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Opening Ceremony


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I don't think there was any inflation involved because: (1) too complicated to construct; and (2) these things had to be packed & squished when not in use and having some sort of inflated compartments there would hinder the quick takedown of said structures.

I'm probably going to look like a right idiot, but you're now going to tell me & everyone else that you're an expert in the inflatables business and that of their use in the entertainment industry and obviously right on top of latest developments in this field.

I'm impressed.

Unless of course, you're not.

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FGS, Rob. I'm not involved in some lengthy discourse with him. I just sought to confirm something about the foto and the info he posted. I don't think the "composed that foto" just to troll on SSC. C'mon, give me a little more credit. I can tell a destructive troll from a harmless one.

Sorry, didn't mean that post to come across as condescending as it did rereading it. I wrote it in a rush and the guy's just been getting on my tits.

:unsure:

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I'm probably going to look like a right idiot, but you're now going to tell me & everyone else that you're an expert in the inflatables business and that of their use in the entertainment industry and obviously right on top of latest developments in this field.

I'm impressed.

Unless of course, you're not.

Well, u said it; not me. Yeah, so how's about we compromise -- they were part (or some were) part inflatables and/or just hoisted by the cables & counterweights?? ;)

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From The Engineer, 23 August 2012
"With the grass removed, the stadium was transformed into a representation of industrial Britain led by Victorian engineer Isambard Kingdom Brunel (played by Kenneth Branagh), complete with beam engines, textile looms and seven chimneys reaching up to 30m in height that appeared to rise from underneath the stadium. Although the chimneys were very solid in appearance and each weighed more than one tonne, they were, in fact, inflatable and were filled by fans beneath the stage. Each chimney was rolled via tracks onto a lift in the stage floor and then hooked onto the cable-net system above the stadium. ‘As they’re inflated they’re actually pulled up by the aerial system at the same time as the lift is co-ordinated, so when the chimneys are fully elevated the lift is flat with the finished floor level of the stage construction,’ explained flying technical manager James Lee. A winch with a slip clutch attached to the top of the chimneys and pneumatic dampeners at their bases kept them taught, ensuring they inflated from the top and securing the illusion that they were solid structures rising from the floor."

Remember, one of the aims of this show was to celebrate British technical ingenuity!

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Well, if they had fans for the chimneys, how come there was so much pollution in the early Industrial Revolution days when those smokestax went up? SUrely the fans would've blown away all the soot, huh? :lol:



PS: @baron-pierreIV [re the Almeria 2005 OC]: "I don't understand the allusion to Hollywood movies. "

Almeria is a famous location for "American" films, notably Sergio Leone's "Dollars" movies

Ah. That makes sense. I thought a lot of the Sergio Leone "Dollar" movies were shot in Italy.

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@baron-pierreIV: "Well, if they had fans for the chimneys, how come there was so much pollution in the early Industrial Revolution days when those smokestax went up? SUrely the fans would've blown away all the soot, huh?"

To demonstrate the remarkable effect of the fans at full throttle, I can only refer you, again, to that moment in Yellow Submarine (keep watching to see where all the soot settles, and to hear a pretty good song):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wxKoGrFmik

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@baron-pierreIV: "Well, if they had fans for the chimneys, how come there was so much pollution in the early Industrial Revolution days when those smokestax went up? SUrely the fans would've blown away all the soot, huh?"

To demonstrate the remarkable effect of the fans at full throttle, I can only refer you, again, to that moment in Yellow Submarine (keep watching to see where all the soot settles, and to hear a pretty good song):

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8wxKoGrFmik

Mark (& Volshy), I was messin' with your heads re my comment on the smokestax and the "fans." Don't take everything I post too seriously! As I said, I come here for a lot of fun...not all seriousity!! ;)

Here's the latest from my LOCOG source: Inflammation was also involved according to my best knowledge! (Source is not a native English speaker.)

So, yes, those were apparently infected smokestacks, so there was swelling and inflammation involved. Why didn't they show the inflamed smokestacks being lanced for pus?? I mean, Dr. Alexander Fleming after all, was British...so showing a "bleeding" of pus (and the introduction of penicillin) from the smokestacks would've been another salute to a great pioneer of British science!! :lol:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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Aha! Once again, baron-pierreIV, you have indirectly helped my analysis of the London opening. I now wonder if the Bob Haro-inspired aerial dove was meant to be seen by UK viewers as being partly a Vic and Bob reference.

Vic - and Bob :blink: ...another, obscure British reference you dropped out of the clear blue sky and expect everyone else to pick up?? :blink:

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Aha! Once again, baron-pierreIV, you have indirectly helped my analysis of the London opening. I now wonder if the Bob Haro-inspired aerial dove was meant to be seen by UK viewers as being partly a Vic and Bob reference.

Stretching things a bit there I reckon :lol: :lol:

It's quite funny that some try to decipher the "secret language" of the opening ceremony. As far as meanings are concerned, London was a really shallow OC, at least for non-british viewers...

Speak for yourself, like the rest of us are. It shows an insecurity of your own opinion that you need to couch it in such language.

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@LOUIS: "As far as meanings are concerned, London was a really shallow OC, at least for non-british viewers... "

I think you'll find quite a few viewers in China, at least, found it far from shallow. And any Olympic OC which christens one of its major segments "There is a Light That Never Goes Out" needs to be examined pretty dam' closely ...


[Nicely-chosen clip there, RobH ! ]

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Vic - and Bob :blink: ...another, obscure British reference you dropped out of the clear blue sky and expect everyone else to pick up?? :blink:

there is a new quite obscure web site called 'google.com' where you can research obscure British references :-S

It's quite funny that some try to decipher the "secret language" of the opening ceremony. As far as meanings are concerned, London was a really shallow OC, at least for non-british viewers...

it might look shallow but it's actually deeper than you think like that road scene in vicar of dibley. and as far as shallow OC, beijing takes the cake on that.

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there is a new quite obscure web site called 'google.com' where you can research obscure British references :-S

If I have to search for it...nothing doing. For that, u gotta pay me. Other ceremonies don't put on these obscure references and then assume that people will have to go on a hunt for them. If that was Danny Boyle's mantra, then indeed he failed. DON'T make your viewers work for it. That's why many foreign viewers were left scratching their heads. You make your message easy for an international audience. These "obscure" references only lead to misinterpretations as in pretentious "art" movies. . A sports event ceremony shouldn't be one of those (not unless you are Dmitris Papioannou) .

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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ti as far as shallow OC, beijing takes the cake on that.

Why should a ceremony have to be "...deep"? Where does it say that in the IOC Charter?. A Ceremony is something celebratory and merely a precursor to the main event, it should not be a PhD candidate's test. Beijing did its best to explain the 4 contributions the Chinese felt they made to human civilization -- and even if it missed in that regard, I never heard ANYONE saw that these images were puny, unimpressive or that they had seen before. All they had to be were impressive and awe-inspiring. I don't see why it had to be shallow or deep. It is merely ENTERTAINMENT...not an Oxford entrance exam.

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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@illustrado: "as far as shallow OC, beijing takes the cake on that."

@baron-pierreIV: "Other ceremonies don't put on these obscure references and then assume that people will have to go on a hunt for them."

Both half-right there, I think. Beijing was meant to look shallow but spectacular to anybody unfamiliar with Chinese culture: "Give 'em the Four Great Inventions and the greatest mass-movement exercises the're ever likely to see; oh, and a modest firework display would be nice." But a Chinese audience probably paid little attention to the mass-movement etc. and focused instead on little details, particularly within the central performance area, which most Westerners ignored.

In keeping with its general policy of inverting Beijing's approach, London deliberately highlighted the little details- although you didn't need to interpret them to get the basic thread of the three main musical stories. In many cases, because British culture continues to be exported all over the world, viewers in some pretty surprising places would pick up on the references- for example, identifying Rowan Atkinson as Mr Bean the instant they saw his face, or singing along to "Satisfaction" (just not live on air please, Meredith). Bear in mind too that the London opening was intended partly as a tribute to Shakespeare, one of the all-time great creators of entertainments designed to work on multiple levels.

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If I have to search for it...nothing doing. For that, u gotta pay me. Other ceremonies don't put on these obscure references and then assume that people will have to go on a hunt for them. If that was Danny Boyle's mantra, then indeed he failed. DON'T make your viewers work for it. That's why many foreign viewers were left scratching their heads. You make your message easy for an international audience. These "obscure" references only lead to misinterpretations as in pretentious "art" movies. . A sports event ceremony shouldn't be one of those (not unless you are Dmitris Papioannou) .

never underestimate the international audience. saying that OC needs to just be people dancing in unison and a few firework is an insult to the viewing public. sports events like this is the closest thing for a host nation to showcase their culture,beliefs and tradition on this scale to a global audience. watering it down would neither benefit the host country or the IA

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Sorry, guys, I don't agree with this "shallow/depth" thing you are talking about. There is NO need to make it deep or shallow. Zhang Yimou did what he does best in films, too -- spectacle with the use of mass formations, color, costumes, in short - unbridled spectacle...which is what the scale of a stadium needs. The cameras pick up the details. (And audiences, regardless of which nationality, pick up what they want and make of it what they also want.)

