london — Lights, camera, action ... Cut!
Not the words director Danny Boyle was hoping to shout just days before the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
But the Oscar-winning director of “Slumdog Millionaire” has been forced to trim parts of the ceremony – including removal of a stunt bike sequence – to make sure the show finishes on time and spectators can get home before public transportation shuts down.
London organizers said Boyle was “tightening” the ceremony by up to 30 minutes to ensure the show, scheduled for three hours, concludes between midnight and 12:30 a.m.
“This is like any other piece of film you would make, things end up on the cutting-room floor,” London organizing committee spokeswoman Jackie Brock-Doyle said.
The ceremony, with a cast and crew of 10,000, is set for July 27 in the 80,000-capacity stadium in east London and be watched by a global television audience expected at 1 billion.
Brock-Doyle said a 3-4 minute sequence featuring stunt bikes has been deleted from the show but the riders will be paid and credited anyway.
Boyle is making other changes, too, to keep within the time frame.
“It has been an evolution,” she said.
LAWMAKERS SLAM ORGANIZERS
Confidence in the London Olympics has been undermined by the security contractor’s failure to supply enough guards, a U.K. parliamentary committee said Thursday in a damning report of the games’ organizers and the government.
The Public Accounts Committee expressed concern that the security firm G4S had already received public money to supply guards – even though it hasn’t yet delivered. Britain’s government will deploy an additional 3,500 servicemen at the games after G4S failed to recruit all of the 10,400 private security guards it had promised to protect 100 Olympic-related venues.
The committee expressed its dismay at the turn of events, which comes less than a year after the London organizing committee (LOCOG) had to admit they had badly miscalculated the number of Olympic guards needed in the first place.
In a parliamentary hearing broadcast live in Britain, the chief executive of G4S acknowledged Tuesday that his company’s failure to hire enough Olympic security guards had embarrassed the nation. The military then had to race to the rescue only days before the games start July 27.
SEMENYA TO FLY FLAG
Caster Semenya will carry South Africa’s flag at the opening ceremony of the London Olympics.
The 21-year-old Semenya was given the honor Wednesday for her first Olympics, three years after she was embroiled in a gender-test controversy that threatened her career. She is a former 800-meter world champion and was the world silver medalist last year.
BBC BUYS RIGHTS
The IOC sold British rights for the next four Olympic Games to state broadcaster the BBC.
The deal covers the 2014 Sochi Winter Games, 2016 Rio de Janeiro Olympics, 2018 Pyeongchang Winter Games and the 2020 Summer Games.