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Posted: Jul 25, 2004 09:45:17

Please post your personal ranking of this year's competition. My summary and predication will be posted by Tuesday 27th July at the latest. Obviously, this year, there is only one prize, the Platinum Jupiter, so there is no requirement to rank more than just the display you consider is the best. Feel free to rank them however you'd like though.


Posted: Jul 25, 2004 17:31:24   Edited by: Smoke

Well, it's hard to say.

To tell you the truth, I think that Spain, Caballer, was the best, but it's too bad about the technical difficulties.

My best bet is Italy, since I thought that they were also to my likings in every way.

However, there's a big chance that Italy, Holland and China are way up there, since they were all so creative and good, throughout, but Italy had the best ending. Out of the three, I'm rooting for IPON!

That's my prediction! More details later on.



Posted: Jul 26, 2004 00:57:46

Competition is not so important than safety. Compare to safety, others become lighter. But fireworks display competition is attractive for fireworks lovers, me too, i like fireworks very much as i live in Liuyang- China, now i am working with it which made me love it all the more. In fact, i can see fireworks display everyday and night, they are so nice. sometimes Chinese fireworks manufacturer do not pay much attention to these competitions, so it can be said Chinese fireworks disappointed somebody.

Posted: Jul 26, 2004 10:02:35

A though choice, but here are my rankings.

Based on concept and creativity ALONE:
3- China
2- Germany
1- Holland

Based on pyrotechnics and scale (intensity):
3- China
2- Italy
1- Spain (Caballer)

And those were my favorites, in no particular order:
Spain (Caballer)

Although if I had to predict the judges' choice, I would envision either Italy or Holland. Italy was so perfect and intense, and on the other hand, Holland was so cleverly designed... tough TOUGH call!

Can't wait to hear who's going to win, and to enjoy Panzera's display... it's going to be another year before we get to see something like that again!

Posted: Jul 26, 2004 13:24:22   Edited by: Smoke

badnitrus and everyone,

My prediction and interests are just as good as yours. I feel that a lot of the participants are well into platinum Jupiter standings, so it will be hard to judge, especially for the judges.

If I had to put my own peronal predictions, I would say in terms of creativity, I put these in the top, for this area:


These choices are mostly due to the special and unique effects used this year, particularly the two towers used for both France and Holland, although the ones in France could've been better used, however there seemed to have been a small fire on tower 2, at the time. Could be a valid reason. The other problem was the disappointing finale! An enjoyable display, none the less.

Germany was also a very nice display, in terms of creativity, especially with that wonderful waterfall effect! Also, I must comment on the live performance band. It seemed very unique and I know that it hasn't been seen before, as far as I can remember, back in 1990. Could also be up there. I wouldn't rool them out! The ending, though, was disappointing.

Holland was the most creative, in my opinion because of the different types of shells used and I believe that some of them haven't been seen before. Those 2 towers were very nicley used and integrated to the display. The show itself had excellent synchronization and great effects, espically those massive, white and chest thumping shells. In all, a very nice show and excellent selection of music, which worked very well with the fireworks. What would've made it perfect was a better finale. The intensity was great throughout, none the less.

China, on the other hand, was less creative, but unmistakably traditional! Also was very dedicated to their title: "Butterflies and Dragons." You can tell the serene moments of the "Butterflies" and then the raging moments of the fury of the "Dragons." Very nice transitional phases. Also, very nice loud salutes and shells. The creativity was there, though, especially with those new shells and cubes, which were easily identified in the display. So, in turn, it was creative, to the effect of tradition, especially the heavy use of those multiple ring shells mixed in with the salutes! A lot of nice colours, too. A short ending, though.

If I had to regard it in terms of intensity, I would put in this sort of fashion:

1-Spain, (Caballer), for sure.

