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I was by design and necessity messy (organized chaos), and Beijing was intentionally precise. Had Beijing wanted to do a messy chaotic segment they would have, I don’t think precision was an option for London.

I still don’t know exactly what happened with all those countdown and cinematic fly-over sequences.

It’s not what I hoped from London but it was their ceremony and now it’s over, on to Sochi. London may find it’s organized chaos bookended between the 2 most grand Olympic ceremonies of all time.

the first countdown was to warn the different streaming countries that they'er starting the ceremony and you should squeeze in a few commercial before it starts and was also seen in the stadium so they can get to their seat now because we are starting. the second was done..... it be honest i really don't know. but it was fun.

what do you mean by fly-over sequences

I HOPE so. (But there's Vancouver in there tho...which I thot was the 3rd best Winter OC so far.)

Eeeehh. That was not enuf IMPOV. It was too slow and predictable. I mean when they were starting to float together...I knew..okey, they're coming together. WHere was the element of surprise? Nowhere. And of course, the fireworks would rain down. Why didn't they try to defy gravity a little? and maybe have the pyros on the upper side rather than on the downward side?

Anyway...that bit was just too predictable.

i think it was not intended as an element of surprise. i think the working men and women and the industrialist were summoning the rings to come together. that's why they were doing the 'moves' and the drumming. the 'rings' were slowly forming gives it a dramatic effect.

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it will be the most boring opening ceremony after atlanta :S

Fly over for a visit. There were some wonderful moments, but also quite a few disorganized looking head-scratchers. It wasn't terrible, but I have yet to speak to anyone on this side of the pond who

I will always see Beijings as a celebration that the Chinese beat their drums to the same beat and Londons a celebration that we each beat our drums to very different beats. Im certainly not trying

1. what do you mean by fly-over sequences

2. i think it was not intended as an element of surprise. i think the working men and women and the industrialist were summoning the rings to come together. that's why they were doing the 'moves' and the drumming. the 'rings' were slowly forming gives it a dramatic effect.

1. Those were the scenes flying thru the English landscapes towards the Stadium.

2. "It was not intended as an element of surprise" -- HUH? You're joking. Then they could NOT have made it more boring. Why stage things if they are predictable? Certainly, that's NOT the dictum previous Ceremonies producers went by. You serve out 'surprises' to make it a unique and memorable show. And why bother with all the 'secrecy,' and having staffers & volunteers sign those silly pledges?... :blink: Please, stop justifying the obvious miscalculations of Danny Boyle.

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1. Those were the scenes flying thru the English landscapes towards the Stadium.

2. "It was not intended as an element of surprise" -- HUH? You're joking. Then they could NOT have made it more boring. Why stage things if they are predictable? Certainly, that's NOT the dictum previous Ceremonies producers went by. You serve out 'surprises' to make it a unique and memorable show. And why bother with all the 'secrecy,' and having staffers & volunteers sign those silly pledges?... :blink: Please, stop justifying the obvious miscalculations of Danny Boyle.

2 i did not say the rings are predictable. surely i was a surprise when they are forging it. you'll get the idea that it was one of the rings that will make up the Olympic rings. so the rings flying in was not intended as a surprise. i'm not justifying DB. i do have some problems with the ceremony (not much doctor who references during the 'digital revolution' section, the place card girls dress, and macca sing hey jude) but it's a better ceremony than the previous one.

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We are still talking about it arnt we. How long did the Beijing Opening Ceremony discussion go on for, anybody know?

Quite a few months. Well, we're still talking about the Holocaust aren't we vs., say, the opening of the original Disneyland or DisneyWorld? So, I don't know if your line is really an apt measure of its success or otherwise? ;)

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Somebody posted this on SSC...the first 16 minutes of the OC; pretty close to where CAF sat.

[utube][/utube]

It just looks so messy here. And I wondered; gee, this is the best Boyle & his team worked on for over two years? Granted, it's an amateur video, but still I don't think it's going to be one for the ages. The NBC and OBS coverages certainly made it look better than it actually was.

Yeah - he sat really close to me - when he showed the blue blankets over the audience - you saw my block, in which I sat (I was under the blue blanket

Being there my impression wasn't this is messy, my impression was this is incredible. Im sure Martin feels the same, what do you think Martin? Messy or incredible?

I just checked the video, I wished I hadnt commented now, that video gave me a headache. No Olympic ceremony can be judged from such a video, ridiculous

the guy, who shot the video was very excited and therefore he tried to get everything into his video - of course he is not a professional movie maker...

