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Clay Paky’s Sharpy strikes lucky on Million Dollar Drop
Lighting Designer
Adam Tyszka
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  • Sharpy

Clay Paky’s award-winning new spotlight, the Sharpy, has been given its first airing on Polish television following the broadcast of The Million Drop, a high stakes TV game show in which contestants can win or lose a million in cash.

Broadcast live, contestants begin with bundles of banknotes and have to correctly answer questions, or else see their winnings disappear through a trapdoor.

The UK-created show, made by Big Brother makers Endemol, has since been exported to several other countries including the US, Australia, Germany, Russia and most recently, Poland.

Aired on Polish network TVP2, the nail-biting show relies on strong lighting effects to create much of the mood and tension. Lighting Director Adam Tyszka said he was challenged by the producers to come up with a distinctive new look for the show and was after something different.

‘I was instinctively drawn to the Sharpy,’ said Adam. ‘It’s a new type of light; we haven’t seen anything like it before. I must admit I have been completely enchanted by their speed – but I’m also impressed by the efficiency and the uniformity of the color temperature.’

Weighing just 16kg, the tiny, 189W Sharpy produces a bright, parallel beam capable of matching fixtures of far higher wattages. The secret is a new optical design that creates a crisp, laser-like beam – free of any fuzz or discolouration around the edges. Launched in January 2011, the Sharpy has won immediate acclaim from commentators in the press, and has been rapidly adopted on shows including BBC’s Let’s Dance, Blue Peter, Channel 4’s Alan Carr Chatty Man, Sky TV’s Oscars and the NME Music Awards.

Lighting for the Polish Million Drop features 70 Sharpy spotlights, 24 Alpha Beam 300s, 24 Alpha Beam 1500s and 11 Alpha Profile 700s, with a supplement of LED washlights from JB Lighting and I-Pix. Equipment and service was supplied by local Clay Paky partner TSE while lighting was programmed and operated by Sebastian Pachciarek.