Clay Paky Sharpy the star at The Star

Posted on Monday, November 21st, 2011


Ziggy Ziegler, one of Australia’s leading corporate lighting designers, has had an extremely busy few months and it looks like there is no let up in sight. Last month he lit the high profile opening of The Star casino in Sydney and fortunately he had his new favourite fixture on hand – the Clay Paky Sharpy!

“I first used the Sharpy on the Mary Poppins Sydney opening night which was designed by Richard Pacholski and operated by myself,” commented Ziggy. “It was held at the Town Hall and the Sharpys were in the roof from where they had to spot topiary trees on the ground. The roof is really high in that venue and in some cases the Sharpy’s had to throw over thirty metres. However I had them running at 10% and they were still too bright! I decided then and there that I’d use them myself. Really, they are bright enough to be a sky tracker even though they are only 189 watts and tiny.”

Ziggy explains that for lighting corporate events, the Sharpy has opened up a whole new world of possibilities.

“The fact that they are so small and lightweight means you can rig them in places you couldn’t rig lights normally,” he said. “Their amazing brightness means there are so many new applications available now. At The Star opening, by David Grant Events, they were used to shoot through the windows from the inside out reaching right across the harbour.”

For The Star opening the majority of the twenty Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures used were located in the atrium from where they could highlight the venue’s signature star-shaped sculpture in a big reveal. When the curtain dropped to reveal the sculpture, sixteen yellow/orange Sharpy beams moved around like internal sky trackers. These were enhanced by eight Martin MAC2000 washes and six MACIII profiles.

“The result was a lot of gobo and colour with the Sharpy beams moving on top of this,” explained Ziggy. “The Sharpy’s were so crisp they really stood out and cut through everything. There was no way I could have fitted sky trackers into that space. I could fit eight Sharpys in the space I would have fitted one sky tracker into. Plus I had eight beams instead of one!”

Four more Sharpy’s were located on third floor of the building, again inside, from where they could shoot out across the harbour at the same time as the laser show off the roof. At speech time, the Sharpy’s swung down to act as backlight to the stage.

Once the main reveal and the speeches were over, the Sharpy’s and other moving lights were used as eye candy for a ten minute sequence.

Ziggy was particularly impressed by the pairing of Studio Due Dominators with the Sharpy’s claiming that they worked very well together.

“The Dominators are like a giant version of a shimmer,” he said. “I had eight lined up on the roof, with a selection of sky trackers, and they break up into lots of little beams that really complement the Sharpy beams.”

The five generators worth of lighting thrown at the building also included thirty-four Studio Due CityColors and was supplied by Chameleon Touring Systems.

“I have to say that the Sharpy’s were amazing,” concluded Ziggy. “The sky trackers required a whole generator of their own but you could get the same effect with Sharpy’s using the same amount of fixtures on one 10 amp circuit. That’s a huge difference.”

Footage can be seen here: