay,” said The New York Times.
Sunday’s TV broadcast was the Academy Awards’ lowest-rated show since 2009, which attracted 36.3 million viewers when Hugh Jackman hosted and Slumdog Millionaire was the big winner.
According to a recent study, Oscar nominees American Sniper and Birdman have seen a surge in online piracy rates since nomination.
The report was carried out by Irdeto, a Netherlands-based company that sells piracy controls to the pay-TV sector.
It used “crawler” software to monitor downloads via Bittorrent peer-to-peer file-sharing services around the world and says its figures represent the minimum number of illegal downloads.
As part of the study, the company compared the amount of piracy in the week before nominations with the week after.
Selma, Wild, American Sniper, Still Alice and Birdman saw some of the biggest swings in popularity, and each accounted for more than 100,000 downloads.
By contrast, two other films that had been tipped for the awards but failed to secure nominations in the major categories did not experience similar demand: Mr. Turner has been downloaded 9,086 times since January 15, and Inherent Vice has been downloaded 53,008 times, according to the study.
Full list of winners at the 2015 Costume Designers Guild Awards:
Excellence in Contemporary Film Birdman – Albert Wolsky Excellence in Period Film The Grand Budapest Hotel – Milena Canonero Excellence in Fantasy Film Into the Woods – Colleen Atwood Excellence in Commercial Costume Design Army, “Defy Expectations, Villagers” – Christopher Lawrence Outstanding Contemporary Television Series True Detective – Jenny Eagan Outstanding Period/Fantasy Television Series Game of Thrones – Michele Clapton Outstanding Made for Television Movie or Mini Series American Horror Story: Freak Show – Lou Eyrich
Full list of winners at the 21st Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards:
Theatrical Motion Pictures Outstanding Performance by a Cast in a Motion Picture Birdman – WINNER Boyhood The Grand Budapest Hotel The Imitation Game The Theory of Everything
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Leading Role Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything– WINNER
Steve Carell – Foxcatcher Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler Michael Keaton – Birdman Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Leading Role Julianne Moore – Still Alice– WINNER
Jennifer Aniston – Cake Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role J.K. Simmons – Whiplash – WINNER
Robert Duvall – The Judge Ethan Hawke – Boyhood Edward Norton – Birdman Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role Patricia Arquette – Boyhood – WINNER Kiera Knightley – The Imitation Game Emma Stone – Birdman Meryl Streep – Into the Woods Naomi Watts – St. Vincent
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Drama Series
Downton Abbey– WINNER Game of Thrones Homeland House of Cards
Outstanding Performance by an Ensemble in a Comedy Series Orange is the New Black – WINNER
The Big Bang Theory Brooklyn Nine-Nine Modern Family Veep Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Drama Series Kevin Spacey – House of Cards– WINNER
Steve Buscemi – Boardwalk Empire Peter Dinklage – Game of Thrones Woody Harrelson – True Detective Matthew McConaughey – True Detective
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Drama Series
Viola Davis – How to Get Away with Murder – WINNER Julianna Marguiles – The Good Wife Tatiana Maslany – Orphan Black Maggie Smith – Downton Abbey Robin Wright – House of Cards Claire Danes – Homeland Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Comedy Series William H. Macy – Shameless– WINNER
