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paul92

London 2012 Paralympic Games Opening Ceremony

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The athletes parade did over-run by just under an hour; partly because it was quite slippery underfoot so people were perhaps taking it a little slower than expected. We finished the last dress rehearsal at 2315 on Monday night. I can feel every minute of that extra hour this morning in my shoulders after waving my torch overhead to keep the audience gee'ed up. Still... it was worth it; I'll post some pics later if anyone's interested.

The audience were great; some did have to leave to catch trains if they lived outside the extended Tube network or if they had kids with them who had conked out. I tried to keep some kids awake by dancing with them in the aisles and giving them the torch to wave for a while.

Ceremony-wise, it was a lot more traditional and a definite nod to the theatre. The sculpture at the end seemed to surprise most people as it suddenly appeared while they weren't looking. Ah... the magic of inflatables, huh! Most seemed to think that it had been pulled in from somewhere bizarrely. I enjoyed it... but preferred the main Olympic Opening slightly.

It's a pity that the album released doesn't include the Athlete's Parade music since I have to say that I was quite enjoying dancing along to it and wanted a copy for the gym!

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I would've been quite interested to have seen the whole base concept of enlightenment transferred into the London Olympic Ceremony, would be keen to see how well it would have translated with a larger budget, better compositions, larger cast, a more complete staging area (the athletes sitting on the field made it look a tad messy at times I thought) etc etc.

To be honest, it would have made a fantastic additional *revolution* in the Olympic ceremony and Im sure would have made alot of the slight doubters of the Opening abit more positive on the whole event.

Certainly would have been a good match to pandemonium.

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I agree that we are starting to see bits of the Olympic closing and Paralympic opening that expose some narrative issues with the Olympic opening.

I think you make a good point, in that enlightenment would have made a great follow on from Pandemonium. Not to sound like a broken record, or go off topic, but the Olympic opening should have been more of Green Pastures, then Pandemonium, and instead of NHS/Social media.. a modern enlightenment section with direct references to the social change brought on as a consequence of the industrial revolution, which Britain then gave to the world via its Empire. It could have had some similarities to both the 2012 Paralympic opening, and even something along the lines of the philosophical ideas presented in Athens. NHS/Social media should have definitely occurred at the Closing, as it would have tied in well with the music, and the London cityscape concept. Oh well, different directors.

I think if I were the head of an OOC, I'd appoint a creative team to oversee all four Ceremonies with a holistic approach. London, despite how amazing the ceremonies are, is an object lesson in poor narrative structure.

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The Pyrolyimpic opening ceremony was conceptually much better than the Olympic opening ceremony

Philosophy science art sport and narrative and beautiful choreography,

The opening of the Olympics had the the best set (I stil Love that Medow/industrail revalution )and a bigger budget , but I feel Danny Boyel was out of his depth directing an arena show,

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I seem to be in the minority here (though everyone I've spoken to in person agrees), but I found the Paralympic Opening quite boring. On the night it all felt so small compared to the previous ceremonies. Having the athletes sit around the 'stage' made everything smaller and further from the audience. It did look better on TV, but a lot of people have told me they lost interest during the endless parade.

It was also cold and damp in the Olympic Park, which looked dirtier and a bit shabby now, so the whole experience lost it's shine.

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I seem to be in the minority here (though everyone I've spoken to in person agrees), but I found the Paralympic Opening quite boring. On the night it all felt so small compared to the previous ceremonies. Having the athletes sit around the 'stage' made everything smaller and further from the audience. It did look better on TV, but a lot of people have told me they lost interest during the endless parade.

It was also cold and damp in the Olympic Park, which looked dirtier and a bit shabby now, so the whole experience lost it's shine.

Gotta remember NOT to expect a full blown Olympic Managed event...The Paralympics are 'small' by far...More a medium sized Commonwealth Games...And yes, they are pretty much 'scrounging' off the legacy of last month. Alot of the Olympic venues are not being used, while some are being dismantled already. In a year's time you wont even recognise the main stadium or the swimming venue. In ten years time....

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The Pyrolyimpic opening ceremony was conceptually much better than the Olympic opening ceremony

Philosophy science art sport and narrative and beautiful choreography,

The opening of the Olympics had the the best set (I stil Love that Medow/industrail revalution )and a bigger budget , but I feel Danny Boyel was out of his depth directing an arena show,

You're probably right, it seems like though he never intended it to be that, or he did but decided he couldnt so quite loudly said that he intended on making it a *live film*.

I think Athens stretched the concept of stadium theatre as much as it could be stretched (and I know some people said even they lost the real effect of the medium).

Danny relied too much on small intricate shots, in a way Athens did too, they just didn't have thousands of neon clad teenagers mulling about the area at the same time - so it was more distinct in what you were looking at.

However, despite all of that, he still managed to produce an epic victory with Pandemonium - so who knows.

I think it is however a danger now that everyone assumes they can chuck their biggest name filmmaker at the ceremonies and let them run wild. Yimou was a director, but his films are already very arty and had a history in doing large outdoor spectaculars aswell, I would never entrust Peter Jackson to do a NZ ceremony.

