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Clay Paky colours the “L’Oreal Professional Colour Trophy”
Lighting Designer
David Miller
Point Source Productions Ltd
Photo Credits
David Miller
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UNITED KINGDOM – The L’Oreal Professional Colour Trophy held its first event way back in 1956 and by the 1960s there were hairdressers competing from up to 14 regional locations to gain a place in the London Grand Final.  Today, it remains the most prominent hairdresser’s competition in Britain with the regional finals consisting of a competition section, choreographed catwalk shows from big name designers and a traditional awards show that tours around the country.

Now widely regarded within the industry as the ‘Vogue’ of hairdressing award ceremonies, lighting designer David Miller needs to provide a rig that caters for an exceptionally broad range of venues and stage set-ups.  “This tour is organised by Fisher Productions who are renowned for their high end production values. I went to Point Source Productions for control and lighting fixtures for this show as they could provide the quality of control and luminaires that I was looking for: MA and Clay Paky.

Miller chose to use a variety of Clay Paky fixtures. “All the fixtures I chose from the Clay Paky stable have a particular role to play,” says Miller. “The Alpha 700s are a very good, general purpose profile; bright yet low power, small and lightweight but still have the features you’d expect on larger fixtures. They are simply great for corporate jobs where everything seems to be limited nowadays from budget and truck space to power and rigging.”

It is the combination of technical features along with the flexibility that comes with colour matching and economical use of power that Miller returns to when considering the value of the A.leda Wash K10s. “These were used to supplement the fresnel wash for traditional catwalk lighting. The colour mixing is amazing, they can go from subtle pastel colours (I especially like the CTO) to the more saturated colours which means the same fixtures can cover the key light together with back and side lighting as well as blending very well with the conventional fixtures. However, in several venues where power was limited they were the only lighting source we could use for certain sections of the show. As far as I know, the stills and video photographers didn’t even notice when I did this, or at least they didn’t complain which is always a good sign!’

‘The individual pixel control greatly enhances the versatility of the K10s and offers the opportunity for very dynamic effects for creating new exciting and dynamic looks that clients haven’t seen before. These can be simple split beam colour effects to animated geometric patterns on the lens. The ability to control them from a media server adds another dimension to these effects with more subtle and organic colour changes across whole banks of fixtures that wouldn’t normally be possible with a traditional effects engine. The new firmware has added great features; the effects section makes it very easy to create pixel mapped style effects and I love the tungsten emulation mode for when they are used with conventionals.  They really are amazingly versatile fixtures.”

Last but not least, Miller is no less enthusiastic about the Sharpy and the Sharpy Wash 330; “As with the K10s, the low power and weight of these really helps simplify the rig which is especially useful for very short get-in times.  Their lightweight meant that the truss could be cantilevered, avoiding the need for extra ground support.  They are so bright that, even in places where haze is not allowed, the ambient dust is enough to maintain the beamy effects.  The new Sharpy Wash gives you a lot of features for such a small fixture; I especially like the beam shaper and top hat since they are rigged right above the projection screen and it means I can minimise spill when backlighting a stage directly in front of the screen.”

For Miller, the recipe of MA Lighting control and Clay Paky fixtures is a winning combination whatever the venue. Ambersphere Solutions is the official UK distributor for Clay Paky and MA Lighting.