Ty Burrell – Modern Family Louis C.K. – Louie Jim Parsons – The Big Bang Theory Eric Stonestreet – Modern Family Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Comedy Series Uzo Aduba – Orange is the New Black – WINNER Julie Bowen – Modern Family Edie Falco – Nurse Jackie Jula Louis-Dreyfus – Veep Amy Poehler – Parks and Recreation
Outstanding Performance by a Male Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Mark Ruffalo – The Normal Heart– WINNER
Adrian Brody – Houdini Benedict Cumberbatch – Sherlock: His Last Vow Richard Jenkins – Olive Kitteridge Billy Bob Thorton – Fargo
Outstanding Performance by a Female Actor in a Television Movie or Miniseries Frances McDormand – Olive Kitteridge – WINNER
Ellen Burstyn – Flowers in the Attic Maggie Gyllenhaal – The Honorable Woman Julia Roberts – The Normal Heart Cicely Tyson – The Trip to Bountiful Honors for Stunt Ensembles
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Motion Picture Fury Get On Up The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Unbroken X-Men: Days of Future Past
Outstanding Action Performance by a Stunt Ensemble in a Comedy or Drama Series 24: Live Another Day Boardwalk Empire Game of Thrones Homeland Sons of Anarchy The Walking Dead
Full list of winners at the 20th Annual Critics’ Choice Awards:
Best Picture Birdman WINNER: Boyhood Gone Girl The Grand Budapest Hotel The Imitation Game Nightcrawler Selma The Theory of Everything Unbroken Whiplash
Best Director Wes Anderson – The Grand Budapest Hotel Ava DuVernay – Selma David Fincher – Gone Girl Alejandro González Iñárritu – Birdman Angelina Jolie – Unbroken WINNER: Richard Linklater – Boyhood
Best Actor Benedict Cumberbatch – The Imitation Game Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel Jake Gyllenhaal – Nightcrawler WINNER: Michael Keaton – Birdman David Oyelowo – Selma Eddie Redmayne – The Theory of Everything
Best Actress Jennifer Aniston – Cake Marion Cotillard – Two Days, One Night Felicity Jones – The Theory of Everything WINNER: Julianne Moore – Still Alice Rosamund Pike – Gone Girl Reese Witherspoon – Wild
Best Supporting Actor Josh Brolin – Inherent Vice Robert Duvall – The Judge Ethan Hawke – Boyhood Edward Norton – Birdman Mark Ruffalo – Foxcatcher WINNER: J. K. Simmons – Whiplash
Best Supporting Actress WINNER: Patricia Arquette – Boyhood Jessica Chastain – A Most Violent Year Keira Knightley – The Imitation Game Emma Stone – Birdman Meryl Streep – Into the Woods Tilda Swinton – Snowpiercer
Best Young Actor/Actress WINNER: Ellar Coltrane — Boyhood Ansel Elgort — The Fault in Our Stars Mackenzie Foy — Interstellar Jaeden Lieberher — St. Vincent Tony Revolori — The Grand Budapest Hotel Quvenzhané Wallis — Annie Noah Wiseman — The Babadook
Best Acting Ensemble WINNER:Birdman Boyhood The Grand Budapest Hotel The Imitation Game Into the Woods Selma
Best Adapted Screenplay WINNER: Gillian Flynn — Gone Girl Graham Moore — The Imitation Game Paul Thomas Anderson — Inherent Vice Anthony McCarten — The Theory of Everything Joel and Ethan Coen, Richard LaGravenese, William Nicholson — Unbroken Nick Hornby — Wild
Best Original Screenplay WINNER: Alejandro González Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr., Armando Bo — Birdman Richard Linklater – Boyhood Wes Anderson and Hugo Guinness – The Grand Budapest Hotel Dan Gilroy – Nightcrawler Damien Chazelle – Whiplash
Best Animated Feature Big Hero 6 The Book of Life The Boxtrolls How to Train Your Dragon 2 WINNER:The Lego Movie
Best Action Movie American Sniper Captain America: The Winter Soldier Edge of Tomorrow Fury WINNER:Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Actor in an Action Movie WINNER: Bradley Cooper — American Sniper Tom Cruise — Edge of Tomorrow Chris Evans — Captain America: The Winter Soldier Brad Pitt — Fury Chris Pratt — Guardians of the Galaxy
