|Montreal Fireworks Forum —› 2012 Display Reviews —› Greece - Nanos Fireworks reviews|
|Posted: Jul 17, 2012 19:01:14
Please post your thoughts/reviews of the Greek display here!
Strong instability has now completely subsided and advanced well into New York, and so we should see partly cloudy skies for the duration of the late-afternoon and evening periods.
|Posted: Jul 18, 2012 02:34:38 Edited by: fredbastien
That was a very ambitious extravaganza from Grupo Luso Piro... euh... I mean, from the Greek new entrant in the competition, Nanos Fireworks. (More about this pseudo-confusion below!) I had been intrigued by some cues reported in Paul's and Mylène's interviews and I have become excited once I arrived at La Ronde tonight and saw the setup. In addition to a large quantity of pyrotechnic material on usual ramps, crew was assembling a large ring, vertically installed on a floating platform, then moved to the front of the audience. Between that ring and the grandstands, floating boxes (presumably with firing flame devices) were dispatched to create a teardrop. The anticipated artistic swimmer was going to perform in this teardrop-shape area. Such a setup prevented the use of the floating stage for the official ceremony, thus emphasizing the cue that Greek team had prepared an unusual show, as Michel Lacroix also stated.
Due to technical issues, the show began at 10:17pm. The theme of the show was complex, actually a dramatic scenario about the end of a world followed by its rebirth, later symbolized with the swimmer. The opening of the show was anti-climactic with narrative, without pyrotechnic. Then, the pyro began with rare mines of stars ending with salutes, with different colours successively. At this time, I was as intrigued as I had been when I saw the setup. On one side, I chiefly anticipated special effects from the ring or the floating boxes, especially since we knew the lake was supposed to be filled of fire. On the other side, the pyromusical design itself had an unusual, dramatic style, fuelling anticipation and curiosity. Unfortunately, the special setup didn't come into life at this time, and no particular effect appeared on the lake. While colours were vivid and many pyrotechnic sequences were interesting, some technical failures were obvious with many asymmetric patterns.
I was still intrigued and captivated by the storyline when the swimmer's legs appeared above the water, past the mid-point of the show, At this time, the audience stood up to have a better view on the performer. She did various figures for, let say, two minutes, without any pyrotechnic effect. The boxes around her, presumably supposed to fire flames, never came into life. Given some past human performances on the lake, I was highly skeptical about the idea to introduce an artistic swimmer. I thought she would look too small in a so large amphitheater and that it wouldn't add anything to the show. Actually, I was wrong: I think it was worse than nothing because it really broke the rhythm of the show. My opinion could have been more positive, however, whether the pyrotechnic effects would have worked.
Then, the pyrotechnic show resumed. We have to note that many sequences were especially wide, often reaching rides and buildings on both sides of the firing ramps. I enjoyed a spectacular barrage of nautical shells toward the end of the display. It was also just before the end that we saw some effects shot from the ring. Unfortunately, only the left side of this structure properly worked. The show came to a close 30 minutes followiing the end of the countdown, with a powerful finale. Given the lack of pyrotechnic effects during the introduction and the swimmer's performance, I guess we had about 27 minutes of pyros.
That show reminded me some previous performances of Grupo Luso Pirotécnia (hence my opening pseudo-confusion). Above all, the ring was similar to the one successfully exhibited in Luso's first appearance in 2002. The Nanos' one was not hung with a crane, but it was setup with many effects along its circumference, with anticipated effects outside and inside the structure. But the display was also similar to "Ritmo", the highly debatted show performed by Grupo Luso Pirotécnia in 2005. Like Ritmo, I think this show was very ambitious, innovative... maybe too experimental.
The level of sophistication of this display was especially high, and I suspect pyro crews had to work in horrible conditions, with warm and humid weather over the past few days, and faced heavy rain today. Many pyrotechnicians were still on the firing ramps early in evening. As the setup is usually over by the late afternoon, we saw pyros running inside the floating control room (under the 4th ramp) at 10:00pm, and another on the barge, presumably to fix something with the ring. They left the firing area just before 10:15pm. I suppose my fellow pyro friends, who have chatted with some officials tonight, will supply some behind-the-scene information.
