Eclipse – The cycle of life, from darkness to light
Designed by Patrick Brault and Luis Brunchù, FireOne/FireOneUltra firing with 77 32-cue modules
A stereotypical Montreal July summer’s evening – hot and humid, with the temperature staying resolutely at 30C throughout the display, was the backdrop to the debut display by Sirius® Pyrotechnics, though representing Patrick Brault’s eighth design at La Ronde. I was eager to see what Patrick (and, not to forget his co-designer Luis) would be capable of, without any external constraints.
It very quickly became evident that there was a fluid familiarity with the capabilities of the site since every angle, both for low-level and upper-level effects, was being exploited. This fluidity of design was evident throughout the display, leaving us no doubt that the software visualizations of the show had been successfully employed in the design. The quality of the products used was also of high calibre and there was very little repetition of effects used throughout the thirty minute duration of the show.
During the interview, Patrick had mentioned some special effects that he didn’t want me to publicize until after the display. The most notable of these were some wheels, that started out as normal vertical wheels, but after about forty seconds or so, transitioned to girandolas and took off into the sky from their mounts.
The wheels functioned well, but from the vantage point of the audience, it was difficult to see that it was a vertical wheel which became a girandola, rather than a vertical wheel followed by a girandola. Safety concerns dictated that, because of the unpredictable path the wheel may have taken after lift-off, the devices had to be at such a distance from the audience that there would be little risk of them flying into the crowd.
Synchronization was excellent throughout the display, not just in terms of speed, but also in terms of accurately firing effects at the appropriate time. This is not as easy as it sounds as there is always a delay from firing until the effect become visible – and different effects such as one-shots or mines, need to be fired at slightly different times to appear to be properly synchronized. The music used was interesting and represented a style that is rarely seen here. Unfortunately, I couldn’t really find any connection to the stated theme and it left me feeling more down than up most of the time. The exception being the faux-finale piece “Waiting for the end” by Linkin Park. This was really effective and had many of us in the audience convinced that the display really was over, despite the Molson clock reading 10:28.
The real finale was powerful, with many nautical shells and some amazing nautical salutes that literally left the lake looking like a tsunami had passed through! However, I found the decision to do a “bright” faux finale and a relatively dimmer gold-brocade actual finale wasn’t so effective. The bright salutes visually drowned-out the nautical brocade shells, rendering them virtually invisible. I personally prefer a finale to be the highlight of the show and I think that it would have been better to have the brighter of the two segments as the actual finale.
Overall, this was an excellent and creative display with great products and a consistent fluidity throughout, highlighted by the excellent use of the space and tight synchronization. I didn’t find any connection between the music and the theme, though and I also found that the music didn’t uplift me in enough places to get me excited.
So far this year, all three displays have been of a consistently high quality so I’m sure the task of the judges is only going to get more difficult as the competition progresses.