Clay Paky's Knight of Illumination Awards

L-R: Enrico Caironi (Clay Paky), Durham Marenghi (Rock category chairman), Pasquale Quadri (President of Clay Paky), Rick Fisher (Theatre category chairman), Stuart Gain (TV category chairman), John Watt (Lifetime Recognition Award chairman).

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25 September 2009

UK - The second edition of the Knight of Illumination Awards, staged to coincide with the PLASA Show in London, was a great success, attended by leading figures from the world of entertainment lighting. Organised by Italian manufacturer Clay Paky, in collaboration with the trade associations ALD and STLD, the Knights of Illumination are the only international awards designed to provide public recognition to the deserving work of lighting designers in the theatre, touring and television sectors.

The presentation ceremony took place at the Hotel Ibis, Earls Court, London on 13 September 2009. Clay Paky - with support from equipment suppliers Hawthorn Theatrical and Richard Martin Lighting - set up a professional lighting rig in the Suite, mainly using the new Clay Paky Alpha 700 Spot HPE, Wash and Beam lights.

Almost 350 industry professionals attended the event, including lighting designers, manufacturers, rental companies, dealers, trade associations and the specialist media. Enrico Caironi, Clay Paky corporate marketing advisor and one of the main men behind the event, said: "We worked hard to achieve this goal. We knew we had a great chance, but also a great responsibility. I would like to thank publicly everyone who contributed to the success of the event, especially the associations ALD and STLD, without whose precious help this event wouldn't have been the same."

Among the exceptional guests that added lustre to the evening were the Italian Consul General for London Uberto Vanni D'Archirafi, the CEO of Plasa Matthew Griffiths, the CEO of ABTT Mark White, the executive director of the Theatres Trust Miss Mhora Samuel and Hans-Joachim Schwabe, deputy Chairman and CEO of OSRAM, the official sponsor of the evening.

The highlight of the evening was the announcement of the 12 award-winners: four in the TV category, four for theatre and three for rock, plus a special lifetime recognition award, which was introduced and presented by the hugely entertaining John Watt. The winners were chosen from among the 30 nominees by a panel of specialist judges, coordinated by the two trade associations. The chairmen for the three award categories were Stuart Gain (television), Durham Marenghi (rock), Rick Fisher (theatre).

Each winner received a prestigious trophy - a real sword made in Toledo, Spain. According to Clay Paky: "The sword, a copy of those used by medieval knights, symbolizes the arms LDs use to defend their professional values in the world they work in. So, rather than an award, it was a true investiture!"

After the awards were presented, there was a short ceremony during which a donation was made to Light Relief, the charitable fund which was set up to look after members of the professional show lighting business who suffer through illness or injury affecting themselves or their families. Pasquale Quadri, president of Clay Paky, put the cheque into the hands of Light Relief trustees, Matthew Griffiths, John Simpson, Rick Fisher and Lesley Harmer, who expressed their appreciation for Clay Paky's gesture of awareness towards the needy in our sector.

This year's winners are listed below, accompanied by comments from respective judging panels:

TELEVISION - DRAMA
John O'Brien for The Bill

This long running soap has seen many changes over the years, so it was good to see a well balanced entry for this awards. Scenes ranging from the realistic interview room, the atmosphere of the incident room and the exterior night scenes showed off all the lighting techniques used to good effect.

TELEVISION - ENTERTAINMENT
Chris Kempton for Friday Night with Jonathan Ross

This regular show has become a firm audience favourite. The clean lighting of the interview area combined well with the set and the band Lighting was felt to be coherent, thoughtful and exciting.

TELEVISION - MUSICAL PROGRAMME
Will Charles for The Album chart Show

This had dramatic use of colour temperature of lighting on the faces and pushed the pictures to their technical limits. The live feel of the show was maintained throughout and the contrast with the interview setup gave a good mix.

TELEVISION - EVENTS
Gurdip Mahal for BBC Sports Personality

This was a large venue to cover, which was achieved well. The show had the feeling of a special event with excellent wide shots. Presenter positions were on the whole covered well and the lighting was always restrained but effective and controlled."

ROCK - STAGE
Rob Sinclair for Goldfrapp

This stood out as an integrated lighting and visuals design - combining lighting and video seamlessly and elegantly. Rob also evolved the set design after discussions with the artist, bringing a third dimension to the show's visuality, which helped energise and bring the whole experience to life onstage.

ROCK - ARENA
Davy Sherwin for Snow Patrol

Fabulous use of colour matching between lighting and video visuals. Davy and Robin Haddow worked as one in producing a coherent, beautiful, interesting and exciting visual design for the band. It seamlessly fused lighting, playback video/live visuals and moving (automated) elements, creating a show to articulate the performance dynamics - without being gimmicky or crass.

ROCK - ECO-FRIENDLY TOUR
Andi Watson for Radiohead

One blogger said about the show: "Over the years, their shows have increasingly used breathtaking state-of-the art lighting to frame their performances. This year the band employed dozens of LED lighting columns suspended from the ceiling. At times they would make the stage look like a cathedral. Sometimes they could make it appear as if the ceiling was melting (that's right, druggies, you wasted your money, it did that for all of us)."

THEATRE - DANCE
Michael Hulls for Eonnagata

The judges cited that the lighting was so integral to the performance it was impossible to imagine what the piece would have been like in just working light. The lighting was part-painterly, part-sculptural - even the shadows were a part of the performance. Here too was a piece that was deeply affected by and enhanced by the lighting design.

THEATRE - OPERA
Adam Silverman for Peter Grimes

The critics said the Lighting was utterly integral to the expression of a bold interpretation of the opera, creating stark, spine-chilling moments. At times, the lighting enabled the audience to feel the salt spray and evoked the look of wet sunlight.

THEATRE - DRAMA
Jon Clark for Three Days of Rain

"the panel singled out Jon use of side-lighting to lower and raise the temperature, and not just in the effective rain-drenched sequences referred to in the title. The sunny warmth stealing over the second act was in powerful contrast to the atmospheric cheerlessness he cast over the initial proceedings.

THEATRE - MUSICAL
Kevin Adams for Spring Awakening

Kevin's lighting vividly expressed the emotional atmosphere of the show and created an aesthetic that made an immersive experience. Particularly noted was the bold use of light bulbs and fluorescent tubes.

LIFETIME RECOGNITION
The Lifetime Recognition Award was presented to Mark White.

(Lee Baldock)

 

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