China has justified its decision to include computer-generated scenes of fireworks "footprints" and use a nine-year-old girl to lip-sync a recording by a seven-year-old during Friday's opening ceremonies. The actual fireworks display, it said, could not have been presented live because haze over Beijing would have obscured the spectacle (the virtual fireworks were reportedly made to look more realistic by adding "camera shake"). Reports also indicated that 15 minutes before the ceremonies were to begin, 7-year-old Yang Peiji was replaced on stage by 9-year-old Lin Miaoke, who then lip-synced Yang's recording of "I Sing for My Country" as China's flag enter the stadium. In an interview with Beijing Radio, Chen Qigang, the ceremonies' musical director, said that the switch was made "for the nation's interest. The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feelings, and expression." But UC Berkeley Professor Xiao Qiang told Bloomberg News today (Wednesday), "People feel like they eat a great meal and later on you tell them there was a fly in it."

13/08/2008