The video gave me goosebumps - I was right back in the stadium and it made me aware again (if it is was necessary anyway) - how much I enjoyed my time in London and I do not wanna miss any second of the Games and the Ceremonies!!!

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@paul: "I don’t think precision was an option for London"
Well, it was and it wasn't. The Brits have been doing precision spectacles like Trooping the Colour and the Edinburgh Military Tattoo for a very long time, and it's clear that many people were expecting some element of that in the London opening. But it wasn't an option because the 2008 opening was ALL precision; any attempt to take that approach would be considered an imitation of Beijing. Therefore, everything was designed to be the opposite of the 2008 style, or occasionally a parody of it, which had advantages and disadvantages (not least, that anybody who thinks precision formations are an essential feature of opening ceremonies was bound to be disappointed, as that sort of person probably isn't a CND supporter).

The flight along the River Thames served multiple functions. No doubt its main purpose was to give a bit of breathing space before "Pandemonium" (e.g. in case they had had problems getting the livestock out of the arena). However, it did provide an opportunity to show something of the real Britain, and to provide all sorts of playful clues about the content of the main presentation (children's book characters, Pink Floyd, the Sex Pistols, a couple of Brunel projects still in use, etc. etc.).

@baron-pierreIV: [on the joining of the Rings]: "Where was the element of surprise? Nowhere." and "Why stage things if they are predictable?"
You seem to be indicating that you want everything to be a surprise! For some of us, one of the joys of the London opening (particularly when compared with the very structured formality of Beijing) was the variety of texture- there were many surprises, but alongside them were elements which were allowed to unfold and develop before our eyes. In the case of the Rings, the surprise was that as the casting of the European Ring began, all the ripping up of scenery was seen to have a positive purpose. The following few minutes, particularly once the four Rings from the other continents started flying in, were about pleasurable anticipation (encouraged by the music in those countries where TV commentators did their job right), mixed with a "WTF" aspect as various seemingly random groups and objects paraded round the stadium track (their significance helpfully explained in those countries where TV commentators did their job right). Bear in mind that the main segments of the London opening were telling historical stories- and part of the story of "Pandemonium" was that Britain's industrial revolution made the modern Olympic Games, as established by the better-known Baron Pierre, possible.
As for the fireworks- yes, they could have had fireworks shooting upward, but as the front pages of newspapers around the world showed the next day, downward had its own beauty.

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The Pandemonium was about the Industrial Revolution. The real Industrial Revolution was chaotic and wonderful, I bet scary for some to live for but opportunities for others, and great things were made. I think that the section really captured this well.

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hmmm...excuses, justifications.

The Opening just failed in some aspects (the Frankie & Junie, worst of all; the Lighting, mainly using 7 unknowns...)....did OK in others (very tight Parade of Nations) ... missed some (where was GB's finest moment in WW2? Why shy away from that?) ,,,and did well in others (the Kid's Literature, the Queen's Entry, the Bean-Chariots of Fire #)

The Closing got higher marks from me.

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The Green and Pleasant set was stunning. No argument there. The rings were stunning. No argument there. Everything that happened in between was an unintelligible and fairly tedious hodge-podge.

Every ceremony does not need to mimic Beijing's precision, but every ceremony should be clear and engaging -- particularly when one is staging a show for the entire world to watch, millions of people with different cultures and languages.

In my opinion, Danny Boyle did not create a ceremony for the world, but a ceremony for Britain. There were undeniable bright spots and moments of brilliance, but on the whole the ceremony was not clear or engaging for an international audience.

"Chaos" is a legitimate theatrical choice, but it needs to lead to some sort of idea and it should not be over-indulged due to lack of theatrical craft. As a teacher once told me, "Let not your habit be your choice." I am inclined to agree that Danny Boyle simply does not have the toolbox to deliver a sharper, more focused and more powerful ceremony. The best he could do was a haphazard, post-modern collage and that's what he offered.

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Which bits exactly?

Mostly the texting segment, the only thing that really wow'ed me was the rings. The anthem, countdown, NHS segment were all pretty bad IMHO.

Mostly the texting segment, the only thing that really wow'ed me was the rings. The anthem, countdown, NHS segment, the display of past hosts, the Olympic anthem, were all pretty bad IMHO.

Its annoying you cant edit your own posts.. :P Just pay attention to the bottom text.

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In my opinion, Danny Boyle did not create a ceremony for the world, but a ceremony for Britain.

Hmmm…that’s what a lot of the Brits here have said, and I keep wondering what that means. Like the rest of us are not all unaware of modern British culture and I personally was NOT expecting or wanting a Beijing style army of choreographed Beefeaters dancing around giant props of Big Ben and the London Eye (although that most clichéd use of landmarks did indeed happen in the closing…go figure who that was for.

