July 30, 2012

slices of london

I promised that I'd show some of what I've been working on here at the Olympics once the broadcasts started. There isn't any easy way to show too much, but I'll likely follow up with videos after the Games end and there's more time (uh, we're a little busy). Everything is designed to tie into the overall main look by Lead Designer Dave Barton and Art Director John Schleef, so even pieces that are my design use elements created by others. These are a few frames of some "corner rejoins" (coming back from a commercial) and a "tease package" (edited pieces within a broadcast) I've designed. You may see these mixed in among the bajillion other elements of the graphics package. If pattern holds true from previous Olympics, chances are these may breed their way into other elements at the Games continue. I'll post more along the way if I can.

July 28, 2012

bangup job

I debated whether I might be asking for trouble taking the tube and the walk through Olympic Park again instead of our shuttle bus on the day of Opening Ceremony, but it turned out to be a piece of cake. I tried to watch for my friend Andrew who was in the ceremonies and passed by about 500 guys dressed in his costume, but never spotted him. Once again, the buzz in the air through the park was electric and exciting just to pass through. We were able to watch the feed of the ceremonies while working, and once it seemed the torch was about to be lit, I decided I should run outside assuming there might be fireworks. It was a good hunch. I've seen a lot of fireworks shows before, but I've never seen anything as massive as that. It was intense. London has made a much more impressive start to their Games than I expected. It feels like London is proud. They should be.

July 26, 2012

parking metres

Now that we knew we could get into the IBC from the Olympic Park, my co-worker Victor and I decided yesterday to try taking the tube to work instead of our usual shuttle bus. They were doing the dress rehearsal for Opening Ceremonies that evening (including the audience), so it sort of served as a soft opening of the park. It made for an exciting energy as people were clearly excited to be there. It's a good walk the entire length of the park from the tube stop to the IBC, but still pretty easy, and a good chance to see everything in daylight and grab some peeks to pass on to you. Here are some views of the park and venues you'll probably be seeing a lot of over the next few weeks. Since we did the Beijing Olympics from New York, this is the first Olympics I've done with a large centralized park that houses many venues. It really does create a different sense of being there that's fun to experience, even if only just during the walk to work.

July 24, 2012

night moves

Working the night shift, we're finding its around 3am that we start to hit a wall and feel a little fried, so we've been trying to take a break for a walk around then. Last night we wandered out to a side of the IBC none of us had been, only to discover the entire Olympic Park was open to us. The IBC is such a fortress of security to get into that I had assumed the entire complex was walled in and we couldn't yet get out to any of that. It was pretty cool to see everything coming together, especially with everything lit up but nearly empty. It looks like it should be a pretty exciting complex to be in come the start of the Games. I suspect it will feel very different then, so it was exciting to envision how it will be then, but nice to soak in the peace of it all while empty at night.

July 23, 2012

a good day

Yesterday turned out to be a banner day. Sleeping during the day wasn't easy, but with the few extra hours, I managed to get in an epic walkabout. I headed to the Whitechapel area to find a barber I had read about online. The neighborhood felt like a mix of middle eastern and college kids and artists, and was vibrantly alive with sights and sounds and people in the streets. It may be the best side of London I've seen. Or maybe getting a good haircut just put me in a good mood. I tubed back to the Tower of London and jumped on a boat up the Thames to Westminster. I usually avoid tourist things like that, but it seemed a good way to get in some basic sights quickly and take advantage of the rare nice sunny afternoon. Underneath Big Ben, I jumped on the tube to head back toward the hotel, but got off at Blackfriars hoping to make a quick stop at a sports store. Immediately outside the station I saw an amazing pub - the Black Friar no less - and was almost drawn inside. I resisted and made my way through some crazy but beautiful set of alleyways full of more very cool looking pubs to find the store closed. So back to the tube it was - but I just couldn't resist stopping at the Black Friar first for a very quick pint before making my way back to the hotel just in time to catch the shuttle in to work. It was a good day.

July 21, 2012

bridging the gap

Pubs in London close at 11 or Midnight generally, so the other night I did a little online research to find a Midnight pub close to the hotel and forced myself to go once we got back from work, knowing it would be probably be my last chance while in London. I trekked across the Tower Bridge and walked past one pub, thinking it would be too touristy given the location. But the pub I intended to go to actually seemed too busy with no space at the bar, so I opted back to the first. With almost an hour to go before closing, it was a nice chance to have a couple beers and chat with another incredibly friendly bartender, and meet some friendly patrons who had clearly had quite a few more than I. It was a short quick stint out of the work/sleep/work/sleep bubble and I'm glad I made myself do it. We're in the midst of changing shifts now. We worked a 2p-2a shift today as a transition to the 9p-9a shift I'll be on for the rest of the Olympics. It gives us a few extra hours more than the usual gap between shifts, so maybe I'll finally find a barber for a much-needed haircut or get out and about some, but I also know not to push it too much, so we'll see.

July 19, 2012

london views

just some glimpses of London from my daily back and forths...

July 18, 2012

first daze

Well "moving into work mode" ended up hitting me like a freight train. It didn't help that my first day was compounded by being sick with something. At the time I thought it was some kind of delayed jet lag, so I spent the day trying to keep my best poker face on, but by the end of the shift, I was literally just holding myself up the best I could. Luckily, it passed; but its still been full busy days of just work, sleep, work, sleep. There's plenty to tell, but not much time to write it, so I'll go ahead and post a few peeks into our world. As usual, NBC takes up about half of the International Broadcast Center (though I'm told our space is smaller than past Olympics.) Its an impressive and huge operation that includes all the phases of tv production, as well as things like a medical office and commissary. We're near (maybe in?) the Olympic Park, but very much cut off from everything, so with long never-on-schedule bus rides between there and our hotel, our world is mostly just these sheet-rock walls. I work a 9a-9p shift this week and will slide this weekend to a 9p-9a shift for the rest of the duration. And yeah, we're busy. Hopefully that helps explain the lack of updates. As the schedule starts to become routine, I'll hopefully be able to be better about their frequency. But thats it for now, sleep is calling.

July 14, 2012


just a few random pics from some wandering about London yesterday... moving into work mode soon; heading to the work hotel today and starting on the job tomorrow, I'm looking forward to seeing the crew again and finding out whats in store for this years Games.