Laser F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
Urström at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival
Day 3 - Thursday August 5 - Set-up day 3
The pressure is really on today with one day to go before the first show. The first few hours were spent organizing our requirements with the festival technical director. The "platform" to hold the Chroma 10 which had appeared on the white tower proved to be inadequate. It consisted of two wooden I beams over the water which held the cased laser. There was no space for anyone to work on the laser unless they could walk on water.
An alternative location was then
negotiated. Jan wanted the beam laser low to the water so as to utilize the
reflections and scanning from the water as artistic effects. The organizers were unable to find a location or a shelter for the equipment and a
compromise was reached where the system would be mounted on the roof of a
container. The container was located on a large barge which was part of an
assembly of 4 barges that formed a floating restaurant/bar and VIP lounge
for festival guests.
Now that the beam laser location had
been changed, the smoke machine locations had to be changed so as to give
good coverage no matter which direction the wind was blowing. A smoke
machine was re-located by boat to the white tower and another re-located to
the corner of one of the restaurant barges near the beam laser position. The
local production crew then had to make a couple of 5-pin XLR cables to go
from the beam laser position to each of the smoke machines so they could be
remotely controlled. A power cable had to be flown over the water to the
White tower and another run along the side of the restaurant/bar barges to
operate these units.
We headed back to the site to see that the polarisation preserving screen had been mounted on the Opera and the polarisation preserving screen was being raised on the palace. Clouds had rolled in and it began to rain leading to a frantic scramble to get things covered with tarps before they got wet.
A reporter from radio Stockholm arrived at Master Control just after the rain ended. He interviewed Jan live on the air using a backpack mounted FM transmitter. During the afternoon, a reporter from one of the daily newspapers that had been rather hostile towards the idea of eliminating the fireworks dropped by. He took lots of photos of the crew at work and asked a lot of questions.
Michael Sollinger of LaserAnimation Sollinger GmbH in Germany arrived on site with Alex Bresinsky. Michael checked out the installation and offered some technical advice on the 3D set-up.
Adela had requested that the festival
organisers provide a tent or other shelter for the beam laser but none was
forthcoming by late in the day. More phone calls and running around ensued
and Jan finally found one, rushed to the store minutes before closing, and
bought it. Setting it up on the top of the container over the beam laser in
a stiff breeze proved to be a challenge requiring 5 people to hold it in
place until it could be secured with nylon straps.
A secondary steel cable was flown
over the water from the white tower to the container where the beam laser
was located. This was used to get the control cables from the white tower to
the control box and DSP at the beam laser position.
A frame had been welded into position
at the top of the basket to hold the projector. The heavy projector had to
be hauled into place, then secured in the correct position for the beam
projections. The basket was then sent over to the white tower where the crew
again had to dangle over the water while connecting the electrical and
Once the rigging was completed,
it was time for a trial run with the 'basket' system. At the climax of the
show, a woman dressed in white is revealed suspended over the water and
surrounded by laser beams. The local person who had been hired for this role
was secured with a safety harness and sent out over the water. After one
trip, she decided it was too cold and scary and quit leaving Jan with the
task of finding a replacement and rehearsing her with less that 24 hours to
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