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Addendum: I found the name of the YLE guy who was the main director of the opening ceremony: Tapani Parm. Apparently, he directed the 2004 and 2008 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, too - and actually did a much better job there (if he is the one to blame for the poor international feed in London).

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Addendum: I found the name of the YLE guy who was the main director of the opening ceremony: Tapani Parm. Apparently, he directed the 2004 and 2008 Olympic opening and closing ceremonies, too - and actually did a much better job there (if he is the one to blame for the poor international feed in London).

I think the problem is Boyle's vision. As Ric Birch said in the Independent article you cited, Danny saw it"...thru the eyes of a filmmaker..." --not as a traditional stadium-spectacle maker. Therefore, when he couldn't get his man for the world feed; he should have brought Mr. Parm into his inner circle so that at least Mr. Parm might've seen it thru "his" eyes. So Parm is NOT entirely to blame but LOCOG is for picking someone new (Boyle) to the workings of the IOC. I imagine OBS was bound to use the Finnish group by the existing contracts.

P.S. Great finds!!

Out of all the countries in the world, I wonder how the IOC locked into the sports unit of YLE, Finnish Public television? It's NOT like YLE coverage has been winning Emmys every year. And even up until Beijing, a Spaniard, Manolo Romero was the IOC's chief broadcast point man. Or rather Romero helped establish the broadcast units for the various Org Committees (including a few World Cups) until OBS was formalized. It seems that up to Beijing, Manolo was still doing it...

http://en.beijing200...211716653.shtml

It now appears that OBS is Madrid-based; so not even neutral Lausanne-based. So indeed Manolo had something to do with it; and the Finns must have great "in's" with OBS to be the main broadcaster for T&F/Olympic stadium. I wonder how much influence OBS will have on Madrid 2020's chances??

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I think the problem is Boyle's vision. As Ric Birch said in the Independent article you cited, Danny saw it"...thru the eyes of a filmmaker..." --not as a traditional stadium-spectacle maker. Therefore, when he couldn't get his man for the world feed; he should have brought Mr. Parm into his inner circle so that at least Mr. Parm might've seen it thru "his" eyes. So Parm is NOT entirely to blame but LOCOG is for picking someone new (Boyle) to the workings of the IOC.

I agree.

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The fact that the other 3 London 2012 ceremonies were better than the Olympic Opening shows that Danny Boyle was the problem. The elements and segments of the Olympic Opening, we can only imagine how magical and spectacular they would have truly been if someone with a more ceremonial background had the reigns.

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The fact that the other 3 London 2012 ceremonies were better than the Olympic Opening shows that Danny Boyle was the problem. The elements and segments of the Olympic Opening, we can only imagine how magical and spectacular they would have truly been if someone with a more ceremonial background had the reigns.

A very subjective perception. I think Danny Boyle did a good job - and the Olympic opening was much better than the Paralympic ceremonies.

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I just watched the first part of the OC on the Olympic YouTube channel. Coverage was better than NBC. Some great moments, but it still didn't totally grab me. I only watched up to the Queen's entrance this time. Didn't care for much after that. Honestly, despite the improved coverage, it still wasn't holding my attention.

The part that made me cry was the Churchill statue. I love the Dambusters March too. Wonderful.

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I'm sometimes still humming the Dambusters March on my way to work. ;) And yes, it was a brilliantly staged scene, even if it had the little flaw that it apparently was daytime when they shot the scene of the Queen and James Bond leaping out of the helicopter - which didn't make sense of course, since it was already dark at that stage of the ceremony.

But apart from that, it was a goosebump moment when the helicopter approached the stadium for that final crescendo of the march and then, only a few seconds later, it was an incredibly funny moment when the "Queen" leaped out. That will certainly be a moment that will go down in Olympic opening ceremony history.

P.S. Regarding the Dambusters March: It was also used in a hilarious Carling Black Label commercial in the 1990s, making fun of us Germans and of course also of the war no one is allowed to mention since the days of Fawlty Towers (;)):

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OK, due to explanation of some who have posted here (particularly Adrian), I can now better understand the rationale behind including the NHS than I previously did - much more about a new chapter in Britain's unfolding history, rather than an out-of-place political statement (personally I think that the NHS is an excellent example of universal healthcare, but it's rather large and cumbersome and you'll get better care in the UK if you're prepared to pay for private treatment). But I don't understand why they focused at the end on one particular London hospital? (although my wife, as an ex-employee of Great Ormond St, loved it)

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@ OlympicNut,

J.M. Barrie ruled that all royalties of the book, play, movies et. et. from his "Peter Pan" go to the Great Ormond Street children hospital in April 1929.

That is the reason, why this hospital played a mayor role in the OC! Furthermore it is run by the NHS, today.

The british parliament even made a law in 1988 that for "Peter Pan" the normal end of copyright is not effective - normally the copyright ends 70 years after the death of the author... (Section 301, Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988)

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@ OlympicNut,

J.M. Barrie ruled that all royalties of the book, play, movies et. et. from his "Peter Pan" go to the Great Ormond Street children hospital in April 1929.