I guess it's an interesting question to sit down and look at what the best way of handling an Olympic ceremony production is, each Games has their own system.

Agree with alot of what you say Steve, but I think alot of it must have come down to budget. Things that they made a pretty dam good attempt at doing, but obviously money meant they couldn't carry it off like you would see in an Olympic ceremony.

All of the various representations of science for instance being wheeled around, they only had 2 or 3 which made it look like a slight half arsed job, whereas in Pandemonium, we had a big hefty crew of 6 or 7 chimneys.

As I said, I think if the concepts these guys were trying to show were translated into the Olympic arena, they would have put on a fantastic show,

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The ceremony was okay, but I don't think that is was anywhere near as interesting as the Olympic version. The only things I saw that bettered the Olympics were the placard bearers outfits and umbrella signs (especially the ones who really strutted like they meant business), and the entry of the flame into the stadium (where did that guy come from?).

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...and the entry of the flame into the stadium (where did that guy come from?).

Cable strung from the 'Boris' view tower.

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The audience were great; some did have to leave to catch trains if they lived outside the extended Tube network or if they had kids with them who had conked out. I tried to keep some kids awake by dancing with them in the aisles and giving them the torch to wave for a while.

Ohh so you are one of those mechanics.

Still called a 'mechanic' even though you lot had a different outfit for the Paralympics?

The woman we had at the rehearsal was really good and lively.

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We were 'mechanicals' for the Opening as a nod to Shakespeare's Midsummer Night's Dream and the fact we were utility cast; being asked to do different things whether on field or during the show in stands.

After that we reverted to a more traditional 'audience leader' naming convention although the Mass Production team still slip up occasionally.

It has been a lot of fun. We don't get much opportunity for on-camera glory but we get to actually see the full show, chat to everyone and then hop down onto the field at the end for the impromptu party that generally kicks in. But our names still appear in each programme and I have 3 costumes hanging in the wardrobe now!

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Paralympics London 2012

Opening Ceremony

FULL

Finally had a chance to watch the 2nd half of the ceremony. I really enjoyed it! I think I liked the music more in this ceremony than in the Olympic OC. I've been listening to it on my mp3 player for the last few days.

The only downside, I wish they picked better commentators. They talked the most at the beginning, but it tapered off going towards the end. A lot of useless talk near the beginning. They didn't even introduce Ian McKellen when he first showed up with the actress playing Miranda.

Again London, well done!

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Again, another link to videos that I filmed and have now uploaded to YouTube for anyone who is interested.

If people are interested, other videos can obviously be accessed through the links.

This one shows the lighting of the Cauldron:

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all eyes on us follows the journey of four inspirational performers as they train to perform in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Stephen, Lauren, Johnnie and David trained for four months in preparation for this ‘once in a lifetime’ experience. With a voiceover from well known British actor, Mat Fraser (actor in Ch.4’s Freak Out, 2000 and Cast Off’s 2009), all eyes on us sees 22 year old Jacqui Adeniji-Williams meeting each of the performers during their training to discuss how their involvement has impacted on their lives. Relating her own disability to theirs, personal stories are revealed raising key questions about access and changes in perception.

long synopsis

“…The Paralympic Games is about transforming our perception of the world. We are all different. There is no such thing as a standard or run-of-the-mill human being but we share the same human spirit. ….What is important is that we have the ability to create…”

Stephen Hawking

During the opening ceremony of the London 2012, Paralympic Games, Stephen Hawking told an audience of millions to look to the stars. When they looked up they saw an entire cast of disabled performers high in the sky on trapezes, ropes and perched upon gravity-defying poles. They saw Paralympian, Tanni Grey-Thompson fly overhead in a gold wheelchair and Amputee Afghan war veteran, Joe Townsend come hurtling in to the stadium on a zip wire.

all eyes on us tells the story of the making of this spectacular ceremony through the inspiring stories of four of the performers who took part, with a voiceover from well-known British actor, Mat Fraser (actor in Ch.4’s Freak Out, 2000 and Cast Off’s 2009). Stephen, Lauren, Johnnie and David trained for four months in preparation for this ‘once in a lifetime’ experience.

22 year old Jacqui Adeniji-Williams meets each of the performers during their training to discuss how their involvement has impacted on their lives. Relating her own disabilities to theirs, personal stories are revealed raising key questions about access and changes in perception.

Lauren is a 3’ tall aerialist: “… I never thought I could go on a trapeze. You never think that you can because I’ve never seen a disabled person on a trapeze before…”

all eyes on us is a prime example of not only what young people can achieve, but also the value and power of arts participation for those with disability. all eyes presents an exclusive and empowering glimpse of hope and optimism, and change in perception in the advent of the Paralympic Games.

background to the film

A New Direction (AND) connects children, young people and education with the best of arts and culture in London. With the aim of developing young people’s skills and cultural experiences, using London 2012 as their inspiration, they commissioned Eelyn lee Productions to produce a film exploring disability and access to cultural participation working with a group of talented young film makers from the Olympic host boroughs.

