Spectacular Ceremony Opens India’s Commonwealth Games
Spectacular Ceremony Opens India’s Commonwealth GamesPosted Dec 13, 2010 News | event profile
Much of the world’s attention was focused on India in early June as more than 6,000 athletes from 71 countries descended on New Delhi to compete in the Commonwealth Games, an Olympics-type event for members of the Commonwealth of Nations.
In addition to the athletes, reporters, spectators and trainers who attended the event, was an army of designers, producers and more than 9,000 performers who were brought in to produce the spectacular opening ceremony.
Up, Up and Away
The centerpiece for the ceremony, which was held at the refurbished Kawaharial Nehru Stadium in front of more than 60,000 people, was the world’s largest helium balloon, or aerostat. Measuring 262 feet wide and 131 feet long, the aerostat was manufactured in London at a cost of more than $10 million. More than 30 Barco projectors beamed hi-resolution images on the aerostat throughout the show. The imagery was researched and produced by Prime Focus, a global visual entertainment services company with offices in India, the U.K and North America.
Prime Factor worked closely with the main creative team of the Games including Wizcraft Entertainment and creative consultants Bharat Bala of BharatBala Productions. One of the challenges for Prime Focus was working on the images in four parts to meet the enormous 15,000 pixels by 960 pixels resolution that was needed. Also, the amount of light at show time had an impact on the process, requiring that during production, the monitors had to be set at 50 percent brightness to recreate the live conditions. The developers also experimented with the colors to make them as vibrant as possible.
Tree of Knowledge
The extravaganza included multiple performances showcasing India’s colorful history and diverse culture, from dancers and drummers to a train with giant turbans, performing tradesmen and horn speakers. One of the highlights of the show was a segment called the Tree of Knowledge. The aerostat transformed into an illusion of the sacred Bodhi Tree, which is where Siddhartha Gautama, the spiritual teacher and founder of Buddhism, was said to achieve enlightenment. The seasons of the tree changed as dancers on the field made their appearance. At the moment of enlightment, the aerostat became a brightly glowing projection of Guantam Buddah in the center.
Remaining true to the culture meant a lot of research for the Prime Focus team. “We did extensive research on various art forms, dance forms and India’s cultural heritage to get a better understanding of the rich culture of the country,” said Merzin Tavaria, chief creative director at Prime Focus.
Barco projectors threw intense images on the aerostat.
A dazzling special effect, complete with legions of costumed dancers.
A human train paraded India’s history and heritage.
An awe-inspiring Buddha.