That is the reason, why this hospital played a mayor role in the OC! Furthermore it is run by the NHS, today.

The british parliament even made a law in 1988 that for "Peter Pan" the normal end of copyright is not effective - normally the copyright ends 70 years after the death of the author... (Section 301, Copyright, Designs and Patents Act 1988)

That's very interesting trivia.

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OK, due to explanation of some who have posted here (particularly Adrian), I can now better understand the rationale behind including the NHS than I previously did - much more about a new chapter in Britain's unfolding history, rather than an out-of-place political statement (personally I think that the NHS is an excellent example of universal healthcare, but it's rather large and cumbersome and you'll get better care in the UK if you're prepared to pay for private treatment). But I don't understand why they focused at the end on one particular London hospital? (although my wife, as an ex-employee of Great Ormond St, loved it)

When you grasp the idea that the Opening Ceremony really had the Great British modern Revolutions (industrial, social and technological) as its theme, the whole thing is easier to understand I think.

Perhaps it was just a problem that there seemed to be different themes and concepts spewing out of their arse, too many, and alot was lost in transmission. We had Isles of Wonder as an overarch, we had a *this is for everyone* concept, and I think they were alot more in your face than the actual thinking of portraying a celebration of revolutions.

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There were too many elements that were too disjointed.

That was pretty much it. The idea of ISLES OF WONDER was a great theme...I thought foreshadowing variety and inclusivity of 4 cultures that make up the UK today. Instead you got an underused, expensive meadow scene; a terrifc Pandemonium sequence where there just seemed to be TOO MUCH going on NOT conveyed properly to the televiewer; a great NHS performance (but what does ONE institution have to do with the Isles of Wonder?), some quirky comedic moments...and for me that's where it started to fall apart. The moments in themselves (Happy & Glorious, then Mr. Bean) were brilliant...and then moving into that terribly hackneyed, uninspired Frankie & June portion when it just seemed like the show had been hijacked by a junior "B" team.

My overarching feeling on the Opening was...Boyle tried to avoid the main avenue, say the Champs Elysees, in telling GB's story, and decided to try the side streets. Was it worth it? Why? And what happened to GB's previous brushes with Olympic history? What about UK's standing up to fight Hitler before the US and Russia could join the fight? Mr. Churchill was given short shrift and just glossed over. Those events were more important to me than the advent of rugby and Brunel, and those corny suffragettes, and Mr. Internet-founder and whatever comedic distractions he threw in there. Somewhere along the way, Boyle & team got lost in the sidestreets; and barely found their way back on the main tree-lined, avenue at the end.

Overall, it was a valiant attempt, but really missed the mark of telling GB's history at the start of a new century as it should've been; and it's too bad because the next chance might not happen for another 60 years.

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I agree with all the above. Well said.

Churchill's cameo may have been brief, but it was the most moving moment of the whole OC for me....

Thank you, AF.

And there's nothing wrong in telling the well-known chapters of history. As a matter of fact, the audiences, both the high-paying ones at the stadium and the billion or so around the world would probably have been more satisfied rather than mystified by the unorthodox path Boyle tried to take. And the Closing was very easy to take (even for a non-rock music fan like myself) because it wasn't afraid to tackle the subject but just made it swift and well-paced from one moment to the next.

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And what happened to GB's previous brushes with Olympic history? What about UK's standing up to fight Hitler before the US and Russia could join the fight?

Well, GB's Olympic history was represented in the "Chariots of Fire" segment with Mr. Bean - and that was a wise choice, since due to the movie and the famous theme music, it's probably the internationally best-known part of British Olympic history.

But laying more emphasis on World War II would have been very controversial. In an Olympic opening ceremony you usually don't show a major war the host country was involved in - the USA, for example, never did this either at their opening ceremonies. When you want to convey a message of global unity, you don't stress the differences that once were (or still are) between the nations.

Therefore, I think that the reference to the victims of all wars in the Pandemonium segment was very classy and internationally uncontroversial, just like the moments when the flagbearer stumbled respectively stopped his run at Athens 2004 when they called out the names of all Olympic host cities and mentioned World Wars I and II.

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Well, GB's Olympic history was represented in the "Chariots of Fire" segment with Mr. Bean - and that was a wise choice, since due to the movie and the famous theme music, it's probably the internationally best-known part of British Olympic history.

But laying more emphasis on World War II would have been very controversial. In an Olympic opening ceremony you usually don't show a major war the host country was involved in - the USA, for example, never did this either at their opening ceremonies. When you want to convey a message of global unity, you don't stress the differences that once were (or still are) between the nations.

Therefore, I think that the reference to the victims of all wars in the Pandemonium segment was very classy and internationally uncontroversial, just like the moments when the flagbearer stumbled respectively stopped his run at Athens 2004 when they called out the names of all Olympic host cities and mentioned World Wars I and II.

