Looking down the barrell #64

By Keith Lewis

“A Decade Later Pyrotechnics & Fireworks Operators are in demand “

Hello all ‘Stage Whisper’ readers, many of you may be reading this column which is now reappearing a decade later, since #63 was last published in 2000 or you may be reading this column for the first time in which case ‘enjoy’.

The changes that have since been implemented and initiated under the legislative regulations governing the use and application of Pyrotechnics / Fireworks and/or Special Effects have had wide and far reaching impact on the Stage & Theatrical industry, with the introduction of a huge number of amendments to the original Regulations that came into effect in the year 2000 in the issuing of licenses to persons wishing to use Pyrotechnic effects.

Existing regulations are currently under review for amendment and tabling before parliament for revision next month including the cancellation of One Day Licenses that have been available to users up until this year and which shall no longer be available, this includes the One Day License issued for the use of Chinese Fire Crackers which in the future will only be able to be discharged by a person with the appropriate endorsement on their license.

Once the draft of all the new criteria’s and amendments that Worksafe are seeking have been tabled we can look forward to the publication of the new Explosives Regulations which shall be hailed as the Bible within the industry.

With less than 200 (indoor/outdoor) fireworks licenses being held by persons in the entire State of Victoria there is a huge shortfall of competent operators available, this becomes super apparent at certain times of the year when there is a huge demand for operators Victoria wide.

With fines currently standing at ‘up to $40,000’ for the use of illegal (or misuse of legal) fireworks and/or pyrotechnic effects and redoubled efforts by Worksafe to eliminate rouges within the industry it is envisioned that there will be an even higher demand for operators as Worksafe is currently prosecuting undesirables that are currently in the industry and holding licenses, which will lead to further licenses being cancelled.

As an accredited Worksafe provider and Assessor I am inundated with applications from people seeking to enrol in our courses and obtain a Pyrotechnicians License, subsequently in an effort to ensure that only persons having a bona fide reason for obtaining a license are accepted into our courses we are very selective and carefully screen every lodged application to verify their acceptability/.

If you would like any further information relating to the use and application of fireworks/pyrotechnics for any event / occasion / stage / film / TV / wedding / performance / religious / community /corporate etc. and/or what is available, you may contact us with your question.

‘ Remember those famous words that were once uttered by Guy Fawkes “One Flash and You’re Ash”

SMOKE ‘n’ AIR ‘n’ FIRE

With Keith Lewis

Pyrotechnics * Special Effects * Light * Sound * Stage/Structure * Rigging * Production

No Smoke! No Smell! No Gas! No Pressure Containers! No Gas Storage facilities required!

Real Heat * Real Flames

The revolutionary Electronic Programmable Dancing Stage Flames

Yes! We spoke about these a number of years ago whilst they were being developed, now they are real they have happened and they are available.

Easy, reliable, safe and revolutionary stage flames that can be programmed from any DMX controller to burst on cue or to dance to the beat of the music.

Whether you are considering these for professional (Theatre/T.V./Film or corporate) events or at the domestic level (21st/Weddings/Bar Mitvahs/Proposal or any gathering of 2 or more) these have universal application and appeal.

We cannot describe these revolutionary new products, but you can see them operational at www.crack-a-jack.com.au along with a range of incredible pyrotechnic devices being used for practically any occasion.

No Licenses, No Permits, No Age Restrictions, Can be used anywhere – by anyone, No Insurance problems, No gas lines, No Pilot Flame.

To keep abreast of the latest, newest and the best in new effects read ‘Stage Whispers’

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Fire, Smoke ‘n’ Air

“Pyrotechnic Stage Effects” are once again under the gun from the authorities with the issue of “One Day Licenses” no longer being available, this means that the use and application of pyrotechnic stage effects can now only be conducted by a duly licensed Pyrotechnician with the appropriate endorsement for ‘Indoor Fireworks’.

We are constantly being contacted by a wide variety of organisations ranging through schools, repertory theatres, production companies and event organisers seeking ‘Theatrical Pyrotechnics’ to enhance or create additional impact to their presentations.

This year precedes the implementation of revised legislation that will be introduced under the Dangerous Goods Explosives Regulations that were last revised in the year 2000.

