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 Montreal Fireworks Forum —› 2011 Display Reviews —› England - Pyro 2000 Ltd reviews
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Posted: Jul 10, 2011 01:02:44

Hi guys,

Please post your reviews/comments in this thread for the English display.

I will post more details later on, but, to be brief, this was a very entertaining display, with an enjoyable selection of music, a myriad of gorgeous colors, high product quality (the effects were quite vibrant), and beautiful sequences along low to mid level, especially with the angled shots of comets, candles and mines - this made for some particularly interesting mixtures of effects and colors. The display got off to an early start (it was around 9:59 p.m, and with no countdown), but it opened with the best start so far this year, with stunning synchronization, and a beautiful assortment of color. The performance itself was very electrifying and offered some rich and highly diverse colors. The display also featured some good balance from low to high level most of the time, and I personally loved the firing angles that were attempted in this display, as they had crafted some exquisite symmetry from the left to right (and vice versa).

The show appeared to experience some problems, however. I noticed that there was a couple of moments of unexplained silence, and, at times, synchronization, as well executed as it generally was, felt a little off. Also, after the conclusion of one segment around mid way, fireworks continued for several seconds after the soundtrack used for that segment came to a halt. I am not sure if these were attributed to technical problems, but they seemed to be related.

The music transitions were effective, but there were moments where they were a little too abrupt. I also felt that there were points of repetition in terms of firing scheme - in particular, the manner by which low to mid level activity would often be supported by rapid bursts of shells at high level for several segments. Similarly, towards the first part of the show, the overall rainbow shape that took form at mid levels with the fans of comets along the center seemed to come across as being a little redundant, even though it took on various appearances. Finally, the theme was somewhat vague, and though some of the effects appeared representative, I found it to be a little difficult to establish a consistent connection with the fireworks.

The finale was stunning, enduring, and rich in color, although I was hoping to see a bigger final conclusion at the very end of it. That said, I am not complaining about the nature of this concluding piece, as it was was breathtaking, rejuvenating and certainly better than what we had seen so far this year - it was truly mesmerizing, and there were only screams of delight around me through it all.

Overall, this was a very enjoyable performance by team England, particularly because there were so many points that were so active and powerful, and the sequences were certainly awe-inspiring - these factors largely kept the audience attentive. I certainly have this display as my first preference of the participants that performed so far, but it's difficult to say where it would stand at the very end, considering the (possible) technical problems, as well as the periods of repetition.

Again, I will post more later today (I apologize if my comments appeared rushed), once I return from my trip to eastern Ontario. I will also eventually upload and post my finale video (from De Lorimier/Notre-Dame).

Other than that, it seems that the weather mostly played out accordingly, with temperatures hovering around 22-23 C in the metropolitan area, light WNW to NW winds around, and some scattered cumulus cloud clusters, coupled with those wispy high level cirrus clouds. Expect July-like weather to continue into today (Sunday) through to Tuesday, with building humidity through today and especially into Monday (very high humidity possible). However, severe weather is a possibility later Monday into early Tuesday due to a passing cold front. Fair weather will take place thereafter, including for Italy's display.

Trav.


Posted: Jul 10, 2011 01:27:44


Posted: Jul 10, 2011 01:59:10

The display got off to an early start (it was around 9:59 p.m, and with no countdown),

The display started at 10:00 exactly with the usual countdown by Michel Lacroix.

Paul


Posted: Jul 10, 2011 07:04:29

I was very very disappointed - I guess it depended on where you stood - it started at 10h00 for me but there was no countdown - the wheel was simply turned off and the fireworks started low and stayed low and remained low and there was really nothing in the sky for the first 10 minutes for sure - I would say that approximately 60% of the show took place at low levels, and whenever there was something higher up in the sky, it was simple or hard to shoot, as they send up these balls of fire which generate so much light that you cannot shoot them with a camera effectively

Again, very disappointed but the weather could not have been more perfect - there was very little wind however and a lot of smoke gathered and was not expelled fast enough when the next fireworks happened.


Posted: Jul 10, 2011 18:03:52   Edited by: reflections_of_earth

Review is based on Bob's video!

