|Montreal Fireworks Forum —› 2010 Display Reviews —› Poland - Surex reviews|
|Posted: Jun 26, 2010 23:38:54
Please post your reviews of the Polish display here. I'll post mine shortly before I retire to bed.
I'll just say for now that this was indeed a well delivered and quality performance. It was enjoyable from beginning to end with some very intriguing sequences.
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 03:33:59 Edited by: Smoke
Unseasonably cool weather conditions along with some isolated light showers were present for much of the day with the mercury struggling to hit 20 C. With a late afternoon high of 20-21 C, temperatures remained at roughly 19 C during the late evening (18 in the suburbs) with occasionally breezy Southwesterlies (smoke moving mostly to our left, on Notre-Dame) and borderline moderate-high humidity, which made it feel a little warmer than it actually was. Rains, as forecasted, stayed well to the South and Southeast and skies increasingly cleared during the late afternoon-evening period with nothing but a few lingering scattered low level stratus clouds.
I must say that tonight's performance from Poland was nicely executed and had a strong start following the countdown. The organizational component of the display was apparent and the structure revolved nicely around the thematic framework, for the most part. There were also some dazzling effects as well as some crowd-pleasers, including farfalles, cakes/z-cakes, salutes, many shell of shells and multi-breakers, orange and yellow strobe shells, single-ascension girandolas (before the finale) and some stunning nautical effects, namely those red flares, nautical shells and the bright strobes lighting up the smoke directly overhead (resembled lightning), as well as the fountains. I also noticed something briefly lit on ramp four roughly 21 minutes into the display - it appeared as several repeated flashes. Colors were in a decent mix at times, were rich and possesed fairly good diversity, though the kamuros tended to fade (as well as some of the charcoal colors) a little quickly when they were present. As such, the product quality was generally excellent.
The choice of effects was carefully considered and I observed that many were put to good use to appropriately reinforce key elements defining each soundtrack (for instance, orange strobes emanating from some shells to represent "etoiles" in the track, "Sous le Vent" ). Music selections were suitable for this display, and their arrangement permitted for some good transitional points as well as for grasping various emotions. The sequences from time to time were rather enjoyable, particularly in the way the firing of the shells, as well as lower level activity, closely matched critical changes in speed in each of the tracks - the piece just before the conclusion with all of the whistling being particularly memorable. Lower level effects were some of the more signature components of this display as many of them (such as the cakes, candles and comets) virtually danced with the music in a very complex manner - the energy and vibrancy of each soundtrack, then, was well represented through the fireworks, which truly reflected the contrasts between the more subtle and epic pieces. Overhead shells were similarly often bursting accordingly with the key notes of the various tracks, making rhythm and pace quite distinctive. Symmetry was scarcely lost from the left to the right, and things were frequently kept in good balance from high to low levels of sky. That being said, the design of the display was nicely concocted with some good shots at creativity, especially with regards to the way certain pieces were synchronized in their entirety.
Apart from one or two shells exploding before their time as well as the unexplained pauses in between, one aspect that I found was that the fans that had appeared at low level throughout the display to support upper air activity became a little redundant in representation for my tastes, even though their appearances often came with varied color, shape and endurance. Music choices were well selected, but there were moments when that thematic connection, for me, was not always understood. Though the fading between segments was good, some of the conclusions were a little similar in feeling (primarily in the manner in which shells were fired), which sometimes made the transitions a little less representative at some points. A larger variety of shells, at times, would have been appreciated, as well as a nicer mix with colors during some segments. The faux finale was good and convincing, but the real conclusion could have been a little more in the way of color and longevity. Still, a great end to an overall fantastic and powerful show from Poland.
All that said, this was well delivered performance by this debutant country/team who truly made a positive impression on the Montreal audience - the display was beautifully choreographed and crafted with, often times, some very appealing sequences at low level. Could be a contender for a Jupiter.
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 10:31:11
I have uploaded the video for Poland.
If you want to download the video and save it, use this link.
Right click on the link and select "save target as"
Please note that I am uploading .flv files to conserve space.
If you download them, you will need a player to display them on your computer.
The Riva player is free at this site:
Once you have the downloaded file, if you want to convert it to an .avi file, you can use this converter (also free download) http://www.any-video-converter.com/
I will leave all of the shows up in this index page throughout the season.
