Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival
A show this large and complex, using
an entire city square and a lake as a stage, can not be expected to go
without a hitch no matter how much pre-production work is done. This is
especially true when so many different production elements and technologies
are combined. Difficulties are also to be expected when one has to reply on
sub-contractors, who are unfamiliar with the technology and the artistic
vision of the show, for essential infrastructure and services.
In order to present as many pictures as possible, this diary has been broken down into a page per day format. To follow the diary, click on the links at the bottom of each day. Quick links to other report pages are provided at the end of each page.
Day 1 - Tuesday August 3 - Set-up day 1
The flight from Canada arrived at Heathrow Airport in London on time only to have to circle until we could get a landing slot. Once on the ground, a mad dash ensued to get to the connecting flight to Stockholm which left from another terminal. On arrival at Stockholm's Arlanda airport, the luggage was missing as it had not made the connection in time. After doing some paperwork, British Airways provided me with a toiletries kit and agreed to deliver the luggage as soon as it arrived. Jan Kriland met me at the airport and we were off to the studio of Obscura Magica located in nearby Sollentuna.
At the studio Jan and his staff, along with Adela Lopez-Bago, Herrick Türzer and Jourgen Kleine from Germany were busy with the final assembly and packing details as a truck was due in a few hours to transport all of the equipment to the show site in the centre of Stockholm. When the truck arrived, Jan woke me from my attempt to sleep off the jetlag on the office couch and we packed the equipment according to the location it was to go to at the show site.
Once the loaded truck had departed, we gathered our personal things and drove the 35 Km or so to Stockholm to unload the equipment. On my arrival, I was struck by the large size of the show site. The site itself is massive consisting of an area of water in the centre of Stockholm about 300 meters on a side. The "Riksdagshuset" (Swedish Parliament) building at the west end is flanked by the Opera house on the north side, the Royal Palace on the south side and a long bridge connecting two of the islands Stockholm is built on east side (see The Site page for details).
When we arrived at the location of the master control, across the street from the Royal Palace, the scaffolding was still under construction. Here we met up with Fredric Förster and Chris Griesemann from Germany who were in charge of an impressive bank of Pani projectors which were to project images onto the facade of the Royal Palace.
Once the scaffolding was finished, we began the task of placing the equipment and arranging the details of power and water for the laser systems. Europeans seem to be much more used to the idea that people will need power in temporary locations. As a result, small free-standing power panels with a variety of 3 phase and single phase connections, complete with breakers, plug into strategically located power feeds. Most of these power distribution panels were provided by NCC the major Swedish construction company. Since the construction industry is closed for the national holidays, this does not interfere with their projects in progress.
By the end of the day we had all of the equipment in place, and the two Chroma 5 lasers had been powered up and were tested - one at a time since there was only one water supply available today. Herrick then began the complex task of installing the scanning systems for the 3D laser projections. By midnight we were all pretty much exhausted and quit for the day.
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