Nah. Sorry, Fab. I wasn't impressed by the presentation of those moments. Representing a "war" scene doesn't have to show the villains. It can simply show the stress and onslaught the host city of London was subjected to. The "Thundercloud" at the end of Atlanta's Summertime sequence represented the Civil War. And it's all under the heading of "theatre," so it's perfectly acceptable. Since Boyle was trying both new & old techniques, well, why not present a "blitzkrieg" scene where London was under attack and how the beleaguered citizens of London responded to their greatest test with resilience and fortitude? Surely, that response was something to be remembered, reenacted and be proud of...NOT some silly "texting" love story.

Re "Chariots of Fire"...don't even get me started on that.

#1 - Those were the Paris Games of 1924-- NOT London 1908 or 1948;

#2 - the whole 'conflict' in that film was disingenuous and manufactured by the screenwriter. Liddell KNEW months in advance that his crucial race was scheduled for a Sunday. So he wasn't faced with this soul-wrenching dilemma on the eve of the race. Giving any more play to that version than necessary just perpetuates a blatant falsehood.

I think the Queen's bored demeanor, in an unguarded moment, probably showed it all: I agreed to that wacky cameo entrance for this...on my probable final Olympics and Jubilee Year? :wacko:

I certainly don't blame the old gal, sporting as she was, for possibly feeling used.

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I suppose she was "used," but it was an unforgettable moment -- one of the best (if not the best) of the OC. She was a good sport to go along with it.

I agree that ANY attempt to consider Mr. Bean's Chariots of Fire performance a nod to London's previous Olympics is totally baseless to the point of being ridiculous.

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I suppose she was "used," but it was an unforgettable moment -- one of the best (if not the best) of the OC. She was a good sport to go along with it.

I agree that ANY attempt to consider Mr. Bean's Chariots of Fire performance a nod to London's previous Olympics is totally baseless to the point of being ridiculous.

Agreed re Chariots.

To be fair, I don't think that was the intention of the organisers either, it was a blatant tribute to British film and the Olympic theme movie made it appropriate.

I have learned to love alot of the London Opening that I didn't like before, little moments which I will appreciate more in years to come. However, I think one thing that will continue to bug is that it really did some quite disconnected from the Olympic Games.

I have been watching past Olympic ceremonies over the last week, going through dvds, and they all had something London missed - and that is the feeling that this is the opening of an Olympics.

London's felt abit more like a piece of stadium theatre, a stadium spectacular if you like, but apart from the obvious Olympic protocol, it just didn't seem connected to the Games of the 30th Olympiad.

I know alot of people are sick of the whole *run through time* concept, but it is a simple way of grounding the evening and nodding the cap to the Olympic movement.

There are plenty of ways that it can be displayed, and I just think it would have been worth taking time to do.

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I have been watching past Olympic ceremonies over the last week, going through dvds, and they all had something London missed - and that is the feeling that this is the opening of an Olympics.

London's felt abit more like a piece of stadium theatre, a stadium spectacular if you like, but apart from the obvious Olympic protocol, it just didn't seem connected to the Games of the 30th Olympiad.

Exactly. And I don't remember Boyle in any of the pre-Games interviews make any direct connection that that was what his show was building up to.

And as for maybe repeating the "timeline" templates of previous Ceremonies, so what? Maybe 500 or so of the paying 78,000 Opening Ceremony have been to at least another Opening. But the 95% of the audience haven't and, even if they had seen previous shows on TV, it's a totally different experience to see it live -- and it probably wouldn't have mattered one whit if it used the traditional linear timeline. Just the fact of having gotten a ticket and being in the stadium is a thrill enough.

LESSON to future OCs: do NOT hire hot, flavor-of-the-month auteurs who try to bend the show all-out-of-shape. Safer to go with those who have done at least ONE ceremony before. BTW, Matty, except for the Hakka portions, I really liked that Rugby 2011 Opening! Very dramatic, theatrical and indeed connected to the event at hand.

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Ah, only on gamesbid do you get the 'veterans' complaining about London's ceremony not being a good enough Olympic ceremony, whilst the rest of world two months later with their lives look back and consider it 'receiving near-universal acclaim' (as I take from wikipedia)

Get over it, London did things differently and people around the world thought it was amazing.

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I don't think that's a fair comment at all.

Atlanta did things differently, and we critique it . (some say too hokey and kitch)

Nagano did things differently, and we critique it. (some say dull and boring)

Athens did things differently, and we critique it. (some say too cold and lacking joy)

Beijing did things differently, and we critique it. (some say lacking soul).

London did things differently..... and we will critique it.

Seems to me it's that simple....... kinda how forums work I guess.

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Ah, only on gamesbid do you get the 'veterans' complaining about London's ceremony not being a good enough Olympic ceremony,

Only on GamesBids do you get a group of people interested and passionate enough about Olympic ceremonies to be able to critique and compare them. Like logos, graphics, architecture etc, it's what fascinates us.

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