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Clay Paky Sharpy Fixtures Light Up Madonna’s Stage at the Super Bowl Halftime Show

Madonna may have headlined Super Bowl XLVI’s Halftime Show, but Clay Paky Sharpy fixtures made a name for themselves too, helping to light up the stage for the Material Girl at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis. Lighting designer Al Gurdon, of UK-based Incandescent Design, utilized 204 Sharpys supplied by PRG after being impressed with their performance on FOX’s “X Factor.”

Gurdon has been recognized internationally for his TV and event lighting design. He has received many awards for his lighting over the years, including Lighting Designer of the Year from the TPI Awards, Lighting Design Awards, Royal Television Society Awards, Knight of Illumination Awards, and Australia’s Helpmann Award. He has served as lighting designer for the famed Eurovision Song Contest.

For the Super Bowl Halftime Show, Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Inc. was once again the production designer, All Access Staging built the set and PRG and Full Flood provided the lighting services.

“The shape of the Halftime Show is always determined by the artist,” says Gurdon who has been lighting designer for two previous shows featuring The Black Eyed Peas and The Who. “Madonna is an entertainer, and this year there were many more staging elements to the show itself, including a lot of dancing, so there was less of a need for lighting to ‘carry’ the spectacle.” In fact, this year’s Halftime Show was one of the largest and most technically challenging ever with the largest cast, most lift effects and biggest projection and lighting rig.

Gurdon notes that since “Because of the nature of the act and the show, glamour lighting was a very important element, and my job was basically to always present her and the other performers in the best light , and simply allow the audience to see the show.”

As a result he created “a cleaner look this year” and was careful to preserve all the video projection mapping taking place on stage where Madonna was joined by M.I.A., Nicki Minaj, LMFAO, Cee Lo Green.

“The Sharpys seem to be ideally suited to projects where power, brightness and optical efficiency is required,” says Gurdon. “I put them in rectangular pods of 20 in the air and 16 on the floor, packed very tightly together. When used in a cluster as one big moving light they could operate either as a solid beam that could really rival the big outdoor spots, yet we could suddenly split them into 20 beams, too.

Sharpy is a 189W moving head with an unprecedented brightness usually achievable only with far greater wattages. Tipping the scales at just 16 kg, Sharpy produces a perfectly parallel, laser-like beam with an incredible output of 5,100 footcandles at 65 feet. It is also groundbreaking in the purity of its beam, which is sharply defined and free of any halo or discoloration around the edges. It offers an interchangeable color wheel with 14 fixed colors and an interchangeable gobo wheel with 17 fixed gobos, allowing users to change the shape of the beam and create an array of spectacular mid-air effects.

Gurdon reports that the Sharpys “performed very well. They are pretty awesome for their size: extremely compact but incredibly powerful. You really get an intense effect out of them. I was very pleased.”

Mike Oz Owen was the Varilite board operator for the Halftime Show. A.C.T Lighting is the North American distributor for Clay Paky.

Francesco Romagnoli, Clay Paky Area Manager for North and Latin America, adds, “We’re proud that our Sharpys are once again the feature light in such a high profile event. Mr. Gurdon is a great friend of Clay Paky and an excellent designer and we believe the SuperBowl marks another important step in the acceptance of our products and our brand recognition in the US.”

About Clay Paky

Headquartered in Seriate (Bergamo), Italy, Clay Paky SPA has a history of designing and manufacturing innovative professional show lighting. The company was founded in 1976 by entrepreneur Pasquale Quadri who anticipated the enormous impact the evolution of technology would have on the show and entertainment worlds.

For more information on Clay Paky products, please contact:

Francesco Romagnoli

Davide Barbetta