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London Olympic Opening Ceremony

The Olympic Stadium, London


‘The greatest show on Earth’

59 Productions were invited by artistic director Danny Boyle to join his creative team as video designers for the London 2012 Olympic Opening Ceremony.

Led by project Creative Director Leo Warner, the 59 team provided design, animation and film production services, as well as programmers and technical design services for ‘the greatest show on Earth’. The team’s primary role was to design and create all the video content delivered the Olympic Stadium. This included the four massive LED screens mounted on the stadium roof, all projection in the show, and the “audience pixels” – a vast, stadium-wide video surface comprising a custom-built 9-pixel LED panel mounted between every one of the 70,000 seats*.

Much of the content produced for the ceremony by 59 was also delivered direct to broadcast, including the 60-second countdown to the start of the ceremony, a series of title cards, and a number of graphic and typographic elements and overlays.

A huge undertaking with an audience to match, 59 delivered one of the most technically sophisticated opening ceremonies the world has ever seen, a powerful journey through this history of the United Kingdom writ large on the canvas of the Olympic Stadium.

Opened 2012

The Olympic Stadium, London

‘We’re effectively art directing anything that appears on any video surface, within the stadium, during the opening ceremony’


Creative Director
Leo Warner

Lysander Ashton
Mark Grimmer

Associate Designer
Jonathon Lyle

Animation Directors
Zsolt Balogh
Christian Debney
Lawrence Watson

Quentin Dachy
Derrick Ligas
M.I.E. Ltd

Joseph Pierce

Assistant Designers
Akhila Krishnan
Jessika Strataki

Technical manager
Jonathon Lyle

Nick Simmons
Ben Pearcy

Data wrangler
James Long

Project manager
Remi Harris

Assistant to Leo Warner
Megan Kearney

Live-Action Director
Aneil Karia

Directors of Photography
Chloe Thomson
Vanessa Whyte
Stuart Bentley

Live-Action Art Director
Molly Einchomb

Production Assistant
Katie Jackson