Indeed, ilustrado, when I say, make a show easy for int'l audiences...I DON'T mean insulting their intelligence...which marksnow unintentionally just did (to me). I get it that Shakespeare, considered the greatest write in the English language, is honored. (How could they not?) If you will go back to many early discussions here on GB even when London had just been picked, I posited that the OC would feature British authors, their creations-- which is their contribution to world culture; why the prediction is even there of the pre-2012 edition of my book, page 184! Was way ahead of you and Mr. Boyle in that regard.

Funny, ilustrado, that you're trying to look for deeper meanings, etc, in these ceremonies. :blink: No one is going out of their way to "insult people's intelligence by watering down these shows." Why should anyone? And how can you say, watering down anything if you haven't seen the shows which are pretty much tightly guarded affairs until they are unveiled? I don't know why one can't just enjoy them for what they are, spectacle and entertainment? Is there a certain stigma to that? I don't think so. If they can make a show appeal to a 7-year old whose first Olympic exposure this is, as well as to his/her grandfather whose, shall we say, 12th Olympic opening ceremony viewing this would be, then why not? In doing so, the producers would have achieved their job. And remember, many people (even a few here on GB), merely dismiss them and skip them altogether because they consider the sports competition as the only thing comprising the true meaning of the Olympics. So, in that regard, what good would all the "...deeper meanings and symbolisms and cabalistic symbols..." you seem to imply as features of an exceptional ceremony, matter?

Peter Ueberroth who, in a way, is partially responsible for setting the scale of Olympic (opening) ceremonies the way they are today, said: A good Opening sets the tone for the Olympic Games that will follow. What are the Olympic Games? Just a celebration of sport and brotherhood. You wrestle my arm; I'll wrestle yours, and we come out friends in the end; we go home with each other's pins and pendants. How complicated could that be?? :blink:

BTW, all of Chapter 8 in my book is devoted to a "very" deep telling of HOW they put together Beijing's OC. ;)

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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I'm totally in favor of depth, but I'd argue that the ceremony needs to appeal on a simplistic, superficial level as well.

Also, I think we may be confusing depth with chaos. London was not "deep". It was emotional for the home crowd, which is not at all the same. In order to be "deep" something should reveal profound universal meaning and insight. I didn't see that in London's OC at all.

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@baron-pierreIV: "Zhang Yimou did what he does best in films, too -- spectacle with the use of mass formations, color, costumes, in short - unbridled spectacle."

You're not the first to make such statements about Zhang Yimou- but in reality, a film like "House of Flying Daggers" is at its best when a very large cinema screen is inhabited by a very small event. That could not easily be done in a stadium show, and was conspicuously absent in Beijing- but I think something of the same intimate intensity was captured at times in London (perhaps most startlingly in the live performance of Rowan Atkinson).


@baron-pierreIV: "I get it that Shakespeare, considered the greatest write in the English language, is honored."

But you don't seem to get that he was honoured by the flattery of imitation- his plays are stuffed full of odd asides and references, just like the London Opening. However, the story of "The Tempest" can become the story of "Forbidden Planet" and ultimately the London cultural presentation was just three simple stories.


@baron-pierreIV: "when London had just been picked, I posited that the OC would feature British authors, their creations-- which is their contribution to world culture"

Well, that and the first Industrial Revolution, and the codification of most worldwide sports, and the flawed but worthwhile concept of a unified system to ensure basic standards of education, healthcare etc., and some of the most thrilling songs ever written, and ... (and oddly enough, of course, the vast majority of "classic" British authors didn't get a mention).


@Athensfan: "In order to be "deep" something should reveal profound universal meaning and insight. I didn't see that in London's OC at all."

So you didn't see the whole growing to maturity / "Inspire a Generation" theme, which is a pretty basic universal meaning? And you presumably weren't interested in the big "there are alternatives" message to China.


@baron-pierreIV: "Peter Ueberroth who, in a way, is partially responsible for setting the scale of Olympic (opening) ceremonies the way they are today, said: A good Opening sets the tone for the Olympic Games that will follow."

Well, if TV audiences in Canada are anything to go by, the tone was pretty positive!

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The best works of art work on different levels (is anyone suggesting that 'Hamlet' is simply the story of a son who murders his father?) and some people on here are now criticising the Opening Ceremony for absurd reasons.

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The best works of art work on different levels (is anyone suggesting that 'Hamlet' is simply the story of a son who murders his father?) and some people on here are now criticising the Opening Ceremony for absurd reasons.

Hamlet? You mean "Lion King," doncha? I mean this Hamlet was based on LION KING, was it not? :lol:

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