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L'International des Feux Loto-Québec 2008
Montréal International Fireworks Competition Report

France Montreal in the Stars June 21st, 2008

Prestatech - artistic director Fabrice Chouillier, wireless digital firing with Firemaster Plus

Montréal Friday, June 20, 2008 L'International des Feux Loto-Quéalc presented by TELUS will kick-off in spectacular style this Saturday at 10:00 p.m., welcoming the French firm Prestatech-Artifices, which will be illuminating the Eiffel Tower on July 14, 2008. This will be their first time competing in Montréal.

In keeping with the theme "Montréal under the stars", the designers of this pyro-musical event plan to illustrate the "adventure of man's conquest of the sky". The musical score, which includes excerpts from 2001: A Space Odyssey, Star Wars, and Star Trek, will serve to highlight the history of space travel, which recently celebrated its 50th anniversary. The Soviet Union placed the first satellite in orbit in October 1957.

According to Fabrice Chouillier, Artistic Fireworks Director: "These historic advances and this remarkable human adventure have provided an opportunity for many directors to not only produce films about such extraordinary journeys, but also to envision what the future of human life in space will be like". Mr. Chouiller promises a highly orchestrated and rhythmic show that is very French in its design. "We intend to display our signature style, and to use the entire site in a truly spectacular production," he added.

Prestatech-Artifices arrives in Montréal with unmatched pyrotechnical devices, some of which are manufactured in France, that produce brilliant colours. They will serve as "shooting stars", and will be accompanied by a wide range of "nautical" devices that have not been seen before in this area.

After a week of cool and unsettled weather, summer arrived with perfect conditions for the inaugural display in the 24th edition of the Montreal Internation Fireworks Competition. The anticipated French team, famous for their incredible use of the Eiffel Tower, promised an exciting theme for the debut display in Montreal. Despite flashes of lightning in the distance, the weather remained perfect throughout the display, which utilized "ramp 5", a set of floating platforms in the lake closer to the audience than ramp 3.

Part 1 to the music Zarathustra (2001 Space Odysee) by R Strauss. The display began with a line of strobes on ramps three and five and sequenced comets, to the classic "10 ... 9 ..." countdown (though not all comets fired) and then a line of gold glitter fountains on ramp 3. The fountains continued for some time and then were augmented by crackling bombettes. As the strobes continued the familiar "2001" theme music opened to a fan of crackling mines on ramp 4 and mines of broccade on ramp 3. This sequence continued and was augmented by barrages of broccade shells, ending with a volley of brigher ones bringing the segment to a close.

Part 2 to music from the film Star Trek by Denis McCarthy. Cakes of blue stars fired on ramp 5 as the narration from the original Star Trek series opened this segment. A run of comet mines on ramp 3 was followed by shells of strobes as the blue star cakes continued on ramp 5. Then Z-cakes of tourbillons as the strobe shells continued. The music moved seamlessly to

Part 3 to music from the film Star Wars Phantom Menace by John Williams. Large shells of pale gold comets with trunks as candles of clusters of stars fired below. Next farfalles and kamuro shells as the words "Houston, we have a problem" were followed by volleys of kamuro shells ending in purple bringing this segment to a close.

Part 4 to the music Mars by Gustav Holst. Volleys of salutes and candles of falling leaf bombettes were augments by angled gold glitter comets and then cakes of crackling bombettes with falling leaf shells above and shells of salute-terminated stars above these. This theme continued and increased in intensity as large crackling cakes fired below with electric comet shells above. Volleys of titanium salutes brought the segment to a close as the crackling cakes continued.

Part 5 to music from the film Stargarte by David Arnold. The lake lit up with a carpet of red nautical flares. Then intersecting kamuro comets were fired from left and right as more flares were launched into the lake. This theme continued with the intersecting kamuro comet candles augmented by meteor comet shots on the highlights of the music. Mines of clusters of kamuro comet crossettes were fired and then fans of crackling bombettes. These were augmented by popping broccade shells as meteor comets fired below. More popping broccade shells (these are broccade comets that end in a burst of crackle) followed by barrages of broccade spider shells and fast sequences of overlapping mines of clusters of comets below, bringing the segment to a close.

