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baron-pierreIV

Big, Burning Questions...

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Now that's it's all over, I have a few open-ended questions....

1. Re the wheels/mills - why did the Water Mill stay in its place throughout the Opening ceremony, but the bigger London Eye replica was quickly wheeled out at Closing?

Why did the water mill actually turn at Opening, whereas the London Eye did not? But they had a whole fleet of vehicles & conveyances zipping about, yet the Eye didn't so much as do one turn??

2. What was the guy on the high-wire doing and what was the significance of the burning dummy when he approached it?

R these particularly 'British' matters??

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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Now that's it's all over, I have a few open-ended questions....

1. Re the wheels/mills - why did the Water Mill stay in its place throughout the Opening ceremony, but the bigger London Eye replica was quickly wheeled out at Closing?

Why did the water mill actually turn, whereas the London Eye did not? But they had a wheel fleet of vehicles & conveyances, yet the Eye didn't so much as do one turn??

2. What was the guy on the high-wire doing and what was the significance of the burning dummy when he approached it?

R these particularly 'British' matters??

1. Either they left it because it looked nice. All lit up at the end, it was quite pretty. Or it was tricky to take down and remove so they left it. But I reckon the first answer.

Well the water wheel worked well as it was moving quickly and was part of a living county side scene. The London Eye was more of a prop and was used as an instrument with people handing on it, playing instruments. Also the London Eye is actually pretty slow so even if it did move, it wouldn't have been noticeable.

2. Erm...I'll get back to you on that one.

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I can answer #2, but because my parents love Pink Floyd. It's not a 'British' reference really. Not a fan of prog rock Baron??

The song, 'Wish you were here' sung as a cover by Ed Sheeran comes from the album of the same name:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wish_You_Were_Here_(Pink_Floyd_album)

It was an attempt to recreate the album cover, of someone shaking hands with a burning man.

I like the sweetness in Ed's voice and the lyrics, but straight into Russell Brand after meant it got a bit lost.

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I can answer #2, but because my parents love Pink Floyd. It's not a 'British' reference really. Not a fan of prog rock Baron??

The song, 'Wish you were here' sung as a cover by Ed Sheeran comes from the album of the same name:

http://en.wikipedia....nk_Floyd_album)

It was an attempt to recreate the album cover, of someone shaking hands with a burning man.

I like the sweetness in Ed's voice and the lyrics, but straight into Russell Brand after meant it got a bit lost.

Oh OK. Then it is a specific reference a Pink Floyd fan would know. If I didn't ask, it would've gone right past me. Thanks.

Another one too: did anybody see those 'zorbs' which they tested and even DB spoke about??

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Another one too: did anybody see those 'zorbs' which they tested and even DB spoke about??

Yeh we had them at the rehearsal. Not really sure what their use was for the actual ceremony. Fun to play with though - so many they were just for the people in the stadium to enjoy.

90aygy.jpg

Photo I took during the first, Monday night rehearsal of the opening ceremony.

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Maybe the London Eye didn't move because they had those people banging drums on it, and it was meant only within the segment of the busy hustle and bustle of London.

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Thanks, Paul. So they were just toys to get the audience excited and occupied pre-show.

All of that needed testing??

Haha hell yeah!

Actually a couple got burst in some of the other sections. Luckily my audience section took care of ours ;)

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I believe those "zorbs" (or rather balloons or bubbles) were used during the singing of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" during the British pop culture/flirting couple segment at the opening ceremony. One could see them bouncing into the audience in one of the rehearsal videos.

By the way, I'm wondering whether that ramp we saw in those stadium webcam pictures one year ago was a test for the "Union Jack" closing ceremony stage.

33f80zk.jpg

Gosh, that's only one year ago! I'm so depressed right now that it's over - the Games and the long period of anticipation for them. Yes, the Paralympics are still coming, but it will be a much different experience since they don't get that much exposure in the media and one hardly knows any of the athletes there.

Oh well, the traditional post-Olympic blues here. ;) At least I know from the past that it will go by. ;)

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I believe those "zorbs" (or rather balloons or bubbles) were used during the singing of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" during the British pop culture/flirting couple segment at the opening ceremony. One could see them bouncing into the audience in one of the rehearsal videos.

By the way, I'm wondering whether that ramp we saw in those stadium webcam pictures one year ago was a test for the "Union Jack" closing ceremony stage.

