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Thoughts on Olympic opening ceremonies


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Okay folks, just finished watching the opening ceremonies of the Olympics. Since it went long, my durned PVR cut off the last half hour, and I had to watch the end on the web.

So, what's your thoughts on the performances, direction, scope, technical aspects, story telling, etc? I quite liked it, though, as often is the case, things did tend to drag at times. Especially the parade of nations. I, like most people who PVR'ed it, probably fast forwarded it a lot until it came to their country and a few other countries I wanted to watch enter.

I'm not convinced the whole NHS stuff worked at all.

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Wrong... Sir Paul didn't lip sync... it was live.. he was clearly overcome with emotion.

I have to say the opening ceremony for the Olympics was the most amazing spectacle I have ever seen. Totally amazing!

Well done, London!

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As Dude says, it wasn't lip syncing; the problem was timing differences between the video and the audio, how and when they were recorded then sent out to those of us not in the UK. That's the kind of technical screw up that shouldn't happen but does very often these days.

Colin :icon_geek:

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I've noticed that sometimes on the news channels, when someone in New York or DC is interviewing someone by satellite there are delays of several seconds which often mess up the responses.

As for the ceremonies, incredible. How they were able to transform the stadium from bucolic England to the Industrial England and then to the NHS tribute and onward was amazing. It was so much better than the government-engineered propaganda fest in Beijing in '08. It was awe-inspiring.

I particularly enjoyed Her Majesty and Daniel Craig parachuting into the stadium. Pretty impressive for the old girl! (Yes I know it was a double). Though it was pretty cool of her to participate in the beginning of the segment. I understand that in private, she has a very wicked sense of humor. And, the signing choir who sang and signed "God Save the Queen" was wonderful.

Between the Jubilee and now The Olympics, Britain has shown the world they really know how to throw a party!

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And I hope Camy got to see what he wanted to without commercial interruptions, which I found to be badly timed and usually inappropriate. Spectacles, by their very nature, should be broadcast in the whole and without someone exercising a judgement that is especially suspect from the start if it originates from NBC headquarters. I have already resigned myself to being victimized by American broadcasters deciding for me what olympic games I will be allowed to see, and what inane chatter I will be forced to listen to.

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Well, now that you mention it ... I found the NBC narration annoying at best... at least they hit some of the pronunciations better than they usually do but their scripted political side comments were unnecessary and unwelcome in such a setting. At least they were 'scripted' as the sports types they hire seldom have any idea about anything outside their narrow focus.

The Queen was clearly the star of the show in many ways. And her going along with the James Bond skit was a stroke of genius!

Long live the Queen! (Sorry, Elton, the other queen)

Mike

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I remember back in the Dark Ages, ABC used to do the Olympics back in the 60's and 70's and their coverage was in the great tradition of Roone Arledge and Wide World of Sports, not NBC's attempts to turn their coverage into episodes of Oprah. But, NBC's had a monopoly on the Olympics for so long that few people remember when ABC did it the way it was supposed to be done.

I believe there is someone at AD who is an ABC alum and may have known the great Roone Arledge!

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I believe there is someone at AD who is an ABC alum and may have known the great Roone Arledge!

Guilty as charged!

Roone was always the consummate broadcaster who brought out the best in all of us. It was considered the ultimate accomplishment to get one his telegrams, faxes or later emails praising your performance... I was recipient of many for the efforts I made to keep us in there the first Olympics ABC didn't host in ages, the Seoul Games in 1988 where NBC dedicated four staff on the ground to black us (ABC) from getting any satellite uplinks or venue access to cover the games as 'news.' My connections with Korean broadcasters and the Korean Olympic Committee, developed over years as reporter, producer and bureau chief for ABC in Seoul, yielded enough good results to earn me a record number of 'HeroGrams' from Roone.

The demise of ABC Sports and later ABC News came at the hands of Disney head, Michael Eisner... still referred to by old ABC alums as 'Mickey Louse.'

Thanks's for jostling some great memories for me, FreeThinker!

Mike

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Wrong... Sir Paul didn't lip sync... it was live.. he was clearly overcome with emotion.

We're both right. The real live broadcast in Europe and the U.K. showed Paul clearly singing with an accompanying "guide track" (as they say in the music world), and the mix screwed up and you could hear his voice doubled in certain places. Paul's contract specified that any subsequent rebroadcasts had to be approved by him, so before the show was replayed in America, they fixed the mix, dropped out the bad parts, and cleaned it up as best they could. His excuse was that he was momentarily overwhelmed by the enormity of the broadcast, but he recovered pretty well.

Hey, for a 70-year-old rocker, he did a pretty good job.

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I watched the whole thing on BBC TV (no commercial breaks) and was very impressed. I didn't see the Beijing ceremony four years ago so can't compare, but commentators clearly think it set the bar high, and that the London ceremony surpassed it, so well done London! It must have been a wonderful experience for the audience in the stadium (who were not merely passive but took part, by holding aloft blue silk at one point, and operating lighting panels at others) but the TV coverage, at least here in the UK, was first rate and had the advantage of close-ups which the live audience would have got only from the big screens at the corners of the stadium.

I noticed Paul McCartney's sync problem, just at the beginning of his set, and put it down to a backing track being started at the wrong moment, so that a recorded track of his own voice could be heard about a beat or two ahead of the live McCartney singing. Whether the error was his or the backroom boys' I couldn't tell, but as others have commented he recovered well and went on to play the audience brilliantly - and bravely, he would have looked a right prat if he'd yelled 'sing along now, come on... Na, na na na-na-na nah!' - and nobody had responded!

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