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Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports

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Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival



Day 2 - Wednesday August 4 - Set-up day 2

    We arrived on site around 11:00 to a scene of frantic activity. Vendor tents were being erected and carpenters were busily at work around the site putting the finishing touches to some of the floating restaurants built atop the barges.

Two of the floating restaurants at the Parliament end of the site
Two of the floating restaurants at the Parliament end of the site under construction.

    Fork-lift trucks dashed around moving racks of scaffolding and fencing into place. At the Royal Palace side of the site, activity come to a halt each day at noon as the colourful royal guards marched past on their way to the daily changing of the guard.

Palace guards march past Master Control
Palace guards march past Master Control at noon daily.

   The festival production manager, Ingebourn, had arranged for a crane to place the Chroma 10 beam effect laser in the white steel tower located out in the water on the Opera House side of the site. When we checked it out, it was wedged at an angle in the steel and pointed in the wrong direction. Some phone calls got a promise that a proper platform would be rigged and the laser placed facing the correct direction.

Chroma 10 sits at an angle inside the Tower.
Chroma 10 (on left) sits at an angle inside the White Tower.

    Herrick and Jourgen set to work on installing the complex optical system for the 3D laser projections on the two Chroma 5 lasers. Adela, Arvid and myself sorted out the remaining equipment under the scaffolding and organised it's placement.

Herrick at work on the 3D projection optics
Herrick at work on the 3D projection optics

    Arvid and myself then moved three smoke machines over to the Opera house side of the site to install them. Jan worked with Bo, the artist, and Örjan, the composer, on some of the final artistic details of the show.
    The two Pani projectors that were to project a 3D image onto the screen on the Castle side of the site were carefully moved into place with a forklift and set up. These had to be polarised to match the laser projections and 3D glasses.

Chris guides a Pani projector into place
Fredric looks on from the ground while Chris guides a Pani projector into place.

Gröna Lund Show

    Jan Kriland was also producing a small laser show in conjunction with fireworks for a local amusement park "Gröna Lund". This was the only fireworks show that would be staged in Stockholm in August. Fireworks were initially the nightly highlight of the Water Festival but since the festival celebrates ecology, it was decided to eliminate the fireworks and replace them with the laser show. This was due to the concern that the chemicals from the spent shells polluted the waterways of the city.
    The laser used for this show was a 3 watt MicroYag controlled by a DSP. The laser equipment had to be moved to a spit of land opposite the amusement park. The laser was located on a ledge of the rocky point just above the water necessitating a perilous climb down slippery rocks for set-up and adjustment. Laser control was located under the trees right next to a "No Trespassing" sign!

Jan sets up shop
Jan sets up shop in front of the No Trespassing sign.

    The images were to be projected onto a giant scrim which was flown between the masts of a boat brought in for the occasion. The boat crew's first attempt to fly the scrim reselected in it being ripped and Adela was called upon to provide her sewing skills to repair it on the boat. The 20 X 10 meter scrim was then successfully raised into position.

boat mounted scrim
The boat mounted scrim

    Just before 23:00, the lights in the park were turned off and an expectant cheer went up from the audience assembled on the banks and in the flotilla of small boats that were held at bay by the police water patrol. To the strains of an instrumental version of "My heart must go on" the sky was set ablaze with a variety of beautifully coloured shells and satisfying bangs. After a brief introductory volley, the laser took centre stage.
    The laser show used some beam effects but concentrated on graphics on the scrim. A collage of letters and shapes floated across the screen eventually rotating and assembling into the park name and logo. The fireworks then again filled the sky, ending with a climax of large multicoloured floral shells while the park logo was again projected onto the scrim.

Fireworks 1 Fireworks 2

    After packing all of the equipment, we returned to the main site to continue work on the set-up of the equipment. The scanning systems were working and were tested but were not yet working in 3D. After a couple more hours of working on set-up, we went home for the night.

Next Day - Thursday August 5 >
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


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