It is unfortunate that the cost of stage pyrotechnics (which in themselves are not expensive) but after all ancillary costs and charges are factored in eg. Fireworks Public Liability Insurance, Dangerous Goods Transportation, SWM’s, MSDS’s, Risk Assess., Storage, Permission From Venue Management, Preparation of all necessary associated equipment ranging through; Fireworks, Hardware (Mortars / Firing Systems / Wiring / 1st. Aid / Fire Fighting / PPE and notifications to relevant authorities together with up to 21 days advance notification having to be lodged prior to the conduct of Indoor Pyrotechnics if approved under the ‘New’ proposed recommendations by Worksafe all contribute to the demise of Pyro’s being used in smaller productions.

The demand for people with the required licenses, skills, competencies, knowledge of available effects and where they can be applied has increased due to the small number of available licensed Pyrotechnicians in the State of Victoria.

With limited opportunity to enter into this field, we are inundated with applications wishing enrol into the training courses that we conduct for the purposes of obtaining a licence, particularly in view of the licensing process becoming a lot more difficult next year when the new regulations shall come into effect.

For those thinking about entering this field of activities immediate consideration mut be given in obtaining a license before the ‘Doors close’, ‘ The Jumping Bar is Lifted’ and the ‘Goal Posts are brought closer together.

Remember that the adage ‘ One Flash and Your Ash’ is not without meaning.

We welcome questions relating to this exciting field of activities and if you require further information feel free to contact the author.

Keith Lewis
Crack-A-Jack Fireworks (Australia)

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Do you know your legal obligations?

Legal obligations

Are you the: Owner – Director – Proprietor – Lessee – Partner – Manager – Event Co-ordinator involved in a business or have premises that have permitted or allowed Pyrotechnics / Fireworks / Crackers of any size and/or type to be used on your premises for any type of function or event?

Did you know?

That in the advent of an accident occasioning Injury / Damage / Inconvenience / Interruption to the nights activities to yourself or your client and that you may not only be charged under the criminal code but also pursued for losses incurred to your client as a result under Common Law.
You may be found guilty and prosecuted accordingly if you have not established:

” The Bona Fides of the Company / Business/ Individual providing the product and services;
” The Provider holds the current Licenses necessary to conduct the activities being provided;
” The products being used are legal and approved for these purposes in the State of Victoria;
” If being used Indoors that the product has appropriate MSD’s;
” The provider provides evidentiary proof of competency & training in advent of emergency;
” All relevant emergency safety equipment is being provided and operated by provider in advent of emergency;
” You have received an appropriate Risk assessment;
” Safe Working Practices are being met and complied with;
” All Permits, Licenses and Approvals to all required authorities (Worksafe / Police / Council / Fire Authority) and others that may be required have been complied with and issued;
” That all relevant (Mandatory: Worksafe/Council/Police/Fire) Authorities have been officially notified by way of Official documentation;

You Have A Duty Of Care

1. To establish the credibility of the provider (past & current history);
2. The competency of the provider;
3. That the provider holds sufficient (PLI) Public Liability Insurance cover (min, $10 m. – Recommended $20 m);
4. Insurance underwriters are reputable listed providers in Australia eg. Lloyds / Liberty etc.
5. That PLI is current;
6. The provider is not sub-contracting (under Insurance requirements, sub-contracting is not permitted and provided insurance is null and void if so done);
7. YOUR INSURANCE WILL NOT COVER PYROTECHNIC EFFECTS & APPLICATION

If you have any doubts or wish to confirm the accuracy and veracity of the information herein contained, we suggest that you confer with you own Insurance Broker.

We are pleased to advise that our advisory line is open and available to you without obligation if you have any questions or require further information.

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SMOKE ‘n’ AIR ‘n’ FIRE – With Keith Lewis

“SENSITIVE NEW AGE KILLER” is a classic example of the application of special effects that may be used not only in films, but also stage and theatrical productions.

For the aspiring special effect person we strongly recommend that seeing this film is a must.

Nearly every type of popular pyrotechnic effect was used in the making of this film with special emphasis being given to safety of all persons and property whilst they were being used and implemented.

With use of the pyrotechnic effects which are used in extremely close proximity to people and property in the making of this film, particular consideration was given in respect to the size, selection of the effect to be used, quantity, percussion and noise impact whilst at the same time not compromising the desired impact which was to be created.

