India’s leading lighting designer Atul Sonpal wowed the crowds at the 2007 Hero Honda Star Screen Awards using Clay Paky Alpha Spot and Wash fixtures.
Sonpal’s company, Mumbai-based Jagmag Electric, also lighting contractors for the event, is the newly appointed Clay Paky dealer for western India. He naturally jumped at the opportunity of using their fixtures on this show, and Clay Paky shipped extra units out to Jagmag super-quickly in time for the event.
The Star Screen Awards is the highest profile Indian film awards ceremony of the season, and this year was staged at the Bandra Kurla Complex in Mumbai, now in its 14th year. Winners are selected by a panel of distinguished industry professionals (similar to the Oscars) and the winning criteria is professional excellence.
Sonpal’s end clients were the newspaper, The Indian Express, and Cineyug Entertainment, and the show was attended by a host of celebrities, dignitaries, and VIPs, including chief minister Vilas Rao Deshmukh. The show was also recorded and broadcast by STAR TV.
Sonpal lit the show utilizing over 300 PAR cans, 32 Clay Paky AlphaWash 1200s and 24 AlphaSpot 1200 HPEs, along with some Studio Due 2.5 CityColors and SGM PALCO 3 LED fixtures.
It was the first large show for which Sonpal has used Clay Paky as his principal moving light, which he describes as “really powerful and flexible fixtures – exactly what I needed for an intense fast-moving show like this.” During the show, he needed to produce a whole variety of looks – from very moody and dark to bouncy and up-tempo.
The set was designed by Omung Kumar. He and Sonpal worked closely together to develop the overall visuals, which included discussing the best places to fix lighting instruments to parts of the set inaccessible from conventional lighting rigging points. These were limited due to it being an outdoor show on a green field site.
The set’s backdrop featured a scrim and behind that were 10,000 60W lightbulbs that made up the names of all the nominated movies. This aspect of the show alone consumed 40 dimmer packs, plus one dedicated crew chief and four lighting technicians.
The 120′ wide front truss was flown using two cranes, loaded up with 32 PARs for audience illumination, 32 for general stage washes and the 12 Source Fours which key lit the presentation and MC areas. Ten Alpha Washes were also on this front truss for washing stage and audience. Either side of stage were two 40′ high scaffolding towers, each rigged with 8 CP AlphaWashes and 32 PARs.
The rear truss was suspended centrally at the back of the stage from a tall single crane, and contained 16 AlphaSpot HPEs that were used for all the beam effects plus set gobo washes, audience “ballyhoos” and other special looks.
The CityColors and Palcos were positioned on the floor, used to up-light all of the stage and set, and the lighting picture was completed with an additional eight AlphaSpots on the stage deck, pointing forwards.
Sonpal says, “The AlphaSpots and Washes really proved themselves – it was a long show and the programming sessions were intense, and they were all reliable and easy to work with”. He particularly likes the animation wheel and the colour mixing facilities, along with the unit’s “extraordinary luminosity.”
Lighting-wise, the biggest challenge of the show was getting in and getting up and running in just two days. Jagmag supplied a team of 20 lighting crew in total including three crew chiefs – one for the moving lights, one for conventionals and one for the lightbulbs. Sound was supplied by Roger Drego at Electrocraft.