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 13:20:21
A very enjoyable display for the Surex team ! They asked us to "believe" to the magic of fireworks and because of their very good work, I'm indeed a believer !
For newcomers, they just seemed to know how to put up a successful display on La Ronde site. The sky was filled from top to bottom and from left to right at (almost) all times.
Their display was very powerful, with some loud and beautiful 10-12" shells.
I liked their double finale. I was expecting the Ferris Wheel to light up after the first one, then the chaos basically started once again, with a truly deafening last sequence.
Unfortunately, the soundtrack aspect is bad so far this year for each of the concurrents (Italy was the best among them, though). Like fredbastien and I discussed afterwards, we were once again treated with uncut songs and iTunes-like transitions (2 seconds between each track, per the Audio CD standard ). For a major competition such as this one, the soundtrack must not be so simplistic. I'm disappointed about this aspect.
There was one again sound problems, but it must come from La Ronde equipment because it plagued both Taiwan's and Poland's displays. What a shame ! La Ronde technical team must fix this as soon as possible, as it appears very amateurish.
The show was good, but not excellent. Therefore, I give them 77% because of the bad soundtrack mix, the fact that the synchronization was not as evident as I would have liked (with one shot sequences, that is; yet, I agree with Travis that there was indeed a good effort on Surex part on this aspect) and because the gold color was too much dominant for my taste. Also, the products were not as good as those from the previous contestants.
My report and my pictures are available on my website.
Unfortunately, the ceremony is more and more sloppy as the season goes. Titanium salutes are now fired at random, the grandstand's lights are shut off during the ceremony (instead of during the countdown - causing confusion among people that try to look for their seats in the dark) and the Ferris Wheel lights up during the display, then proceeds to shut down once again following an imaginary countdown.
Michel Lacroix is back, though, so everything's not lost yet !
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 13:33:35
i just finished watching the video ( thanks paul for sending me the link!) from the show from Surex.
WOW! what a very nice show was that. Some very original parts with shooting candles horizontal over the water. I already know Surex and i know they can performe a pyromusical very well. Butt with this pyromusical of them in La Ronde they put Poland on the Pyromap!
I hope they can grab one of the Jupiter awards!
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 13:53:05
Pièces pyrotechniques 7 / 10
Synchronisation 7'5 / 10
Bande sonore 7 / 10
Conception technique 8'5 / 10
Conception pyromusicale 8 / 10
Total 76 %
I gave to the italian display a 9 in the effects, that's why I think they have a better mark, however in general terms I think the Polish display was better than the italian one. Some sequences were really creatives, specially the firing positions making the effects fall in the lake . The double finale was great, and also the first songs, but for some reason the display became a bit monotonous in the middle. It was good to see the sky filled most of the time , the way they used different levels and shells, but that's not enough. The music was very similar all the time and the theme was almost indecipherable. I'm not a big fan of cakes and they used it a lot. Some cakes at the correct time are good but not always, they are a bit chaotic. I don't know if it's because the poor quality of the video or what, but I felt the colors were really soft and also a bit repetitive. Anyway, thank you for sharing the video, it's the only way to "attend" to the fireworks competition !
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 14:21:55
I did completely forget to comment (that's to be expected when writing a review at 3 a.m heh) on the use of nearly uncut songs for this display, much like for Taiwan. Like last week's display, the choice of music was well suited for the approach employed, but the use of nearly full length songs does not work efficiently for a display as it becomes rather easy for the fireworks to lose vitality, especially when making successive transitions from one segment to the other. However, I still feel the choreography component at low level was well executed, although some diversity here and there would have been preferred. I also noticed a few occasional pauses where music was playing and no fireworks being launched - I recall one instance being towards the end of the first segment when a brief period of silence (roughly 3-4 seconds in duration) was present.
Another small problem with this display was that while color choices were good at points (as I specified in my above post), there were numerous areas where they could have been much more diverse. The theme "Believe", too, as also mentioned previously, was not always so clear through some of the selected tracks.
Still, though, overall, it was a good effort from Poland.
Here is a video I took of the final minutes of the display (viewed from Notre-Dame and De Lorimier).
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 15:07:27
STL, few precisions :
La Ronde was not implicated in the soundtrack problem for Taiwan.
For Poland, only the center section heard the problem, other speakers were ok. The sound test was good in the afternoon.