The logic for my reasoning is as follows. First of all, Spain was the king! I haven't been so excited in a long time, when I saw this one, especially when Paul said that it would be huge! Another reason is because it was designed in a way that the whole thing was like a series of finales! I also haven't seen the crowd so excited in a long time, even throughout the entire display! Was very well done! However, due to the possible complexity of the display, many errors and difficulties have occured, which in turn obscured the synchronization, at times, and I also noticed that some shells were in the wrong place. Also, another thing was the narration, which caused far too long pauses, but the intensity made up for it, so it's not a big criticism, although it did distract the audience! In all, an incredible display. despite all the things that happened. It was also the most enjoyable and exciting show.

Italy was intense throughout, also. They had a lot of nice effects, too. For sure, they had one hell of a finale! Second best, next to Spain's! The entire show was well synchronized to the music. An excellent show, in my opinion. Should be the winner.

As for China, an excellent display, especially the heavy use of those salutes and colour, but a little disappointing in the ending. The special effects were also great and plus, I found that this show was one of the best synchronized. Very well done. The only criticism was the short ending.

Now, in terms of "best endings", which is not that important, but falls into general appreciation and likings to the crowd:

3-Holland and even Japan

This is also my personal favorites. My reasons are pretty much to the logic above. My personal choice is heavily weighted on intensity, creativity, synchronization, excitement and choice of music. I rated these because I thought that they had the endings that would get you out of your shoes! Hollands ending was a bit disppointing, but still in the "quite intense" category. For the 20th anniversary, I found that a lot of the of the finales were disappointing! How ironic. I was expecting a bit more! Only about three of them were good. This is, of course, in terms of finales. However, this is what people look foward to the most in every display!

Anyways, my personal prediction in what I feel the judges will consider, assuming it was an ordinary year, will be:

Bronze-Could be either China or Germany

Assuming in terms of this year:

Platium Jupiter-Italy

Smoke's personal choice:


I'm rooting for Italy the most, not just because of a great finale and great intensity, but because of the general appreciation and the way it was done during the entire show. A very enjoyable display and deserves the prize! I would've said Caballer, but because of all the things that went wrong, I don't think I would count on it, even as much as I wanted them to win the most. However, there's a chance! A slim chance........but possible.

In all, I wouldn't be surprised if either Holland, Germany or Japan, which I neglected to mention, would win! Although, I think the best bet is between Holland and Italy! For sure.

As a final note, there's definitely bound to be a lot of disappointment this year, with the discision of the winner. So many displays were way up there for the ultimate standings, but since this year was tighter than ever and putting into coinsideration that there's only one award, there's guaranteed mumbling! Just remember, it's the judges who have the toughest thing to do! They've got all the pressure and I know that they're going to do everything in their absolute power to be as fair and reasonble as possible when coming up with their final distinctive decision, and I suppose that we should respect that!

This is no ordinaly year, after all!

Despite all that......IPON ALL THE WAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I was rooting for Canada last year like crazy because I thought that they were the best and they won, so I hope this will be the same scenario this year for IPON! I hope that I'm right again!

Best regards,


Posted: Jul 26, 2004 18:10:16

Hello, smoke
glad to know your opinion about the competition. you have your own thoughts about every team and know their advantages and disadvantages so well.
i am so glad to know Chinese fireworks manufacturer had took part in the competition for them didn't join these competition very often, so there are more beatiful ones here. hope you can see the upcoming fireworks show in Liuyang.
A good day.

Posted: Jul 26, 2004 18:48:40   Edited by: Admin

Greetings fellow guessers,

I, Iowa Tom, with all my wisdom, wit and width, forcast, for the first and most likely the last time in history, a unbreakable tie for the Platinum Jupiter to_______, ta da!_____, Holland and China!!

Why? You ask why? I'll tell you why. it's because the two Texans and the two Iowans was there to witness those two top contestants.

Iowa Tom

(I say "A little humor there" and you say: "Ya, very little." )

Posted: Jul 26, 2004 20:06:12

Iowa Tom made a good point for those of us who only saw 2 shows (Holland and China). If we didn't have to work to support our fireworks habit we might have a more well-rounded opinion. But from the Texas contingent, we had to go with China. If Spain, France and Germany were even better, then the Quebec natives that can see them all are all the better off.