But I still don’t know what that means that the ceremony was geared to Brits. There really wasn’t anything that mysterious or insider about the imagery or what was happening. I guess it might be that some babies can only be loved by their mother.

p.s. We’re still talking about this ceremony because it was weird and recent, and because it’s interesting what different people saw in it.

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hmmm...excuses, justifications.

The Opening just failed in some aspects (the Frankie & Junie, worst of all; the Lighting, mainly using 7 unknowns...)....did OK in others (very tight Parade of Nations) ... missed some (where was GB's finest moment in WW2? Why shy away from that?) ,,,and did well in others (the Kid's Literature, the Queen's Entry, the Bean-Chariots of Fire #)

The Closing got higher marks from me.

i'll give you that Frankie and june was weak in some spot. but the lighting :blink: . 7 young atletes who might participate in RIO2016 and might win gold for GB are a bunch of unkowns. i'm sorry if that london did not go for a token British sport personality like all the previous game. that you don't get the poetry in that and that it means for the Olympic movement.

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Hmmm…that’s what a lot of the Brits here have said, and I keep wondering what that means. Like the rest of us are not all unaware of modern British culture and I personally was NOT expecting or wanting a Beijing style army of choreographed Beefeaters dancing around giant props of Big Ben and the London Eye (although that most clichéd use of landmarks did indeed happen in the closing…go figure who that was for.

But I still don’t know what that means that the ceremony was geared to Brits. There really wasn’t anything that mysterious or insider about the imagery or what was happening. I guess it might be that some babies can only be loved by their mother.

p.s. We’re still talking about this ceremony because it was weird and recent, and because it’s interesting what different people saw in it.

it was geared for the brits because the brits are cynical and negative in events like these. so DB has to please the brits for the success of the games

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it was geared for the brits because the brits are cynical and negative in events like these. so DB has to please the brits for the success of the games

Sorry, but even as a non-Brit, I find this explanation complete bollocks. We shouldn't analyse the ceremony and Danny Boyle's motives to death.

It's completely natural that an Olympic opening ceremony is adressed not only to the global audience, but very strongly also to the host nation itself. Vancouver did exactly the same (remember the patriotic and controversial "Canada" slam poetry section in the opening ceremony?). Beijing was also strongly directed to the home audience - the "Ode to the Motherland" "performed" by that cute little girl who only lip-synched to the singing of another girl was just one example for that. And you could find so many examples of "self-reassurance" of the host nation in all other Olympic opening and even closing ceremonies as well.

So this is not a purely British thing, and especially not because "the Brits are cynical and negative in events like these". The Brits embraced those Games, and their hospitality, warmth and enthusiasm were an essential factor in the success of those Games. Yes, their were criticism and fears among the British public before the Games - but you will find this in all host countries before hosting such a big and complicated sports event. You even found such criticism and fears here in Germany before the country staged a much acclaimed FIFA World Cup in 2006.

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it was geared for the brits because the brits are cynical and negative in events like these. so DB has to please the brits for the success of the games

:rolleyes: Of course not. How stupid would that be. The show's content is vetted a year or so before with the IOC. Do you not think the IOC would say: we have a global product, why should the show be geared only for the host country of 60 mill; and maybe 25 mill watching it? We have a global product here and we will be exposed to at least 1 billion viewers. We owe it to a global audience and to our TOP sponsors.

The IOC Charter encourages the host nation to tell its story but if the Ceremonies people know what they are doing, they will tell it in terms that can be understood and enjoyed globally, as I'm sure DB tried but did not succeed completely.

Ilustrado, u don't know what you're talking about. :rolleyes:

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:rolleyes: Of course not. How stupid would that be. The show's content is vetted a year or so before with the IOC. Do you not think the IOC would say: we have a global product, why should the show be geared only for the host country of 60 mill; and maybe 25 mill watching it? We have a global product here and we will be exposed to at least 1 billion viewers. We owe it to a global audience and to our TOP sponsors.

The IOC Charter encourages the host nation to tell its story but if the Ceremonies people know what they are doing, they will tell it in terms that can be understood and enjoyed globally, as I'm sure DB tried but did not succeed completely.

Ilustrado, u don't know what you're talking about. :rolleyes:

I disagree, Baron (see above). And I thought that as a performer in the Atlanta 1996 opening ceremony, you'd probably know best that Olympic ceremonies are not only geared for the global audience, but also for the home audience. Atlanta 1996 had it's patriotic elements, too (for example the "Strike Up The Band" routine before (or shortly after?) the playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner").

