MD3 – Week 5

Workshop Challenge

Collaboration on a Grand Scale

The opening ceremony for the London 2012 Olympic Games was held at the Olympic Stadium, London on Friday 27thJuly. It started at 9pm, continued for nearly 4 hours and was watched by an estimated audience of 900 million!

I personally watched the event on the television, and I felt very proud to be British. There was so much to see and take in. I’m sure if you were lucky enough to be there live – it must have been amazing!

But where would you begin in deciding what to create for such an event and how would you go about making a start

The London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games starting by asking film director Danny Boyle (Trainspotting, Slumdog Millionaire) to be the creative director for the opening ceremony in June 2010, which he accepted.

Boyle initially got a small team together comprising of Designer Mark Tildesley, Writer Frank Cottrell-Boyce and Costume Designer Suttirat Anne Larlarb and set about thinking what made ‘Britain’ British and with ‘Larlarb’ being American, she offered a view on what the world thought Britain meant.

There were many collaborations on this project from working with choreographers, visual effects designers and lighting designers to engineers, celebrities and stunt doubles!

But the collaboration I admired the most, was with the people who volunteered (around (7,500 from across the world) and the children that were selected from 25 schools in the East London ‘host’ boroughs which, along with professionals, made up the cast for the ceremony.

It was wonderful to watch children jumping on beds and dancing around the stadium along with NHS workers and other members of the public playing their parts with incredible excitement and enthusiasm – whom I’m sure will never forget being part of Olympic history.

Like a football manager believes in his team, I think Boyle and his team had every faith in the volunteers to perform to the best of their ability and keep all the details of the event secret!

If you believe in someone who is passionate about a project, their excitement and enthusiasm can be infectious. You want to be a part of that project yourself and help them in any way you can.

The opening ceremony was a huge success, reviews commented “It was about real people”, “It made me addicted to patriotism”, “Bonkers, but Brilliant bonkers” and “It really was sensational”.

I am pretty sure Danny Boyle had many a sleepless night working on this incredibly large project but when you collaborate with the right people who have the right skills or just people that want to help you achieve your goals – anything is possible, no matter how grand!

Collaboration on a Grand Scale