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Opening Ceremony


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Just read this on the 2012 website written by the culture and events chief

By Friday it was time for a change of mood. Wembley Stadium hosted eighty thousand people screaming, dancing and generally going crazy for four guys who look like they could sitting in front of you in the queue for the car wash, proud of their new Mondeo or Vectra. The joy of come-back-kings, Take That, is that they know how lucky they are and make deft use of their apparent ordinariness. With our ceremonies in mind I was there to take a look at the production aspects of the show (he emphasised a little too hastily) and I wasn't disappointed.

Es Devlin, the talented young designer with a pedigree in theatre, opera and major spectacle, created a stunning three dimensional show in which the light self mockery of the band could sit amongst high tech creativity and innovative circus skills. This was the slickest piece of musical clownery I've enjoyed in ages.

I was at the concert on saturday and it was indeed spectacular. They had a life sized elepant that came up through the ground before he walked across the stadium floor. I have no idea if they are thinking of using Es Devlin but she seems a rather talented lady

Heres a pic

dsc00938copy.jpg

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Elephants arnt appropriate for London. They were for this concert as it was circus themed. I just showed the pic so people could take a look at the designers work. I also found it interesting as because of the water table below the olympic stadium I presume there will be no hole in the ground for things to emerge from. Here the elephant rose from a stage in the centre of the field and was really quite effective and magical.

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  • 2 weeks later...

I would have liked the Olympic Stadium to having a large opening on the Northern or Southern side...in order for large structures to get in and out of the Stadium during the Opening Ceremony.

Although I am gutted that LOCOG don't want ideas for the Opening Ceremony from the public....since they have shown that a closed competition truly allows them to selected the best ideas...as shown by the amazing Olympic Stadium design, and the wonderful Olympic Logo (I'm being sarcastic)...I want to share a few ideas that i would have liked to see in the Olympics....

When the Queen arrives....she shouldn't come in a car, like in Manchester 2002, but in a horse drawn carriage. Or then otherwise enter the arena walking to her seat.

Although some people say that the army should not be present, I think that the horse guards parade band should still take part.

I think that in some way the opening section should pay tribute to the legendary founder of London, who is Brutus of Troy, the first King of Britain.

I think that, like in Sydney 2000, there should be a song for the Atheletes, for the Heroes, and for the Olympic Flame & it's Spirit.

If they include a fly pass, it should be don't straight after the National Anthem, which usually happens after the opening scene of the Ceremony, which culminates to the Olympic Rings on the Arena Floor.

(Sydney...had horse riders, that went into the shape of the olympic rings)

(Athens...had drummers, who, when linked with Olympia, caused a comet from the Ancient Games to light the Olympic Rings on the Arena Lake)

(Beijing...had digital lighting to bring together stars that formed the Olympic Rings)

My idea for London...would be the Entry of a large ship (which represents the fact that the UK is an Island, that is has to be reached by others by going overseas). From the ship, when it enters the center of the stage....children holding lamps appear from the ship, and form the Olympic Rings. (This would represent the arrival of the atheletes ready for competition with their dreams)

Also another way of representing the Olympic Rings would be by colour....

Red would be England

Blue would be Scotland

Green would be Northern Ireland, Wales and represent people from Europe

Black would represent people from Africa

Yellow would represent people from Asia

(Americas and Oceania wouldn't be represented, since historically people from UK travelled to America and Oceania.)

Each colour could enter one by one, and present a small section of their culture, and then go the the center of the arena and form the Olympic Rings (Therefore...England could be represnted by Moris Dancers, Scotland by Scottish Dancers/ Men in Kilts, NI by Irish Dancing, Wales by the Welsh Dragon, Africa by African Tribal Dancing, and Asia by Indian and Chinese dance)

I also hope that the person that lights the Cauldron isn't a famous person right now, but someone that perhaps comes to the spotlight in the next 2 years - so maybe someone that gets gold at the Commonwealth Games 2010!!!

(so I hope it's not Beckham, Redgrave, Kelly Holmes, Tom Daley, etc) ---However if it was Rebecca Adlington...double Olympic Gold Medalist 2008, then that would be great, as she would be in contention to win another Olympic Gold!

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I also hope that the person that lights the Cauldron isn't a famous person right now, but someone that perhaps comes to the spotlight in the next 2 years - so maybe someone that gets gold at the Commonwealth Games 2010!!!

(so I hope it's not Beckham, Redgrave, Kelly Holmes, Tom Daley, etc) ---However if it was Rebecca Adlington...double Olympic Gold Medalist 2008, then that would be great, as she would be in contention to win another Olympic Gold!

What an awful idea. Its got to be a true hero not a 'person of the moment'. Step forward Sir Steve...

