Artem Case Studies

Olympic Games Opening Ceremony Athens 2004 Jack Morton Associates

The Centaur was far more than an innovative special effect. It was a key character to our story. Artem helped to turn the creative team's ambitious vision into a beautiful reality. The blending of man and technology to create such a moving and enduring theatrical image was a remarkable achievement.

Richard Mullen, Coordinating Producer for the Opening Ceremony, Jack Morton Associates

Artem was appointed by Jack Morton Public Events, Producers of the ATHENS 2004 Olympic Games Opening and Closing Ceremonies, to bring a mythical centaur to life in order for it to take part in the opening ceremony.

Developing a design by Steve Pearce of Farmer Attraction Development was no mean feat! Extensive research and detailed study of horse anatomy and bio-mechanics was required in order to achieve an end result that was as believable as possible.

The sculpture team, headed by Stan Mitchell, worked hand in hand with the engineering crew to ensure the creature moved realistically, whilst still looking aesthetically pleasing.

The performer had to walk on specially designed stilts built into the Centaurs front legs in order to maintain the proportions of the half man/half horse, while aircraft technology and materials were innovatively used to create a totally electro-mechanical rear.

The tight deadline (there was only two months from conception to delivery), to allow for rehearsal time, combined with the pressure of knowing there would be a live audience of about 70,000billion spectators and a Worldwide broadcast audience of approximately 4 billion, made the decision to take on the project a touch scary!

Artem Managing Director, Mike Kelt commented:

After the Jack Morton team approached us to discuss the broad concept, I never had any doubts as to whether something was possible. The question was rather how effective, and even beautiful, could we make it within the time and budgetary constraints. There were certainly some who thought it couldnt be done. Artem is no stranger to unusual requests and challenges and this one certainly got the brain cells working overtime. I take my hat off to the guys in the workshops who worked through many nights to make the impossible possible.

The Olympic Opening Ceremony in Athens received a THEA Award for best AOA Live Event Spectacular.

The TEA (Themed Entertainment Association) annually presents its THEA awards to projects whose achievement has been determined to be of outstanding quality.

  • Live Events
  • Mechanical Rigs
  • Sculpture
  • Special Costume
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