Also, Michel Lacroix will not be presenting Portugal next week. And will also miss another one later in the season. Can't remember which one tho
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 16:50:21
What a great show from the Surex! I was pleasantly surprised by the many effects used during this display. Although the music selection was a bit so-so during the second half of the show, the first half really had my attention since it nicely brought out the Believe theme. The finale was nicely executed since like the others, I thought it was indeed over with the first barrage of shells.
Now the negatives. There were some dark sections occurring in the display (not sure if they were as designed but it looked like a defect for me). As for the effects, most of the shells used were of good quality. However, I found that the colors used were a bit too dark. I was expected more intense yellows and greens. As pointed out by Trav, there was indeed a bit too much repetition for my taste. I was really looking forward to more then just red shells at one point lol.
All in all though, it was a great display from Poland. A from me.
1) Poland/Italy (synchro was better for Italy, work in progress )
|Posted: Jun 27, 2010 22:07:20 Edited by: fredbastien
I was delighted by the Polish entrant for my 140th on-site display. Following two below-the-average displays and several anomalies during the pre-show time (which continued this week), I thought during the extravaganza how lucky I am to attend so wonderful things. While the theme was rather weak and the soundtrack wasn't crafted as carefully as others with some unedited songs, I found the music and the overall show very entertaining.
Surex brightly used all the space available with several segments painted from the lake to the highest level in the sky. The serene introduction with Chopin music has been meticulously designed. We sometimes saw comets or stars surfing over the water, from right to left, but it was amazing this time to see them shooted toward the audience, creating a moving piano keyboard on the lake! During the second segment, to have red nautical strobes with other strobes on the back, with shells of red stars above was really immersive, as so many other well-built segments. The synchronization was flawless most of the time, with some great note-synchronized effects, like some single strobes lighting up with some percussions. Other nautical effects were dazzling, like some gentle mines topped with bees and rotative fountains launched across the lake. The double finale reached my expectations, with thick (and smoke) red fans of comets launched vertically from ramps 3 and 4, as well as horizontally over the lake, more barrages of fans of silver comets with multibreak shells of comets above, then fan cakes of stars bursting in salutes as a barrage of nautical shells erupted (I'm sure Paul would have written a WOW in his report!); the second part of the finale was shorter but great with massive mines (partly hidding girandolas from La Ronde audience viewpoint) synchronized with the percussion, leading to an ultimate barrage of kamuros, other shells and salutes.
However, some minors problems occured through the show, like some recalcitrant spinning wheels, asymmetrical sequences and blind spots. I would like to read Paul's opinion about the quality of the pieces. As Trav wrote, the kamuros were not so bright and a lot of smoke appear during the show, especially at the finale. It is true that winds were weak, but is this situation also due to poor quality of material? I also felt that Surex might have some difficulties to fill 30 minutes, since I found some repetitive patterns during the show. Doing 30 minutes is very challenging. But all that didn't detract from a great display.
Mylène, thank you to bring the official statement about the sound problem in the discussion. However, my non-specialist ears perceived the same trouble than the one experienced the previous week. While it is logically possible that two identical events are caused by two distinct factors, I underline that they have never occured before and now happened twice in a row! For me, it is enough to arouse a sceptical attitude! To add to my interpretation, we are all desperated witnesses of various changes and anomalies surrounding the fireworks this year. The latest being the Giant Wheel which demonstrated the inverted erratic behavior than the previous week, now turns on once the display has begun.
I prefer to remember the Polish display, which deserved a better introduction than that. My ranking:
|Posted: Jun 28, 2010 00:57:20 Edited by: Smoke
It is true that winds were weak, but is this situation also due to poor quality of material?
Indeed, winds were quite light. Although the day itself was relatively windy, winds became, as expected, light in nature by the late evening, but variable in speed within the "light" category during the fireworks (with some occasional moderate breezes). When just recently watching Bob's video, I was examining smoke directional tendency, and, for the most part, it was heading in the correct direction(s) from La Ronde's viewing perspective. The variability in wind speed was reflected by the differences in the speed of the smoke's motion - that is, at times the speed was ideal (in the range specified at 12-15 km/h) and therefore cleared smoke reasonably well, while other times inconveniently falling closer to the lower end of the light speed spectrum. Humidity levels were also borderline moderate-high, so this, in combination with light winds, contributed to rapid, thick smoke build up, especially when the display became more active at any given level.
|Posted: Jun 28, 2010 04:15:37
I think that Poland gave a very good debut performance. the display wasn't more than what im expecting but it was good.
