Science, Technology



This issue is about the direction of a firework show and its promotion. Which are the media that love fireworks and why? The borders of the shot, the way of the shooting, the direction of the show, the role of the director who also at the same moment is choreographer of the show, the colours and the frequencies, cold colours or warm colours when are to be used and why at that specific moment? Limitations and freedoms of expression, all these constitute the mirror of each culture.

I like very much to talk outside the text for one reason and only…my self I hear it for the first time …
I also like to hear other ideas and opinions for various matters and also I love the procedure of communicating various cognitions related to the ancient Greek principals, a method that my ancestors used to call it the Socratic method …..
It is easier for me to express myself through speech than in writing not because, as the Latins believed that writing lasts through the years but because the Greeks believed that discussion gives berth to new ideas.
The first thing that I would like to do is to mention some things that I have written down and afterwards I would wish to discuss them with you.

It is very usual in television to see the last night’s shooting which obviously was magnificent and drove the audience mad.
But in reality the only thing that we watched on T.V. was some highlights of our show and this did not make us very happy. Have you ever asked your why?
Many may say that the competitors cut our scenes and they are trying to sabotage us

…Is it possible however for something like that to happen or in reality something else is happening?

Have you ever asked yourself if in reality television does not like fireworks?
Ok! If this is a fact then why television does not like fireworks? Is television prejudiced for some reason against fireworks?

Lets have a closer look to all the above mentioned or ….lets try to examine things from their origin!

The 25 stills of television!
Television is a media which shows 25 stills per second.
25 static images which are repeated and that is how movement is created!
Television basically loves movement, colours and effects however it has got a complex in relation to the not moving images…it prefers humans as leading cast.
So we can understand that is more likely in preferring humans than fireworks.
Television loves humans and objects but it seams that it never liked fireworks by themselves.
However one may say in relation to this fact that it is merely a school of thought followed only by few people. There is also the possibility for someone to say “ I like to watch fireworks from television or films”.

Lets examine together some of the basic rules of shooting.

The basic rules of shooting
The basic rules of directing are requiring a first close scene of a human or an object since only through this way the audience can understand the range. This means that the watcher can understand how small or big is the firework.
So, we can understand that our first shooting is going to be a human or an object and not a firework.
Fireworks by themselves are not the most appropriate object for starting a shot because they look smaller and poorer.
As an example if someone sees a house understands immediately its dimensions, the same happens if they see a person …however for a peony or a chrysanthemum is happening the same thing? So, we need an “amorsa” which is a subject that will presented in order to give us the appropriate range!

The firework moves so fast and that it is very difficult to have a “say” on television which has 25 stills or the movies which has 24 stills. At this point we should not forget that at the effects that are used in television or in the movies the time of burning is slackened in order to cover the needs of shooting. For example a Romaic needs one to two seconds to be burnt ….the same Romaic needs twice as much time in order to be used as an effect in television or in the movies and the result to be the desired one.

Here things are less complicate. The reason is that television does not copy the fireworks due to its construction. An example is that black colour in television it looks like grey.
The fast turn from bright to dark ( Romaic against golden waterfall) is not presented in the right way from the moment a very luminous Romaic turns the screen into white and on the other hand the golden waterfall can barely be seen from the watcher. The same happens with candles. Many candles are producing more light in contrast to fewer candles which are darkening the shot and that is why the change of lighting can not be produced in television! In television it is difficult to apply the capacity that our eyes have when we see something in reality.

Our favorite Blue
The favorite colour of television is blue. So, everything that is coloured in blue are more friendly with shooting and objects which are green or red are not that much favoured by the television producers! I would also like to remind to you that the chromatic production in television is made by a combination of the three basic colours of blue, red and green. The frequencies of the colours are :
blue at 450 nm and at a very high tonality
green at 520 nm and at a moderate tonality
red at 620nm and at a lower tonality.

Lets have a look at the right way of shooting

The best distance for shooting related to fireworks should be at 300 to 350 meters for a firework of 12” diameter. For a show of 200 meters the best distance is 300 to 400 meters.

Wide – angle
The easiest solution is the wide – angle! However we should not forget that from the moment we use such a wide lens the disfigurement is greater. The golden rule is a standard lens which is locate at a good distance!

No zooming
We never zoom on a firework during its burning! Neither zoom in nor zoom out. We only use a stable frame.

Pan tilt or Track
We never use either the pan or the tilt or the track. Classical movements of the camera like the pan in or out or tilt up or down or track in or out should not be used at all!

We should never mix. And this is why the firework should be presented as are shown by the audience in reality since this is the only way for fireworks to show there real essence.

A very good digital microphone is the most appropriate in producing the real sound. If we also have another microphone which is going to record the reaction of the audience like the oooooos and the aaaaaas would not be a bad idea.

