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Batman arrives, complaints arise
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Starting from November 6, the production team of The Dark Knight will stay on location in Hong Kong for a week to shoot film sequences. It is the first time that the Batman movie franchise has come to Asia to film. The movie production seems to be appreciably disturbing the daily life of Hong Kongers; many complaints have arisen.

In order to get aerial views of Victoria Harbor, several planes have been flying very low to pan the harbor and their engine noise has been noted. In addition, several main roads have been temporarily blocked due to the filming; this has caused several traffic jams. Greatly disturbed, ordinary Hong Kong residents have begun blaming these and other assorted troubles on the film and its crew and loudly voicing their complaints.

Additionally, some businesses housed in office buildings along Victoria Harbor think that they are wasting their money. They have been requested by the HK government-backed production team to leave the lights of their offices and of the outdoor advertising panels on after working hours because the movie crew needs the lights to shoot a brilliant night scene. They have even been asked to leave all their lights on all night long from November 12 to 14.

Hong Kong's environmental protection organizations consider this is great waste of energy. Some of them have asked the government to cancel these unwise requests.

A photo of a Hercules C-130 plane flying in Hong Kong, a scene will be included in the The Dark Knight.

Several HK governmental departments have responded to these complaints. A spokesperson with the Hong Kong Tourism Board said that the government would not compel the companies to fully light their offices after working hours and that the companies can turn down the government's request.

An official with the Hong Kong Film Development Council said that they have publicized the road sections that need to be closed and the areas that the planes would fly over for filming. She did not think the planes would make much trouble for Hong Kong people.

Furthermore, this official believed that the movie would give the city more exposure and garner more fame for the city.

( by Pang Li, November 9, 2007)

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