Maybe the most interesting thing about experiencing the ceremonies live is all the stuff you don't see on the TV broadcasts. That includes good and bad. Some of the bad? The ordeal of just getting there--starting with figuring out how to get tickets and planning a trip to the host city. But also getting there the day of the event. We left our hotel more than three hours before the ceremonies started just to make sure we could manage all the crowds, get through security, and be in our seats for the audience rehearsal.
But that's where the good starts; the audience rehearsal. That's when you start to realize that this is going to be one great big party. I will say that the Vancouver audience didn't pay close enough attention and kind of screwed up several of the planned visual effects, particularly the candles during K. D. Lange's brilliant performance. It's too bad because I think the planned effect would have been really cool.
I gotta give Vancouver props for being the first city to have to perform an opening ceremonies after Beijing. And if you can't dazzle them with a cast of perfectly-synced millions (maybe not literally but it seemed like it), then dazzle them with your technology. And I have to say the projection technologies used for this show were amazing. I watched the rebroadcast later and the projections looked cool on TV, but nothing like they did in person. The whales were amazing. And I loved the kid running on the wheat fields; it was like something from the mind of Salvador Dali or a Magritte painting.
I could go on but instead I'll share a few photos and very short videos from the event.
The entire audience wore these uncomfortable ponchos. But the end result was cool since we served as another projection surface. (Side note: This really doesn't feel like a winter olympics. The weather is so spring-like that I might call them the Vancouver Spring Games. But inside a covered stadium and under these hot ponchos we could have been at a summer olympics.)
K.D. Lange was amazing live. And since we seemed to be seated in the lesbian section of the opening ceremonies, there was some extra enthusiasm for the performer. The way the candles were supposed to work? The projection on the floor was supposed to slowly creep out from K.D.'s stage and then turn into our lit candles when it hit the audience and then slowly spread up the sides of the entire stadium. But people just couldn't wait to turn on their candles. Too bad.
And now a couple of videos. And you'll have to excuse my bad video quality but it was really hard to film when there is so much going on. Maybe the best part of being at the OC live is how crazy it is in the crowd. TV doesn't even come close to capturing how great the live sound is (it almost sounded fake on the rebroadcast) and the crowd sound is totally overwhelming. Particularly when we were all beating our cardboard drums as directed by the audience leaders:
And give a crowd of some 60,000 people LED flashlights with different covered filters and the effects are absolutely mesmerizing.