Andrew Howard reports from Delhi
Sunday night’s opening ceremony of the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games will culminate with Australian company Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics producing a magnificent pyrotechnics display.
Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics have a team of twenty pyrotechnicians and riggers who have been working hard preparing 8,500 pyrotechnic effects that will illuminate the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium and are now in the final stages of preparations for Sunday night’s opening ceremony.
Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics were awarded the prestigious contract to work with the official ceremonies team in June this year and had to work tirelessly to specially design and manufacture the entire pyrotechnic installation that has been fabricated for the unique design of the Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium.
Andrew Howard, Company Director has been working in Delhi with the ceremonies team for the past 14 days “It’s certainly been a very ‘colourful’ project to work on this one. Some of the issues that the world’s media has been covering for past few weeks, we have been experiencing for several months but it’s been an amazing experience. An experience I will never forget.
It’s not often you get to work on such a large scale event, with such a massive cast, stage and technical production in such a colourful vibrant city. So I’m very proud that our family company has won the contract to produce the pyrotechnics displays and I’m even prouder of our entire crew who have really done an amazing job designing, manufacturing and safely installing this event and to be able to represent Australia on an international level.”
During the both the opening and closing ceremony Australian made pyrotechnics will illuminate moving props and performers on the arena, around the entire 1,000mstadium rooftop rim and from firing locations outside the stadium.
Just like the 8,000 cast members performing in the ceremonies, every single pyrotechnic effect is treated like a live performer in the ceremony and the pyrotechnic display designer Stuart Bensley, choreographs them to dance and move around the stadium in perfect time with the A.R Rahman composed music soundtrack.
The pyrotechnics for the Delhi ceremonies are being controlled by the most technically advanced computer control system in the world. Every pyrotechnic effect is plugged into a computer-firing module, which is cabled back into the ceremonies control room where two pyrotechnic computerised controllers will fire the show. Those controllers receive a digital signal from the music soundtrack and then the controller sends a digital command to every single pyrotechnics effect to ignite on cue, in perfect time with the music.
Stuart Bensley, Howard & Sons Pyrotechnics Designer who also designed the Melbourne 2006 Commonwealth Games, has been inspired by the Indian experience. “Our pyrotechnic design will feature elegant use of colours including golds, silvers and bold simple primary colours. The choreography will have frantic pace with plenty of action and movement, just like Bollywood or the traffic of India’s roads.”
With such a complicated install on a stadium rooftop that 45m high that is only a 1.2m wide steal beam, Howard & Sons turned to Tiny Good from Australia’s leading event specialist rigging company Showtech Australia is the Chief Pyrotechnics Rigger to install the 88 pyrotechnic pods on top of stadium rooftop beam. “When Andrew and Christian Howard asked the Showtech Australia team to provide the safety and rigging systems for the pyrotechnics for such a prominent and colourful event as the Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games, we knew we just had to be a part of it.” Tiny said.
With all the challenges we knew we would be faced with, especially with installing our own rigging and safety systems on the top of the newly re-constructed Jawaharlal Nehru Stadium, I am extremely proud of our team and what we have achieved in such a short time frame.
Whilst working 45 metres on the top of the stadium structure, the largest membrane and cable roof in Asia, knowing that you and your team play a part in such a historic event, is what memories and great experiences are made of.”
Now all those months of hard work comes to end with a dazzling three minutes of pyrotechnic stars illuminating the Delhi sky.
The Delhi 2010 Commonwealth Games opening ceremony will be broadcast to the world media networks on Sunday 3rd October 2010 (in Australia live on Network 10 and One) and the closing ceremony will be broadcast on Thursday 14th October 2010.