BBC Olympics Opening Ceremony 2012: Chariots

Client – LOCOG & BBC

Director: Danny Boyle

TV Production Company: Done & Dusted

DI Producer: Helle Absalonsen

Colourist: Adam Glasman

Assistant Online Editor: Gareth Bishop

Online Editor: Tom Balkwill

Live International Broadcast, 2012

Watch Rowan Atkinson perform under the guise of his famous character Mr. Beanat the Opening Ceremony on the Olympic channel.

Danny Boyle’s Opening Ceremony films went through Digital Intermediate by Dirty Looks.

The work happened in Stratford over three weeks leading up to the big night, installing our Baselight, Avid, Speedgrade and other workstations into a grading room custom built into the bowels of the Olympic stadium for the project of a lifetime. Adam Glassman kindly took time away from another Daniel Craig project, to come in and grade Boyle’s primary Olympic Opening Ceremony films for an estimated worldwide audience of over a billion people.

Shot on a wide variety of formats, including 35mm Fuji film, One Cam, Alexa, HD Cam and Canon 1D stills, the films were an important part of Boyle’s thrilling and unique vision of GB to the world. James Bond collected the Queen from Buckingham Palace, and co-starred in Her Royal Highness’ acting debut. This was followed with the much publicised (but previously top secret) jump from the helicopter into the Olympic Park. We also saw Mr Bean day-dreaming himself into a scene from Chariots of Fire, which included scenes from the original film scans inter-cut with footage re-created especially with Rowan Atkinson. Also featured was a huge soap-opera inspired dance act, celebrating Britain’s incredible pop music heritage and implying Britain’s second Industrial Revolution via the internet’s creator Tim Berners-Lee. This was a thrilling symphony of live theatre, perfectly timed pre-recorded interiors, live projection-mapping, lighting, millions of audience pixels through the stadium, pyrotechnics and lighting, acrobatics, and of course thousands of volunteer dancers.

The films were Directed by Danny Boyle, commissioned By Nicolas Brown, BBC Director of UK Drama Production, Produced by Lisa Osborne and Line Produced by Joanna Gueritz from the BBC. Stunning VFX work for the opening Isles of Wonder films and various other shots provided by Adam Gascoyne, Tim Caplan and co at Union VFX. Live projection mapping and the incredible pixel technology were animated and engineered by Leo Warner and team at 59 Productions. Producer Tracey Seaward and Line Producer Joan Schneider steered the project on behalf of LOCOG, with main Offline editing from Sascha Dhillon. Dirty Looks’ Helle Absalonsen DI Produced our work, with Tom Balkwill and Gareth Bishop providing Online editing, additional grading, HDCam SR tape mastering and engineering services.