For the opening ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics, movie director Danny Boyle said he’s aiming for intimacy rather than spectacle. “We wanted to make the feel of the opening ceremony … intimate and personal,” he said in an interview today. The anticipated TV audience of a billion viewers is important, “but we wanted the 80,000 people who were lucky enough to be in there to be the conduit through which you feel this experience.” The ceremony will be called “Isles of Wonder” and it will involve a big bell and lots of nurses. The nurses are part of a tribute to the National Health Service, and the title was inspired by William Shakespeare’s The Tempest. A specially cast bell will ring out to signal the start of the opening ceremony. The bell will be inscribed with Caliban’s line in The Tempest: “Be not afear’d; the isle is full of noises.”
Fellow film director Stephen Daldry, creative director for all the Games ceremonies, said the opening show would project “a journey which will celebrate who we are, who we were and who we wish to be.” The title “allows us to celebrate the rich heritage, diversity, energy, inventiveness, wit and creativity that truly defines the British Isles.” Daldry noted that even doubling the original ceremonies budget to $125.8 million “London will be spending a lot less, considerably less, than was spent in the last two summer games.” London 2012 chair Sebastian Coe added that TV advertising and other revenue from the ceremonies was estimated to be worth between $6.3 billion and $7.86 billion.