In general these are the basic rules of shooting fireworks. However, as every rule has its exceptions the same happens with the shooting of fireworks from the moment one has the opportunity to experiment and amend some of the already existing standards. In order to do so one should no how to do it and most importantly he should know what he is doing.

Directing a firework show
It is true that the only person who knows by heart the time of firing a firework is the director or the choreographer. The audience know nothing in relation to the course of the firings. The only thing that the audience know is the enthusiasm and the sense that the feel from what they are seeing.
So, the director – choreographer is characterized from a sense of uniqueness, pride and enthusiasm…he talks and rewards himself but can we accept the fact that this is real?

Partially it is true …but at its whole is not true!
Imagine that the firing equipment starts firing the fireworks not according to the plan that we have carefully and with a lot of patience created and ruins the follow up of the show. What it should happened then? The audience is going to leave? They are going to ask for their money to be refunded or that they will not go to another similar occasion or you are going to change your profession? NO NO NO! Nothing like that is going to happen.

The audience still is going be filled with enthusiasm and the only one who will feel like he is in trouble is you! Why something like is happening? The reason is that fireworks are unique and very impressive. Also we should know that firework is like a small children who with its goings-on draws the attention!

So, our first conclusion is that every one may state that he is a director and that he can create shows from the moment he has got good “customers” and public relations!
Isn’t that right?
For example the Olympic games of Athens. All the companies alleged that the built choreographed the show of fireworks and effects. However do you know many of these fireworks or effects, which were installed and built, in reality operated? Approximately the 75% to 80% and a percent of 10% were wrong and were not fired!!!
None said nothing! Absolutely nothing! And despite the fact that the audience did not understand nothing, the gossips said many things between us who live with and for fireworks.

Our second conclusion is that we never should say what about our show is. We just sit and wait to see how the show will progress.

So, from the moment that we demystified the role of the director – choreographer one may say “Why do we need him?”
We need the director for two reasons. The first reason is because only he can choreograph the fireworks in a different aspect, point of vie and concept from the moment he gives a unique sense to what people are seeing and because he and only he can combine the colours together in such way so the show is going to be more splendid.
The second reason is that he is the only one that can create a proper scene and he and only he can pass to the audience the appropriate feelings and senses and take them to a journey which is created only for them.

Do colours have limitations?
Of course colours have limitations!
The basic colours for fireworks are not exceeding the number of 20 and that is why colour tonality does not play such a vital role from the moment humidity or bad materials or temperature, or mixing or firing are factors which are affecting fireworks.

The basic colours are the following:
Three different tones of white > 1000 K ( warm white) 3000K to 6000K (cold white). Some tones of cold, the camuro, the tones of blue and azure, the tones of green, magenta, red, orange yellow and lime are all together 12 or 14 and including the shades of gold silver and camuro all together are 20.

Colours are separated into two basic categories. The warm category and the cold one. The warm colours are red, yellow, etc and the cold ones are green, blue etc.

The gold colour is classified to the warm colours together with the camuro colour and snow – white belongs to the cold colours. As it is happening with the colour pallets here a vital role plays if the colour is a cold or a warm one or both.

Also a very important role plays the combination of the colours and which colours we are to combine in order to produce the most magnificent image for the audience.

Finally, many are also the factors which we should have in mind in order “to take off our show”.
But from the moment that television and the movies do not like fireworks, who or what in reality like fireworks, apart from us of course?
Photography is the answer. What a firework might lose from television and the movies it can take it back from photography. Photography is great lover of fireworks.
A 100 ASA film and occasionally a little bit slower film, a good closed aperture of 11 or of 22 and a slow velocity more than 1 second ….and here you go! Magic is on your plate and in front of your eyes.
Photography has the ability to capture every moment, every reflection and every sparkle of the firework and can also show us the beauty and the uniqueness of each and every firework.
Photography in every form even digital photography is enough to shows the magnificent nature of fireworks!
Fireworks love photography…
The same do we…

Mixing in our minds and in practice …just for a moment the unending colours and designs.

All these colours, the ideas, the movements, the effects, the sounds, the smoke, the odor and the leftovers of burnt firework are the characteristics of humans who are representing us, who are characterizing us and are creating a artistic course for a better and more beautiful world. They are creating school and thoughts by constructing new culture and new acropolises …
That is why some times I feel very proud of being a Greek and that I am living in Greece where once upon a time …many ideas, philosophies and meanings were born and I believe that I am very lucky from the moment my ancestors believed to the Olympian Gods from whom Venus the Goddess of Love and Athena the Goddess of Wisdom gave “berth” to the human kind!.

Thank you

We may proceed to your questions…

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TELEVISION DOES NOT “WATCH” FIREWORKS (Science, Technology)    -    Author : ion - Greece

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