The young team, made up of Jacqui Adeniji-Williams, (the film’s presenter) and other young people working as Sound Recordists, Camera Operators and photographers, were granted unique access to film the Paralympic opening ceremony, giving the film its unique perspective, as no external filming was allowed during the ceremony.

The production of the film created a unique sense of belonging and respect among the young people, producing very high quality work including a photography exhibition and the film, all eyes on us.

all eyes on us comes at a time when the UK’s disabled and non-able bodied young people have reduced access to transport, education, and the arts. As a London based organisation whose remit is to connect young people with arts and culture, A New Direction wanted to ensure that young Londoners had the opportunity to experience the Olympic and Paralympic Games on their own terms.

A New Direction is now working to build an outreach and educational campaign, using the film and exhibition as a springboard for wider social and political discussion around the core issues addressed:

  • all eyes on us will screen during Liberty Week (September 2013) alongside an exhibition of photographs at GLA. AND want to ensure a positive legacy of the Paralympics for disabled and non-disabled young people, in association with the Mayor and GLA, and to highlight inequalities around access, education and the arts for disabled young people.
  • A programme of special events including panel discussions is being devised for Spring/Summer 2013, to take place in partnership with various organisations including Free Word and Graeae, and many other film, disability and arts organisations. The aim is to raise disability awareness among young people, to stimulate discussion around the core issues.
  • A New Direction also want to seed the film as an educational resource tool to schools across the UK during 2013, raising awareness and prompting discussion around perceptions and change.

http://alleyesonus.org/

During the Opening Ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games, Stephen Hawking told an audience of millions to look to the stars. When they looked up they saw an entire cast of disabled performers high in the sky on trapezes, ropes and perched upon gravity-defying poles.

They saw Paralympian, Tanni Grey-Thompson fly overhead in a gold wheelchair and amputee Afghan war veteran, Joe Townsend come hurtling in to the stadium on a zip wire.

This collection of photographs, produced by young people from the Olympic Host Boroughs, documents the intense rehearsal process leading up to the Paralympic Opening Ceremony. They focus on Stephen, Lauren, Johnnie and David, four inspiring performers who are also the focus of the accompanying film all eyes on us.

Photo's : http://alleyesonus.org/exhibition/

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Interesting that Channel 4, the UK 2012 Paralympic broadcaster, chose not to take up the invitation (made around the beginning of this year) to show "All Eyes on Us". They felt that the time to broadcast it had passed, which on the one hand seems odd, as the underlying issues haven't gone away, but on the other hand seems sort-of-justifiable in the sense that Channel 4 had tried to use the Paralympics as a springboard for an approach focusing on ability rather than disability (e.g. see "The Last Leg").

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Interesting that Channel 4, the UK 2012 Paralympic broadcaster, chose not to take up the invitation (made around the beginning of this year) to show "All Eyes on Us". They felt that the time to broadcast it had passed, which on the one hand seems odd, as the underlying issues haven't gone away, but on the other hand seems sort-of-justifiable in the sense that Channel 4 had tried to use the Paralympics as a springboard for an approach focusing on ability rather than disability (e.g. see "The Last Leg").

It would be nice if the film is also released on DVD. Would love to see it someday.

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Wonder whatever happened to the giant Astrolabe cauldron of Doha 2006? I believe it was recycled for the 2012 Paralympic Opening...

cropparabookstageimg_6430.jpg

In their dreams!

I reckon the 2012 orrery was less than half the size of Doha's stupendous kinetic sculpture.

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Interesting that Channel 4, the UK 2012 Paralympic broadcaster, chose not to take up the invitation (made around the beginning of this year) to show "All Eyes on Us". They felt that the time to broadcast it had passed, which on the one hand seems odd, as the underlying issues haven't gone away, but on the other hand seems sort-of-justifiable in the sense that Channel 4 had tried to use the Paralympics as a springboard for an approach focusing on ability rather than disability (e.g. see "The Last Leg").

The full film is on YouTube now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkc9bF2StbY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRNS2Fivx1Q (english subtitles)

A film that follows the journey of four inspirational performers as they train to perform in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Stephen, Lauren, Johnnie and David trained for four months in preparation for this 'once in a lifetime' experience.

It was directed by Eelyn Lee (Eelyn Lee Productions) and a group of talented young people from the Olympic host boroughs, two of whom are disabled.

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The full film is on YouTube now:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Jkc9bF2StbY

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CRNS2Fivx1Q (english subtitles)

A film that follows the journey of four inspirational performers as they train to perform in the opening ceremony of the London 2012 Paralympic Games. Stephen, Lauren, Johnnie and David trained for four months in preparation for this 'once in a lifetime' experience.

Thanks for the links Martijn. I've now watched it through, and I'm inclined to say that my original interpretation of why Channel 4 chose not to broadcast the film was wrong. I think they were trying to be polite, and the real problem is that it's just too old-fashioned in style; it doesn't feel like a documentary for 2012/13.

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