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Clay Paky at “Cultura Moderna”, the highly successful programme on Channel 5
Lighting Designer
Franco Fratus

After the resounding success during its debut in 2006, Cultura Moderna is back in 2007, maintaining its winning formula and integrating it with elements which are typical of the Italian quiz-shows.

The scenography, intentionally very light and coloured, interprets the “summer spirit” andadds a warm and sensual exotic feel: wooden structures, water slides, sand coloured flooring, coconut palms and all kinds of floral decorations transform the Recording Studio 20 in Cologno Monzese into a luxuriant environment, far away from the stress of every day life.

Light Design and scenographies were studied together from the very beginning, so that both the elements were perfectly integrated and were both functional in creating the right colour and atmosphere for the show. “To valorize the scenery I often use warm, pale colours, without any smoke effects”– comments the Photography Director Franco Fratus.

Fratus has used 60 Clay Paky moving body fixtures and he explains to us how: “I use the spotlights and wash lights to colour the backdrops, both on the stage and behind the audience. The colours range from intense blue to sunset hues, or I use the marvellous Clay Paky gobos in decorative glass, slightly blurred, to reproduce a cloud effect.”

The mobile units are positioned on the American elements that cover the entire Studio and that join the stage to the audience galleries. Some single spotlights have been placed on the ground, behind the slides or behind a tropical plant, camouflaged within the scenography.

Fratus is enthusiastic about the Clay Paky products: “I have been using them for years, and I have always achieved excellent results, both in terms of reliability and performance”– he tells us. “It is important, when working within a juvenile and successful programme, to be able to provide just the right answer also in terms of light design. The Clay Paky projectors offer a truly unique and wide range of solutions.”

During the performances we try to combine the most suitable colour and lighting effects for each competitor. A combination of spotlights and light bundles of colour are used, especially if it is a musical performance. The short dance interludes by the two soubrettes are followed by special graphic effects, together with particular use of the television cameras to make the action even more dynamic.

Fratus continues: “during the “heartbeat” moment – the most enthralling part of the show – I have chosen to interpret the windmill of emotions with a succession of full colours, without special effects. This has allowed us to valorize this spectacular moment without disturbing the emotional tension which is created”

The console operator Lorenzo Bassani has made his contribution to the definition of the light design, selecting with Fratus the sequence of the special effects and colours to be used on stage.

Sergio Giacon, the programme’s scenographer reveals a secret to us: “the idea was to reproduce a section of Coco Beach, the famous beach at Saint Lucia in Cuba.The greatest problem was the limited space at our disposal, so we had to play with perspective to give depth to the Studio.”

A touch of originality, consisting also in coloured scenographies and special lighting effects is therefore one of the secrets to the extraordinary success of this programme, that once again this year will make a millionaire out of the most fortunate and talented competitor who succeeds in guessing who the mysterious person is.