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Also another way of representing the Olympic Rings would be by colour....

Red would be England

Blue would be Scotland

Green would be Northern Ireland, Wales and represent people from Europe

Black would represent people from Africa

Yellow would represent people from Asia

(Americas and Oceania wouldn't be represented, since historically people from UK travelled to America and Oceania.)

Each colour could enter one by one, and present a small section of their culture, and then go the the center of the arena and form the Olympic Rings (Therefore...England could be represnted by Moris Dancers, Scotland by Scottish Dancers/ Men in Kilts, NI by Irish Dancing, Wales by the Welsh Dragon, Africa by African Tribal Dancing, and Asia by Indian and Chinese dance)

Some global welcome that is. Well, then...maybe the Americas and Oceania (and the sponsoring companies from those regions) should just not bother with London 2012 if that is the way you feel about those massive continents and the half billion+ people that inhabit them. Unless you somehow feel that the First Cultures of Oceania and the Americas aren't worthy of your little 5 ringed circus. Anyway, the Olympic rings already have meaning and are owned by the IOC. It isn't up to you or LOCOG to change that.

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Okay...so some of you don't agree with my ideas.

But even though I said that Americas and Oceania would not be represented, it would anyway, because people would associate the Red and Blue wih those continents.

And about the lighting of the Cauldron...it seems more exciting when you see someone that is a potential future Olympic Champion light the Cauldron, lke Cathy Freeman in 2000. However in no way I'm I saying that Muhammed All was a bad choice in 1996,because that blends the older games with the new & current games highlighting the legacy of the Olympics.

Again just an opinion, I maybe right, or I maybe be way off.

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I think all home nations have to be represented in some way, albeit creatively, as they are all contributing to London's games both financially and culturally. If a 'gangsta' rapper was used to promote 'multiculturalism' and little presentation of Scottish, Welsh, Irish and English culture was shown I would be livid. I just hope the ceremony isn't trying to be politically correct because sometimes I feel London is trying to please too many people. i.e Leona Lewis singing a Led Zeppelin song at the handover ceremony - that was just cheesy in my view.

However, London's ceremony could reinvent what a ceremony is supposed to be - by staging accross the capital in imaginative and well executed ways. Further, I feel the worst part of an opening ceremony is the athletes parade - it is boring to watch and bad for the athletes as standing around for hours on end is not good for their bodies. I think it would be cool if the athletes could watch the ceremony as spectators and a token segment symbolically represents the countries i.e. one nominated flag bearer. This would cut down a 1.5 hr segment to like a 25min segment and it would be more enjoyable to watch.

Torch lighter - who should light the Flame? A lot of people think Steve Redgrave as he won 5 golds. However, as good as he was I feel Britain could use something with more emotion .How about scientist Stephen Hawking: he does 360 degree wheelspins breaking the sound barrier then a rocket propels him into the air where he lights the cauldron and then reenters the stadium in a parachute James Bond style. lol.Seriously, I don't know the protocols for who is allowed to light the flame but something unique to Britain (the Queen etc) as that would wow the world.

I hope the music is emotive to - use Queen, the Beatles, Led Zeppelin, Pink Floyd - draw on Britain's pop culture. London should not try and be 'subtle' . London has the most recognizable visual culture in the world - red buses, post booxes, beefeaters, tower bridge, monarchy. Use it all.

Just some thoughts.

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It will be a tough task getting the approval of the UK audience alone. It got my goat that the handover dancers when announced were described as hoddies by the press and everyone complained that that does not represent us, then we go and vote street dancing hoddie wearers as the winners of Britains got talent.

The British public also ridicule Morris dancers as they are not seen to be cool, and say is that the best we can offer. But they are part of our heritage, they are only not cool, because of our fascination with laughing at ourselves rather than embracing and celebrating.

Im hoping for an extreme Morris Men routine, make it cool, like river dance did for Irish dancing.

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='daveypodmore' date='Jul 21 2009, 10:35 AM' post='210624']

It will be a tough task getting the approval of the UK audience alone. It got my goat that the handover dancers when announced were described as hoddies by the press and everyone complained that that does not represent us, then we go and vote street dancing hoddie wearers as the winners of Britains got talent.

I 100% agree! It seems anything indigenous to Britain's shores are maligned and ridiculed and we 'embrace' anything by ethnic minorites as it makes us appear 'multicultural'. It is so contrived. If Britain uses hip hop at the Olympics it will be a slap to Britains face and mean nothing to the world. Hoodie dancers is an American thing. Britain has to show things which are exclusively British.

The British public also ridicule Morris dancers as they are not seen to be cool, and say is that the best we can offer. But they are part of our heritage, they are only not cool, because of our fascination with laughing at ourselves rather than embracing and celebrating.

