|courtesy of AP|
But in all seriousness, these also allow for the soundtrack to be pumped through so everyone stays on target, and it allows for everyone to move at the right time, receive commands, or translate all of these items. It is a very necessary tool, and one that has been used for these large ceremonies for years. Here is someone's very sneaky hidden camera from 2012 in London - listen for the dots (beats to the music), the commands, and finally the music cues in their headset once they are on the field of play.
Perhaps when they do one of the many close-ups, you can look at the ground and see a series of letters and numbers. The entire "stage" is called "field of play" here, frankly because it is an enormous stadium - much larger than a stage, but it is made into a perfect grid. This allows for choreographers, actors, and lighting designers to be perfect all the time - always locating the same exact spots. This is one of the practice facilities with the exact same layout - you can see the grid markings on the floor.
A new innovation (and one of my favorites) has been the use of projections to put the viewer into a sort of virtual space. Sochi made for a great little segment with the soldiers of Peter the Great. Although it looks like they're walking the entire time, they are actually walking to the very middle of the stadium and marching in place, spinning every once in a while. Although when the projection system lays a moving map, it appears as if they're moving.
These are just some of the things that are happening behind the scenes. I hope you enjoy the show tomorrow! Until then, here is a final little teaser...the Olympics are in Brazil!