Best Actress in an Action Movie WINNER: Emily Blunt — Edge of Tomorrow Scarlett Johansson — Lucy Jennifer Lawrence — The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Zoe Saldana — Guardians of the Galaxy Shailene Woodley — Divergent
Best Comedy Birdman WINNER: The Grand Budapest Hotel St. Vincent Top Five 22 Jump Street
Best Actor in a Comedy Jon Favreau – Chef Ralph Fiennes – The Grand Budapest Hotel WINNER: Michael Keaton – Birdman Bill Murray – St. Vincent Chris Rock – Top Five Channing Tatum – 22 Jump Street
Best Actress in a Comedy Rose Byrne – Neighbors Rosario Dawson – Top Five Melissa McCarthy – St. Vincent WINNER: Jenny Slate – Obvious Child Kristen Wiig – The Skeleton Twins
Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie The Babadook Dawn of the Planet of the Apes WINNER: Interstellar Snowpiercer Under the Skin
Best Foreign Language Film WINNER: Force Majeure Ida Leviathan Two Days, One Night Wild Tales
Best Documentary Feature Citizenfour Glen Campbell: I’ll Be Me Jodorowsky’s Dune Last Days in Vietnam WINNER: Life Itself The Overnighters
Best Art Direction Kevin Thompson, George DeTitta Jr. – Birdman WINNER: Adam Stockhausen, Anna Pinnock – The Grand Budapest Hotel David Crank, Amy Wells – Inherent Vice Nathan Crowley, Gary Fettis – Interstellar Dennis Gassner, Anna Pinnock – Into the Woods Ondrej Nekvasil, Beatrice Brentnerova – Snowpiercer
Best Cinematography WINNER: Emmanuel Lubezki — Birdman Robert Yeoman — The Grand Budapest Hotel Hoyte Van Hoytema — Interstellar Dick Pope — Mr. Turner Roger Deakins — Unbroken
Best Costume Design WINNER: Milena Canonero – The Grand Budapest Hotel Mark Bridges – Inherent Vice Colleen Atwood – Into the Woods Anna B. Sheppard — Maleficent Jacqueline Durran — Mr. Turner
Best Editing WINNER: Douglas Crise and Stephen Mirrione — Birdman Sandra Adair — Boyhood Kirk Baxter — Gone Girl Lee Smith — Interstellar Tom Cross — Whiplash
Best Hair & Makeup Foxcatcher WINNER:Guardians of the Galaxy The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Into the Woods Maleficent
Best Score Alexandre Desplat – The Imitation Game Jóhann Jóhannsson – The Theory of Everything Trent Reznor and Atticus Ross – Gone Girl WINNER: Antonio Sánchez – Birdman Hans Zimmer – Interstellar
Best Song Big Eyes Lana Del Rey – Big Eyes Everything is Awesome Jo Li and The Lonely Island – The Lego Movie WINNER:Glory John Legend and Common – Selma Lost Stars Keira Knightley – Begin Again Yellow Flicker Beat Lorde – The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1
Best Visual Effects WINNER: Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Edge of Tomorrow Guardians of the Galaxy The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Interstellar
Oscar nominee Michael Keaton fell off stage at last night’s Critics’ Choice Awards ceremony.
Michael Keaton, who collected two best actor trophies for Birdman at Thursday’s ceremony, later joked “that I took the Birdman flying thing way too far”.
Boyhood drama walked away with the coveted best picture award.
The Lego Movie – snubbed by Oscar voters earlier in the day – picked up the best animated feature award.
Michael Keaton, who was fine after his fall from the stage, won best actor and best actor in a comedy, while Birdman also collected best acting ensemble and original screenplay among its seven-trophy haul.
He was one of the five actors who had earlier learned they would be vying for the best actor Oscar.
Julianne Moore, also an Oscar nominee, picked up the best actress for Still Alice, while JK Simmons was rewarded with a best supporting gong for Whiplash.
The Critics’ Choice Awards is a rarity in rewarding the action movie genre, with Guardians of the Galaxy coming out on top in the category.
Oscar nominee Bradley Cooper won the award for best actor in an action movie, while Emily Blunt took the actress title, for Edge of Tomorrow.
