posted on Monday, 30th July 2012 by Steve May
The Opening Ceremony to the London 2012 Olympics may have seen director Danny Boyle's artistic vision widely celebrated, but the audio visual execution of the event itself deserves particular praise. Luckily, Inside CI attended the event and we can report first hand that it was a technical tour de force. From the clarity of the giant LED screens, to the sound system in the stadium, this was an Olympic ceremony that used AV unlike any other that has gone before.
One entire sequence, the Frankie & June musical house segment, hung on the effectiveness of Panasonic's new PT-DZ21K ultra-high brightness projectors. It was these that threw images of musicians and bands, as well as architectural projection mapping effects, onto the surface of the inflatable which was the centre-piece of the sequence. The 20,000 lumens 3-chip DLP projectors created images that were clearly visible to the 60,000 in attendance. The projectors also put their new geometric adjustment function to good use - it was this which allowed projected images to 'wrapped' to the surface of the pop-up house.
Although the ceremony itself was shot and broadcast in 3D, using Panasonic AG-3DP1 cameras, the 3D effects within the stadium were less successful. Upon arrival, everyone was given anaglyph cardboard glasses; these were to be used during a key sequences of the dance routine. However, they proved ineffectual and no 3D effect was detectable - the only consequence was that the projected image became an unwatchable double image for a short period.
By contrast, the giant LED screens deployed in the Olympic Stadium provided images of astonishing clarity. The Mr Bean Chariots of Fire sequence was characterised by deep blacks and enormous detail, particularly when the camera pulled in for a (very) big close up of Rowan Atkinson's mug, while the Daniel Craig/Her Madge Bond sequence enjoyed blockbuster rich colour fidelity.
The sound quality in the stadium was similarly outstanding. A 360 degree deployment of speaker banks were suspended before the seating tiers, effortlessly delivering subtle birdsong during the build-up to the Green & Pleasant Land opening sequence, before blowing the roof off (figuratively speaking) during the Industrial Revolution/Pandemonium segment. The sound system was reportedly rated at a million watts. Live, the sound levels during that episode were certainly immense. Somehow, the technicians managed to pressure load the huge stadium with tangible deep bass, as Dame Evelyn Glennie led her percussive army of drummers. The visceral excitement that this engendered never made it across to the television audience, but for those of us in the audience it was absolutely spine-tingling. The total cost for the event was reportedly £27m.
Boyle's Isles Of Wonder was doubtless go down in history as one of the most entertaining and eccentric Olympic Opening Ceremonies ever - but it was also one of the most technically accomplished.
Steve is a veteran of the UK consumer electronics
industry, having covered it for
various media outlets for more than 20 years.
posted by Steve May
AWE named Factory Supplier of control and AV to Formula One teamMore...
posted by David Slater
New media, data and USB charging range matches sockets and switchesMore...