33f80zk.jpg

In another photo taken earlier than that, there was a small zorb at the lower end of the ramp. So I don't know whether the ramp was for the Union Jack or what? Maybe they had a huge Bingo sequence originally planned?? :lol:

Another question: was just rewatching some of the OC Lighting footage...and the stadium announcers go on and on about the 7 lighting kids...it just went on so long. ANd I thought, what if Steve Redgrave or the other 6 medallists DIDN'T want to nominate anyone? What if they had told Coe & Boyle -- "No,I want to lIght the damned thing!!" I wonder how Coe & Boyle would've responded? It's kinda like the past Olympians got bamboozled into surrendering that honor...just because of the theme. If I was them, I would've felt robbed!!

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1. Re the wheels/mills - why did the Water Mill stay in its place throughout the Opening ceremony, but the bigger London Eye replica was quickly wheeled out at Closing?

The water wheel was quite a big mechanical structure really so I believe that to dismantle it would have taken too much time during the transformation sequence. As others have said, the Eye was being used for the Stomp drummers so stayed fixed. It didn't get wheeled out btw; it was turned to the horizontal plane and went upwards. They snuck that into the Stadium on the Friday or Saturday sometime because it was definitely in place during Saturday's athletics.

There were other bits supposed to be there on the Closing set. When we went in to do our 'on the day' rehearsal, there was a row of houses and a Tube train on a railway that were hooked up close to the London Eye but they weren't there during the show. I suspect this was because they were running behind in getting things set up but it may have been just because the transition didn't work well in practice. I believe the original intention was to have the set fully built before the audience entered the Stadium but since some of the technicalities over-ran and rehearsals were delayed on the day, they made putting it into place part of the 'show' for early arrivals but didn't put in all the bells and whistles.

Another one too: did anybody see those 'zorbs' which they tested and even DB spoke about??

Thanks, Paul. So they were just toys to get the audience excited and occupied pre-show.

All of that needed testing??

I believe those "zorbs" (or rather balloons or bubbles) were used during the singing of "I'm Forever Blowing Bubbles" during the British pop culture/flirting couple segment at the opening ceremony. One could see them bouncing into the audience in one of the rehearsal videos.

Mostly correct; and yes, they needed practice. Quite a few of the audience didn't quite get that the idea was to keep them in their section rather than racing them to the front of the section. We had quite a few broken LED brackets as some 'Zorbs' plummeted to track level during the 'training'. The audience ones were supposed to have cameras attached to them so that people could get a very topsy turvy view of the world but I'm not sure if they ever really worked... perhaps in the DVD version of the Ceremony? At our first rehearsal, we were shown a much smaller camera ball and the effect and it seemed to work. The Ceremony ones were almost too big to handle and were a bit unwieldy so didn't work massively well.

They weren't for the 'Forever Blowing Bubbles' bit although some were certainly still around there. They were released during the 'Firestarter'/'Born Slippy' bit to represent the 90s festival culture. There were big Zorbs with people in them in the Glastonbury mosh pits too during the sequence - I'm not sure if the reason for the giant ones in the audience were to 'match' those more closely.

The ones we had for the Closing during Pinball Wizard were much better. The silver really showed up like pinballs, there were more of them and they were slightly smaller so easier for the audience and team to play around with.

PS - Baron, if any of this shows up in your next updated book; I want credit and a freebie copy ;-p

Edited by FDLondon
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Thanks for these (as always) very interesting insights. One more thing: Do you know by any chance what that ramp we saw on that webcam shot one year ago was for? Was it really a test of the closing ceremony stage?

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The water wheel was quite a big mechanical structure really so I believe that to dismantle it would have taken too much time during the transformation sequence. As others have said, the Eye was being used for the Stomp drummers so stayed fixed. It didn't get wheeled out btw; it was turned to the horizontal plane and went upwards. They snuck that into the Stadium on the Friday or Saturday sometime because it was definitely in place during Saturday's athletics.

There were other bits supposed to be there on the Closing set. When we went in to do our 'on the day' rehearsal, there was a row of houses and a Tube train on a railway that were hooked up close to the London Eye but they weren't there during the show. I suspect this was because they were running behind in getting things set up but it may have been just because the transition didn't work well in practice. I believe the original intention was to have the set fully built before the audience entered the Stadium but since some of the technicalities over-ran and rehearsals were delayed on the day, they made putting it into place part of the 'show' for early arrivals but didn't put in all the bells and whistles.

Mostly correct; and yes, they needed practice. Quite a few of the audience didn't quite get that the idea was to keep them in their section rather than racing them to the front of the section. We had quite a few broken LED brackets as some 'Zorbs' plummeted to track level during the 'training'. The audience ones were supposed to have cameras attached to them so that people could get a very topsy turvy view of the world but I'm not sure if they ever really worked... perhaps in the DVD version of the Ceremony? At our first rehearsal, we were shown a much smaller camera ball and the effect and it seemed to work. The Ceremony ones were almost too big to handle and were a bit unwieldy so didn't work massively well.