Paul is to be complimented on the high standard of professionalism which he invoked in the making of the film as there was tremendous pressure placed on him in undertaking to conduct an effect which was aimed at creating a visual impact which may have endangered cast or crew and to which Paul did not succumb.

Information is available from: Keith Lewis (03) 9525 4316 E-mail: keith@crack-a-jack.com.au

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LOOKING DOWN THE BARREL #52 – “By Keith Lewis

Australia is once again being recognized as the “Hollywood” of the world, with the last few years spawning an incredible range of productions and attracting many of the worlds most famous and leading international stars.

A recent release of a locally made film, which was shot on an incredibly low budget “Sensitive New Age Killer” starring an hitherto unknown actor (Paul Moder) who, I must mention is a past student of ours, having successfully completed the “Short Pyrotechnic Course” in 1955, graduating as one of the top in the class, Paul has proven the quote “Necessity is the mother of invention” with his innovative application of a wide and diverse selection of pyrotechnic special effects which have been effectively used and applied throughout the film.

As is often the case with any production which has little or no budget, multiple tasking is the agenda of the day and this film was no exception, in-as-much that Paul was not only the leading man but was also – Head Pyrotechnician – Armourer – Stunt Co-ordinator – Effects Designer – Pyro Co-ordinator & Safety Officer. The Director (Mark Savage) wanted a Hong Kong (John Woo) style of pyromania, action filled (Body Hits; Flames; Explosions; Mortar Blasts; Bullet Strikes and anything else) which typifies the current spate of action movies which are so successful in attracting the patrons into the queues leading into the box office.

Paul supplied all of this and more with this film, which almost fringes on the “over the top” with pyro effects but still leaves the viewers on the edge of their seats and enjoying the extravaganza of pyro’s which Paul has deployed in the shooting (no pun intended) of this movie.

For those that have not seen this film yet, it is recommended that you do so before it finishes as the pyrotechnic action shots are not so impressive on the small screen.

Paul is not a man to stand still and bath in the glory of the past, he is just winding up his latest film “Razor Eaters” which also has some spectacular pyro effects in it, look for this soon to be released film with one effect in particular that is guaranteed to leave you pressed back into your seat (I’m not saying any more).

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SMOKE ‘N’ AIR ‘N’ FIRE With Keith Lewis

So! You are proposing to hold a function but you don’t know what is available or where to get it. Well – Help Is On It’s Way with “Crack-A-Jack” our new appointed licensing group has just held it’s inaugural meeting and is currently setting up in strategic locations throughout Victoria. A network of skilled, competent and very experienced operators, will ensure that whatever the occasion “It Will Live Forever” in the memory of all those who attend. All of our personnel have undergone extensive and comprehensive training so that they may bring to you, the very latest in products, services and entertainment expertise.

“Crack-A-Jack” has a policy to create “Forever Memorable” functions and events. With SMOKE-AIR & FIRE (Fireworks/Aeotechnics/Pyrotechnic/CO2 Gas Columns) comprising only a segment of our services “Crack-A-Jack” will introduce you to an unknown selection of products and services, all provided from in-house which shall include Audio/ Lighting / Special Effects / Entertainers / M.C’s; – D.J’s / Magicians / Fire Twirlers – Dancers / Staffing / Security / Valet Parking / Classical Musicians / Unique Acts / Costumes / Props / Sets / Themes in fact anything and everything that you could possibly require. By invitation “Crack-A-Jack” shall arrange for a consultant to meet with you at either the venue, house or at our showrooms to discuss your specific requirements, offering suggestions on how to outdo all expectations within your budgetary restraints. Unlike similar organisations which claim to have in -house ability to meet you requests “Crack-A-Jack” does!
Working together as a team, gives “Crack-A-Jack” the facility to provide and guarantee total satisfaction to every client, complying with requests ranging from modest to spectacular, absolutely every criteria is met. Remember when you last had a “Crack-A-Jack” time or heard someone said, it was “Crack-A-Jack”? Now every time you this expression, you’ll know who did it.