Many thanks to Paul et al for helping us make the most of our visit. The Texas contingent, at least, is planning to make a 3 show trip for next year.


Posted: Jul 27, 2004 05:15:44


According to your reports in other parts of this forum, you mentioned you didn't see Germany's performance, but yet you gave a descriptive reason why their show was good in this posting. Shame on you.

You are too biased towards Spanish firms and finales.

Finales are the ending of a 30 minute performance. Who cares? They are an important part of a show, but only account for a small part of the entire designer's idea. A finale shouldn't determine the winner.


Posted: Jul 27, 2004 06:36:21   Edited by: badnitrus

In Smoke's defense, I have to say that Smoke never said a finale should determine the winner. Where did you read that exactly? He acknowledged some finales were not good enough for his expectations. But I don't think he ever said an entire display should win or not because of JUST the finale.

About people writing reports and reviews, some did not get to see all the displays this year. It's maybe true Smoke did not see Germany, but he still shared his ranking with us and commented on all the shows... So what? I did not see France this year but still gave a ranking. I missed France, but I could still read Paul's review. I could still read Georges Lamon's review, and all the comments on this forum. At least, it gave me an idea about it. I guess Smoke did the same thing. My point is there's nothing wrong with that. Maybe France would have been my favorite for some reason and my ranking would have been different. But one way or another, these are all opinions and everyone is entitled to it, no matter where it comes from.
Everybody has a different description of what it is to ENJOY a display. I've seen many displays with a group of friends this year, and everybody had a different view. I really liked Holland because it was creative and I didn't care to see a finale. Spain, on the other hand, built on gradual intensity, and I was looking forward to their finale. It depends. So you can't blame him if he is biased with finales. I don't think he is, actually. But even if he was, what's wrong with that? He likes finales. He will enjoy the display if the finale was good. If you're not ok with it, then that's your tastes. And that's his tastes. "Finales are the ending of a 30 minutes performance. Who cares?"... LOTS of people care. Accept it.

But as always, that's just me...

Posted: Jul 27, 2004 08:57:50   Edited by: Smoke


They are an important part of a show, but only account for a small part of the entire designer's idea. A finale shouldn't determine the winner.

I'm sorry to say that you've falsely interpreted what I've said about my personal feelings and interests towards finales and other descriptions of my "biased" analysis towards Spanish firms and finales in general, on this forum. If you can find me one part of where I said FINALES should determine the winning team, then I'll find your argument more reasonable. You probably think that when reading my reviews about the displays, in general, that I often comment on the finales, which is 100% true, however, I don't acknowledge them of whether a team should win or not, just because of an incredible finale. I ONLY say whether it was good or not. And I also say that "If the finale was better, it would make the display even more enjoyable" I never that it's the winner because of this! I strongly suggest that you read the REST of my comments about the displays. If you didn't notice, my reviews comment on other things in the displays, besides just the finales.

Now, let me explain something. I only judge finales as a small part of a display, which is also true. The finales are an important part of a typical display in terms of general appreciation and excitement to the public! Who ever said that I should determine them in terms of who should win?! A finale is only commented on after given comments on the show, in general. This is what I do. I give my comments on the displays and describe what I've seen. I give a somewhat thorough analysis on what each of these firms have done, besides the finales, i.e.special effects, different varieties of colour, synchronization, etc.

As for me being "too biased towards Spanish firms and finales," I'm sorry to say that I completely resent that. I must admit that I'm a big Spainish fan, but I ALWAYS consider the other participants, as well. I don't only judge Spanish firms and neglect the rest. This is a "competition," not a Spanish competition! You've probably read my review avove and saw my post of Spain, Caballer, and thought I was too biased about them. Think again! If you read it carefully, despite all that I've said about the finale and their "amazing performance," I can clearly see that you've failed to notice that I've said that they'' have a slim chance of winning, due to the technical problems that occured during that actual time. Because of this, a lot of things went wrong. Also, which you obviously didn't notice, I really didn't comment much on the other Spainish firm, which does have a better chance than Caballer. There's no bias there.

