F/X On-line Newsletter - Special Reports
at the 1999 Stockholm Water Festival
Day 6 - Sunday August
8 - Show day 3
Today we started at noon so we had
the luxury of a few more hours of sleep than usual! I discovered a vendor
nearby selling freshly made donuts so was able to purchase a donut and
coffee for 19 SEK (about $2.30 US$ as of August 1999)!
Örjan brought a selection of newspapers and translated
the press coverage of the show which was less that enthusiastic. One paper
had random comments from audience members which ranged from "Fantastic
spectacle!" to "Fiasco... I expected to see a man walking on water
because I have seen that on TV".
Fire and fan effects seen from
the Palace side.
The local production company came up
with another two large smoke machines. We finally obtained permission to
mount a smoke machine on the floating platform below the bridge as
journalists had declined the trip by boat to stand on the bobbing platform
preferring the safety of the VIP viewing area on the restaurant/bar barge
where beer was also readily available. The second smoke machine was mounted
on the edge of one of the barges forming the floating restaurant at the
Parliament end of the site. These machines were RF controlled so we were
told we could control them from anywhere.
The smoke machine in the white tower was giving us
problems and would not respond to the remote control. A trip out by boat
found that it worked fine under local control. Opening and examining the
5-pin XLR cable provided by the local production company discovered a
soldering job that looked like it was done by a 12-year-old making their
first attempt. Arvid returned to master control by boat and brought out a
soldering station and tools and both ends of the cable were re-made and
properly soldered. This led us to wonder about the second cable from the
beam position to the barge mounted smoke machine so this was also inspected,
found to be of similar low quality and missing the strain relief so was
repaired. You really have to have good sea-legs to solder XLR connectors
while sitting in a small rubber boat moored to a floating barge!
Still no sign of the platform below the bridge we had
requested the previous afternoon. The festival production manager still had
not produced an inverter or a UPS for the fan in the second smoke boat.
Apparently these are rare and difficult items to find - or so he claimed.
We decided to ring the site with smoke machines and
re-located one of the MAX5000s units under the bridge where it was sheltered
from rain and would have a better effect. With 6 fixed smoke machines and
one movable one in the boat, we felt that no matter which way the wind blew,
we would have at least some smoke coverage. We also requested additional
power drops at the NW and SW corners of the site so that if the wind changed
during the show, we could radio the boat mounted smoke machine and have them
Arvid and Adela lower a smoke machine to
L. Michael Roberts for installation under the bridge -
Photo Jan Kriland.
In an effort to get more smoke into
the area under the basket laser for the finale, Jan contacted a friend of
his who owned a portable gasoline powered smoke machine. The machine was
brought on site and promptly dubbed the bazooka due to it's shape and size.
It was taken out in one of the boats for a trial run in the late afternoon.
Unfortunately, while it made lots of smoke, it sounded like an overgrown
chainsaw and was not suitable for use in the show due to the loud noise.
Since the bazooka did not work out, Adela and the pyro
crew rigged some metal containers under the laser basket to hold
electrically fired chemical smoke pellets. This ensured that there was smoke
around the basket even if the wind did shift directions suddenly.
Bo with the 'bazooka' smoke
Radios became an issue today. Adela
had requested sufficient radios for each of the crew who were vital to the
production. People kept taking them and we seemed to be always one or two
short. To solve the problem, Adela made labels and marked each radio with
the name of the person who was to use it. This cut down on problems somewhat
but in the process we discovered we were still short and more phone calls
had to be made to the festival production manager who came up with two more
radios minutes before show time. Unfortunately they had not been charged and
thus ran out half way through the show.
Jan aligns the projectors for
the pre-show tests.
The time code transmission to the
beam laser system on the Opera side of the site failed. Arvid had to start
the DSP manually, listening to Örjan's cue over the radio.
The newly installed smoke machine on the Parliament side
would only fire in short bursts and not continuously despite holding the
button on the RF remote down. Adela returned from her trip in the basket
across the water swearing she would never do it again and that the festival
had better find a replacement first thing in the morning!
|Adela flies across the water as
viewed from the Fire tower. Smoke from the chemical smoke containers is
visible below her.
The show this evening was much
improved. With the breeze blowing in the usual NW direction, smoke coverage
was good and the beams were more visible. Jan had added additional beams
from the fiber projectors, the Palace projections were flawless and the
crowd seemed to enjoy the show much more with lots of cheering and whistles
throughout and at the finale.
Quick Links to Report
Water Festival Report
and Stockholm -
Background and general information
Site - Orientation
to the show area and the challenges it presented
Crew - The people
who put it all together
Specs - The
equipment used in the presentation
Music - An
interview with the composer and MP3 file of the soundtrack
on the water -
Covering a lake with smoke for beam effects
Show - A
description with many pictures
Gifs - Gifs
showing Palace projections and climatic beam effects
- Stockholm City Hall tour (very large page)
Diary - Day-to-day
coverage of the trials and triumphs
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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