Tensions Rise as Danny Boyle's Olympics Opening Ceremony Draws Near (Report)

1:50 AM PST 07/19/2012 by Stuart Kemp
Samir Hussein/Getty Images

Creatives from the film director's camp have clashed with Olympic Broadcasting Services crews over camera placements as organizers have shortened the show.

LONDON – Preparations by Oscar winning director Danny Boyle for his London 2012 Olympics opening ceremony are encountering choppy waters.

According to a report in The Guardian, rehearsals for Boyle's much-vaunted £27 million ($42 million) opener named Isles of Wonder, a reference to a Shakespearean speech from The Tempest, have been knocked by tensions between the filmmaker's crew and the Olympic Broadcasting Services.

The reported spat is between Boyle's crew and the OBS which is responsible for the pool feed used by international broadcasters.

The OBS supply most of the footage during the Games with certain hand-picked broadcasters who have the rights in specific territories – the BBC in the U.K. and NBC in the U.S. – allowed to place their own cameras in certain locations to follow the action for their own specific audiences.

Boyle has his own creative team for the opening ceremony but while organizers told The Guardian that the teams were “working very well together,” a source told the newspaper that extra security has been placed around Boyle’s trailer due to strained relations.

One person described the atmosphere at the rehearsals for the opening ceremony as "miserable.”

Boyle “is not filming a sporting event. He is a creative and he is trying to create something that is like a drama, which is why he brought in his own people,” the person reportedly said. Independent production company Done and Dusted is providing the creative coverage of the opening and closing ceremonies, but OBS will film the athletes’ entrance.

As far as the BBC is concerned, the two are separate sections for its televised coverage.

According to The Guardian, Boyle wanted to bring in 30 cameras, but has not been able to place them.

An International Olympic Committee spokesperson told The Guardian, “It wouldn’t surprise me if there was creative tension ahead of one of the world’s most watched TV events.”

OBS told the newspaper it was doing its best to accommodate Boyle’s team but that the matter was one for the London Olympic organizing committee.

That committee told The Guardian simply that “there are no tensions.”

Organizers confirmed a stunt bike sequence had been cut to “make sure the show comes in on time.”

The London 2012 Olympics kicks off Friday, July 27.

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