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Clay Paky Gear Performs Visual “Surgery” for Italian TV Show

PLSN Staff • International News • April 2, 2010

ROME – For the ninth series of shows called I Raccomandati (The Protégés), a talent contest televised live from the Teatro delle Vittorie by RAI, Riccardo Bocchini's set design used elegant new scenery elements including a wood parquet floor, an arch enclosing the stage, and chrome-plated trim behind three large LED walls. The set also included a full complement of Clay Paky fixtures supplied by Di & Di Service.

The show, which first aired in 2003, invites various performers to compete before a panel of VIPs, with the winner chosen at the end of the program.


The rig for the most recent series included 20 Alpha Profile 1200s (half of which are arranged at the height of the proscenium and the other half in the auditorium for front lighting), 20 Alpha Spot HPE 1200s (all as backlighting), 16 Alpha Spot HPE 700s (arranged around the whole internal perimeter of the auditorium) and 16 Alpha Spot HPE 300s (also as backlighting), with a few CP Color 400 MHs used as well.


Fausto Carboni, the director of photography, described the use of the lighting fixtures as something akin to a "surgical operation." He used the Profiles, for example, to "cut out" the special areas of the scenery that need highlighting with clean-edged light.


"I also had the pleasure to try out the Alpha Spot HPE 700s, and I must say they offer truly innovative graphic effects," Carboni said. "For example, we were able to use some lighting effects on the large entrance sphere, which is a highly characteristic special scenic element consisting of motorized plates that close with a circular movement."


Carboni also used the animation disk on the HPE 1200 for a water effect on the wooden floor, and noted the ability of the fixtures to help him meet the challenge of lighting materials and surfaces with varying degrees of light absorption and reflection, ranging from iron to wood.


Another challenge was to mesh the lighting intensities and colors with the video effects. There were three large LED walls, one in the middle at the back of the circular sphere, and two on the side walls. Carboni worked with director Maurizio Pagnussat to meticulously calibrate the light intensity and color and achieve a harmonious result.


Fausto Carboni credited the performance of the 300s and 700s, despite their compact dimensions.


"It is incredible what you can do with these lights. Their use was vitally important to me, because the battens mounted in the Teatro delle Vittorie have limiting weight-constraint," Carboni said."With the compact Alpha models, I was able to mount lights without running into weight problems and could choose as many as I needed. The 700s in particular are truly miraculous works of microengineering. They are as bright as 1200 W lights with the typical weight and size of lower wattage models."


Even the sound crew gave the Clay Paky Alpha gear high marks – for being seen and not heard.


Carboni also credited the Clay Paky gear for reliability, which is "crucial" for a live TV show. "Thanks to the high performance and reliability standards of Clay Paky Alphas, I have been able to face each program with the necessary serenity."


Carboni was assisted by Gianluca Brunicci and Carlo Vanni on the lighting desks. The gaffer was Walter Loia.


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