Nonetheless, I congratulate the Greek team for audaciousness. Sometimes, it is rewarding (that was the case of Weco in the 1990s and early 2000s, Luso in 2002, Pains in 2007, and likely Sugyp this year). Other times, it is not working as we hoped and expected. That was unfortunately the case tonight, but I am already looking forward to attend the 2nd show of Nanos in the Montreal International Fireworks Competition.
|Posted: Jul 18, 2012 05:33:09
|Posted: Jul 18, 2012 09:08:05 Edited by: reflections_of_earth
Wow! That was another great display by Nanos Fireworks! Even with the failure of the teardrop shaped platforms, Nanos' show was still a big success for me. It was original and full of creativity. It was like watching a performance by cirque du soleil. The simplistic approach really works well for me, it's somehow similar to Flash Barrandov's approach. The effects were of very high quality, the RICASA colors really gave life to the show. The timing of the candles, salutes and crossettes were unreal. I love how most of their chosen effects went really with the songs, it's like the shells were made specifically to match the songs! There were times where the lift of the shells were synchronized to the music then when the shell breaks, the break's also perfectly synchronized to the music. Little details like that makes this show a real pyromusical. Synchronization was definitely Nanos' strongest component, almost everything were synchronized to the music. It's quite distrubing that we'll never get to see what this show really looks like in its full glory, complete with the teardrop platform. It seems those platforms contained even more one shot effects that would even strengthen the synchronization more. The different firing patterns they used for the one shot devices and roman candles were very well done. They used the space really well but when there were just shells, the show looked a bit empty. The finale was very well done and I really love the music they chose for the finale. I wish that they supported the barrage of shells with roman candles to make the finale even more powerful.
Now for the bad parts, it was obvious that a lot of pieces did not fire from the teardrop, the ring and even from ramp 3. During the "Explosive" segment and the one following that, it looked like half of the fronts did not fire. This looked a bit disturbing. There were also a few parts that looked empty, probably due to the obvious technical problems. The narrations almost worked but again we'll never know if they actually planned a few fireworks pieces during those empty times. This was almost a perfect show, if everything worked well. Nonetheless, I'm putting them on first place due to their creativity, synchronization, originality, quality of products, and the overall cleanliness of the show. Too bad that at times, the show lacked the emotions and sensitivities that Canada had and the show also looked a little mechanical at some places.
My ranking so far (Based on my grading):
1. Greece (91%)
2. Canada (90.4%)
3. Japan (86%)
4. Switzerland (79%)
|Posted: Jul 18, 2012 21:02:03 Edited by: Enkil
Good display by the Greek firm. The soundtrack and song selection were pretty good. Glad to have heard the theme song of Requiem For A Dream! I have a few issues with this show, but I think for a debut performance, it was decent enough. Even though I was watching it from Fort Edmonton (between La Crémière and the Arcade), I could not see the swimmer at all. The ring should have been used much more frequently with better and exciting fireworks effects (like Luso). I think a more complex design would be required to successfully compete at the Montreal Fireworks competition. Also, the display should have been a bit more fast paced.
The synchronization was quite good considering the simplicity of the show. I wouldn't consider the finale to be powerful, but it was ok. Overall, well done!
My rankings so far (rated from La Ronde):
|Posted: Jul 20, 2012 00:48:52 Edited by: Smoke
Continued very warm/hot and humid conditions were present for the fourth debutante company of the 2012 Montreal fireworks competition, and the first-time appearance of Greece. Temperatures persisted near the 30 C mark for the sixth day in a row, along with very high humidity. Humidity levels were registered as the highest so far this year, prompting the ambient air to feel like 39-41 C. However, a cold front was quickly descending from the NW during the early to mid-afternoon hours, generating strong convective rains and severe thunderstorms across S. Quebec, E. Ontario, and eventually through New York and Vermont, as the afternoon progressed. All severe thunderstorm and tornado watches/warnings had been dropped by the mid-afternoon, leaving partly cloudy skies for the remainder of the afternoon into the evening, though some isolated, brief showers later developed ahead of a secondary cold front. Winds remained light from the NW, pushing smoke mostly to the left of the audience at La Ronde (right for those on Notre-Dame), and humidity remained high but declined slightly from what they were during the afternoon period.
