That’s right folks… “The Games of My Life” have begun. Opening ceremony was very cool to watch and once I did the math I figured out I had been at work for 19 hours straight and then I’m back today for 11 hours… Talk about a fun time.
When working events you get to a point where all you want is a good nights sleep, just lay down and sleep for 20 hours or so, problem is your body just gets used to no sleep and then it’s harder and harder to get to sleep.
Right, I was intending on writing about the opening ceremony so here goes. I’ve always watched events from backstage or with an eye for problems and possible solutions, last night I watched an event and didn’t pick it apart completely. I was on the other hand the peanut gallery with a group of people who know events but got the chance to actually watch the event as spectators, even got to watch it from a VIP level suite, comfy chairs, A/C and good company.
Before I get to ahead of myself and talk about the technical portion of the evening, let’s talk briefly about the lead up to the opening ceremony… Firstly it rained more that day then it has in three years, you can imagine the mayhem that caused. I’ve been here since April and considering I come from Seattle where it’s supposed to rain nine months out of the year, and here I am in the desert where the only time I’ve seen rain since moving here was on holiday in Thailand, seeing it piss it down was one of the coolest things ever. Yes I skipped in the rain… Lets also not forget the drive to the other side of the stadium to pick up towels to be used to dry off the stage and the fact that the drive there just happened to take us through the VIP / royal entrance of the stadium, which normally is no big deal unless the Emir is arriving at the same time we’re trying to drive across the space… Yes it just so happens as we’re motoring across in our little golf buggy the emir arrived and our buggy got commandeered by an emiri guard, not really sure why in the end but it was a fun ride. We got to arrive at the tail end of the emiri procession in a line of BMW’s and Mercedes, our little flat bed golf cart with an emiri guard, myself, four bags of towels and an Aussie in the back. You can’t help but laugh at the situation, I know we did.
The show breakdown was as follows:
1. 2500 people walk into the stadium FOP with torches and make a human Qatar National flag, and then they broke apart and spelled the words “Peace is upon you” in English and Arabic. Then all 2500 ran for the exits from the FOP.
2. Video screen explodes in light and sound; keep in mind this is the largest LED video screen in the world. The company that makes the product they used is called Element Labs, this company has an incredible product, very easy on the eyes and the resolution was fantastic for the size. If you have to use LED products in your event I highly recommend Element Labs, their product out performs all others I’ve seen so far.
3. Movement on the FOP from a guy on a boat, this part was unfortunately cut down as the weather was not cooperating last night, so the pearl diving sequence was cut from 9 boats hung from the rigging to a single boat on the FOP. Once the boat sequence was complete a large metal falcon, the hero’s friendly bird, swoops in on the rigging and picks up the hero to fly him to far away lands.
4. The far away lands are mainland Asia and on the field come caravans of people dancing around, at one point in time we all thought the cast with the larger costumes would fly away the wind was blowing so hard.
5. The caravans gave way to the hero’s girl back home singing and dancing and wishing he was home.
6. The hero gets onto a boat that all his new friends from Asia had helped him build and he sails home to his girl.
7. Hero gets, surprise surprise, a hero’s welcome when he returns and he and his family start planning the wedding.
8. Lots of horses come onto the field and run around as part of the ceremony, the horses they chose for this were very beautiful and “spirited” one of the horses almost lost its rider.
9. Once the horses are removed from the FOP the wedding is over and the hero ages enough to have a family, which he passes knowledge on to his son.
10. Now the Austin Powers moment happens, all these guys in shiny vests come running out with all these giant set pieces with people moving all over them.
11. Once the Austin Powers guys are finished with moving all the bits into place, a bunch of pyro goes off, flames spout up from the tops of the larger set pieces, it’s all timed to music. Then some on field fireworks go off, making everyone in the stadium Ooo and Ahh.
12. The Austin Powers moment ends with all the set pieces being removed from the FOP and the athlete parade begins.
13. The athlete parade felt as though it was rushed, and for good reason the show was a little behind at this point and the compression of the athlete parade allowed the show to look like it was going to end on time.
14. The athlete parade ends with the torch relay team showing up and running around the FOP. Then the hero horse shows up through a lift in the middle of the stadium. The hero horse and rider runs up to the last athlete with the torch and then runs up a ramp on the eastern stand, the horse almost doesn’t make it but at the last second the horse makes it to the top. At the top a large sun rises up, which is the cauldron for the games. As usual the cauldron is lit then the main pyro display goes off signaling the end of the opening ceremonies and the beginning of the games…
I’ll post some video and photos from the ceremony in the next couple of days… Right now I need sleep…