Prior to the show, i wasn't really expecting much from this team as i have seen some of their shows on video and they were pretty decent but since this is montreal...decent is not good enough. Overall I thought that this was a really bad show... Almost no synchronization at all even the one shots were not really following the music well. As an example, the comets at the beginning were firing too fast even though there were really no beats in the song yet.. it seemed that they went with an easier choreography by just doing a chase of comets with a default firing time instead of finding all the beats in the music where the comets would fit in. Although a few of the music choices had some pretty good beats to follow, i feel that they really have failed to use the full potential of the songs that they have chosen. This said, i found some of their song choices to be enjoyable which kept me entertained for the rest of their show. I guess it is good that Pyro 2000 tried to do a more complicated show than what they have been doing normally and i'm sure that in a few years time they would be able to improve their firing style.

As for the products that they used, i found their ground fireworks to be of much higher quality than their shells. Their shells looked like shells that were just left overs from the factories in China as some had a lot of blind stars. This alone shows how poor some of their shells where. There was also a limited range of effects used. Throughout the show the only effects i remember them firing are peonies, chrystanhemums, and palms. I think that this is not a good impression specially as they are following a team who sources out products from only the best manufacturers around the world. I think that Pyro 2000 could have found better quality shells for their show in montreal. Unfortunately, some of the cakes were too messy specialy the ones firing in ramp 4 such as the crossette fan where some of it shots appeared to have just stayed on the ground. There were also too much repetitions in the cakes their using such as in the santana segment where in the W cakes were just replacing each other cake after cake all doing the same thing except in different effects.. That song had the potential to be filled with many interesting one shot sequences as they have exhibited in some parts of the song

I think that they are using the traditional shock and awe method as everytime shells are present, they are really quite a lot but then if they were not there... it was pretty boring. Though this style could work very well in a classic display i think that this cannot be done on pyromusicals as there is music to be followed, as a result it looked like shells were just firing without coordination to music.

Overall, i think that it was quite a disappointing display because it has failed to show the essence of a pyromusical. This said, i'm pretty sure that many members of the general public would have enjoyed the show a lot since when Pyro 2000 went loud, they went really loud specially in the finale . This might be quite a harsh review but i'm sure that the team could have made a better show specially with that big finale . Compliments where its due, it seems that the show fired perfectly without any obvious technical problems!

Here's my grading for Pyro 2000:
Effects: 7/10
Synchronization: 7.5/10
Music: 8/10
Technical Design: 8.5/10
Pyrotechnical/pyromusical Design: 8/10
overall: 39/50 (78%)

Ranking:
1. Czech Republic - Flash Barrandov
2. China - Panda Fireworks
3. England - Pyro 2000

Vander


Posted: Jul 10, 2011 20:27:09

Here is the link for the video of the England show and the others so far:
http://www.burchcom.com/2011/index.html

And for those who want to download it, the link is:
http://www.burchcom.com/2011/england2011.flv


Posted: Jul 10, 2011 20:29:18

Here is the link for the video of the England show and the others so far:
http://www.burchcom.com/2011/index.html

And for those who want to download it, the link is:
http://www.burchcom.com/2011/england2011.flv


Posted: Jul 10, 2011 22:46:50   Edited by: fredbastien

It appears from the interviews conducted early this week by Mylène and Paul that the Montreal International Fireworks Competition was a huge challenge for Pyro 2000. The English entrant did a very good performance for a first one which, I am sure, satisfied the large audience at La Ronde last night. While I always enjoy a fireworks extravaganza of this size and quality level, I don’t believe that the competition followers were so much impressed.

The short introduction on Michael Bublé’s music was promising, with a strong sequence of dense mines, followed with a perfect lines of red flares which simultaneously lit up as the second song began. The segment on Rihanna’s song started as a nice sequence red gerbes lit up from the centre to the end of the firing area, followed by similar sequences of blue, yellow, and purple gerbs. On Edith Piaf, the gentle sound from a barrage of 15 sets of crossing gerbs was pure pleasure for my ears. An original effect appeared on the Andrea Bocelli’s segment, as six dancers came into life on the third firing ramp. They were made of fountains located on horizontally rotative devices (the dancers’ dress), plus one more vertical fountain in the centre (the dancers’ body), along with rotative nautical fountains throughout the lake, the one and only nautical effect in this show (at least, there was a nautical effect in this display; last night, I was ironically wondering whether a special tax prevented the use of the lake, as nautical pieces were so rare since the beginning of the 2011 edition). And I’m sure that many people enjoyed the finale, whose ultimate shells remained incandescent for a long time.

