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Closing Ceremony


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Some IOC members were furious with Atlanta because of games-time logistics problem and overt commercialization (which, by the way, was shocking in 1996 because it was the first true post-Cold War, post-globalization Games - but now it's the norm and nobody complains).

It wasn't the commercialisation per se - everyone's used to and accepting that the major sponsors are needed. The TOP program well pre-dated Altanta. But Atlanta's prob was more the flea market-bazaar atmosphere created by all the tiny independent bric-a-brac stalls that got set up - THAT is not the norm, they were tacky, and are now expressly forbidden (in favour of the larger "official" OCOG souvenir stores).

Edited by Sir Rols
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Probably all over the place: 3 Mills Studios, the old Ford Assembly plant where some of the OC rehearsed. Except for the RIo segment, it's probably easier to rehearse Closing because it's mostly single (or group) acts.

And also in the Olympic Stadium itself, at least regarding the technical gadgets. One could see in the cauldron shots German TV showed yesterday and today that the LED screens still are in place because one could recognise that the seats were tinged in different colours again. Also, tonight one could see that they were testing some projections that looked like sparks or bubbles running up the stands. At first, I thought that there are sparks emanating from the cauldron.

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No, the athletics competition in the stadium will take place right until Saturday evening, the eve of the closing ceremony. They'll only have the night and the closing day itself for preparing the stage and what have you for the closing ceremony, since the marathon will finish on The Mall.

In all recent Olympic Games (except the Athens Games) they also had the problem that the marathon finish was in the Olympic Stadium so that they didn't even have the stadium completely for themselves for the ceremonial preparations.

The rehearsals will most likely take place at the 3 Mills Studio, where we also saw pictures of some closing ceremony props (Big Ben, the Gherkin etc.) a couple of weeks ago.

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Hm. Well, Atlanta's OC did have the opening countdown on the big screen, the artistic segment, the parade of athletes, and a relay around the track featuring the final torch-bearers. So I guess they did copy Barcelona.

Wait - aren't those part of every Olympic OC?

I'll admit there were some similarities - but I might call "How Y'all Doin'?" an homage to Barcelona's "Hola" rather than an imitation. Anyway, are you really going to fault them for the color of the ground covering? Really? What color do you think would have been appropriate for Atlanta, would have looked good on TV, and also would have been original? Frankly, IMO, the blue looked a lot better than the dirt-colored covering in Sydney.

Some IOC members were furious with Atlanta because of games-time logistics problem and overt commercialization (which, by the way, was shocking in 1996 because it was the first true post-Cold War, post-globalization Games - but now it's the norm and nobody complains). I seriously doubt Chicago lost out because of Atlanta's OC, which is what you're implying. It came in last because of the revenue dispute, period.

Just to start this argument again, I think this who copied who debate is almost pointless when it comes to these big event ceremonies. For the majority of the audience, they forget what effects/segments and sets were used in the Vancouver Opening Ceremony let alone beijing, athens, sydney, atlanta and barcelona.

For those of us who do care, I think, we have to be honest and admit that each ceremony helps to build on the successes of the next and collectively ingenious ideas become not only repeated, but become expected parts of what an Olympic ceremony should be.

Barcelona, at least, from and OLYMPIC ceremony perspective was arguably the first ceremony to refine the new format introduced in Moscow and answered in LA. To my knowledge it is also the first ceremony to be produced by someone who had produced an olympic ceremony before. The tarp may have been introduced in barcelona (initially auckland - or perhaps earlier), it was a clever idea and therefore used again in Atlanta, in Sydney, the idea was again refined and a dirt/dust effect was used (which some people may not like, but I think worked in Australia, and was impressive at the time compared to what had gone before), athens took it even further and used water and staging in the whole arena and so forth.

It is inevitable that elements of ceremonies are copied, re-used and re-interpreted in each ceremony. Hola - How you all doing - Gday are all welcome segments that made sense for the countries to welcome in their specific style and copied or not were a good idea (it wouldn't really have been appropriate in london for example).

