- Associated Press - Wednesday, July 18, 2012

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. local time.

“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 will 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. “It was longer 10 days ago than it was a week ago and was longer a week ago than it is now. It is a matter of tightening. It’s not cutting big chunks.”

Reports in British newspapers said Boyle was angry at having to make the cuts, but Brock-Doyle said he was used to making films or shows fit a time schedule.

“He’s an award-winning filmmaker,” she said. “Things end up on the cutting-room floor. I think he understands that.”

Boyle’s ceremony, called “Isles of Wonder,” is inspired by William Shakespeare’s “The Tempest.”

He has revealed that the opening sequence will feature an idyllic British countryside setting that will be complete with live farm animals, including 70 sheep, 12 horses, 10 chickens and nine geese.

Former Beatle Paul McCartney has said he will perform the closing act.

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