There was also recognition for space saga Interstellar in the sci-fi/horror category.
Richard Linklater won best director for Boyhood, while Patricia Arquette won best supporting actress. Both are Oscar nominees.
Ellar Coltrane won the best young actor for his role in the film, which started its 13-year long shoot when he was just five and continued over the course of 12 years.
The best song award went to Common and John Legend for Glory from the civil rights drama Selma.
Full list of nominees for the 87th Academy Awards:
Best Picture American Sniper Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Boyhood The Grand Budapest Producers The Imitation Game Selma The Theory of Everything Whiplash
Best actor Steve Carell in Foxcatcher Bradley Cooper in American Sniper Benedict Cumberbatch in The Imitation Game Michael Keaton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Eddie Redmayne in The Theory of Everything
Best supporting Actor Robert Duvall in The Judge Ethan Hawke in Boyhood Edward Norton in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Mark Ruffalo in Foxcatcher J.K. Simmons in Whiplash
Best actress Marion Cotillard in Two Days, One Night Felicity Jones in The Theory of Everything Julianne Moore in Still Alice Rosamund Pike in Gone Girl Reese Witherspoon in Wild
Best supporting Actress Patricia Arquette in Boyhood Laura Dern in Wild Keira Knightley in The Imitation Game Emma Stone in Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Meryl Streep in Into the Woods
Animated Feature Big Hero 6 The Boxtrolls How to Train Your Dragon 2 Song of the Sea The Tale of the Princess Kaguya
Adapted Screenplay American Sniper Written by Jason Hall The Imitation Game Written by Graham Moore Inherent Vice Written for the screen by Paul Thomas Anderson The Theory of Everything Screenplay by Anthony McCarten Whiplash Written by Damien Chazelle
Original Screenplay Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Written by Alejandro G. Iñárritu, Nicolás Giacobone, Alexander Dinelaris, Jr. & Armando Bo Boyhood Written by Richard Linklater Foxcatcher Written by E. Max Frye and Dan Futterman The Grand Budapest Hotel Screenplay by Wes Anderson; Story by Wes Anderson & Hugo Guinness Nightcrawler Written by Dan Gilroy
Cinematography Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Emmanuel Lubezki The Grand Budapest Hotel Robert Yeoman Ida Lukasz Zal and Ryszard Lenczewski Mr. Turner Dick Pope Unbroken Roger Deakins
Costume Design The Grand Budapest Hotel Milena Canonero Inherent Vice Mark Bridges Into the Woods Colleen Atwood Maleficent Anna B. Sheppard and Jane Clive Mr. Turner Jacqueline Durran
Director Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) – Alejandro G. Iñárritu Boyhood – Richard Linklater Foxcatcher – Bennett Miller The Grand Budapest Hotel – Wes Anderson The Imitation Game – Morten Tyldum
Documentary Feature CitizenFour Laura Poitras, Mathilde Bonnefoy and Dirk Wilutzky Finding Vivian Maier John Maloof and Charlie Siskel Last Days in Vietnam Rory Kennedy and Keven McAlester The Salt of the Earth Wim Wenders, Juliano Ribeiro Salgado and David Rosier Virunga Orlando von Einsiedel and Joanna Natasegara
Documentary Short Subject Crisis Hotline: Veterans Press 1 Ellen Goosenberg Kent and Dana Perry Joanna Aneta Kopacz Our Curse Tomasz Sliwinski and Maciej Slesicki The Reaper (La Parka) Gabriel Serra Arguello White Earth J. Christian Jensen
Film Editing American Sniper Joel Cox and Gary D. Roach Boyhood Sandra Adair The Grand Budapest Hotel Barney Pilling The Imitation Game William Goldenberg Whiplash Tom Cross
Foreign Language Film Ida – Poland Leviathan – Russia Tangerines – Estonia Timbuktu – Mauritania Wild Tales – Argentina