The effects aforementioned might have contributed to an excellent short display, but they were not numerous enough for a 30-minute pyromusical show. One problem is the very limited range of pyrotechnic products used in the show and repetitive sequence patterns (i.e.: chases). There were too many cakes and candles whose function seemed to fill the space. As a result, the display sometimes looked like fireworks with music instead of a genuine pyromusical show. The Samba Pa Ti segment was an unfortunate example of this problem. Furthermore, I’m not sure that the quality of some products was very good. Firstly, I wonder what many of their shells were made of, as detonation sounded much more powerful than usual. In fact, I found these bangs so strong that they detracted viewers’ attention. Secondly, many pistils from shells had not a regular, spherical shape, and I suspect that it was not to create some new effects… There were few colour-changing effects, as well as few multi-effect shells or any other complex devices.

Another problem was about the overall concept. I don’t really understand the choice of the music and its consistency. I suspect the designer had maybe a desire to build a very heterogenous soundtrack, so all viewers would like at least one piece. But as a result, the glue to keep all segments together was unfortunately missing. I don’t know, however, whether the lack of theme really matters, as some atmospheric soundtracks have already led to a Jupiter…

Finally, the fireworks sometimes ended before the music, sometimes after the music, and some very short black-outs (one or two seconds) occurred during the display.

All that being said, these criticisms are made with the specific context of the Montreal competition and the most advanced performance level in mind. Pyro 2000 did a good show and it was not a mistake to add them to the 2011 line-up. I believe, however, that some improvements are needed to increase their chance to go on the podium in a forthcoming edition.

My personal ranking so far :

1. China
2. Czech Republic
3. England

Trav, Paul and Rachel : The show actually began a couple of seconds before 10:00pm. My watch is synchronized with time provided by CBC and I took a look as Michel Lacroix started its introduction to the show. It was around 9:59:10. The end of the countdown happened about 30 seconds later, so I estimate the beginning of the show around 9:59:40. There was a countdown and my video testifies that the Giant Wheel properly turned off. However, I suspect that the countdown has not been heard on the radio, thus creating some confusion for viewers outside the park, am I right?

During the show, I dealt with the fall of some pyrotechnic stuff in the grandstands and I thought about the remarkable accuracy of Trav’s forecast. He predicted that wind would push the smoke toward the audience or the left extremity of the audience. That was exactly the behavior of the wind!

I now hope that Pirotecnia Morsani has good stuff and some surprises in store for my 150th display!

Fred


Posted: Jul 11, 2011 10:53:39

Hi everyone,

I'll write a more detailed review tomorrow or Wednesday on my website, but I wanted to share my thoughts while they were still relevant.

I don't want to beat a dead horse, but I must say that Pyro 2000's display was not of a high enough standard to have a chance to win this year. Someone said that the Czech Republic's display would be difficult to move from the 8th rank and, while I didn't agree, I can help but wonder that England may be the last display in the rankings this year for many of us.

The pyrotechnical design reminded me of Taiwan's display last year, as the pattern was either shooting one-shots and cakes or shooting volleys of shells.

The soundtrack mix apparently received some thought, as I've been delighted to hear that Snow Patrol's Chasins Cars ended on "If I lay here" with a slight bit of reverb, just like DJs do. There were periods of silence between songs, so the overall mix was not as good as Sweden 2010, for instance, but in my opinion it was way better than the previous contestants.

As mentioned by Fred and others, the selection of effects was quite limited. As the shells were sourced from China, I noticed a bad contrast with the vibrant colors used last week by Flash Barrandov SFX. The Chinese shells appeared quite dim and dull in comparison. Yet, their bursting charge was something to witness !

8-inchers bursting as hard as a 12" : check !

I decided to forego the interview with Pyro 2000 this time around, as I would have felt bad to ask them to talk to me, then writing a devastating review about their display.

I did ask Paul Csukassy if there was any technical problems explaining the moments of silence and the absence of shells in the Santana segment, and he replied to me that everything was fired as it was supposed to. He told me he was worried at some point, as a crossette cake on Ramp 4 was firing at an odd angle (did it fall over ?) and flaming stars were falling directly on the roof of the structure, which could have ignited cardboard remnants up there. Fortunately, no damage happened.

I didn't film this display, so it's fortunate that we have Bob's video !

I'll miss Italy's and Australia's display, as I'm working at the Lac des Nations fireworks competition for the whole six nights.

I'll try to provide coverage of this competition, as time and work schedule permits.

STL


Posted: Jul 11, 2011 17:55:25   Edited by: Smoke

Comfortable weather conditions prevailed for the British debutant’s (Pyro 2000 Ltd) fireworks display in Montreal, with warm late-evening temperatures of 22-23 C (in the metropolitan area), borderline low-moderate humidity, mainly clear skies, and largely light WNW winds, although the directional tendencies of the wind affected the audience at La Ronde with respect to smoke (as confirmed by Fred).

