Dynamic Events: building a career in one-off events30 January 2012
“Ceremonies begin as dreams and adapt to the reality of physics and finances,” according to Ric Birch, founder of Spectak Productions, who has worked on Olympic opening ceremonies since 1984, and will be in charge of Rio 2016.
He told a well-attended Dynamic Events conference this morning that a large number of ideas have to be developed for each event, some of which aren’t used or, as in the case of Barcelona, fall apart. In that case, a set of five rings collapsed four-and-a-half weeks before the Games started, requiring a radical re-think.
Birch told delegates about dealing directly with the President of Mexico for its Bicentennial in 2010, and the corruption that bedevilled the Commonwealth Games in Delhi that year. The trials of several organisers, including a government minister, are pending. Despite the difficulties, the opening ceremony was a technical and creative success.
These one-off events are produced under such pressure, with unbreakable deadlines. “I find people with a television background are best,” Birch explained, as they are more used to such deadlines than theatre or movie people. Although “the production of these major events is not something you can plan to have a career in”, Birch has worked continually on them for more than a quarter of a century.