Im hoping for an extreme Morris Men routine, make it cool, like river dance did for Irish dancing.

Theres lots of British culture - morris dancing, west end musicals, Scottish dancing, indingenous Welsh etc. But yet they favour gangsta rap hoodies. It makes me livid too.

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It's a long ceremony. They can have it many ways.

They can represent "exclusively British" things that are cliché but are nonetheless true, cliché "exclusively British" things that don't actually reflect the country, things that aren’t' "exclusively British" but nonetheless make up the country that is Britain today, and everything in between. The trick is putting it all together into one cohesive show that doesn’t feel disjointed. I think that is possible.

I'm looking forward to whatever they end up doing, but not to how the British public and press will react.

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It's a long ceremony. They can have it many ways.

They can represent "exclusively British" things that are cliché but are nonetheless true, cliché "exclusively British" things that don't actually reflect the country, things that aren’t' "exclusively British" but nonetheless make up the country that is Britain today, and everything in between. The trick is putting it all together into one cohesive show that doesn’t feel disjointed. I think that is possible.

I'm looking forward to whatever they end up doing, but not to how the British public and press will react.

All the sports invented by Britain will be theme enough.

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It's a long ceremony. They can have it many ways.

I was about to post exactly the same thing! There's room for a lot of these ideas. It's a long ceremony and they're normally divided into "Chapters" in some way or another. Traditional Britain God Save the Queen etc. will get an airing, as I'm sure will the swinging sixties, as I'm sure will something a bit more contemporary. It'll all be a mixture.

Whether that mixture is like Marmite flavoured ice cream with brussel sprouts or whether it's something a lot more appetising depends on the presentation more than the content in many ways.

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I also hope that the person that lights the Cauldron isn't a famous person right now, but someone that perhaps comes to the spotlight in the next 2 years - so maybe someone that gets gold at the Commonwealth Games 2010!!!

(so I hope it's not Beckham, Redgrave, Kelly Holmes, Tom Daley, etc) ---However if it was Rebecca Adlington...double Olympic Gold Medalist 2008, then that would be great, as she would be in contention to win another Olympic Gold!

Tom Daley must be in with a good chance after today:

British teenager Tom Daley produced a stunning final dive to win a shock gold at his first World Championships.

The 15-year-old was lying third in the 10m platform final heading into the sixth round, but scored 100.30 with his final effort as his rivals faltered.

Link

_46096023_daley466.jpg

London's focus on inspiring and including youth resonates too perfectly with Daley's acheivements for him not to be in contention. I think he's probably just as likely to be picked as a legend like Redgrave, and that's saying something.

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Tom Daley must be in with a good chance after today:

British teenager Tom Daley produced a stunning final dive to win a shock gold at his first World Championships.

The 15-year-old was lying third in the 10m platform final heading into the sixth round, but scored 100.30 with his final effort as his rivals faltered.

Link

_46096023_daley466.jpg

London's focus on inspiring and including youth resonates too perfectly with Daley's acheivements for him not to be in contention. I think he's probably just as likely to be picked as a legend like Redgrave, and that's saying something.

That's a great achievement but I hope it doesn't lead to him be chosen to light the flame. I'm not really into this " get an upcoming person to do it" way of thinking. I would rather the person doing it had ' gravitas' or that ' je ne se qua'.

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I had a bit of an idea for the opening segment. Gonna do my best to describe it and done some crude visuals so bear with me. Its a way of linking the 4 home nations together at the start and show the world being called to join the party

After the countdown segment and the usual blast of fireworks, the stadium lights dim and on the roof of the stadium a giant metal horn is illuminated. The horn is red and forged from metal and is inscribed with lots of olympic imigery. A single figure approaches and blasts out a note across the stadium and london. He continues. Then the video walls fickers on and we see images of Australia, the opera house and Ayres rock, with people going about their daily routine (these segments are pre-filmed) we see Australians dressed all in red they suddenly hear the call, stop what they are doing and all look up and listen, mesmerised by the sound they then start to head off in the direction of the noise.

finalstadium.jpg

The image cuts live to Edinburgh castle and we see a blue horn on the castle walls over looking the city. A lone figure approaches the horn and creates a call. The screen s cut to the USA and people in New York, Vegas, Washington all dressed in blue they all hear the noise and react to it.

The image cuts Live to Northern Ireland and a yellow horn on the Giants Causeway. The person blows and creates a note. People in Asia, again react to the noise all dressed in yellow.

The image cuts Live to Cardiff where a crowd is massed as the Welsh call is made from a Green horn in the centre of Cardiff. The people of South America all dressed in Green again hear the noise and react.