Keith Lewis, Crack-A-Jack Fireworks (Australia), 390 St Kilda Rd., St Kilda Vic 3182
Tel (03) 9525 4316 e. keith@crack-a-jack.com.au w. www.crack-a-jack.com.au

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“LOOKING DOWN THE BARRELL” WITH KEITH LEWIS #1

DANGEROUS GOODS (EXPLOSIVES) REGULATIONS

11 YEARS DOWN THE TRACK the last publication “DANGEROUS GOODS (EXPLOSIVES) REGULATIONS 2011” is now available having undergone some major changes, alteration and amendments superseding “DANGEROUS GOODS (EXPLOSIVES) REGULATIONS 2000” the new Regulations became effective on the 11th. July, 2011 and replaced the previous Regulations.

Having read through the proposed changes, it is obvious that the – Explosives Regulatory Package which has been prepared by the Strategic Policy & Research Branch of the Victorian Workcover Authority headed by Mr. Michael Little (Chairperson) in conjunction with Luminico Pty. Ltd. the strategic reform consultants who invited stakeholders to be involved and formed the Focus Group for Fireworks who had the opportunity of attending and discussing their problems with the current regulations, so that these problems could be considered in a regulatory review process, have worked painstakingly and tirelessly in putting together long overdue amendments to the acts. As a result of the meetings and discussions which where subsequently held over the past year a publication of the Proposed Dangerous Goods (Explosives) Regulations 2000 – Draft Regulations has been prepared, published and distributed for public comment the outcome which shall be revealed at a public information seminar which is to be held on the morning of Wednesday 17th. May. 2000 in Melbourne. Any interested persons who have specific requirements for the use of pyrotechnics (stage and/or theatrical) and/or fireworks are advised to contact the Government Printers with a view of obtaining a copy of the publication as soon as it becomes available. I can say without reservation that the implementation of the new regulations means that a much tighter control governing the use and application of pyrotechnic/firework effects by licensed Pyrotechnicians will now be able to be maintained by the regulatory authorities. New and more sweeping powers to prosecute will be given to the authorities which shall enable them to issue warrants against any person flaunting the law and the guarantee of far more substantial penalties being invoked on anyone found guilty of violation of the act shall see the exit of many irresponsible operators. With a new and better licensing system being implemented we shall see the demise of many D.I.Y backyard operators making way for the more professional person who has undertaken the necessary and required training to conduct events safely. Any person wishing to enrol and participate in a Victorian based course, which is presented in Melbourne will have to register their expression of interest for consideration to participate in courses being presented in the near future.

Further information: Crack-A-Jack Fireworks (Australia), 390 St Kilda Rd., St Kilda 3182 Keith Lewis – Tel: (03) 9525 4316 Email: keith@crack-a-jack.com.au

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“Fire, Smoke ‘n’ Air”

“Pyrotechnic Stage Effects” and “Cracker” One Day Licenses are now no longer available which means that the use and application of pyrotechnic stage effects or the discharge of Crackers can now only be conducted by a duly licensed Pyrotechnician with the appropriate endorsement for ‘Indoor Fireworks’ and/or ‘Crackers.

We are constantly being contacted by a wide variety of organisations ranging through schools, repertory theatres, production companies and event organisers seeking ‘Theatrical Pyrotechnics’ to enhance or create additional impact to their presentations.

It is unfortunate that the cost of stage pyrotechnics (which in themselves are not expensive) but after all ancillary costs and charges are factored in eg. Fireworks Public Liability Insurance, Dangerous Goods Transportation, SWM’s, MSDS’s, Risk Assess., Storage, Permission From Venue Management, Preparation of all necessary associated equipment ranging through; Fireworks, Hardware (Mortars / Firing Systems / Wiring / 1st. Aid / Fire Fighting / PPE and notifications to relevant authorities together with up to 21 days advance notification having to be lodged prior to the conduct of Indoor Pyrotechnics or Crackers all contribute to the demise of Pyro’s being used in smaller productions.

The demand for people with the required licenses, skills, competencies, knowledge of available effects and where they can be applied has increased due to the small number of available licensed Pyrotechnicians in the State of Victoria.

With limited opportunity to enter into this field, we are inundated with applications wishing enrol into the training courses that we conduct for the purposes of obtaining a licence.

We welcome questions relating to this exciting field of activities and if you require further information feel free to contact us.

Keith Lewis, Crack-A-Jack Fireworks (Australia), 390 St Kilda Rd., St Kilda Vic 3182
Tel (03) 9525 4316 e. keith@crack-a-jack.com.au w. www.crack-a-jack.com.au

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