Super Bowl Halftime Show – Starring The Who, and THE LIGHTING!

I just heard on NPR last night that 106.5 million plus people watched the Super Bowl on Sunday – more people than any other event on TV in the history of the world.  The last thing that had that kind of viewers was the final episode of M*A*S*H*, back in 1983 – 105.97 million.

(for those of you kids who have no idea what M*A*S*H* is, it was a show about surgeons in a war zone)

One of the things that is still getting some major press is the big spectacle half time show, starring The Who:

For those of you who are like me, I paid more attention to the lighting design for the Super Bowl half time show than I did The Who – I mean, don’t get me wrong, I think they rock.  They did at least when they were younger.  Who did rock this time was the lighting design team and suppliers for one of the biggest shows of the year – and the rumor is that the entire rig had a total of six minutes to get on the field and working.

Oh – and pre-viz/lighting design for the Super Bowl Half Time Show?  It was done in Cast Software’s wysiwyg Suite!  OH YEAH!  (That’s right, I love it, you love it, and it is the epic awesome.)

The Super Bowl XLIV Lighting Team – definitely not an exhaustive list, and my apologies for the hundreds of people who got left off the list:

Lighting Designers:  Al Gurdon
Designer:  Bruce Rodgers of Tribe
Lighting Directors:  Bob Barnhart and David Grill of Full Flood
Programmers:  Mike “Oz” Owen, rocking the Vari*Lite Virtuoso, and Pete Radice
Rental Company:  PRG USA and PRG Europe
Lighting Crew Chief/Gaffer:  Richie Gorrod
Media Programmer:  Jason Rudolph

An update from Jason Rudolph himself – thanks a lot, Jason!

Lee Lodge was the creative producer handling content, which was made by Loyal Kaspar out of NYC.
XL video was the video vendor. The stage was made of 3000+ MiStrips, driven by 2 HD hippos provided by VER, Matt Waters was the server tech.

From XL Video, Ken Gay and Bob McGee were the project managers. Mike Spencer was the system engineer. Luke Pilato was the head system tech. Led techs were Rodrigo Azuriz, Trace Deroy, Douglas Eldredge, David Imlau, Fernando Gutierrez Llama, Curtis Luxton, Stephen Otten, Eric Petty, Rod Silhanek and Don Stevens.

An update from Margaret, who sends the URL of Loyal Kaspar, the company who did the video content – http://www.loyalkaspar.com

Update - Jason Rudolph writes back (Feb 11, 2010) [Thanks, Jason!]

I can tell you this, the LED fixtures in the rig were Color Blocks, most of the fixtures were VL3500 wash units with the clear lens installed, on the stage were Color Blasts, and Iwhite color blasts.  Atomic strobes all over, and a few lightning strikes for good measure.  There were also a few Alpha Beam 1500s in the rig, but I’m not sure where they were.

Oz programmed on a Virtuoso VX, I was on a DX2.

We had 2 HD hippos, and one HippoCritter for pixelmapping the Color blocks, which we only used for one song, its output was merged with the console output so that we had both as an option.

If you know any people who worked the crew, give them a shout out in the comments – what a terrific job they did!

I am expecting an equipment list soon – I will update this post as soon as I get it from my source.  But for those of you who didn’t get to see this amazing lighting feat, below are two videos, part one and part two, of the half time show.  Enjoy!

(Thanks, Times Online, for the image of The Who!)

7 replies
  1. JP Gagnon
    JP Gagnon says:

    Matt Geneczko worked on the lighting team. he has some great photos of the load-in. I will try to get him to send you something.

  2. mu0p
    mu0p says:

    I thought the circle was made out of element labs hd tubes, but doesn’t look like it, excited to see the equipment list.

  3. Jason Rudolph
    Jason Rudolph says:

    Lee Lodge was the creative producer handling content, which was made by Loyal Kaspar out of NYC.
    XL video was the video vendor. The stage was made of 3000+ MiStrips, driven by 2 HD hippos provided by VER, Matt Waters was the server tech.
    From XL Video, Ken Gay and Bob McGee were the project managers. Mike Spencer was the system engineer. Luke Pilato was the head system tech. Led techs were Rodrigo Azuriz, Trace Deroy, Douglas Eldredge, David Imlau, Fernando Gutierrez Llama, Curtis Luxton, Stephen Otten, Eric Petty, Rod Silhanek and Don Stevens

  4. DJKelly
    DJKelly says:

    This was an AMAZING show. From the “flying saucer” set (think Close Encounters!) to the lasers (PINK AND ORANGE, among other colors.. awesome…!!!) to the red wash lights programmed to ‘wave’ (not a new effect by any means but SUPERBLY executed) this was a fantastic show. The moving ‘video’ on the MiStrips was spot on as well. Was that live video of reverse sihlouette when Pete Townsend did the circular strum on the guitar? Looked like it could have been. If not it was synched *very* well. Even the fireworks were exactly on queue. A simple but absolutely elegant set (due to time constraints) with a show executed to perfection. Congrats to all !

    DJKelly
    Milwaukee, WI

  5. Marty Weiand
    Marty Weiand says:

    All I can Say is WOW! The Best Lighting Design and operator(S) I have seen since Pink Floyd! WOW! What a great job!! Hats Off Gentlemen!!

  6. Grant
    Grant says:

    I know I’m a little late on this post, but just stumbled across your blog. The lighting at the half-time show was unbelievable! I could not take my eyes off of it, and found myself watching the lights more often than The Who! Great write-up here, and thanks for gathering so much info on the people behind it, it was a nice surprise to hear from them. I will definitely be checking back here!

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