London Olympics: A Tempest Surrounding Danny Boyle's Opening Ceremony?

You have to wonder if London 2012 organizers are whispering to each other, “Be careful what you wish for.” With the weather still a question mark after weeks of inclemency comes a report that Danny Boyle’s opening ceremony has hit a rough patch – along with news that UK border staff are threatening a walk out on the eve of the Games. Rehearsals for Boyle’s £27M July 27 curtain-raiser, titled Isles of Wonder in reference to a speech in Shakespeare’s The Tempest, have been disrupted by strife between Boyle and the Olympic Broadcasting Services, The Guardian reports. Boyle’s own crew is said to be clashing with that of the OBS which is responsible for the pool feed used by international broadcasters. Although organizers told The Guardian that the teams were “working very well together,” a source told the paper that extra security has been placed around Boyle’s trailer due to strained relations. The atmosphere “is miserable” one person told The Guardian. 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. 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.” Passing the baton, so to speak, 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, which in turn contended, “There are no tensions.” Organizers confirmed a stunt bike sequence had been cut to “make sure the show comes in on time.”

Meanwhile, members of a union representing more than half of the UK Border Force have voted in favor of strike action over jobs and pay, The Telegraph reports. Immigration lines at Heathrow and other ports of entry to the UK are a nightmare at the best of times (I’ve personally had to wait over 2.5 hours on occasion). If staff walks out, it could create a bottle neck for the hundreds of thousands of visitors expected to travel to the UK for the Games. According the The Telegraph, Immigration Minister Damian Green called the proposed action, “vindictive,” saying, “Any action that disrupts the Olympics will be completely unacceptable and the public will not support it.”

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