Europe: The Clay Paky Sharpy was lighting designer Guy Pavelo’s first choice for his hi-tech rig on hip-hop star Drake’s latest world tour.
Pavelo, who has lit the likes of Pharrell Williams, Rihanna and Beck, designed a diamond-shaped rig peppered with Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures, supplied by global hire outfit PRG, to deliver a confidently strident lighting design that has delighted audiences worldwide.
“The key was to create sharp lines and work with clean transitions,” explains Pavelo. “In the show there is a wall of lighting that is perfectly straight and a cove that almost looks seamless. The chases are very frontal and completed with strict formality so as to achieve the highest impact. I have used less fades and instead concentrated on more forced, almost chunky, lighting looks.”
For this Pavelo designed a complicated layered system of truss that exploded out from a central diamond. A considerable number of Sharpys are rigged across the master and diamond trusses with more rigged on a central ‘donut ring’ to deliver some perspective bending lighting looks.
“Drake really appreciates creative vision,” explains Pavelo. “He likes to establish a look for a track and then let it speak for itself alongside his music. Working with him I created a design that supported this organic process.”
Pavelo also employed further Sharpys within a clear ‘false’ thrust floor, bouncing their 189W bright parallel beams off the set’s mirror treated video tiles to achieve stunning lighting looks built by seemingly endless beams of light.
“Through the combination of the reflectivity on the set trim, the mirrored video tiles and the clear floor we were able to create lighting looks that went on forever,” continues Pavelo. “The bright beams of the Sharpys rigged to the flown diamond and donut trusses shot down to the floor, creating an outward cone and reflecting off of the polished trim panels. At the same time under-floor Sharpy units fired up in an outward cove extending the reflection all the way to the roof. It was a fantastic look that even made Drake sit back and take a moment to be inspired.”
As well as the hi-tech flooring the show has a large video element – a 78ft wide curved video screen displaying a mix of live and pre-recorded visuals.
“The Sharpy fixtures worked fantastically along with the video elements,” explains Pavelo. “They had enough punch to be visible, even with a full bore 9mm wall behind them pushing black and white content. The beams cut through perfectly and at times almost seem to be coming from the content itself.
“During one portion of the show audience members didn’t even realize lighting was being used! They thought the content became 3D but this was actually the Sharpy spots reflecting off of the mirror treated video tiles which worked perfectly to hide the light source.”
The award winning Sharpy is a popular fixture not only for its high output and razor sharp beam but also its rapid movement and cutting edge technology ensuring fast and effective programming time.
“During the tour much time in the afternoon is spent making sure all the focuses are just so, and as square as possible from every angle,” continues Pavelo. “The Sharpy’s speed and consistent repositioning meant it was bang on every time, allowing me to create more intricate looks with absolute reliability.
“The Clay Paky Sharpy is definitely a go-to fixture. Leading the industry and seemingly the ‘first fixture to put on the plot’ – the Sharpy is simply everywhere.”