“Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” is a game show broadcast in Italy on Canale 5 that copies the original format produced by the British Independent Television network (ITV) and Celador. Created in 1998, it hit Italy in May 2000 and has been reconfirmed each season, hosted by Gerry Scotti.
Filmed in the Mediaset studio 11 in Cologno Monzese (Milano), it is probably one of the few game shows whose format is the same in every country. “Production sets strict rules – states the Photography director Aldo Solbiati – but we have a certain creative margin on lighting”.
Lighting plays an important role in modern quiz shows because it helps to distinguish the various episode phases: here too, lighting highlights the host’s entrance, the introduction of new players, returns after commercials and, especially, the most exciting moment – the move up of the winnings ladder.
Aldo Solbiati states: “the studio is a bright arena. Lights are everywhere: I have a front battery of fixtures on the ground for camera 2 and jimmy effects, side batteries on the two high stands for the public, backlighting along the entrance runway for the host and a series of color-changers that surround the game position base”.
“I chose the two batteries of spot lights on the side stands – continues Aldo Solbiati – setting us apart from other national productions. For these I chose 36 Clay Paky 300W spots and washes, versatile and compact projectors that guarantee both sufficient lighting and easy positioning in a relatively small studio. The game mainly consisted in creating fans of white light, synchronising them with various jingles to emphasise significant moments in the show”.
Another light design feature is the suggestive light color of the floor under the players, obtained thanks to 20 Clay Paky color-changers under a transparent Plexiglas floor.
Each phase in the game has mandatory steps where one or two batteries of fixtures contribute in rising the tension: this is made even more spectacular by the ascending or descending television shots. As the level increases, the projectors turn off the public and we work with the light focused on the player. Suspense is enhanced by a rapid switch from the host to the player and his relatives in the first row seats.
All the lighting material was supplied by Xenon with Andrea Mantovani at the console. The stage settings are completed by 2 video-walls that reproduce recording details (almost always close-ups) and led frames which replaced the neon this year, turning orange, blue or red according to the level achieved.
“Who Wants To Be a Millionaire?” is one of the best of all other typical modern TV quiz shows wrapped up in one where humanity and technology, thoughtful moments and exciting suspense merge in a winning mix, continuously rewarded by audience shares, make it one of the favourite and most popular shows in Italy and the world.