The theme like any other displays this year so far was just presented through music. The colors were very nicely paired with each other and also the effects. I liked most of their songs except for the ones that had lyrics in them.
The quality of their materials were not that good. Their peonies and other round shells were a bit asymmetrical (some looked like oblongs) but they had some nice effects. I like their strobe willows and the red saturn shells with the strobe microstar comets as the ring. They had very nice strobes too but i think that they were a bit overused. If not all i think that most of their segments had some strobes effects in them. I also think that the fanned cakes were a bit overused but as many have said i like the parts where in they fired the fans horizontally. Their nautical effects were very nice. They used many types such as strobes, water ballets, cakes, and giant nautical shells xD They also had very good multibreak shells
The synchronization of their display was okay. I thought that the first segment was really well done, also the finale. I liked the parts were in they synched the nautical cakes (mines with fish) with the music. I also liked the parts where they had one shot sequences, i think that they should have had more xD Their finale started very strong and ended a bit too quickly but it was a good finale because even though it was already the finale, they still synched it with the music.
Here's my grading for Surex:
Technical Design: 9/10
Pyrotechnical Design: 9/10
overall: 42.5/50 (85%)
|Posted: Jun 29, 2010 12:36:18
I enjoyed this display...the music and fireworks really solidified the theme, and if I did not know for a fact that this was their debut at this competition, I would automatically assume they had a great deal of experience here in Montreal as they used the space so well.
But there is one major criticism I have: the show did not have an apparent emotional flow. They took a very narrow approach to the theme they chose, and while they matched the fireworks to the music like seasoned pros, the show didn't really go anywhere. The subtle dynamic and tempo differences between sections would have been better realised if there was a flow, rather than the "pregnant pause" methodology they employed so often: the sections these pauses "joined" were so similar that they could easily have linked them. But it would have been even better had they deviated from the standard inspirational music, with its emotional swelling of the string sections that certainly bashed their interpretation of the theme into our heads, but didn't make for a very exciting middle of the show. They could have been much more daring, using up-tempo selections carefully synched with quiet low-level products (maybe mines) while dozens of beat-synchronised loud 10" stringed titanium salute/colour-change shells emphasise the dynamic shift in the higher part of the sky. This would have created the awe and excitement necessary in any good fireworks show without compromising the theme; they only had two real climaxes - the faux finale and the real finale. In my opinion, to give the audience a reason to believe in the magic of fire, you require at least 2 major sections within the show itself consisting of an ample demonstration of its power juxtaposed against sections showing its beauty and subtlety, and you need to overwhelm for the finale. They got the beauty and subtlety done very well, but I was never awed by the power of a section, not even the finale, which was well-executed and interesting, but fell short of the power and majesty that they could have employed.
I missed the Taiwan show, but comparing Poland to Italy, I would say they both had their strengths and weaknesses. Italy had better fireworks, but they were less creative in their use, and the show really didn't make the most of the space. Their theme was generic and the synchronisation was just barely good enough to be competitive at this level, but the show was still very exciting and enjoyable because there was a range of intensity. It was dramatic and unpredictable, making me eagerly anticipate what they had in store for us in the next section, and especially in the finale. Poland had a very creative display, much more refined and certainly better designed with the space at La Ronde in mind, but it reminded me a lot of Canada's 2006 show...not really that exciting. Fireworks are supposed to be celebratory, extravagant and bold, and the finale is supposed to be overwhelming - you're supposed to feel the power. I would "believe" a lot more in Poland's theme if it showed more variation, more depth. I kept saying to myself..."okay, the *next* section is going to be fast and exciting, they're just leading us on"...but after about 4 sections with no significant dynamic changes, I settled into just enjoying the show for what it was, and not for what I hoped it would be.
All in all, I don't think either of them will win a Jupiter, but if I had to pick the better show, it would be Poland, because of the creativity factor. They achieved what they intended to achieve exceptionally well, but their intended thematic realisation is not broad enough to put them in the running (unless the remaining shows are worse of course!).
|Posted: Jun 29, 2010 12:45:02
My review is up here and pretty much echoes a lot of the sentiments expressed already. Interestingly, though, I don't agree with the comments people have made about the quality of the soundtrack edits - with 13 tracks used, there were certainly edits made to many of them to fit the allotted time - that people think the songs were used un-cut shows, to my mind, that the editing was done quite well.
|Posted: Jun 29, 2010 13:08:18 Edited by: STL
Interestingly, though, I don't agree with the comments people have made about the quality of the soundtrack edits - with 13 tracks used, there were certainly edits made to many of them to fit the allotted time - that people think the songs were used un-cut shows, to my mind, that the editing was done quite well.
