Fashion Trends and News on Style
London Calling: How do you feel now 2012 is here
Danny Boyle: In truth, I feel completely overwhelmed, like I’ve bitten way more off than I can chew all the time, but it’s such an amazing honour to be involved. There are a huge number of people involved who are better than me at organizing such things; I’m so happy they’re working with me on this or we could have problems.
Let’s be honest – it’s very much a team effort, and we will celebrate that. It’s an amazing responsibility that I said ‘yes’ to straight away. In hindsight, a little more thought may have been better spent in the decision process. I still would have said ‘yes’, but I think the giddy moment took over before I considered the practicalities of something so big.
But I’m a huge sports fan, I live in the East End, I had to say yes, it just felt so right.
It gives me a very vague sense that I’m like an athlete for a moment, because I never was. It gives you an illusion, a mirage like you’re an elite athlete in training.
I’m under strict instructions as to what I can or can’t say, but we’ve just finished auditioning the 15,000 people who’ve volunteered to perform in the opening ceremony show. That was a major point, and it’s a relief to be past it.
LC: How big is this project
DB: It’s a huge logistical process ‘ the biggest ever. So we’re auditioning and then slowly moving towards rehearsing with performers in the spring. The scale is just preposterous. I’ll admit, I really had no idea how many people have to be involved in something like this. But on audition day, it was wonderful, the spirit all round was incredible. It was the Olympic spirit reinvented through the very seeds of an artistic idea.
I know a lot has been said about the budget, but every element is going as well as we could have hoped. We had an expectation in terms of how we’d approach ideas, but really, naively, there are so many factors to do with the games that you cannot anticipate. It’s a logistical maze.
I could talk to you forever about the starting times, why it isn’t earlier, why it isn’t later ‘ there are all these issues to deal with. It’s going to be at the most reasonable time we could come up with when dealing with all the factors really. There is always an issue with athletes who are on very elite training programmes, and whose appearance at the Games has been worked up to for four years, or more. They want to get themselves to bed at a certain hour, that’s their priority. So for a huge event like the Opening Ceremony, I’ve asked them all to be a part of it – but I know not every athlete can be, and I understand that.
LC: What approach to the opening ceremony are you taking in terms of artistic direction
DB: Well, something totally different. We search our temperaments and try to match them with the right budget, but I don’t think the UK could quite top the spectacular theatrics of 2008 in Beijing. That would be unfeasibly foolish, because it was just such a huge, astonishing spectacle. But I should be clear ‘ we aim to better it.
Sure, Beijing was the summit of a specific type of show. There was so much to see, so much to embrace ‘ culture, art and sport intertwining like the now famous ‘Bird’s Nest’ stadium in China, but really it would be slightly crude to try to top an event like that. We’d be chasing highs for the sake of it.
What we have in front of us is an opportunity to bring something new and fresh. We’ll leave imitation to one side. Let’s make a mark on the Olympic Games that will follow.
Sport is about young people, encouraging them to participate, encouraging them to succeed. That’s what I want the ceremony to represent. That’s the message I want to get out there.