Friday, January 31, 2014

An Audience Awaits

6 Days to go!
TODAY is our first dress rehearsal with audience!

Today, we have our first dress rehearsal in front of an audience!  This will be our first actual dress rehearsal featuring all the elements that the actual production will detail with the exception of the super secret things!  Those will be rehearsed in secret, and will not be revealed until opening night.

It is very important to have an audience participate with us, because they are an essential part of the actual production.  For the last thirty years, audience members have received participation kits.  In a way, it is similar to going to Rocky Horror Picture Show without as many high heels and rock anthems of course.  To teach the audience, there are audience leaders in every section.  Among the cast, these are highly coveted jobs because they may the only cast members who are able to view the entire performance.  Many of the ensemble and leading cast members will stay in holding rooms, unable to view the actual show until it finds its way online.

Sydney 2000 Opening Ceremony kit - these are filled with specific colored scarves, glow sticks, lights, hats, and any number of things for the audience to use during specific segments of the ceremony.  They have provided a background for the production itself.  If tens of thousands of people use a glow stick at the same time, the effect is impressive. 

The Vancouver 2010 kit was a drum that could be played during a segment celebrating the first peoples of Canada
In 2012, one of the great innovation in London was the LED seat display.  A set of LED lights were attached to the seats and could be used by a computer to display any number of effects, much more detailed and brighter than anything seen before.

London 2012 LED lights attached to the seats created a giant LED screen covering the entire backdrop of the ceremonies
LED seat display in use at the London 2012 Opening Ceremony
And if your country is too talkative in their coverage of the Opening Ceremony and you would like to have a more "artistic" viewing experience, I will post the official video of the ceremonies, without interruption or commentary, on my blog as soon as I can - hopefully within 24 hours of the ceremony.

The dress rehearsal yesterday was an attempt to correct more technical issues.  Again, we had some recurring problems, and the rehearsal ran mighty long into the early morning as pyrotechnic devices were tested, any technical props were tested and re-tested, timing of segments were solidified, the official broadcasters practiced their camera positions and angles, and costumes were added for the first time.

It was a long, rainy, cold day here on the Black Sea.  Today, the sun is shining, the dolphins are baying like goats, and my lunch is waiting 5 kilometers away.  Everything is looking good for this first dress rehearsal in front of a packed house!  I am so excited mainly to see their complete shock at what will happen.  Every night, I go back to watch old ceremonies, especially recent ones, to see how different parts of their production were carried out.  I have to say, at this point, if everything goes well, the world is in for something very special on February 7.

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