As for the finales, I will admit that I'm a finale freak, but I will not neglect an entire 30 minute performance and judge the finale alone about the overall display. In each of my reviews, I do not comment on just the finales, but I comment on a lot more, like choice of music, synchro, etc., and I never judge a finale in terms of who should win. Once again, I only comment on it, whether it was good, too short, build up, etc. Don't forget that I take into consideration the other concepts, as well!

Now, for Germany, it's true, I didn't see the show, however I READ about it in Paul's report and got a fair idea. I've also seen several video clip sources, including the finale, to back up my review points of this show! So, I have a descent idea of how the show went, and as badnitrus said, he did not see France, but he sure got a lot of background on it! Despite all what I've said about the finale being weak for Germany, from what I've seen in the finale, with that waterfall effect, it seemed like a unique finale, regardless of its length. I've also commented on the live band, which has never been seen before, in Montreal. I've also said that this may give them the upper hand, since it worked so well with the display and the fact that they pulled it off so well! From what I hear, it was a very different show, like the way Holland designed their show, with those great towers and fantastic shells.

Finally, for the finales, in general, everyone looks for an intense finale, and I'm sure that you do, too. I'm sure that a great portion of the average 500,000 spectators looks foward to great finales! However, I do know, that all these people, including myself, know that whether or not that it was good, that it should not be judged for winning standards. My direct point here is that a finale leaves you with that feeling of disappointment or excitement, or it just gives you that feeling, which I'm sure you've expereinced. Despite all this, a finale will always be a finale and regardless all that's been said, I wouldn't rate it as if the show was better than another, or not. A finale is there to excite you and bring the climax to the display. As badnitrus says, lots of people care about finales and the way they are presented before them, and that, my friend, is far from being biased. Your criticism is like saying that everyone is biased. Once again, I'm not judging finales in terms of winning standards. badnitrus is 100% correct.

I've also noticed that you didn't say anything about my interpretation of IPON, despite all that you've about by bias towards Spanish firms. Let me tell you something of your logic. If I were to be both biased of finales and Spanish firms, don't you think that I would immediately put Caballer in 1st place because they had the best ending and the fact that they're a Spanish firm? No. If carefully read my review, I said that Italy should win, not Spain, as much as I would've liked them to win, but I can't, because of all that's happened during the show.

You've also probably misunderstood the section in my review called "best endings." I should've been specific. This is only a "for fun" scenario. I'm not taking into account that this will give the firms the upper hand. And just what's wrong with this? This what I think in terms of finales! If you disagree, then put your own! It's not just my opinion that counts! A finale gives you an overall impression to the display, not a judgement of being a bad or good display. You can like the whole display and not even consider a finale.

As a final note, badnitrus also has a good point. Finales and shows excite people in many ways. Some may like a show and others may not. We all have our own tastes in terms of synchronization, choice of music, general concept, and a little point of the finale. That's why there's something called "opinion," which is what you should do, Eugene. Why don't you write your own review instead of complaining about others? Share your thoughts with us. That would certainly help and would be a great start. This is why we've got this forum!

Thank you for your understanding,


Posted: Jul 27, 2004 09:54:43

i pretty much agree

i didnt see Japon's show, i can know how it was, becuz of the comments here, u get an idea of how it was

after all, i work like that, its the impression that the firm leaves me with, that counts, and even if u didnt see one, u always have an idea from others

as for the finals, of course, im a huge fan of it
like it or not, its easy to remember a final than the whole display, but u always have an impression of the whole show

i can tell u i loved Caballer's final, but i can also say i loved the intensity of the whole show
i love the 30min show of Holland, but didnt like the final

anyways, i believe the best ones this year r: Italy, Holland, China

but i cant say that Germany was good, cuz i didnt see it but i have a good idea how it was, therefore i can say they r leading too

so its: Italy, Holland, China, Germany

before i say my prediction, i will say this again, despite the failures that Spain (Caballer) got, i believe they should win

why? becuz of their double final, and the intensity of the show
it was more like, something we havent seen before

but if i take out Spain, i would say, China, its just a prediction
here's my ranking

1. Spain (Caballer)
2. China
3. Italy
4. Germany (from ppls impression)
5. Holland
6. Japan (from ppls impression)
7. Spain
8. France

Posted: Jul 27, 2004 10:04:07


I have been visiting this forum for years, and all you talk about is how great Spain is. If you don't think your the slightest bit biased towards Spainish firms, your only kidding yourself.