Further to this somethings are blantantly copied and become tradtions and commonplace in ceremonies. Much of the dominant format used in modern ceremonies is probably traced back to Ric Birch and the Spektak team ie using a stage at the base of the stands (like the tor) putting an orchestra there, placing the flags of the nation there and having speeches there. Accusing sydney or london of copying LA's and Barcelona's stages becomes pointless.

Another perfect example of this sort of copying that didn't catch on was Ric Birch's reuse of the barcelona big flag effect in Sydney, which in an interview he hoped would become a permanent fixture of oympic ceremonies.

END OF RANT

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To my knowledge it is also the first ceremony to be produced by someone who had produced an olympic ceremony before.

No. The 2 Innsbruck ceremonies were produced by the same guy. And Tommy Walker who directed the ceremonies for both Lake Placid 1980 and LA 1984. So those were the first two.

Athens took it even further and used water and staging in the whole arena and so forth.

London 1908 had the first pool in the infield (altho not the entire stage as Athens & was just waiting for the Swim competition), but it was there.

Another perfect example of this sort of copying that didn't catch on was Ric Birch's reuse of the barcelona big flag effect in Sydney, which in an interview he hoped would become a permanent fixture of oympic ceremonies.

I thought after 2 tries, it was time to retire that giant bandera thing. Too long to set up the effect. But Paprioannou tried to do it also in 2004 but with everyone looking under Bjork's dress. :lol:

Edited by baron-pierreIV
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No. The 2 Innsbruck ceremonies were produced by the same guy. And Tommy Walker who directed the ceremonies for both Lake Placid 1980 and LA 1984. So those were the first two.

London 1908 had the first pool in the infield (altho not the entire stage as Athens & was just waiting for the Swim competition), but it was there.

I thought after 2 tries, it was time to retire that giant bandera thing. Too long to set up the effect. But Paprioannou tried to do it also in 2004 but with everyone looking under Bjork's dress. :lol:

Interesting I didn't realise the innsbruck director was the same nor tommy walker, hence the preface 'to my knowledge'.

I agree regarding the huge flag thing, i mean it ripped at the sydney rehearsal aswell, its lucky it actually worked, but I was just referencing it to suggest that many things in ceremonies are improvements and refinements to previous ceremonies, not point throw copy charges here there and everywhere...

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I agree regarding the huge flag thing, i mean it ripped at the sydney rehearsal aswell, its lucky it actually worked, ...

But the better use of this huge cover fabric was at the Manchester 2002 Opening where they had 800+ kids paint something from underneath, and then a portrait of HMQE2 magically appeared on the topside. Of course, it was repeated at the Delhi 2010 opening as well. One of our esteemed posters here, Lee, was heavily involved with the actual stunt in Manchester.

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But the better use of this huge cover fabric was at the Manchester 2002 Opening where they had 800+ kids paint something from underneath, and then a portrait of HMQE2 magically appeared on the topside. Of course, it was repeated at the Delhi 2010 opening as well. One of our esteemed posters here, Lee, was heavily involved with the actual stunt in Manchester.

I remember that, it was quite good indeed. Wasn't Ric Birch involved in that ceremony too?

I remember that OC had a nod to QEII's Golden Jubilee, it is a shame it wasn't done in London for the Diamond.

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I don't think so. It was the 2nd one of Jack Morton's after their SLC 2002 Paralympics work. ANd I think partly based on their Manchester work, ATHOC picked them to execute Athens 2004.

I know it was contracted to Jack Morton's but I have this defiant memory that that particular segment (painting queen) had some sort of involvement with Ric Birch, unless the commentators were mistaken (not the first time).

I have been looking on the web and I cannot find any evidence of his involvement, unless he was maybe involved externally in the golden jubilee celebrations and thats why he was referred to in the broadcast. Unless anyone has any other insights I guess I have to accept that I am just going crazy.

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I don't think Ric Birch had any involvement in M2002.

The opening ceremony was directed by David Zolkwer of JMW, while the artistic director of the closing was Nigel Jamieson. He was initially given the Melbourne 2006 contract until he parted ways with the OC and the job went to Andrew Walsh of Accolade Entertainment, who went on to produce the event with JM Worldwide.

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