London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic Ceremonies

By 23rd July 2015News
Titanium Fireworks Professional Displays

It is now three years since the London 2012 Olympic and Paralympic games, and the four amazing and very different ceremonies, the opening and closing for the Olympic and Paralympic games. Prior to setting up Titanium Fireworks the four directors, Darryl, Simon, Toby and Ian can claim one of their proudest and greatest achievements was to design, project management and deliver the four ceremonies.

Darryl Fleming was the overall project manager and creative lead responsible for the design and choreography of all four ceremonies, assisted by Toby Alloway who also produced the simulations. For the technical and delivery aspects, Darryl was principally in charge of the Olympic Stadium which encompassed 56 firing positions on the outside compression truss, 54 firing positions on the inner gantry firing over the field of play and 14 lighting Paddles some 65 metres high. Toby mean while oversaw the Olympic Park which consisted of 75 front positions along 1.2 kilometres of the river Lea, 5 barges, the Arcelor Mittal Orbit and the riverside sequence for the final journey of the Olympic Torch. Toby was also responsible for designing and project managing the Tower Bridge sequence which saw a waterfall drop form the bascules of the bridge and a pyrotechnic sequence fired form the upper walkway which was created to celebrate the moment David Beckham accompanied the Olympic Torch from City Hall to the Olympic Park.

Darryl-in-control-1

Simon was responsible for much of the pre-production and logistics looking after the crew welfare, accommodation, transport, storage and scheduling. Ian meanwhile was responsible for overseeing the marine aspect of the event as well as assisting Darryl with the design and fabrication of the bespoke rigging methods for the Olympic stadium.

Much of what was seen in front of the camera was broadcast to over 1 billion people, what is not so well documented is the technical details behind the scenes which allowed the firework and pyrotechnic element of the ceremonies to be created.

Facts and Figures

  • The Olympic Stadium required 8.5km of shielded data cable to network 145 FireOne firing modules.
  • 25,000 single shot stadium pyrotechnic units were fired across the four ceremonies from the Olympic Stadium.
  • Fixings and pyro holders were installed in June and de rigged after the closing ceremony of Paralympic Games in mid-September, the FireOne modules and cradles were in place for nearly 4 months during which time approximately 350mm of rain fell.
  • Nearly 80,000 cable ties were used to rig the pyrotechnic units during the ceremonies, the cost of cable ties alone was £4,000,
  • A total of 1,200 days were spent in pre-production and delivering the event, the install, set up, load in, reload and de rig, from start to finish was 18 weeks, 50 pyrotechnicians were required for the Olympic Opening Ceremony alone.
  • A total of 350 FireOne field modules were used to fire approx. 10,500 cues in just under 4 minutes for the Olympic Opening Ceremony.
  • Each pyrotechnician had to undergo the Accreditation process, 2 training sessions and 4 inductions before they were allowed within the ceremonies compound and the stadium, this process took 5 days each per person.
  • As the pyrotechnics were rigged on the roof as much as three weeks prior to the opening ceremony, the roof of the Stadium had to be licensed under the Manufacturing and Storage of Explosives Regulations in order that we complied with the law.
  • Across the four ceremonies, we designed and choreographed sequences to live performances by some of the country’s greatest bands including, The Arctic Monkey’s, Queen, Take That, The Who and Coldplay.