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My name is Colleen and I find dead people.

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09 August, 2008

The Olympic Opening Ceremonies

Did you see the opening ceremonies of the Summer Olympics in Beijing? What did you think? I thought the show was spectacular. Such artistry, precision and meaning. However, I thought the camera coverage left soooo much to be desired. They showed way to much field-level views and not near enough aerial views.

Don't get me wrong, it's nice to see close-ups of the performers. Perhaps it's the old flag corps performer in me, but field-level camera angles take away the very essence of this type of performance. The whole point of field performances is to create an overall effect on the audience which is sitting in ascending bleachers in the air. Therefore, the performance is choreographed to showcase the effect of artistry, color, and precision from the air.

The camera angles of last night's performances took away from this essence, from the overall effect. Instead of seeing lots of overhead shots that showcased the precise and tandem movements of the drummers' arms and colorful sticks, they showed shots of a small group of performers and their smiles. Yes, it was nice to see. But the overall effect was lost to the television audience. Instead of showing an aerial view of the performers creating a landscape on a flattened screen to showcase the making of the artwork, they showed field level shots of the performers moving in what then appeared to be nothing more than a series of lines. The overall effect was lost.

The winners in the 2008 Summer Olympic Opening Ceremonies were the performers and the audience in the arena, who would have seen the overall effects of the performances and most likely would have truly been awe-inspired. The live audience is the target audience for such a performance, and I'm sure those who were there do not share my disappointment. However, with better camera placements, the television audience would have had a different yet similarly awe-inspiring experience.


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