Makeup and Hairstyling Foxcatcher Bill Corso and Dennis Liddiard The Grand Budapest Hotel Frances Hannon and Mark Coulier Guardians of the Galaxy Elizabeth Yianni-Georgiou and David White
Original Score The Grand Budapest Hotel Alexandre Desplat The Imitation Game Alexandre Desplat Interstellar Hans Zimmer Mr. Turner Gary Yershon The Theory of Everything Jóhann Jóhannsson
Original Song Everything Is Awesome from The Lego Movie Music and Lyric by Shawn Patterson Glory from Selma Music and Lyric by John Stephens and Lonnie Lynn Grateful from Beyond the Lights Music and Lyric by Diane Warren I’m Not Gonna Miss You from Glen Campbell…I’ll Be Me Music and Lyric by Glen Campbell and Julian Raymond Lost Stars from Begin Again Music and Lyric by Gregg Alexander and Danielle Brisebois
Production Design The Grand Budapest Hotel Production Design: Adam Stockhausen; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock The Imitation Game Production Design: Maria Djurkovic; Set Decoration: Tatiana Macdonald Interstellar Production Design: Nathan Crowley; Set Decoration: Gary Fettis Into the Woods Production Design: Dennis Gassner; Set Decoration: Anna Pinnock Mr. Turner Production Design: Suzie Davies; Set Decoration: Charlotte Watts
Animated Short Film The Bigger Picture Daisy Jacobs and Christopher Hees The Dam Keeper Robert Kondo and Dice Tsutsumi Feast Patrick Osborne and Kristina Reed Me and My Moulton Torill Kove A Single Life Joris Oprins
Live Action Short Film Aya Oded Binnun and Mihal Brezis Boogaloo and Graham Michael Lennox and Ronan Blaney Butter Lamp (La Lampe Au Beurre De Yak) Hu Wei and Julien Féret Parvaneh Talkhon Hamzavi and Stefan Eichenberger The Phone Call Mat Kirkby and James Lucas
Sound Editing American Sniper Alan Robert Murray and Bub Asman Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Martín Hernández and Aaron Glascock The Hobbit: The Battle of the Five Armies Brent Burge and Jason Canovas Interstellar Richard King Unbroken Becky Sullivan and Andrew DeCristofaro
Sound Mixing American Sniper John Reitz, Gregg Rudloff and Walt Martin Birdman or (The Unexpected Virtue of Ignorance) Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and Thomas Varga Interstellar Gary A. Rizzo, Gregg Landaker and Mark Weingarten Unbroken Jon Taylor, Frank A. Montaño and David Lee Whiplash Craig Mann, Ben Wilkins and Thomas Curley
Visual Effects Captain America: The Winter Soldier Dan DeLeeuw, Russell Earl, Bryan Grill and Dan Sudick Dawn of the Planet of the Apes Joe Letteri, Dan Lemmon, Daniel Barrett and Erik Winquist Guardians of the Galaxy Stephane Ceretti, Nicolas Aithadi, Jonathan Fawkner and Paul Corbould Interstellar Paul Franklin, Andrew Lockley, Ian Hunter and Scott Fisher X-Men: Days of Future Past Richard Stammers, Lou Pecora, Tim Crosbie and Cameron Waldbauer
Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel lead this year’s Oscars nominations with nine nods each.
The Theory of Everything, Boyhood and American Sniper also have multiple nominations.
Among best actor nominations are Steve Carell, Bradley Cooper and Michael Keaton.
There are eight films in the best film category:
The Grand Budapest Hotel
The Imitation Game
The Theory of Everything
Meryl Streep is nominated for her 19th acting Oscar, breaking her own Academy Awards record. She is up for best supporting actress for Into the Woods alongside Keira Knightley, Patricia Arquette, Laura Dern and Emma Stone.
Nominated alongside Felicity Jones and Rosamund Pike in the best actress category are previous Oscar winners Reece Witherspoon and Marion Cotillard, alongside Julianne Moore, who recently won the Golden Globe for her role in Still Alice.
