3 Days to go!
Secret preparations were underway last night to practice the cauldron lighting for the Opening Ceremony. Of all secrets, this is the most secretive. The rehearsals went well and now we can only wait and hope. I am incredibly excited for tonight as we welcome a full audience once again (and final) time before the opening night. Everything must go well.
There is a lot of risk involved with this ceremony, and I am unbearably excited to hear the world's reaction. Even with all the preparation, if something isn't successful in the ceremony, then we will have to cut something. There is also a risk of going over our allotted production time, yet another means to cut segments. When it comes down to it, everything must be as perfect as possible, so the viewing audience of 4 billion can enjoy what is essentially a piece of live cinema in the world's most expensive and elaborate studio.
For those in the United States, the NBC commentators will get their first glimpse of the show tonight. And I have made several interviews in the last few days. If you are in KS, you may even see me on your local NBC affiliate before or after the ceremonies air.
I also wanted to mention, that whatever numbers are thrown around on the price-tag of this event, they are likely arbitrary. Keep in mind, the stadium, which is used only for the ceremonies, and all its technical attributes costs (according to the Moscow Times) in excess of $1 billion and the budget to maintain the mechanical elements, technical elements, costuming, and production of the ceremony and the budget to pay for professional performers and their accommodations together is several hundreds of millions of dollars. All-in-all, it may be impossible to put a number on the actual cost of these ceremonies, but what has already been spent in the production easily exceeds what Beijing (2008) spent several times over.
Click here to watch the Beijing 2008 Opening Ceremony, the current Olympic record holder for most expensive production in history.
Sochi will easily surpass this, but by how much? The actual cost for this ceremony is somewhere between $1.1 billion and $1.25 billion if you include the specially made venue. Second place, Beijing 2008 - $559 million. Third place, London 2012 - $546 million.
To put that into perspective, the most expensive film ever made was Pirates of the Caribbean: At World's End which had a budget of $300 million and was filmed over 18 months. The production of this ceremony likely exceeds the Disney movie's budget 4 times over and must be filmed in 4 hours.
The stress is intense. The show is spectacular. Wish us luck for our last dress rehearsal!