My watch, which is roughly synchronized with the time display on the Molson clock (a difference of a few seconds), indicated that the display started roughly 10-15 seconds before 10:00 p.m. Fred had also noted in his post that the display began with approximately 20 seconds remaining until 10:00 p.m. There was, indeed, confusion for viewers outside the park, as the countdown was not heard on the radio station (Rhythme FM), which is why I was initially under the impression that there was no countdown to begin with (Rhythme FM typically airs it).

This was a very good effort for a first display by team England. I found that some of the sequences along low level were very interesting, especially at the display’s debut, with the variety of beautiful sequences of comets along low to mid level. The colors used were sometimes in excellent variety, and the contrasts were, at times, quite stunning at mid to high levels of sky. Some of the transitions, to me, at least, were particularly effective in an emotional context - I felt this the most during the penultimate piece of “Time to Say Goodbye”, as well as the transition to the concluding segment of “Run”, as the nature of both songs really demonstrated a shift from the overall feeling that the rest of the display commanded.

While I did enjoy this performance, especially because of the excitement factor that it entailed, there were some obvious problems that merit attention. I have noted previously (in the first post) that synchronization was generally good, but I noticed that the main problem facing this display was its inability to adequately maintain decent coordination with key components of the music - for example, while I thought that the first segment, in particular, was well synchronized, the fireworks appeared to become out of phase later into the soundtrack used. Another more recognizable example was during the penultimate piece, where the right to left and left to right sequences of angled comets were off with the vocals heard in the music. This problem was prevalent through a few segments, and, as Fred had stated, at many points, it became more and less an easy representation of fireworks with music.

The technical design of this performance heavily lacked creativity, and this was largely because of the limited selection of effects being used - most of this show’s context was based on multiple periods of bursts of 8” shells at high level and sequences of comets and/or candles, and there was very little interplay between effects (this seems to be a problem so far this year). On a related note, as mentioned in my preliminary comments, much of the display showed a few forms of repetition - in particular, the display tended to rely on a similar firing scheme for multiple segments, much like the Czech Republic, but, obviously, in a different manner of representation. Consequently, the fireworks were not always doing justice to most of the music selections being used. Another example of repetition was the central rainbow pattern that was often seen, albeit in various forms, through the first part of the display, which was a somewhat similar concept that was employed for Poland 2010.

Seeing as there were no reported technical problems in this display (as noted by STL, in accordance with what Paul Csukassy stated to him), I am wondering, then, as to why there were a few random brief moments of silence, or, in another instance, during the segment with the nautical fountains, why was there little support at mid to high level during that part (the music involved permitted much activity). Also, it is questionable as to what the purpose was behind the fireworks being fired for several additional seconds following the conclusion of the “The Gael” segment.

I thought that most of the effects were of good quality, but the selection of effects itself was very conservative, including the extreme low level effects (or nautical effects), which were very little in number. The nautical flares and silver nautical strobes seen in the opening were, however, effectively incorporated, but it is a pity that there were not many similar effects during the display in its entirety, as this would have really enhanced the complexity of the performance while offering more substance and vitality to the overall display. I also observed that some of the colors tended to fade rather quickly, at times, or some colors were just not as vivid - in particular, the high level shells of blue, yellow and red stars seemed to me that they were drowning quickly. As before, I felt that there was good balance maintained from high to low level of sky, and the firing angles permitted for some particularly good symmetry from left to right (and vice versa) - the firing angles were limited, however. Finally, the fluidity of the music was generally good, but the transitions, by themselves, would have benefited from some editing, as some of them appeared very abrupt.

One of the principal dilemmas for myself was the lack of a sound thematic premise in this display - as hard as I tried, I could not really make a consistent connection with the fireworks most of the time. The only things that perhaps stood out were some of the choices of effects used, such as the nautical silver strobes near the beginning of the display, or the shells of silver glittering stars frequently seen. The music selections themselves, while enjoyable, did not justify the nature of the theme, so, overall, it was difficult to make that critical link with them as well.

All this being said, again, I want to emphasize that this was a very entertaining display, mostly because it produced several exciting parts (namely the rapid bursts of high level shells), which the audience thoroughly enjoyed. The finale was very nicely crafted (certainly one of the better ones over the last six years), and it had the sort of enduring nature that I had been awaiting. However, with the simplistic nature of the design of this performance, along with periods of repetition (firing scheme, use of effects, etc.), virtually no thematic connection, and a lack of a diverse set of effects (especially at lower level), means that this display will, more than likely, have a hard time picking up an award by the end of the competition, but, of course, it’s difficult to say that with certainty.