Those who missed out in the category included Jennifer Aniston who was nominated a Golden Globe for her role in Cake and Amy Adams who won the Golden Globe for best actress in a musical or comedy for Big Eyes.
Birdman and The Grand Budapest Hotel have nine nominations apiece, while The Imitation Game is up for eight and American Sniper and Boyhood are up for six each.
The Theory of Everything, Foxcatcher and Whiplash have five nominations each.
Rita Ora is nominated for best song for Grateful from Beyond the Lights. John Legend, who won a Golden Globe for his song Glory from the film Selma, is also nominated along with Tegan & Sara for Everything Is Awesome from The Lego Movie.
The Lego Movie was a surprise omission in the best animated film category.
The nominations were announced in Hollywood by Alfonso Cuaron, who won best director for Gravity last year, alongside actor Chris Pine, Star Wars director JJ Abrams and Oscars boss Cheryl Boone Isaacs.
Neil Patrick Harris will host the ceremony of the 87th Academy Awards in Hollywood’s Dolby Theatre on February 22.
Birdman, a comedy drama about an actor trying to escape the shadow of a famous superhero role, has opened this year’s Venice Film Festival in Italy.
Michael Keaton joined the rest of the film’s stars on the Lido at the world premiere that launched this year’s 12-day event.
Birdman is one of 20 titles up for the Golden Lion, the Venice Film Festival’s main award.
French composer Alexandre Desplat heads this year’s jury, which also includes the British actor Tim Roth.
Oscar-winning costume designer Sandy Powell and Palestinian film-maker Elia Suleiman are also members of the nine-strong panel.
Birdman has opened this year’s Venice Film Festival in Italy
Other movies they will assess include Al Pacino’s latest outing Manglehorn; Abel Ferrera’s new film about Italian director Paolo Pasolini; and Good Kill, starring Ethan Hawke as a US military drone pilot.
Films that will screen out of competition include The Sound and the Fury, James Franco’s adaptation of the William Faulkner novel, and a longer version of the second half of Lars von Trier’s Nymphomaniac.
The Venice Film Festival will close with The Golden Era, a three-hour biopic about a radical writer from the 1900s directed the Hong Kong film-maker Ann Hui.
Attendees at Wednesday’s opening night gala included Julie Gayet, the French actress whose affair with France’s president Francois Hollande made headlines around the world.
Venice is the first of the autumn’s major international film festivals. Telluride opens on Friday in Colorado, while the Toronto Film Festival gets under way next week in Canada.
Jarno Smeets, the man who posted on YouTube a video of himself apparently conducting a successful test flight of a “wing-suit” he’d invented , has admitted it was a hoax.
In the widely viewed film the “inventor” – a Dutch man calling himself “Jarno Smeets” – appears to fly using a contraption powered and controlled by the flapping of his arms.
But an animator and film-maker called Floris Kaayk has now admitted that he is in fact Jarno Smeets.
And Floris Kaayk says he faked the whole thing.
Floris Kaayk created an elaborate back-story behind the supposed invention, claiming it was inspired by sketches of a “flying bicycle” his grandfather had designed, which his mother had found in the attic of his home.
Animator and film-maker called Floris Kaayk has now admitted that he is in fact Birdman Jarno Smeets
He claimed to have used Wii technology to co-ordinate the flapping motion of his arms to a huge pair of wings made from hang-glider fabric.
The video was a huge hit on YouTube, and quickly went viral, being picked up by media organizations around the world.
But viewers started to become suspicious when the engineering institutions he claimed to belong to revealed they had never heard of him.
Floris Kaayk then confessed to fabricating the footage, which he says is an exercise in “online storytelling”.
And for anyone doubting the veracity of Floris Kaayk’s claims to be a film-maker and animator, several short films by him can be seen on YouTube, and his website describes him as specializing in “blending computer generated images with live action”.