Just as the American pop music scene is dominated by such events as the Grammys and the MTV Music Video Awards, so the Italian Music Awards is a key event in that country’s music industry. This year’s event, held in December, in Milan for an audience of 9,000, was broadcast on the Italian state broadcaster, RAI. LD Giovanni Pinna, designed the lighting, using a notable truss configuration and a lineup of Coemar products.

Pinna, who was also the DP for the broadcast, designed his main rig around conventional James Thomas Supertruss units, using a four-arrowhead rig to mimic the angled backdrop onstage. The designer’s original conception involved a huge single-section grid design; but he eventually opted for something "less heavy to look at," he says. A side truss completed the main rig, while the house box truss accommodated lighting at the rear. Auxiliary Thomas structures were used to serve a second, or B, stage located at the back of the auditorium, and a projection rig placed behind the onstage backdrop. Each of the chevrons, or arrowheads, flying over the stage formed a different angle, and called a large number of units supplied by Milano Music Service (MMS).

The main rig was given a blue key and made use of 46 Coemar CF7 HE X zoom spots and CF7 WX Washlight zooms, as well as 12 Panorama 2.3kW SuperCyc twin moving head units with electronic ballasts. Pinna also used 48 Coemar ProSpot 250 LX units—eight of them concealed behind the set and rigged on a 30x30 diameter frame to dramatically rear-project the 3D logo for the broadcast. He used a further 24 units on the side rigs and 16 more on the B stage. Six Robert Juliat 2.5kW units were used as followspots.

Pinna, who controlled all intelligent lighting from a Compulite Sabre console, says, "In particular I have always been a fan of the CF7 Washlight, which is the best washlight on the market. I’m using the 575s a lot, but, since the original CF7, the lenses have improved immeasurably. The light output is such that, for television productions, it is now necessary to under-run them."

Pinna adds that the RAI production crew was concerned about the amount of white light that would land on the audience. "We were running ACLs, 5kW fresnels, and PAR-64s, so I knew the generic lighting guy could overtake me any time he wanted," the LD says. "But the Coemar SuperCycs really balanced this off in the audience. The color is very good and they are fast—they really kick ass."

The broadcast, which featured numerous Italian stars, as well as performances by Elton John, Phil Collins, and Mark Knopfler, included such celebrity presenters as Donatella Versace. Multiple winners included the groups Ligabue, and Planet Funk, plus the singer Daniele Silverstri.