Trav.


Posted: Jul 11, 2011 18:24:05   Edited by: STL

Seeing as there were no reported technical problems in this display (as noted by STL, in accordance with what Paul Csukassy stated to him), I am wondering, then, as to why there were a few random brief moments of silence, or, in another instance, during the segment with the nautical fountains, why was there little support at mid to high level during that part (the music involved permitted it). Also, it is questionable as to what the purpose was behind the fireworks being fired for several additional seconds following the conclusion of the “The Gael” segment.

It appeared that the designer didn't estimate well enough for how long candles or cakes would be firing, causing the black sky when these effects would fire too fast.

I suspect that the unwanted firing at the end of The Gael was caused by a cake that slowed down and took more than the expected time to fire all of its effects. I've noticed this situation in some FAE displays lately, so it's relatively common.

Knowing that one can know exactly when a cake starts firing but not when it ends, it's a curious design decision to use a cake that lasts for example 30 seconds when the song ends after 35, as it may very well take longer for it to fire and end during the beginning of the next song...


Posted: Jul 11, 2011 20:23:31

There's tricks you can do to make sure that the cakes don't overrun ... but I don't want to give away too many trade secrets here

Paul.


Posted: Jul 11, 2011 21:31:18

There was, indeed, confusion for viewers outside the park, as the countdown was not heard on the radio station (Rhythme FM), which is why I was initially under the impression that there was no countdown to begin with (Rhythme FM typically airs it).

From a radio station whose focus is (or should be) to broadcast the soundtrack of the fireworks display, such lack of coordination is not very impressive, especially since they are in the very same room than the competition sound technicians! Hopefully, it doesn't happen too often!

I thought that most of the effects were of good quality, but the selection of effects themselves were very conservative, including the extreme low level effects (or nautical effects), which were very little in number. The nautical flares and silver nautical strobes seen in the opening were, however, effectively incorporated, but it is a pity that there were not many similar effects during the display in its entirety, as this would have really enhanced the complexity of the performance while offering more substance and vitality to the overall display.

I agree. However, I want to note that rotative fountains were the only nautical effects in this display. The flares/strobes effects in the opening were actually a barrage of flares located on the third ramp, which turned into strobes. They were not on the water.

Fred


Posted: Jul 11, 2011 22:02:38

My review is here: http://montreal-fireworks.com/ReportBlog/?p=393 - a good effort for a debut display but needs some polish and refinement to be Jupiter-award material. The audience at La Ronde definitely enjoyed the display so I'm sure that we'll see Pyro2000 compete again in the future.

Paul.


Posted: Jul 12, 2011 00:57:10

Hi Fred,

Thank you very much for the clarifications with respect to the identity of those low level flares/strobes. Even if they were nautical effects, their addition still would not suffice, but, at the very least, it would have been something more to work with!

Thank you also, STL, for your input!

Trav.


Posted: Jul 13, 2011 19:36:48   Edited by: Sebastian

This week, the English troop Pyro 2000 offered us a fairly good pyromusical show. And this time, I was looking at the performance with headphones from the Jacques-Cartier Bridge, the closest point to La Ronde.

My personal thought about this week's competition; I would say that it was a very linear spectacle that had from time to time an uneven relationship between visual and music (sometimes the visual were breathtaking but the musical selection lacking a powerful theme and connection, or that the music emotional charge was not reflected in the choice of explosives. Thus there was a lack of balance in the presentation.

The beginning was quite efficient and well orchestrated. Thus, strong start by Pyro 2000 but the second piece was quite weak, maybe too subtle, which made disconnect from the magic they had us begin with.

There was a great selection of different era and style of music, which was a positive point for the English team. It was quite nice to hear a French Ode in an English spectacle. That specific transition between tableaux was quite rough or seemed to me awkward; firework explosions but no music to accompany them.

The team showed some good qualities and potential but needs more experiences to win this competition. Good luck to them.

Cheers,


Posted: Jul 15, 2011 10:10:56

Salut tout le monde

Une bonne prestation de cette firme Anglaise avec ses bons passages mais surement insuffisant pour accéder au podium des grands honneurs
Mon classement à date

1- Chine
2- Angleterre
3- République Tchèque

Au prochain
 

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