The Japanese government are analysing the video showing two ISIS Japanese hostages – saying that they believe the video to be doctored.
An analyst reviewing the video carefully frame by frame says it appears the video was shot in a studio. Expensive equipment and indoor lighting appears to have been used.
Experts analysing the video have said the images of the hostages were likely to have been taken separately and spliced into a single video to make the footage look intimidating.
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The Islamic State has used high-level technology to edit video clips as part of its promotional efforts, and experts in the field said images of the hostages taken separately were likely combined into a single video to make the footage more intimidating.
Journalist Kenji Goto Jogo, left, and military contractor Haruna Yukawa, right. The odd angles of the shadows falling on the hostages’ faces apparently highlight that studio lighting has been used in this still frame from the video
“Experts are analysing them [the video images],” Chief Cabinet Secretary Yoshihide Suga said at a press conference on Wednesday morning (local time). It is believed a composite video may have been made using footage of the two hostages in a different place, or in which the hostages were videotaped separately.
In the video clip, two men who are believed to be Haruna Yukawa, 42, and Kenji Goto, 47, are seen kneeling in a desert. A man clad all in black stands between them, wielding a knife and making other intimidating actions.
The shadows of the man on the left side of the screen, believed to be Goto, and the person in the center extend back and to the right. However, the shadow of the man on the viewer’s right, believed to be Yukawa, extends back and to the left.
The shadows of the hostages’ heads, which appear on their necks, are also cast in opposite directions.
“It’s possible that video images taken at different times were combined,” said Tsuyoshi Moriyama, an associate professor at Tokyo Polytechnic University who is an expert on image technology. “A very high level of knowledge and skill would be necessary to make such a composite video.”
Waseda University Professor Shigeo Mori-shima, an expert on information-communication engineering, focused on the orange clothes the two hostages wore.
The colours were different shades and the two men’s clothes did not flutter in the wind at the same time, Morishima said. Therefore: “It’s possible that the images [of the two men] were videotaped in different places.”