As a forum, everyone is entitled to their own opinion, of course, otherwise what would be the purpose, and my opinion is that your only care about finales.

To give an opinion on a display, in fact, giving a rating on a display by only reading other reviews and seeing small parts of the show in video form is an insult. A display is a technically crafted piece of entertainment that is an entire vision of a story that a designer is painting on the sky for you to witness. Even missing one minute is a crime. You are not only insulting the designer of that specific show, but you are insulting the designers of shows you witnessed by giving this show a higher rating. How can you possilby understand the tempo, the feeling or the tableau's if you didn't watch the entire show.

As for Badnitrus, no offence, I really didn't comment anything negative towards you, so let Smoke do his own talking, especially when I address him directly.

By the way, people who doubt themselves usually ramble endlessly to try and make themselves believe what they are saying, and by the looks of the novel you wrote, you must actually be doubting yourself.


Posted: Jul 27, 2004 10:49:34   Edited by: Smoke


Ok, I can see that this is going nowhere.

Excuse me, but how am I insulting Germany's show and the designer after reading and seing small clips of them?! I've also been on this forum for years and I know how thorough and accurate Paul's reports are to the actual displays. So, in essence, I get clear and detailed information about the displays, whether I see them or not. The clips are another useful source to show and get an idea of how the show was designed. If you think that I'm the only one who does this when they miss a show, think again. I don't want to bring badnitrus into this, but he missed France, and he still wrote a review on it. That's because he did the same thing as me, which is logical to do. I completely understand that you've got to be there to experience it, but you can't expect everyone to be there! If a lot of people missed the show, don't you think that they would want to get information on how it went before making a ranking? I don't see what's wrong with this. And I will tell you that this site is great acknowledgement to that effect. I get all my information here, if I miss a show. So if you're accusing me of this action, then you're accusing many others, too.

Please, it's only an insult if we were to not actually look up background or any information, whasoever, on the show and then post something about it! Come on! Better to know a lot than not to know anything!

You're right about me and Spain somewhat, though, but the way you talk about it is as if every post I put on the forum is only about Spain! I'm crazy about them, but far from that extent! Ask anybody here if I keep mumbling about Spain all the time! And as I said before, if you think that I'm so biased about Spain, then why do you think that I didn't predict them to be in first place, despite that they were so good? It's because I took into account the technical problems that occured during the display, which obscured synchronization. Plus, there were shells fired at the wrong time.

I predicted Italy, just so you know.

As for this "novel about doubting myself" that I wrote above, That's where you're wrong again. That "novel" was about how I feel towards every display, not just Spain. I simply told you what I feel and that's that. I wrote that long statement so that you would better understand the way I see things in terms of the competition as a whole, not just in terms of Spain.

I don't want to write another novel for you, so just quit complaining. If you were so annoyed with me about the way I talk about Spain, you should've said something way back. Just so you also know, this forum is called "2004 display reviews," not "2004 criticisms about Smoke's opinion!"

In all, I would kindly like you to stop your accusations about me and the way I interpret my opinions. Instead, try posting your individual opinions on who you think should be the winner! Sheesh!

I've said my part.

Thank you,


Posted: Jul 27, 2004 11:57:04


please, let's not descend into a big argument about people's biasses. Despite my best efforts, my reviews are not impartial. What I write depends very much on my mood both when I see the display and when I ultimately write the report.

