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My Olympic Experience - Technician Emily Pooley ‹ Back to News

24/08/16

I mainly worked on trampoline beds, making the sheets covers and also worked on the covers for the main puppet beds baby feet but on the night and during rehearsals I was the on location fabricator - I had to make adjustments to the giant inflatable Voldemort puppet... which meant waiting for rehearsals so that they could hoist him up to the height of the stadium and then quickly running around him trying to find any tears or rips... I was inside the bed when they lowered him down and at one point I got lost and thought i would never get out... there were literally meters upon meters of black material. We were very limited on time with this particular puppet, we only saw it for the first time fully inflated at the rehearsals.  

I remember listening to the Arctic monkeys rehearsing during this…that was a surreal moment for me! The atmosphere was great - really felt like everyone was pushing towards making something incredible. The days were long, the weather would change between blisteringly hot (especially with the white cover they put on the track to protect it) there was unbearable heat under the stage... then the next hour it would be chucking it down with rain and looked miserable. We were all exhausted from working solidly for months on end, but on the night, all of that disappeared.

 I still get shudders when I hear the opening music for our segment with the baby. We only had one rehearsal with it the day before so our nerves were at critical. I was heading the team for one of the feet - we wheeled out into position then released our mechanism and away she went! Everything worked perfectly. It was an absolutely incredible feeling being on stage with everyone... seeing the enormous crowd of people and all the flashing lights. We were lucky enough to stay on stage during Rowan Atkinsons comedy sketch which was fab.

 The whole night was something I will never forget. Seeing Danny Boyles incredible set come together and our crucible pour the molten metal that made the rings with the sound of all the drummers was one of the most intense and exciting things I have ever witnessed... we had only seen snippets of other people’s segments of the show so to see it all come together was spectacular as a special effects artists it was like something out of your wildest dreams. It will definitely remain one of the toughest but amazing experiences of my life.

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