"You just want to talk about it. You can't quite believe it happened! We just spoke to each other about it for ten minutes."
Boyce wrote the ceremony, which was of course directed by Danny Boyle. It finally comes out on DVD and Blu-ray today, complete with a commentary from Boyce and Boyle. Digital Spy spoke to Frank all about that famous night in July, and here's what he had to say.
What was your favourite segment of the ceremony?
"The cauldron itself, because so much could have gone so wrong with it. Part of the briefing was that you must never have any moving parts in it, because it will go wrong. Then we came up with this design with three and a half million moving parts! It was just such a relief when it worked. It was so beautiful when it did."
Were you amazed with so many people involved that you managed to save the surprise?
"It was amazing, but in a weird way it wasn't surprising, because the atmosphere inside the stadium during the rehearsals was so good. Even though it was so many people, it really felt like a team."
How terrified were you from the technical perspective that it would all work?
"Pretty scared. Especially around the cauldron because you thought, 'If something goes wrong, it doesn't matter how good the rest of it is, that's the bit people will remember'. I was just so relieved when it all went well."
Were you surprised by how much everyone universally loved it?
"Yeah, definitely. It was really overwhelming. If you work in film and books, you get used to you can't please all the people all the time - I think we pretty well did, and that's a fantastic thing. It says something about our common humanity, I think. And the fact that everyone in Britain loved it, it shows we're more of a nation than we thought we are."
Did you and Danny have a laugh about Aiden Burley being the odd man out?
"My son actually said a brilliant thing - he said it divided the nation, but it divided it 99.9% to 0.1% - and we thought it was 50:50!"
Were you expecting to get a lot more heat because of the politics of the piece? The NHS and Tim Berners-Lee segments in particular?
"It was political with a small 'p', but it didn't have any particular agenda to it. It was just what we thought. The Tim Berners-Lee [segment] is a really good thing to point out, because that Olympics Ceremony obviously cost a lot of money, it ran on goodwill, and kindness and teamwork and voluntariness. He just seemed such an apposite person to pick out. That thing, if you give of yourself then amazing things happen, whereas if you just charge, you get what you pay for."
Your Observer column and Dangerous Conversation letter were more straightforwardly political - can London 2012 really have a moral legacy?
"I'd love to think that. There's a sentence in there that we legislate for the worst, and we should think about the best a bit more. It's not exactly cynicism, but we kind of prepare for the worst all the time and I think the ceremony showed we can be generous and we can be inclusive and we can be creative and we can be kind. And we can call on those resources more."
The other ceremonies didn't have the same overwhelming response - did you and Danny set the bar too high?
"I think it's because we were the first and people weren't expecting it. I think the opening ceremony for the Paralympics was terrific actually. Really, really good. I think the whole Olympics so much exceeded the press's expectations. I think the people were on it. The people knew it was going to be great. I think you could tell that almost from the torch relay, people turned out from it."
With it coming out on DVD, did you think about that longevity something you considered when writing it?
"No, not really. I kept saying to Danny, 'This is going to be like you've made a flop, no matter how good it is!' There won't be any second night, it'll be like a film that closes on its first weekend. But of course we forgot that we live in the digital age, and nothing lasts just for a moment anymore. If you sneeze it's on YouTube forever. I guess we should have known, but I'm really chuffed it's a DVD."
What special bits on the DVD should people be looking out for? I'm excited about the commentary...
"I did the director's commentary with Danny, and that was the first time I'd seen it on a screen. I'd only seen it at rehearsals and in the stadium, I'd never watched it on screen before. It's amazing how different it looked. That was a revelation to me.
"In terms of the extras, you know the Saturday Night sequence with the house and all the music... there's a DVD extra that takes you through that and it was such an ambitious section, I think it's really great that you get to look at that in detail, because it flashed by."
Have you got any other projects lined up with Danny?
"I don't know, because Danny's kind of immersed at the moment in editing his film. I'd love to do another movie with Danny or anything else he wants to do really! I've always said I wanted to do another movie with him, and when he asked me for a cup of tea about two and a half years ago, I thought he was going to ask me to do a movie, and it was the Olympic Games!
"Hopefully it will be something like that again. He'll say 'Do you want to have a cup of tea?' I'll think it'll be a movie and he'll say, 'No, we're going to climb Everest!'"
You've also worked with Alex Cox and Michael Winterbottom - are there any other directors you'd love to work with?
"There's loads of people I really admire - Paul Greengrass... just loads and loads of people. Working with Danny is very, very different. He's very special, he's very inclusive. His great skill is listening. He's an amazing listener. Which is skill that's really in very short supply."
Is there any chance of you reuniting with Michael?
"I haven't spoken to him for years actually. I just consider myself a children's writer now. A film project has to be really, really special to get me into it. If Danny wanted to do something I'd be there instantly - I'm mostly just working on children's books."
Films like A Cock and Bull Story and 24 Hour Party People played with the idea that history is defined by these pieces made about events, the fluidity of things...
"That would be great to think, wouldn't it? To think that the Opening Ceremony defined Britain, rather than anything that coalition have done!"
Did you feel that sense of responsibility to define Britishness as well as expressing it?
"I don't know. History has to decide that, or the people have to decide that. I think definitely we were thinking of expressing it. Even Britishness is stretching it. Danny got involved in this because he lives in the East End and loves the East End. That industrial section is obviously a British thing, but the Lee Valley was a really important area - so it's very, very local. It's very, very us.
"I think the more of yourself into something, the more people relate to. If you're trying to work out what something should be, you end up with something bland... you end up with the Millennium Dome, don't you? No disrespect to anyone who was involved in it, but if you try to second-guess people all the time, or define a nation, then you won't do it. But if you talk about yourself, then maybe enough people will recognise what they share with you."
Did you think about making concessions to an international audience when you were writing it?
"Not really! Saying that the things we picked out that were iconically British that we wanted to play with were things we knew that people would recognise. They were The Queen, James Bond and Mr Bean. We kind of knew that they would travel... Gregory's Girl was in there because there was no way Gregory's Girl was going to come out. In that stadium of 80,000 people, when that clip came up, 80,000 people went 'Ahhh'."
The London 2012 Olympic Games DVD/Blu-ray Collection is released today (October 29) and is priced at £29.99 on DVD and £34.99 on Blu-ray.
London 2012 Olympics Opening Ceremony - photo gallery:
Copyright: PA Images Anthony Devlin/PA Wire