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Lighting Designer
Giancarlo Toscani
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A skilled mix of communication and technology, fruit of a wide-ranging marketing policy, Video Italia is the first and only open digital satellite television broadcaster transmitting Italian music in Italy, Europe and throughout the world, with an audience of more than 2,500,000 viewers in Italy alone. Started in December 1998 from an offshoot of Radio Italia Solo Musica Italiana, Video Italia has strongly reaffirmed the principle followed with great success by the radio network for 20 years: to promote only performers and musicians who write and sing in Italian.

This is an even more important concept today, in an era in which it is possible to reach all the remotest corners of the globe by satellite. Video Italia has quickly become not only a dynamic and entrepreneurial broadcaster, but also a network able to export Italian culture abroad; where, moreover, we must not forget, many millions of Italian emigrants live who are still very linked to their origins.

In September 2000 the Chairman, Mario Volanti, decided to transfer Radio Italia and Video Italia to new futuristic headquarters at Cologno Monzese in order to face with ever greater professionalism the constantly increasing commitment which was to be expected. This is an ultra-new building of more than 3000 m2 where, thanks to the extensive surface areas and an auditorium equipped for direct live sound transmissions to world radio/television, it was possible to enrich the range of important live event programmes. Programming – at times with simultaneous live radio and television – provides video clips, concerts and interviews with performers and services about the production world of Italian music. A large number of concert-talk shows have also been produced, during which direct contact between the performer, the studio audience (more than 300 seats) and millions of TV viewers scattered throughout the world has become increasingly important and vital.

An entirely Clay Paky ultra-professional lighting plant which provides Stage Color 1200, Stage Zoom 1200, Stage Color 1000, Stage Light 300, Golden Scan HPE and Astroraggi Power is outstanding among the technical features which typify the Cologno Monzese headquarters. As can be seen, a very vast selection which allows the numerous effects to be created for using in combination or for reproducing the typical atmosphere of a live concert. Nearly all these projectors are installed without visible trusses on the magnificent arcaded roof hollowed out of the stage and can create some of the most colourful and attractive light shows to be seen, as is unanimously acknowledged by those employed in the sector.

Lighting Designer and Photographic Director Giancarlo Toscani himself told us “working for Video Italia is professionally very satisfying for an LD, I could choose the top quality products on the market and, thanks to them, can now create something new every day with the effects, atmosphere, colour…

We are also identified by a technical curiosity, we are the only television studio which produces “whites” using only Stage Color 1000 halogens!”. The Clay Paky effect kit is completed by 6 television screens, which show television recordings in the studio, thus creating a link between TV viewers and the public in the auditorium.

The musical theme then continues with some events which are held outside headquarters, such as the “Music Grand Prix”, which is held in Monza every year at the same time as the Formula 1 GP and which ideally celebrates Radio Italia’s “birthday”, or the musical event organised at Serravalle Scrivia (AL) in collaboration with Outlet, a British multinational that represents the Top Brands. Both these events are magnificently lit by Clay Paky.

So Radio Italia and Video Italia never stop astonishing us. Over the years the television station has grown a great deal and can now boast rich programming and an exclusive and greatly admired archive in which, for example, videos of pieces of music can be found of which there is no other clip on the market. Many winning ideas, the use of technologically advanced solutions and a professional Clay Paky lighting plant make Mario Volanti’s company an avant-garde model, a benchmark for the present and future of satellite transmissions.