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UK tech crews train with Clay Paky Alpha 700s
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A group of twenty technicians from UK stage and rental companies has taken part in a three-day training event organised by Clay Paky at their Italian headquarters in Bergamo. The trip was designed to give the crews command of one of the most widely used tools in stage lighting today – the Alpha 700 range. The course was held from 9 to 11 November 2010 and was hailed as a success for its in-depth focus on a single product line. 

The event was instigated by Clay Paky UK Sales Manager Ashley Lewis. “We had no problem filling places on the course, and I am sure this was partly because we chose to focus on the Alpha 700 range.  

“Most courses try to cover too much, skating over the detail. Here our aim was to provide our customers with really useful, detailed information – with help from the guys that developed the Alpha range in Italy.” 

Supporting the event from the Clay Paky Sales Support Engineer in Bergamo was Marco Zucchinali: “The feedback has been fantastic. Everyone who participated seemed to agree it was an intense but worthwhile investment of their time.”  

Matthew Irving of NEG Earth said: “Everyone at Clay Paky was approachable and willing to help out. They should be very proud of themselves. I strongly recommend this course for everyone, and I’m looking forward to attending any they might run in future.” 

Alex Strachan of AS Event Lighting agreed: “It was fantastic. Very informative and taught in a relaxed but professional environment – a great benefit for everyone who attended.” 

The Alpha Series from Clay Paky has set a worldwide standard for moving heads in the UK, and knowing how to use and maintain them has become an essential skill for technicians. The Alpha Series predominates in the UK, currently appearing in almost all TV entertainment shows, and gaining rapidly in concerts and tours.

In addition to gaining knowledge of the Alpha 700 range, the training event was about strengthening the relationship with technical departments in the UK. Ashley Lewis said: “I’ve always said that the technician is as much a specifier as the designer. It’s essential that technicians feel comfortable with the equipment and enjoy using it.”

Gavin Kuzniar of Hawthorn Theatrical had praise for the quality of the training: “Not only was the course essential in developing knowledge of Clay Paky fixtures – we learned fundamental tips that we could relate to any moving light.” 

Needless to say Italian hospitality also featured high on the agenda, with the evenings providing ample opportunity for sharing opinions and experiences. Michael Shaw of Stage Electrics said: “The Clay Paky crew are clearly clued up and passionate about what they do. They couldn’t have done more to welcome us.”  

In attendance were: 

Alexander Strachan, A.S. Event Lighting

Andrew Russell, ELP

Ryan Brown, Entec

Gavin John Kuzniar, Hawthorn

Matthew James Edgington , Hawthorn

Matthew John Irving, Neg Earth

Stephen Wells, Richard Martin Lighting

Robert Neil Mander, RM lighting

Michael Shaw, Stage Electrics

David John Collins, Stage Electrics

Andrew Graeme Sewell, Vortex Lighting

Kevin James Thwaites. Vortex Lighting

Nicholas Joel Sheridan, Siyan Ltd

John Clements, DBN

James Mather, DBN

Daniel Adderley, EQ lighting

Stuart Iain Bruce, Northern Light