I never paid much attention to the Olympics before but Jennilyn’s excitement got me watching the opening ceremonies. As I thought about it, being in Beijing and hosted by China, the opening ceremonies would be a fantastic party. So I was somewhat excited to see what China had prepared to start off the Olympic games. What a show they pulled off!
With a budget rivaling major movie productions (300 million dollars), China picked their best director to orchestrate the opening ceremonies: Zhang Yimou. The name sounded familiar and Jennilyn guessed it right as the director of “Hero,” one of the most beautiful movies we have ever seen. I was impressed from that point forward and expected a great show, considering the amazing cinematography in “Hero.”
Here were my personal favorite moments:
- 2008 drummers doing a countdown to the evening’s events.
- Unbelievable fireworks at every opportunity, especially the footsteps to the birds nest, which was the nickname of stadium.
- Repeated moments of incredible symbolism:
- Using groups of 2008 performers per act.
- Well, starting the Olympics on 8/8/08.
- Using opposites: light to dark, 2D to 3D.
- The humongous LED screen that appeared to be forever-rolling scroll.
- The Chinese printing blocks symbolizing the Great Wall coming down and China opening up to the world.
- The Chinese blocks opening up and discovering that they were not animated by technology, but by people!! Amazing synchronization!
- All the Tai Chi students running and forming different formations.
- Lighting of the torch, which used the scrim of the upper portion of the birds nest, it spun together in the last 30 minutes of the show, unknowing to the audience.
Throughout the show, what impressed me over and over again was the way Zhang Yimou orchestrated people as part of the show rather than on relying soley on technology. It was a beautiful theme throughout. I think being a geek in technology, I sometimes forget the magic that comes from people rather than technology.
If you didn’t get a chance to see the ceremonies, there is a video stream online. You’ll want to get comfortable, as it is an hour long. But since it was a live show, it was even more amazing.