They weren't for the 'Forever Blowing Bubbles' bit although some were certainly still around there. They were released during the 'Firestarter'/'Born Slippy' bit to represent the 90s festival culture. There were big Zorbs with people in them in the Glastonbury mosh pits too during the sequence - I'm not sure if the reason for the giant ones in the audience were to 'match' those more closely.

The ones we had for the Closing during Pinball Wizard were much better. The silver really showed up like pinballs, there were more of them and they were slightly smaller so easier for the audience and team to play around with.

PS - Baron, if any of this shows up in your next updated book; I want credit and a freebie copy ;-p

Thanks for the awesome insights FD!

Also FD, do you know who the set/stage designer was for the CC?

The union jack ramp stage in the field of play worked really well, and was utilised very well. It kind of reminded me as an evolved version of the ramp stage used in Sydney's OC in the Arrivals and Eternity segments,

Edited by Juso

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Thanks for these (as always) very interesting insights. One more thing: Do you know by any chance what that ramp we saw on that webcam shot one year ago was for? Was it really a test of the closing ceremony stage?

To me, the stage in that photo looks far too high, the ramps used in the ceremony were far less steep than that, although I guess it could have been some kind of test to see if the ground could sufficiently support the stage construction?

Speaking of which, there was an interesting shot of the stadium on the news today- they've dismantled the stage and it's left a huge Union Jack mark on the field! :D

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Now that's it's all over, I have a few open-ended questions....

1. Re the wheels/mills - why did the Water Mill stay in its place throughout the Opening ceremony, but the bigger London Eye replica was quickly wheeled out at Closing?

The London Eye was actually lifted up into the air, out of the way for the rest of the ceremony, lying flat. I see to recall seeing some sort of loop suspended in mid air during the last days of track and field, but can't recall whether it was Eye-looking or not.

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Next...what's with Batman & Robin in the Closing? They're American comics characters. Y were they in there?

One of the most famous British comedy's of all time 'Only Fools and Horses' had one of the great time comedy scenes, when they turned up to what they thought was a funeral dressed as Batman and Robin in fancy dress, and their classic yellow van breaks down

the subsequent scene has then turning up at the party not realising it is a wake as the bloke as tied.

It was a Christmas special holding the TV viewings record for years after

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Yeh the Only Fools and Horses thing (that little car bit) will be understood by 100% of Brits - and 100% of them would have smiled, maybe a little laugh.

Luckily for the rest of the world who didn't understand, it was only a tiny tiny part of the show :)

----

Question for you Baron- and other non-brits.

Did you lot know what film Michael Caine's "5, 4, 3, 2, 1 - 'car blows up' came from....you do get that right?

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Yeah, that was a clip from the original "Italian Job" film (1969, I think).

Correct :)

It's a classic in the UK and very much loved.

Worth a watch if you haven't seen it before.

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Correct :)

It's a classic in the UK and very much loved.

Worth a watch if you haven't seen it before.

I much prefer the remake w/ Mark Wahlberg. Am not a big M. Caine fan.

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I much prefer the remake w/ Mark Wahlberg. Am not a big M. Caine fan.

and that says it all

Hollywood took a great classic and proceeded to ruin it

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and that says it all

Hollywood took a great classic and proceeded to ruin it

BALONEY!!

Improved on it is more like it. The first one was good, but the Remake was better plotted and more ingenious.

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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Two others:

1. what was that time-machine-looking device that Brunel (Branagh) stepped into for like 5 seconds in the Opening? And then stepped out of quickly. I still don't get that.

2. And this one is rhetorical - why did they dress the final 7 lighters in a dark green?? They almost blended with the shadows. I think that's why the Lighting by those 7 did not come off as too dynamic because they were clad in a dark color. They should've stayed with white inasmuch as their nominators were NOT in the standard 'white' Relay outfits.

Edited by baron-pierreIV

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They way that water wheel remained on the infield throughout the ceremony really bothered me. Sent my Ceremony-OCD into a frenzy, really.

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I wondered the same thing about the time machine, were they all cameras (studded around the machine) taking photos of him?

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Maybe I'm over-thinking it, but I thought the water wheel remaining in place was linking the pastoral with the industrial era, since steam engines were originally developed to pump water out of the mines or to supply water wheels with consistent flows. It was realising steam could drive the wheels more efficiently than water, and in more portable ways, that kickstarted the industrial revolution.

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