You make an interesting point. Maybe my feeling about Poland's soundtrack was caused by their similar sounding tracks: sometimes the transition would go unnoticed because the two joined tracks sounded relatively the same.
Also, using pop songs (such as Celine Dion and Bryan Adams) may aggravate the feeling of repetition, because of their previsible structure (verse, chorus, verse, chorus, etc.) Therefore, even though the song may have been cut, the key parts may be still present and give the impression that the song was left intact and dropped as-is into the soundtrack.
In either case, I still believe that the quality of the mix is paramount for a show that competes in l'International. Having seconds of silence between the tracks causes the momentum to be lost somewhat.
I for one prefer when the mix is more seamless than what Poland's offered. Using narration, sound effects and similar material would serve such purpose when transitioning from two dissimilar songs, while enhancing the theme (Spain 2009 and its foghorns and similar sea-related effects comes to mind).
I know that I refer often to Voilà in my posts, but Serge Péloquin managed to make a seamless soundtrack while Yanick Roy had an abstract theme in mind for its show (like Poland for instance). This proves that it can be done (and very well done indeed), so this is why I often criticize displays that miss the mark on the quality of the soundtrack mix.
Just a disclaimer though: it's not because I worked with Royal last year that I display bias toward their show and use it now as a baseline. In fact, it's the other way around, as I decided to call them last year *after* I've seen them shoot their show. As I started following the competition in 2008, Voilà was the very first show that I saw from them.
|Posted: Jun 30, 2010 13:56:54
Quite a remarkable display. One that I once again missed. But this display was a good display that I missed. Poland really put a huge debuting display in front of our eyes. I was pretty impressed that Surex had alot to offer. Also, Paul, the video of Ramp 1 taken by Journal de Montreal, what display was that? Just curious.
Very enjoyable, quite loud finale, and numerous shells brought my ranking for Poland as #2! That said, I didn't really like the choice of music and the theme "Believe" had, how you say, pas rapport a ce spectacle de feu. It was good, and alot of people liked it. I can't disagree with them, it was good, but lacked several things. I would push them to #1 due to the amount of multi-breaks they used, but Italy had used them too.
My rankings so far:
Hope to see what Macedo's has to offer, since they did have the world record for 6 years in largest fireworks display in the world, until it was surpassed by Dubai's display in the United Arab Emirates.
|Posted: Jun 30, 2010 14:03:09 Edited by: STL
Also, Paul, the video of Ramp 1 taken by Journal de Montreal, what display was that? Just curious.
I'd say Taiwan, because of the orange crossette cakes seen at one point during the video. If I remember well, Italy display did not have cakes at all and Poland didn't have orange crossettes (they used fan cakes a lot though).
EDIT : forgot the most important ! One picture clearly comes from a camera with water droplets on the lens. It only rained during Taiwan's entry !
|Posted: Jun 30, 2010 14:10:14 Edited by: fireworksforum
It was definitely Taiwan - the J de M people were there when we were interviewing the team so I knew they were going to do this
Hope to see what Macedo's has to offer, since they did have the world record for 6 years in largest fireworks display in the world, until it was surpassed by Dubai's display in the United Arab Emirates.
Macedo's most recent New Year's Eve display on Madeira surpassed the Dubai display so they still hold the record as far as I understand - see http://www.macedos.com.pt/uk/noticias.php?pageNum_rsNoticias=1&totalRo ws_rsNoticias=33
|Posted: Jun 30, 2010 15:09:13
|Posted: Jul 1, 2010 13:15:08
Great first performance by Poland. This was a much better and complex and emotional display than the previous ones. It had a good soundtrack, too. The only part that I didn't like was the pop song (by Celine Dion and another singer), which really didn't go well with the classical songs. And it was the least interesting part of the display. Despite this silly mistake, the rest of the show was generally very well done for a new participant. Synchronization was pretty good, too. The faux finale and the real finale were very well done and had a good build-up, but neither of them were powerful enough.
My rankings so far:
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