Foti International Fireworks is an Australian family operation that lays claim to being the most awarded fireworks, pyrotechnics and special effects company in the country. The Foti family tradition of making fireworks dates back to Sicily in 1793. Today Foti Fireworks has a state-of-the-art manufacturing and operations facility in Marulan, NSW but they also have offices and a production portfolio spanning the globe.
Foti Fireworks first co-presented the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks in 1997. In 2000 Foti were awarded the entire contract of the Sydney New Year’s Eve fireworks, and they have produced every New Year’s fireworks display since. Plus the family company will continue to curate the show until at least NYE 2016/2017.
Producing the world’s most watched annual fireworks display for almost 20 years is no mean feat. We caught up with Fortunato Foti, the New Year’s Eve Fireworks Director for 2014/2015, to get a behind-the-scenes glimpse of what goes into the world’s most spectacular fireworks display and what they have in store for fireworks show for this New Year’s Eve.
When asked how Foti Fireworks manages to keep the display new and exciting year after year, Fortunato said each year they do significant planning, development and testing to come up with three or four things that are different. Being both the manufacturer and displayer of fireworks puts Foti in a fortunate situation, which makes original effects a more achievable goal. He said, “I’m one of eight family members involved so we sit around and talk about what we can do and try of think of something new.”
What new and exciting colours and patterns can we expect this year? Well Foti revealed that the Sydney New Year’s Eve audience will witness some original multicolour umbrellas, silver palms with crackling centres, gold palms with coloured tips, as well as a nice red glitter which has never been done before.
Many of the new effects for 2014/2015 came about through this year’s theme of “Inspire”. What inspires Foti about Sydney is largely family. He said,”we take the colours of Sydney such as the sky blue sky, the sea blue sea and the colour of the fauna that’s around. So all that stuff we look at putting in to the fireworks and try mix it up with the music.”
Foti revealed that 45 people have been working hard over the last few months to ensure the display is of the world-class quality everyone has come to expect from Sydney’s New Year’s Eve show. All staff members will be working on site for ten days prior to New Year’s Eve. Ultimately, however, he said, “New Year’s Eve happens on New Year’s Eve so we’ve got no option but to be ready.”
Foti expressed his belief that he’s “sure it’ll go off without a hitch like it normally does – touch wood!”
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