Presented with a unique COVID-19 era challenge, veteran Super Bowl Production Designer, Bruce Rodgers enlisted the technical support of TAIT, Roc Nation, Jesse Collins, Dave Meyers and Diversified Production Services to bring The Weeknd’s Super Bowl LV half-time performance to life for around 25,000 socially distanced fans and cardboard cutouts at Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida.
Acclaimed creative designers Es Devlin, La Mar Taylor and Alex Lill as well as 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 Rodgers of Tribe Inc. Design.
The veteran Super Bowl Production Designer 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.
#ICYMI: We’ve been living for @theweeknd! #TAIT was honored to work w/ @TribeIncDesign & reunite w/ key players of the live event industry to create spectacular #PepsiHalftimeShow. Click the link to learn more. #ExperiencetheExtraordinaryhttps://t.co/1gv7r3cXHX pic.twitter.com/nAf5Fa5QgB
— TAIT (@TAITTowers) February 11, 2021
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 COVID-19 restrictions evolved during the planning stages, TAIT tapped into its vast experience to develop solutions to unforeseen challenges as the conceptual process advanced.
“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,” TAIT President of Projects, Brian Levine commented.
TAIT Project Manager, Shannon Nickerson concluded: “With so many teams working together on a project of this scale, close collaboration was vitally important to ensure the creative vision was realised by this unified and talented group.”