In spite of the delayed start, we were treated with a very enjoyable display by the Greek team, and I was quite enamored with the nature and structural framework in which the theme had been presented. Like Switzerland, the theme was separated into different distinct sections. Here, it was divided into two primary areas, where the first attempted to portray the world’s end, and the latter half broadly representing hope remaining strong. The nature of the theme was, like China 2011, somewhat reminiscent of the interconnectedness of the planet that we live and depend on for our very survival, and I was under the impression that many of the soundtracks used truly brought out some of the entities that encompassed both the Earth, as well as the human race.
Overall, I felt that the show illustrated the theme reasonably well from one segment to the other, with some very effective (and enjoyable) musical choices and beautiful/surprising sequences, especially at low-level. Many segments, like Canada, were represented nicely with a good array of effects. There were also some exquisite nautical shells near the end, which I thought were implemented nicely in accordance with the music, and, similarly, the mines of screaming serpents were certainly a great addition to the soundtrack “Fill My Heart”. Most of the musical selections were also thoroughly enjoyed, but I was more enthralled by “Requiem for a Dream”, “Fleur du Mal”, and the song (not too sure of the name) used for the finale, which really assisted to exemplify the” light at the end of the tunnel” - these songs, in particular, really drew me into the display and had evoked a strong emotional context. The transitions in pace were also very good, where segments filled with vigor were interspersed by those with more tranquility - the latter often devised artistically.
It is unfortunate, however, that the display suffered from several technical problems (attributed to the earlier storms?), probably most notable at the beginning of the display shortly following the narration (brief periods of darkness, etc.), and then again near the end, with the frequent asymmetric pattern exhibited at low-level at the center. Other than that, I found that for several segments, the fireworks were not always keeping up with the music in an elaborate manner (perhaps sometimes related to the technical problems). Like Enkil, I also very much loved the "Requiem for a Dream" (a personal favorite) segment, but I felt that there simply was not enough enforcement for the overall nature of this song. As such, I was expecting a little more from this piece. However, the low-level sequencing with the angled mines was very well executed with respect to the more energetic parts of this soundtrack, but, overall, I felt that the pyrotechnics were not enough to really do it justice.
With respect to the display’s conceptual design, the theme was, again, very well thought out, but I found that the opening narration was much too long for my taste, as this naturally produced the feeling of an anti-climax, augmented by the already delayed start. While the narration itself helped to convey the theme through the show, it sometimes was a little disruptive - however, apart from the beginning, the narratives were relatively short, so they didn’t withdraw too much from the overall fluidity of the show. The musical selections were mostly appropriate for the employed theme, as well as for its complex nature, but I didn’t quite understand the relevance of a few of the selected soundtracks, particularly “Locomotive Breath”. In terms of color, out of the displays presented so far, I felt that Greece had the least level of color richness, as many segments seemed to have followed a more monochromatic focus, especially during the first 10 minutes, and later just before the end. For the swimmer, while an interesting approach, I personally felt that this did not add anything significant to the display, except perhaps symbolically for the theme. Of course, for many of those outside La Ronde, this period of “darkness” was a mystery! As for the finale, I thought that it was powerful, and easily the most colorful component of this display, but there could have been a little more endurance before that final volley of salutes! Still very engaging, nonetheless.
In general, again, this was a very enjoyable by the Greek team, with plenty of great musical choices, good synchronization, nice transitional points and sequences, a well-structured conceptual design, and a great diversity of products. However, with some of the obvious technical problems, the slow start, and the ineffectiveness of the swimmer, it’s difficult to say how this display will be judged, especially with the potentially strong displays to come with our remaining half of competitors. I look forward to seeing a return of Nanos Fireworks, especially after such great effort shown in their first display, here in Montreal!
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 08:53:43
My report on the Nanos display - definitely a baptism of fire: http://montreal-fireworks.com/ReportBlog/?p=598
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 09:35:40
This is a great review, Paul, which perfectly reflects the dramatic background of the Greek display.