To be honest, I'd much rather people write their opinion on what they've actually seen with their own eyes rather than relying on my description and the short pieces of video. Some people here did not spot the technical mistakes in Caballer's show until I'd pointed them out in my review. In fact, prior to that, there were comments that the display was perfect. That is fine! If that was your perception at the time, stick to it! Don't be influenced by what I wrote. I am not perfect and could have made a mistake.

To be honest, if you haven't seen a particular display, you can't honestly rank it. If you look back at my very early reports (1994 era) there were a couple I didn't see, so I didn't rate them. Don't rely on other's opinions and interpretations to colour your judgement. Just tell it as you see it. If you like finales, that's fine. That's your personal opinion. If you like Spanish-style fireworks, no problem!

I'll be posting my fuill review and rankings later today.



Posted: Jul 27, 2004 12:07:12   Edited by: Smoke


You're right. Let that useless argument be over. All I was trying to say is that everyone has their own individual opinion. No bias, just plain opinion. That's it. You're also right, I suppose, about ranking a display, without seing it.

Anyways, back to the rankings!

I'm still stuck between Holland and Italy! Still more with Italy, though!

Anybody else have any thoughts?



Posted: Jul 27, 2004 12:58:56

i guess Paul is right, we shouldnt rank countries that we havent seen, and not be influenced by others, cuz everyone has its own opinion

so ill be removing Germany and Japon from my list

1. Spain (Caballer)
2. China
3. Italy
4. Holland
5. Spain
6. France

Smoke, as u can see i think China should win, it personaly loved the little details they added in their display

in ure case, in think Italy should win, becuz Holland's display wasnt a "perfect" display, in my opinion

we go back to the same situation as last year, where many countries deserved to win!

Posted: Jul 27, 2004 13:24:56


You're right. We really can't rank displays that we haven't seen. It seems we're in the same predicament as last year, except even more tight, due to the fact there's only one award, the Platinum Jupiter.

I'm more hoping for Italy to win because of the way the whole display was done, in general. I even thought that it was almost perfect! Not because the display concluded with an incredible finale, but because it was well synchronized and an excellent choice of music that went very well with the fireworks. Also the quality of the materials looked great to create the overall intensity and symmetry of the display. I also thought that the show was very intense and eciting for the full 1/2 hour!

Then again, I' kinda stuck with Holland because they were so creative in terms the futuristic events. Those towers were so nicely used, too! The only small problem was the finale, which didn't matter that much in comparisson to the other segments of the display. If it wasn't for that, a truly perfect display. As always, I think that the final determinant will come down to the choice of music, which in fact I did like.

China was also very well done, especially with being faithful to their title "Butterflies and Dragons." A very traditional display, but at the same time, very creative to the tradition, especially with the new materials, too. I have a feeling that they could slip in, as well.

BTW, I forgot to mention in my review above, but I really was delighted to see that many firms used the gold glittering girandolas, as well as other varieties of double ascension girandolas! Those are so dramatic, and they really dazzle the audience every time they're presented before them! Very cute!

Anyways, a very tight year, indeed!

I'm still rooting for IPON! Although, I wouldn't feel bad about Holland or China winning, either. I wish I could've considered Caballer in there, since they were so exciting, but it's such a shame that things didn't turn out so well.


Posted: Jul 28, 2004 07:28:46   Edited by: fireworksforum

Finally, I've posted my review of this year's fabulous competition. Here's my personal rankings.

Paul's personal choice:

* Favourite sequence - Nutcracker Suite by Pirotécnia Igual
* Best product - Marutamaya Co. Ltd.
* Best colours - Pirotécnia Vicente Caballer
* Best finale - IPON S.R.L.
* Most creative display - JNS Pyrotechniek B.V.
* Most flawless display - Marutamaya Co. Ltd.
* Best theme - Sunny International Co. Inc.
* Most audacious display - Weco Pyrotechnische Fabrik (for using live music)
* Overall appreciation - Weco Pyrotechnische Fabrik

Paul's jury prediction:

* Platinum Jupiter - Germany

See the 2004 reports link on the left for my full review.


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