I met with Martin Hildeberg representing Sweden with Göteborgs FyrverkeriFabrik for the third time in Montreal. At their last visit, they took home the Silver Jupiter in a very closely fought competition. Martin was obviously a bit disappointed at the time, having hoped for Gold, but said that he accepted the prize. He made mention of the fact that the judging in Montreal is fair, unlike in some competitions where it appears the winner is determined in advance. Martin said he did not participate in those competitions any more.
Speaking of other competitions, Martin proudly pointed out that he beat both Ricasa and Pyroemotions at the Hannover competition in 2015. He said that these kind of teams have raised the general level in the industry over recent years, particularly with respect to cue-count. Martin’s previous show in Montreal in 2010 had around 2500 cues; this year’s display will have around 30% more (full details in the display report). He noted, though, that Ricasa’s display used as many modules as Martin will in the entire display just on ramp 3. We then had a discussion about cue counts and how the raw numbers can be deceiving, especially as there are many different ways of firing a display.
One interesting point to note, though, is that it is believed GFF’s display will have the largest number of shells of calibre 125mm and above, and will feature 250mm and 300mm shells. Martin said the largest calibre shells will be placed in the sky in such a way that they’re not drowned out by lower-level effects. A wide range of manufacturers is represented with companies such as Vaccalluzzo, Pirico (Parente), Europla from Europe together with Yung Feng, San Tai and others from China.
The soundtrack was designed with input from the company and the script was designed by the trio of Martin, Andreas Helle and Simon Svennson (though with Martin doing the bulk). Since 2010, there have been changes at GFF due to the death of Martin’s business partner, Anders, so Martin is now solely in charge which, he said, has both advantages and disadvantages!
All possible firing positions will be used, with 17 on ramp 3 as well as the use of “stub” extensions at the left and right hand sides to allow easier firing of nautical shells. Ramps 4 and 5 will also be in use. One special structure, that will feature throughout the display, is a 42m high “sky tower” that will be packed with firing structures forming a kind of ladder.
The entire show was visualized using Finale Fireworks though the final script was put together in ShowDirector. Martin noted that neither piece of software had all the features he wanted to accomplish both the design and physical layout of the show together with sorting and labeling the products. Finale was useful, though, to allow the three designers to collaborate on the script of the show. Like many competitors this year, Martin is a bit worried about the weather as the forecast currently indicates smoke could build up towards the audience. Hopefully the weather gods will cooperate for this final competing display in the 2016 season.