I had a smile reading that powerful thunderstorms rolled through Montreal on their final day of setup, dumping around 36mm of rain. Travis should be proud of your level of accuracy! ;-)
Another thing that we forgot to mention in our reviews is how low the crowd level was Tuesday night, compared to previous Saturdays. There was almost no line for all rides at La Ronde when I arrived (around 7:30pm) and large areas of the grandstands were empty. I'm not sure how that was due to the poor weather conditions during the day, or to the fact that many people were not aware about the unusual calendar which brings us three Tuesday shows this year. I'm sure that many more people will attend tonight, especially with the perfect weather conditions described by Trav in the weather thread.
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 12:33:37
If I may, Paul Csukassy mentionned after the greek display that the bad weather did not affected them at all as they stopped working for maybe 10 minutes. A too ambitious project for the allocated time caused the Greeks all the problems. You just can't start testing 30 minutes before the show. They definitely learn something
Enjoy the show tonight !
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 13:25:03
I'm a bit surprised if the storms caused no interruption - I know in the past the ramps are evacuated if a storm is in the vicinity. This follows from a storm one year which had a lightning strike near ramp 1 during setup which caused the launch of several large shells, much to the surprise of the pyros working close by
But you're right, an overly complex show is always a risk.
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 14:03:24 Edited by: fredbastien
On the other side, we might not have some outstanding displays whether contestants, including those who make a first appearance in the Montreal competition, didn't take some risks with complex designs: Weco in 2000 and 2004; Grupo Luso Pirotécnia in 2002, 2005 and 2008; Pains Fireworks in 2007; Pyrotecnico in 2008; Pyromagic in 2009, and so on... After years of attendance, I continue to find the competition very interesting in part because such contestants take risks. And I think they should continue.
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 15:19:37
Oh I totally agree with you Fred, but is somehow has to be planned in a way. You cannot keep on changning the settings during the 5 days you are setting up. There was suppose to be just a few flames boxes on the lake at first and somehow during the set up they ended up with 30 !
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 15:24:45
One ounce of preparation is worth a ton of effort.
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 16:26:28
The 36 mm of accumulated rainfall recorded in Paul's report is certainly accurate. The total rainfall was attributed to the storms that affected the island during the early-morning hours, but the bulk of this total was associated with the early to mid-afternoon storms.
This follows from a storm one year which had a lightning strike near ramp 1 during setup which caused the launch of several large shells, much to the surprise of the pyros working close by
Paul, are you making reference to Italy 1994? I was there that night, and what an experience that was!
It's interesting how severe weather often occurs on July 17th, and even more when fireworks displays fall on that day (i.e. U.S.A 2002, U.S.A 2010, and now Greece 2012).
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 18:25:58
Paul, are you making reference to Italy 1994? I was there that night, and what an experience that was!
No, though that was dramatic, there were no pyros nearby as the setup was complete. I'm referring to an event that happened in the daytime whilst ramp 1 was being setup.
|Posted: Jul 21, 2012 21:13:08 Edited by: reflections_of_earth
I think you cannot fault Nanos or any other firm for planning a complex display for montreal, otherwise the competition will be just like any other competitions. Don't forget that even though it's their first time competing in Montreal, it's not their first time producing a show! Producing a show is always an on going process up to the last minute which explains why the flame boxes were aways changing in number. It seems they've managed to set everything up right and completely, unless they were putting empty platforms in the lake just for show. It was probably just bad luck, it's hard when the computers take over the display
|Posted: Jul 22, 2012 14:25:47
Read all too well the reviews, I would now say some true that you can not know them ..
the truth about the tear is that the battery car was not charged and could not stand all off, the cable was the manual was not pyrodigital fail, the team Greek not have knowledge about a bad battery .. for the whell problem was a shorted cable of the many cables damaged!so did not leave many options for greek team many changes,were not to be occurring in such competitions.My point is that the GREEK team did a very decent presentation with very good products imaginative scenario if there were perfect agreement with all the original thought and claimed the prize will be! waiting for your second show
|Posted: Jul 27, 2012 09:25:31
Don't miss my post-display interview with Philipos Nanos, technical director of Nanos Fireworks, who explains the challenges and the feelings felt by the team when being told that the display will be fired no matter what even with the outstanding issues with the firing modules.
This must have been a heartbreaking decision both for the team and Paul Csukassy...
The complete report on this display is on Pyro Québec.
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