Part 6 to music from the film ET by John Williams. A line of small fountains lit up on ramps three and five together with some strobes on ramps three and four. Crackling comets fired from the left of ramp 3 (possibly in error) as shells of pale stars fired above and then shells of deep gold strobe. The mix of deep gold strobes and pale stars continued as Z-cake fans of meteor-headed gold glitter comets fired from ramp 3 as the strobes continued on ramps three and four. Larger fans of brigher meteor comets fired from the centre as the Z-cakes continued. These were followed by wide fans of clusters of crackling comets bombettes as shells of deep strobes fired above. The barrages of strobes increased in intensity as more crackling candles were added below and shells of electric comets above and then larger shells of pale gold broccades few salutes below as the music paused and moved to a calmer piano motif. Fans of meteor comets fired in clusters across ramp 3 as cakes of small stars fired on ramp 5. Girandolas then began to ascent from ramp 2, then descend and ascend a second time as further flights took off. As these were rising into the air, whistling comets rose up from ramp 3 as broad fans of meteor comets fired from the centre with shells of pale gold glitter with purple pistils above. Mines of pale stars fired in fans below as shells of gold serpents fired above followed by clusters of crossette comets below and then sequences of broccade mines with shells of rings of broccade comets above. The sequenced mines and ring comet shells continued followed by barrages of willow palm tree shells. These were followed by crossed meteor crossette candles and flights of rockets bursting into cones of bright coloured stars above. The crossettes and flights of rockets continued and were followed by shells of bees and more shells of the gold serpents with clusters of falling leaves below. Another barrages of willow palm trees turning to blue followed by more flights of rockets and then fans of crackling comet candles and mines of crackling comet crossettes as shells of falling leaves fired above, bringing the segment to a serene close to cheers from the audience.

Part 7 to the music Jupiter by Gustav Holst. Intersection fans of stars were fired from left and right and then augmented by fans of meteor comet candles in the centre. These were then augmented by larger fans of bombettes and then shells of small salute-terminated colours stars above. This theme contined and then was followed by cakes of fans of small salutes on ramp 5 which were replaced by Z-cakes of tourbillons as well as fans of electric comets. Cakes of crackling bombettes were added into the mix with multi-coloured star shells above as well as shells of electric comets. Dazzling shells of go-getters then burst, the brightness causing people to gasp. These were followed by barrages of kamuros turning to blue, bringing the segment to a close.

Part 8 to music from the film Mars Attacks by Danny Elfman. Strobes lit up on ramp 5 and then cakes of small stars followed by more of the dazzling go-getters above. This theme continued and was followed by clusters of converging comets bursting to crackle below with popping broccade shells above. Screaming serpent comets then rose into the air as fans of crossette comet candles fired augmented by comet shells above. This theme continued and then a return to the crackling bombettes with shells of stars and comets above. Mines of stars and salutes fired below as a volley of strobes and salutes brought the segment to a close.

Part 9 to music from the film Dune by Toto. This began with crossed kamuro comet candles and fans of flashing bombettes. Above these, shells of small falling comets and then larger shells of strobes with flights of rockets bursting to cone shaped clusters of stars behind as the music moved to

Part 10 to music from the film Planet of the Apes by Danny Elfman. Mines of serpents and then fast sequences of comet mines were augmented by shells of small crossette comets above. This theme continued and then returned fo the mines of serpents with star-terminated comet shells above. Barrages of shells of clusters of comets turning to salutes increased in intensity as the music moved to

Part 11 to a mix of music from Star Wars by John Williams. Fans of meteor comet crossettes were augmented by kaleidoscope shells of comets above at a high level and colour star shells at medium level. Next, fans of meteor comet candles with crossed comet shots behind. Strobe shells then began to fire above as the crossed comets contined below. These were followed by mines of stars on ramp 5 and then falling leaf shells above. Strobes lit up on ramp fives as clusters of stars fired from cakes both upwards and towards the lake from ramp 3. This theme continued and was followed by crossed crackling comet candles. These were augmented by fans of crackling bombetter with shells of salute-terminated comets above. Ring shells fired above as well as titanium salutes and were followed by a return to the crossed meteor comet crossette candles below. Kamuro shells then fired above as the pace increased and fans of whistling comets fired below. Fans of crossette star candles were followed by shells of salute-terminated stars, huge volleys of these bringing the segment to a close with a large comet shell in the middle.

Part 12 to music from the film Star Trek by Denis McCarthy. A large fan of pale gold comets fired from the centre. This repeated several times as broccade shells fired above as well as multi-colour star shells with star crossettes below. This theme continued and then more broccade shells fired with mines of screaming whislting serpents below. Barrages of shells of colour-terminated kamuros fired above and then were replaced by electric comet shells. These barrages increased in intensity as pale gold comet shells added into the mix and a final barrage of titanium salutes brought the finale to an end as the three notes of the "close encounters of the 3rd kind" theme sounded out, causing some to speculate that this was only the faux finale.

An interesting debut display from the French team which fired almost flawlessly. Synchronization was excellent, though not too much use was made of rhythmic sequencing. The display made good use of the area available, but the nautical devices were disappointing, especially given the press released. Save from the nautic flares, there special cakes were not too exciting and there were not other nautical shells. The flights of rockets were used to great effect in the display but I felt at times there was too much reptition of crackling effects and, at many times, the overall feeling was that the shells used were not very bright. Colour was also used quite sparingly, with mainly gold and crackling effects throughout. However, the dazzling go-getter shells did catch the audience off guard. A bit more variation in pace and intensity would have been appreciated and the theme didn't quite live up to the press release either. A longer finale would have been appreciated too as it gave the impression of being a faux finale. All that said, an excellent debut.


Thanks to the public relations people of La Ronde for the official press release material, shown in white.