Hello there. I am Terry and I am a full-time undergraduate based in Singapore. I take photos, write a blog and design websites.

And no, I'm not a teddy bear.

Beijing Olymics – Fake fireworks and lip-syncing

Yes, you and me, were all victims of China’s devious plan for the opening ceremony of the 2008 Beijing Olympics Games. First thing first – I have nothing against s the whole country, nor did I take any stance on the Tibetian independence or the Taiwan breakaway hoohah. I simply find the whole deception, the entire trickery horribly revolting, disappointing, despicable and shameful:

Fake Fireworks

Beijing Olympics - Fake, CGI Generated Fireworks

Beijing Olympics - Fake, CGI Generated Fireworks

The authenticity of the fireworks footage where a helicopter supposedly flies over the city of Beijing and 29 footprint-shaped fireworks light up the sky, one second each, signifying the 29 Olympiads held before Beijing Olympics were thrown into the limelight after a news report revealed the truth behind it – CGI effects.

Of course the revelation caused a huge uproar among the media, the famous (one of which includes Chinese architect Ai Weiwei who helped to design the Bird Nest 1) and the online community. In rebuttal, the Games organisers claim that:

  1. the poor visibility on Friday would have affected the view of the firework footprints 2, and
  2. the helicopter pilot who would have flown overhead to film the fireworks would have been “at risk by making him try to follow the firework route” 3

And I strongly feel that if you can’t get the real footage of the fireworks, then don’t even think of airing it. There is no point faking the footages and claiming later that it isn’t wrong since the fireworks were really fired off – what you gave the international TV audience is just a CGI mockup of how the real fireworks will look like.

Broadcasters from all around the world should not be held responsible for the screening of that 55 seconds of fake CGI fireworks – considering that the ruling party controls China’s media outlets with an iron fist, it’s not surprising to know that international broadcasters were only provided with one and only feed by the Beijing Olympic Broadcasting organisation.

What really made me fuming mad is the comment made by the triumphant lead animator:

The dupe was revealed by China’s Beijing Times. Speaking to the paper, the man responsible for the animation said he was pleased with the result.

“Seeing how it worked out, it was still a bit too bright compared to the actual fireworks,” Gao Xiaolong told the newspaper.

“But most of the audience thought it was filmed live – so that was mission accomplished.”

The designers even added some haziness to simulate the polluted Beijing skyline.

Broadcasters around the world had no choice but to show the footage because it all came from one feed provided by Beijing Olympic Broadcasting – the organisation responsible for filming the games 4.

But it’s always the right side that gets the last laugh – I’m loving every single bit of Mr Ai’s sarcasm-filled criticism and cynicism of the faked fireworks display:

Writing on his blog, Mr Ai described the ceremony as “a recycling of the rubbish of fake classical culture tradition; a sacrilegious visual garbage dump and an insult to the spirit of liberty; low class sound play that’s just noise pollution”.

He was directly critical of China’s ruling communist party, characterising the ceremony as “a showcase of the reincarnation of the Marxist imperialism; the ultimate paragon of an all embracing culture of fascist totalitarianism; an encyclopaedia that encompasses total defeat in intellectual spirit.” 5

That’s definitely a mouthful but thanks for setting things straight!

Lip Syncing – simply because she’s cute enough

Beijing Olympics - Lip Syncing the 'Ode to the Motherland'

Beijing Olympics - Lip Syncing the 'Ode to the Motherland'

Another shocking news surfaced today, when it was revealed that the girl who sang the song, ‘Ode to the Motherland’ when China’s flag was paraded into the Bird Nest was merely lip syncing to the song originally sang by another not-so-cute girl. Instead of making it clear to the international audience that she is merely lip syncing, the organiser decides to keep mum about it and give NO CREDIT to the original singer behind the song.

Lin was lip-syncing to the sound of another girl, 7-year-old Yang Peiyi, who was heard but not seen, apparently because she was deemed not cute enough.

“The reason was for the national interest,” said Chen Qigang, the ceremony’s musical director, in a state radio interview. “The child on camera should be flawless in image, internal feeling and expression. … Lin Miaoke is excellent in those aspects.” 6

I feel that the flawless image comment is horribly unjustified and uncalled for. What really irked me is that they should to make the statement claiming that original singer, Yang Peiyi, was deemed not cute and flawless enough to perform on the international stage – what really determines a person to be able to stand gracefully and rightfully in front of the international audience is being truthful. If you’re merely lip syncing, sorry, but you’ve just made the worst decision ever. You don’t need a good face to captivate people with your voice – if you really have substance, you wouldn’t be lip syncing to another person’s song!

I think the focus of this issue is that she’s lip syncing to somebody else’s song – it wasn’t even her voice! I understand that lip syncing is almost the norm for ultra, A-class important events, just in case anything goes wrong, there’s still a recorded version of it. But this is where the problem lies – she lip synced to a song she did not even sing, and the Chinese organisers just KEPT MUM about it! They did not give any credit to the original singer behind the song. That is just so disappointing and shameful – while China battled to close down shops and street peddlers selling pirated music and films, they did not even manage to set a good example on the grandest Games Opening Ceremony to date. Shame on you!

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