EDIT, for clarification: "I disagree, Baron (see my post #1794 above)."

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I disagree, Baron (see above). And I thought that as a performer in the Atlanta 1996 opening ceremony, you'd probably know best that Olympic ceremonies are not only geared for the global audience, but also for the home audience. Atlanta 1996 had it's patriotic elements, too (for example the "Strike Up The Band" routine before (or shortly after?) the playing of the "Star-Spangled Banner").

EDIT, for clarification: "I disagree, Baron (see my post #1794 above)."

:blink: Of course, there are all those elements. They are in EVERY OC. It's all part of the prescribed protocol parts. DIdn't u read my post? Of course, u start building from a show which Tells AND SHOWCASES the host country's culture. I thot that would be so obvious that I didn't have to point that out? :blink:

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@baron-pierreIV: "Of course, u start building from a show which Tells AND SHOWCASES the host country's culture."

In the course of these discussions, it has gradually occurred to me that in the London opening, the cultural presentation (from the start to "Frankie and June") had one theme- Britain as a source of cultural revolutions and innovations- but the ceremony as a whole, including the cultural presentation, had the wider theme of the individual's life and achievements in the context of history. In addition to the chronological threads running through the whole ceremony, which I described a few weeks ago, throughout the cultural presentation there were elements which seemed chronologically misplaced (Beatles in the industrial revolution; old-fashioned radio music and the quaint caption "BBC News and Newsreel" appearing on the audience pixels as a clearly 21st century mum and son walked from their modern car to their modern house) but were actually intended to emphasise historical continuity, with London's last Olympic year, 1948, as a focal point.

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Being there my impression wasn't this is messy, my impression was this is incredible. Im sure Martin feels the same, what do you think Martin? Messy or incredible?

I just checked the video, I wished I hadnt commented now, that video gave me a headache. No Olympic ceremony can be judged from such a video, ridiculous

Exactly! I don't think anyone who was there would say that it was anything other than amazing.

I also don't know of anyone who didn't like the Ceremony albeit that I have mainly talked to British people.

It looked bad on TV.

No it didn't! That is a sweeping and silly generalisation.

I do think that some parts looked better than others and I do think that the blame for that lies with OBS.

I would challenge you to look back at the end of the 'Pandemonium' section where the rings come together or the lighting of the cauldron where the petals come together and maintain your view that those elements look, as you say, 'bad!'

See, and yes, it's moot -- I would rather they had worked on putting the whole meadow set 'together' -- rather than ripping it apart. In any theatrical presentations, the audience always gets awed and wows when a super-complicated set comes together...when all the pieces fall into place. I understand DB tried to approach it differently, but for me, it didn't work. Instead of positive energy building up; it was bringing in negative energy instead. (And I understand it had to set the stage for Pandemonium; but maybe they could've found a different way to stage it.) Anyway, I hope the Russians and Brazilians return to the more 'regimented, disciplined' formats. I would've felt cheated of my $$$ if I went and paid to see London in person. Just my 2 quid.

Why would they have 'assembled' the countryside after the 'Industrial revolution' segment when that, historically, is not what actually happened?!

I think there's a basic misunderstanding of what the 'Pandemonium' section was all about on the part of some people here.

By the way, I did pay to see the Opening Ceremony and far from feeling 'cheated,' I think it's one of the best experiences of my life!

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Hmmmthats what a lot of the Brits here have said, and I keep wondering what that means. Like the rest of us are not all unaware of modern British culture and I personally was NOT expecting or wanting a Beijing style army of choreographed Beefeaters dancing around giant props of Big Ben and the London Eye (although that most clichéd use of landmarks did indeed happen in the closinggo figure who that was for.

But I still dont know what that means that the ceremony was geared to Brits. There really wasnt anything that mysterious or insider about the imagery or what was happening. I guess it might be that some babies can only be loved by their mother.

p.s. Were still talking about this ceremony because it was weird and recent, and because its interesting what different people saw in it.

I agree completely with the "some babies" comment. I suppose I've been trying to be charitable...

I do think, however, that the NHS, children's lit, pandemonium and Frankie and June sections resonated more with present-day Brits. I suspect there was a stronger visceral identification for them than there was for us. Sure foreigners have some intellectual understanding, but these parts of Britain's story and cultural flavor are just not as moving or meaningful to internationals.

I suspect that stronger emotional identification enabled Brits to internally construct for themselves a sort of through-line connecting the various segments of the ceremony and making a kind of sense out of them. The subject matter and styling (or lack thereof) of the show made this difficult if not impossible for internationals.

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