The final cut is to a black horn on the Thames next to the London Eye. The call is made and we see images across Europe, Paris, Rome, Berlin etc. People in black hearing, and reacting and moving to the sound.

montagec.jpg

Then as the video fades out the horn on the stadium roof lifts and begins to lower into the stadium bowl all the time the musician is creating the call. Then replicas of the other horns all begin to be lowered into the stadium all making their call to the continents drawing people to the games.

Then lines of people representing the continents all dressed in their representive colour dance and run and walk in to the stadium. The horns find their final position as the olympic rings and the massed people of the world dance around make merry. Choirs sing, music builds, massive firework explosion segment ends.

finalimagewithhornsv.jpg

The horns then are re-located around the park after the games as part of the sculpture of the park.

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/\ The horns have a bad connotation of fox-hunting. That was my first reaction. So I would think this might not be a "go."

Nice graphic though, Davey. Using the 'black' motif at night is problematic. Even lit, it's very flat at night. Costume designers don't relly use it for night-lit scenes. Did you notice, for Atlanta, it worked because there was daylight in the "Spirits" section. But in Torino, the black ring turned to white? So you might have to rework this sequence.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I had a bit of an idea for the opening segment. Gonna do my best to describe it and done some crude visuals so bear with me. Its a way of linking the 4 home nations together at the start and show the world being called to join the party

After the countdown segment and the usual blast of fireworks, the stadium lights dim and on the roof of the stadium a giant metal horn is illuminated. The horn is red and forged from metal and is inscribed with lots of olympic imigery. A single figure approaches and blasts out a note across the stadium and london. He continues. Then the video walls fickers on and we see images of Australia, the opera house and Ayres rock, with people going about their daily routine (these segments are pre-filmed) we see Australians dressed all in red they suddenly hear the call, stop what they are doing and all look up and listen, mesmerised by the sound they then start to head off in the direction of the noise.

finalstadium.jpg

The image cuts live to Edinburgh castle and we see a blue horn on the castle walls over looking the city. A lone figure approaches the horn and creates a call. The screen s cut to the USA and people in New York, Vegas, Washington all dressed in blue they all hear the noise and react to it.

The image cuts Live to Northern Ireland and a yellow horn on the Giants Causeway. The person blows and creates a note. People in Asia, again react to the noise all dressed in yellow.

The image cuts Live to Cardiff where a crowd is massed as the Welsh call is made from a Green horn in the centre of Cardiff. The people of South America all dressed in Green again hear the noise and react.

The final cut is to a black horn on the Thames next to the London Eye. The call is made and we see images across Europe, Paris, Rome, Berlin etc. People in black hearing, and reacting and moving to the sound.

montagec.jpg

Then as the video fades out the horn on the stadium roof lifts and begins to lower into the stadium bowl all the time the musician is creating the call. Then replicas of the other horns all begin to be lowered into the stadium all making their call to the continents drawing people to the games.

Then lines of people representing the continents all dressed in their representive colour dance and run and walk in to the stadium. The horns find their final position as the olympic rings and the massed people of the world dance around make merry. Choirs sing, music builds, massive firework explosion segment ends.

finalimagewithhornsv.jpg

The horns then are re-located around the park after the games as part of the sculpture of the park.

I really like that idea. I appreciate the effort you put into that post and the visuals are not crude at all - they do a good job conveying a strong idea. I like how there is a legacy aspect to the games too in that each horn is relocated.

I think you absolutely are right to incorporate all parts of the UK and that each region acts as platform to 'call the world' to London. Sometimes foreigners are guilty of thinking that Britain is just England and that the two are interchangeable so I feel it is important to convey a powerful message of 'Britain' in it's entirety.

In terms of visual wow factor, having images of Scotland's Edinburgh castle, Wales' Cardiff national assembly and Northern Ireland's giants causeway would really grab the audiences attention. These are stunning images.

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/\ The horns have a bad connotation of fox-hunting. That was my first reaction. So I would think this might not be a "go."

Nice graphic though, Davey. Using the 'black' motif at night is problematic. Even lit, it's very flat at night. Costume designers don't relly use it for night-lit scenes. Did you notice, for Atlanta, it worked because there was daylight in the "Spirits" section. But in Torino, the black ring turned to white? So you might have to rework this sequence.

I know what ya mean about the horn and the hunting, but I dont think the black would be too much of an issue as I saw this being an opening segment so hopefully it would still be light.

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Looks like in 2009 Morris dancing may be about to get cool

http://www.morrismovie.com/

/\ Thanks for the warning. /\

Actually, Beijing already had a bit of the Morris dancing -- but with the women in the CLosing. There was a whole horde of them, dressed in yellow, with all those little bells on their feet and upper part of their costume. (Can't quite find the right clip now.)

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