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Clay Paky awakens the force at Star Wars Dublin premiere
Lighting Designer
Mick Murray & Matthew Cregan
Production Services Ireland (PSI)
Photo Credits
Jeff Pioquinto
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Ireland – Clay Paky SuperSharpys have transformed Dublin’s iconic city-centre sculpture, the Spire, into a 398-foot lightsaber to celebrate the premiere of Star Wars: The Force Awakens.

As the film opened in Ireland’s capital, the SuperSharpys’ intensely precise beams, which are three times brighter than the previous Sharpy, illuminated the entire length of the O’Connell Street structure in vibrant blue to emulate the Jedi weapon.

Commissioned by Disney, Tom Rohan of event production house Eventco conceptualised the installation alongside lighting designers Mick Murray and Matthew Cregan. The team specified 16 SuperSharpys from Ciaran Tallon at Psi Dublin for the ambitious project, which received national press attention and brought unprecedented crowds to the monument with thousands sharing photographs across social media.

“Following our installation at the Spire for the International Year of Light 2015, Disney approached us with a similar concept to create a buzz for the Star Wars launch,” explains Murray. “We knew immediately that the output of the SuperSharpys would make them ideal for the giant lightsaber and they didn’t disappoint – the beams shot up 500 metres above the structure hitting cloud cover!”

Rohan and the team worked with the client to design a custom-built lightsaber ‘handle’ which housed the fixtures. This encircled the base of the monument and gave a ‘clean’ look to the installation. The SuperSharpys were positioned on inner shelves and covered by a slanted clear polycarbonate roof to protect them from the elements. A lightbox was also added towards the top edge of the structure to display the Star Wars and sponsors logos. 

An Avolites Titan One laptop setup controlled the installation on a time of day clock. The installation was monitored remotely over Christmas from locations in Slovenia and Galway using CCTV installed in the ‘handle’.

“We had run the rig for a week without issue on our International Year of Light project so the SuperSharpys were the obvious choice for this longer three week installation,” says Murray. “Not to mention, the fixtures’ low power consumption was key – all 16 used around 16 amps over three phases. This meant the entire installation was able to use local power from under the monument and no external generators were used.”

The seventh instalment in the main film series, Star Wars: The Force Awakens has continued to smash box office records since it premiered on the 18 December 2015.