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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

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Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival



Day 10 - Thursday August 12 - Show day 7

    Another bright and sunny day greeted us today. The streets around the festival site are crowded with revellers enjoying the festival. The crew met at master control at 20:00 and began the task of setting up for the evening's performance.
    Since the crew call was for 20:00 and I had nothing to do until 22:00, I decided to catch up on interviews for this web report. I climbed the ladder up to the comfortable construction office container where four of the Pani projectors were located and sat down with Fredric Förster to find out more about the facade projections.

Fredric at the master control position of the bank of Pani projectors
Fredric at the master control position of the bank of Pani projectors

    He explained that a lot of research had gone into making the images for this segment of the show. The images told the story of human history in Sweden and thus had to be carefully researched at museums in Stockholm for historical accuracy. A great deal of time was spent measuring the palace facade and locating all of the architectural features on the building. This was done so that the projections could make use of the features and enhance them rather than just using the building as a screen. For example, the IC chips are projected in such a way that the leads cover the outer edges of the windows of the Palace while the chip itself is projected onto the glass portion of the window.

Sabiene removes one of the 18 X 18 cm slides from the magazine

Sabiene removes one of the 18 X 18 cm slides from the magazine to demonstrate the image quality.

    Sabiene Weißinger is the artist who spent many hours creating the actual images. The images were created on computer and then pre-distorted to take projection geometry into account - there is no UGC on a Pani projector. Each image was carefully matched to the 3D computer model of the Palace and then "sliced" into four segments to create the large format slides for the projector.
    The projectors are controlled by DMX signals from a computer which is in turn controlled by signals from a DSP computer reading the show time code. The cross fade effects are produced by large mechanical shutters in front of the projectors that have serrated edges that look like sawmill blades. Each night the projectors must be carefully aligned and the operators must move slowly and carefully in the towers to prevent any wobble in the projected images during the facade projection sequence.
    In Master Control, Jan is busy getting the show prepared for the evening. The crew tries not to bother him with any technical production details he is usually left to his own artistic devices in the upstairs. In the lower portion of the scaffolding, the crew is busy with radio and sound checks, set-up details and preparing for the show. If anyone has a technical question, they call Adela as Jan does not even have a radio.

Robert plays the nightly pre-show police announcement in Swedish and English

Robert plays the nightly pre-show police announcement in Swedish and English, "Watch out for pickpockets", while Örjan checks the time remaining before time code roll.

    Adela has developed a fan club! There are now a group of men who wait for her to come ashore from the White tower after her nightly ride over the water. Most of them are Spanish speaking as they have discovered that she speaks Spanish. They assume she is the "star" of the show since she is the only human performer. Adela gets a lot of good-natured ribbing over this from the crew who are still calling her "The artist formerly known as the engineer".

Close up of Adela in costume and blond wig
Close up of Adela in costume and blond wig performing in the finale sequence.

     The show is delayed 5 minutes by order of the festival producer as another concert on a nearby stage is running late. Once again, the laser saga takes over the heart of the city painting the skies with colourful photons and covering the palace with massive images. The breeze is again favourable and the basket laser looks especially spectacular this evening.

First "basket laser" effect seen from the Opera side
First "basket laser" effect seen from the Opera side.

    The show is flawless and the audience very appreciative with prolonged cheering and applause at the finale.

Next Day - Friday August 13 >
Day 1 - Tuesday August 3 - Set-up day 1 Day 8 - Tuesday August 10 - Show Day 5
Day 2 - Wednesday August 4 - Set-up day 2 Day 9- Wednesday August 11- Show day 6
Day 3 - Thursday August 5 - Set-up day 3 Day 10- Thursday August 12 - Show day 7
Day 4 - Friday August 6 - Show day 1 Day 11- Friday August 13 - Show day 8
Day 5 - Saturday August 7 - Show day 2 Day 12 - Saturday August 14 - Show day 9
Day 6 - Sunday August 8 - Show day 3 Day 13 - Sunday August 15
Day 7 - Monday August 9 - Show day 4  

Quick Links to Report Pages

Stockholm Water Festival Report - Introduction
Sweden and Stockholm - Background and general information
The Site - Orientation to the show area and the challenges it presented
The Crew - The people who put it all together
Tech Specs - The equipment used in the presentation
The Music - An interview with the composer and MP3 file of the soundtrack
Smoke on the water - Covering a lake with smoke for beam effects
The Show - A description with many pictures
Animated Gifs - Gifs showing Palace projections and climatic beam effects
Stadshuset - Stockholm City Hall tour (very large page)
Show Diary - Day-to-day coverage of the trials and triumphs


DISCLAIMER: Some of the information in the Backstage area is provided by the persons or companies named on the relevant page(s). Laser F/X does NOT endorse or recommend any products/services and is NOT responsible for the technical accuracy of the information provided.  We provide this information as a service to laserists using the Backstage area. 

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