“Deutschland sucht den Superstar” (DSDS), the German equivalent of “The X Factor”, the international talent show franchise, has now reached its ninth year and is attracting great interest as always. Over 35,000 aspiring singers performed in the casting calls that took place in 35 cities in Germany, Austria and Switzerland. The lighting designer Manuel da Costa has accepted the challenge of staging the nine live evenings, which will be broadcast from the MMC Studios in Cologne-Ossendorf, after the preliminary casting calls and recalls.
When choosing the lighting equipment, Costa opted – among other lights – for 30 Clay Paky Sharpys and 16 Clay Paky Alpha Spot HPE 1500s, along with two full-size grandMA2 consoles, four full-size grandMA “series 1” consoles and ten video processing units (MA VPU plus).
“Because of budget limitations and the space and weight constraints on the moving video walls, I had to find a lightweight device with a relatively low price,” Costa said when he explained why he chose the Sharpys. “It also had to be compact and at the same time one of its strong points needed to be a high brightness response.”
“My task was to find a concept light that would offer me maximum configuration flexibility given the large number of songs (about 120),” said da Costa. “The aim was to prevent viewers from getting bored during the breaks and attract them with surprises and new visual effects each time. During the programming, it quickly became apparent that Sharpys were able to create the show’s visual effects simply thanks to their characteristic beams.“
The lighting designer concluded by saying: “The extraordinary thing about shows like DSDS is our attempt to come up with a different special effect for each performance. This is a challenging task both from the logistical and technical point of view, owing to the short time available to individual facilities and the budget.”
Besides Manuel da Costa, the following people worked on the show: Michael Baganz as assistant LD / moving light operator, Tim Franken as white light / laser operator, Stephan Flören as video operator, Sebastian Huwig as server farmer and Christoph Dahm as technical director. The lighting equipment was supplied by Magic Light+Sound GmbH.