Tennessee-based rental company Morris Light and Sound Inc. reports that it can’t keep its new inventory of Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures on the shelves. The company is also doing a brisk business with its grandMA and grandMA light consoles.
“After getting a demo of Sharpy we purchased 24 for the upcoming Xtreme Muzik The Tour, with country duo Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson,” says David Haskell, owner of Morris Light and Sound. “Then we used them on Country Music Television’s live Music Builds: CMT Disaster Relief Concert for the victims of the recent storms, floods, and tornadoes. After that, we ordered 12 more Sharpy fixtures for Jake Owen, who’s supporting Keith Urban on tour.
“We’re among the first to take delivery of the lights, which are pretty impressive for their size and punch. For television, their most impressive feature is how quiet they are: You can’t hear anything. We think they’re amazing – we’re really excited about them.”
Lighting and production designer Mike Swinford only had six days to put together Music Builds. “When they wanted a ‘beamy’ type of light, I immediately thought of the Sharpy,” he says. “I think we were the first show to use the Sharpy for broadcast.
“The set had two stages. One was acoustic, very stark. We used eight Sharpys – they’re very small but with such a graphic beam. The other stage was for the house band and different acts; it had eight Sharpys on the floor that created a great graphic element the producer loved.
“The Sharpy’s high Kelvin 8000 reads very blue on TV, even with cameras chipped at 5600 Kelvin. This is not a bad thing, as the high color temp punches through other lights live and as well as on camera. Programmer Mark Butts pointed the lights at the acrylic floor at times, which bounced back and doubled the beams. People actually called the show afterwards to find out where we got those lights.”
Butts is already a fan of the Sharpy, which he calls “a rockin’ light.” He found them to be a “perfect choice” for the live Music Builds concert. “They were small, light, very low power, and had great gobos,” he says. “I was really impressed by how compact, bright and fast they are – those are big selling points. And no other light has this look.”
Butts programmed a grandMA full-size to control the lights for the benefit concert. “With a live TV show there’s no room for error,” he says. “We chose the grandMA because it has always been solid and reliable. We never have to worry about it.”
Swinford plans to use a complement of Sharpy fixtures on the Xtreme Muzik tour this summer and fall. “For Big & Rich and Gretchen Wilson we want an old-school rock ‘n roll look,” he explains. “Sharpy is kind of a modern-day ACL with movement and color. I plan to use them up high, hung on a truss in groups of four mostly for graphical and in-air effects. We can point them straight down through a field of smoke and make a sort of light curtain.”