Over 240 Clay Paky fixtures illuminated the 2009 edition of Domenica IN, the RAI 1 Sunday programme that has entertained millions of viewers of all ages and all walks of life for thirty-three years.
This edition stood out in particular for the variety of situations it dealt with. There were slots devoted to fashion, show business, gossip, music, fitness and health. These slots either alternated or appeared in such rapid succession that two different sets were needed in the RAI Dear studios (Nomentano, Rome).
Directors of photography Fausto Carboni and Vittorino Piccolo designed the lighting, each one for his own set. Fausto Carboni told us: “The abundance of situations dealt with imposed sudden changes of atmosphere, which meant different scenic settings. Versatile lighting was essential to differentiate the settings, also if you consider that the studio sets were deliberately simple.”
Carboni used a large rig consisting of 16 Alpha Spot HPE 1200s, 16 Alpha Spot HPE 575s, 16 Alpha Wash 575s, 16 Alpha Spot HPE 300s, 8 Stage Profile SV 1200s and 50 CP Color 400 MHs. “When the programme started in September 2008, I already knew Clay Paky 575s and 1200s were reliable, not to mention the simple but always highly efficient CP Color MHs,” Carboni told us. The HPE 300s were instead a real surprise: “I would never have imagined I could get so much light out of a 300 W unit!”
Carboni explained that the 300s are extremely useful in television studios since they are compact and lightweight, but do not compromise on brightness. “Having a unit to hand with these features is very important because it means you can design alternative lighting arrangements in the studio and hang lights where you would never have thought of doing”.
The use of colour is fundamental in Carboni’s lighting design: “Clay Paky unit CMY mixing is really excellent. The colours we got from the different units are perfectly uniform and are picked up well by the television cameras. Thanks to the colours, I was able to diversify the various settings”. Carboni told us that he had designed the programme lighting “with women in mind”. He tended to choose colours that suited the anchorwomen and their guests.
The second part of the programme is instead hosted by men, and the lighting design was entrusted to Vittorino Piccolo, who said: “this studio has been here for four years, and over that time the technical equipment and sets have been altered and mostly replaced. At present, the lights are almost all Clay Paky units.”
Vittorino Piccolo says that he is happy to work with Clay Paky, “because they give fantastic assistance, both as regards technical support and training. They always keep me up to date on new units, thanks to the demos they give on our premises straight after official launches”.
Vittorino Piccolo uses 8 Alpha Spot HPE 1200s, 15 Alpha Spot HPE 575s, 6 Alpha Wash Halo 1000s, 18 Alpha Spot HPE 300s, 10 Stage Profile SVs, 32 Super Scan Zoom 1200s and 30 Mini Scan HPEs. He told us that he had witnessed both the long life and present high quality of Clay Paky products:
“I use a mix of old and new Clay Paky units. It is surprising to see the reliability of some of the older lights, like the Super Scan Zoom or Mini Scan HPE, which still work perfectly after years with only routine maintenance. I am enthusiastic about the performance characteristics of the Alphas: the 1200 W, 575 W and 300 W lights all give performances that are really difficult to equal”.
Vittorino Piccolo has mainly used 1200 and 575s for the effects on the ground, 300s and Super Scan Zooms for backlighting the orchestra, and 1000 Halos to create coloured backgrounds for group musicians. Artists performing on the stage are instead followed by white lights.
“I was also recently present at a demo of the new 700s,” concluded Vittorino Piccolo. “I think they have really surprising built-in features. Compactness, lightweight, high luminous efficiency and fast movements are all significant pluses not only for LDs and directors of photography, but also for installers and everyone involved in setting up rigs”.
Premises: RAI Dear studio (Nomentano) – Rome
Director of Photography: Fausto Carboni
Gaffer: Roberto Rossi
Lighting Desk Operator: Carlo Vanni
Rental: DI & DI Lighting
Gaffer: Riccardo Cardin
Lighting Desk Operator: Claudio Salvaticchio
Rental: PR Electronics
Clay Paky lighting equipment totals
8 Alpha Profile 1200s
24 Alpha Spot HPE 1200s
31 Alpha Spot HPE 575s
16 Alpha Wash 575s
34 Alpha Spot HPE 300s
6 Alpha Wash Halo 1000s
50 CP Color 400 MHs
10 Stage Profile SVs
32 Super Scan Zooms
30 Mini Scan HPEs