In a year like no other, came a Super Bowl like no other. This last Sunday, Tom Brady wrote himself into the record books once again with a 10th Super Bowl appearance and an unparalleled seventh win at Super Bowl LV, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Kansas City Chiefs faced off.
And despite the pandemic’s long shadow, a small crowd of fans enjoyed the game in person, with 7,500 frontline health workers among them, invited by each of the 32 NFL teams as a thank you for their herculean efforts.
Few sports events boast a spectacle as exciting as the Super Bowl’s halftime show, and with fans needing to be entertained more than ever, it needed to be every bit as impressive as in years past. Super Bowl LV’s show saw The Weeknd in the headline spot, vying with the likes of Beyoncé, Prince and U2 for bragging rights in the annals of Super Bowl halftime history.
After nearly a year of lockdowns and restrictions, we’re getting all too used to watching virtual entertainment extravaganzas, but the planning, hard-work, passion, blood, sweat and tears that go into a halftime show was one of the few things that was no different from any other Super Bowl year.
Presented with a unique COVID-era challenge, veteran Super Bowl Production Designer Bruce Rodgers knew he’d need to build a uniquely multi-disciplined team to help him pull everything together. TAIT was proud to support Bruce as well as Roc Nation, Jesse Collins, Dave Meyers and the entire Diversified Production Services team.
Additionally, acclaimed creative designers Es Devlin, La Mar Taylor, Alex Lill and lighting guru Al Gurdon brought a wealth of experience to the crew – experience that proved invaluable during the early lighting design discussions.
“This creative team was very passionate and determined to work with the artist and our team to create the design that TAIT, Atomic and All Access brought to life in a miraculous way,” shared Bruce Rodgers of Tribe Inc. Design.
Rodgers was keen to create a cityscape that The Weeknd could pick his way through while onstage, but that also worked as a backdrop when needed. The vision was to create something detailed enough to create the big city feel, but with a minimalist edge. A combination of 2D light boxes and 3D building models were used, with neon chases employed to ensure the 2D building elements had the necessary impact in a 3D setting.
TAIT set about creating 17 custom-built 3D buildings, designed to integrate with Atomic’s 2D light boxes to give the impression of a living, breathing city. TAIT and Atomic worked closely on creating paint and textures to ensure the interaction between TAIT’s internally-lit 3D buildings and Atomic’s 2D facades looked authentic.
In addition to producing scale model buildings for the intricate cityscape – a huge challenge in itself – TAIT also worked with All Access to create a breathtaking mirrored infinity room, complete with TAIT’s LED signage and All Access’s mirrored walls and ceilings. The infinity room was designed to seamlessly complement Atomic’s on-stage signs and deliver the same twinkling, amber-lit effect as many of the The Weeknd’s music videos.
With an ever-moving target to aim at as Coronavirus restrictions evolved during the planning stages, TAIT tapped into its vast experience to develop solutions to unforeseen challenges as the conceptual process advanced.
Brian Levine, President of Projects for TAIT summed it up, “People don’t always think about TAIT for scenery alone, but it is a core skill set of ours. Another part of TAIT’s DNA is the ability to move quickly and develop cost-effective solutions that work around the constraints of scope, schedule and budget, while working with multiple stakeholders to deliver on an evolving brief.”
“With so many teams working together on a project of this scale, close collaboration was vitally important to ensure the creative vision was realized by this unified and talented group,” explained Shannon Nickerson, Project Manager at TAIT.
Bringing Bruce’s vision to life meant TAIT could bring its visual entertainment experience to bear in the spectacular show that will surely go down as one of the most memorable Super Bowl halftime shows in history.
See more examples of TAIT’s scenic work by clicking here.