What did it look like from the ground floor of then London Opening Ceremonies? One of the performers in the Industrial Revolution segment of the show built a camera into his costume to give YouTube viewers a look at what it was like to be a performer — which, from the looks of it, mostly involved hauling heavy mats and coordinated walking up and down stairs.
The video shows the anxious few moments before the performers entered, when they get the best view of the enormity of the stadium and the thousands of camera flashes going off in the audience. You also get a good view of their costumes, which are more detailed than initially meets the eye, and the on-set assistants, who help the performers meet their cues. The undercover cameraman performs a few dance moves, but much of his routine involves hauling set pieces and remembering complicated walking patterns. Nevertheless, seeing the immensity of the production, as well as the nervousness and excitement on the performers’ faces as they bang their drums, is inspiring.
Style writer Dan Zak called this portion of the production “The Ceremonies’ most audacious segment” before “things got slapdash.” “Towering smokestacks rose from the ground and a river of fake molten steel flowed to form a glowing Olympic ring, which ascended to the sky as four more rings flew in from the edges of the stadium to form the Games’ logo. The effect was stunning and unified,” wrote Zak.
“I want to give everyone a taste of what it was like to be involved in such an amazing experience!” wrote YouTube user “eye wasthere.” You’d better watch it quickly: “If the International Olympic Committee, or Danny Boyle ask me to take this down then I will fully oblige. The Olympics is for everyone, and I hope showing my point of view would be appreciated by those who weren’t quite as fortunate as myself to actually perform in this once in a lifetime experience.”