Super Bowl LVI: PRG Powers Production of Pepsi Halftime Show With End-to-End Solutions

The Pepsi Halftime Show has always been associated with PRG technical and logistical expertise, and this year was no exception. Along with lighting, rigging, networking, camera, broadcast equipment, and truss, PRG also contributed tested proprietary workflows, a passion for excellence and their team spirit to 2022’s big game coverage.

Pre-Show Lighting and Rigging

Once again, LA-based creative team Production Club designed the custom light show and display featured in NBC Sports coverage prior to Sunday’s game. PRG provided lighting and rigging for those moments by way of technical producer Tim Fallon.

PRG’s pre-game squad pictured from left to right: Michael Dodge, J.R. Harris, Bryan Barry, Luis Collazo, Bobby Allen, Wade Cotten, Thomas Walls

PRG sent six lighting technicians, a rigger, a fiber networking engineer, and an on-site project manager. The lighting order included six GrandMA2 consoles distributed on site and more than 300 fixtures, with the entire system integrated with SoFi’s internal single mode fiber network.

Twenty-two Solaris Flares and 44 Martin Rush Par 2s surrounded Zedd for his pre-game DJ set in the endzone. Lighting Designer Griffin Behm lined the tunnels of the SoFi Stadium with pipe, drape and hundreds of sparkling GLP Impression X4 Atoms and Arris Skypanels, which created a paparazzi effect as players exited their locker rooms. As they entered the field, 16 Arrimax Cinema lights on Roadrunner Stands went off.

Halftime Cinematic Cameras and Engineering

Music’s most-viewed stage hosted a West Coast heavy lineup of hip hop legends including Dr. Dre, Snoop Dogg, Kendrick Lamar, Eminem, and Mary J. Blige, along with surprise performances from 50 Cent and Anderson .Paak. PRG was there to elevate and capture the action with a proprietary camera workflow, engineering, and lighting solutions.

Snoop Dogg and Dr. Dre perform at the Pepsi Halftime Show

Following its successful debut at last year’s halftime show, director Hamish Hamilton, and producers Jesse Collins and Aaron Cooke, once again turned to PRG’s proprietary 35LIVE! multicamera system to achieve a stunning visual result.

The 35LIVE! workflow replaces a traditional multi-camera approach using 35mm cinema cameras and film lenses, powered by a broadcast engineering and fiber system. Stephan Paridaen, CEO of PRG, says, “35LIVE! is an example of how PRG can help our clients deliver a unique workflow, integrating diverse technical specialties, inventory and expertise. Because PRG provided this solution for the halftime show, 112 million viewers experienced these top artists in an aesthetic more closely associated with cinema than sports television.”

A PRG-built control room for the haltime show feed, set up in the NFL’s Media Center

Getting 13 cinema cameras powered up, color graded, and ready to go in six minutes flat required six months of planning on the part of Cooke’s team. Technical Supervisor James Coker pushed for the Venice cameras on the show due to the more streamlined workflow that could be achieved with the model. Coker assembled a hand-picked team of technicians including system engineers, ACs and second ACs, while also engineering a setup that allowed each Venice set-up to tie in seamlessly with the control room.  The camera signal passed through the Multidyne V series, powering IP camera control, video signals, PGM return for operators, audio referencing, and Cmotion cPro iris control / knob solos. Additionally, Multidyne Juice-60 transmitted the signal through SMPTE fiber, eliminating the need for local power or battery supply.

PRG was enlisted to build a control room inside the NFL media center, purpose-built for the halftime show feed. The control room featured a large Evertz router system, along with an AJA Kumo router and FS-HDRs that allowed live color-grading to all 24 of the cameras.

Chris Stotelmyer, Billy Butler, Phil Sino-Cruz (Line Producer), Adam Kirschhoffer (Lead AC), James Coker (Technical Supervisor)

“We used one of our larger flypacks for this event,” explains PRG’s Technical Project Manager Brian Barnett. “The Brute system includes an Evertz EQX-16 288 x 862 router, EMR audio router and VIP-X multiviewers, along with Cobalt UDX & DA’s. Additionally, we had 26 AJA FS-HDRs to provide camera format conversation and apply LUTs for live color grading, which is something you don’t often see in this application.”

The camera order from PRG included 2 camera engineers, 13 Sony Venice cameras, an assortment of Fujinon and Canon lenses, and the 35LIVE! lens control and ancillary accessories. DP Dylan Sanford worked closely with Hamilton, Lead Video Operator John Hurley, and DITs Matt Conrad and Terrance Ho to dial in the best look incorporating a live color grade.

One of the rarer pieces of equipment on the field was a 35-700MM Fuji lens. This one of a kind, super-long 35mm box lens is outfitted with a PL mount and a F2.8 T-stop range (35-315mm) to F4.8 (to 700mm).  It fills a very specific need with its longer focal length, allowing the capture of farther distances without sacrificing stop loss when adapting to a B4 box lens.

PRG’s Morgan Kellum oversaw the camera and control room side working closely with Technical Producer Tim Kubit and Tech Supervisor Chris Sullivan. Kubit and Sullivan had the huge task of connecting the cinema cameras, NBC Broadcast cameras, and other various feeds into several control rooms utilizing (6) Ereca Stage Racer 2 systems and a plethora of multi-channel Tac Fiber provided by PRG. PRG’s Matt Puthoff managed the Broadcast implementation led by Lead Engineer Warren Chong and Engineer Joe Daleki who, alongside Barnett, were instrumental in handling all ends of the control room. They were supported by engineers Johnny Bagtatlyan, Sam Sanchez, Izzy Zuniga, Bobby Arias, Kelly Nixon, Dave West, and Mark Belhumeur.

Dylan Sanford (DP), Morgan Kellum (Technical Management), and Aaron Cooke (Supervising Producer)

Halftime Lighting

PRG additionally provided lighting for the design by Al Gurdon. It was a massive amount of gear, including cables, networking, power, infrastructure, and more than 600 lighting fixtures, among them 4 proprietary PRG GroundControl Longthrow units, all controlled by 4 grandMA2s and a grandMA2 Lite.

The halftime show is famously set up in approximately six minutes, making it one of the most high-pressure moments in television. With the world watching, there is no room for error. During setup, eight lighting carts were rolled out and positioned on the field. PRG’s Series 400 Power and Data Distribution System, was used to rapidly connect the field carts, ensuring that everything went off according to schedule. In addition to lighting fixtures, each rolling cart housed 1 full and 1 half S400 rack for a total of 144 break out boxes, with the overall system including more than 30 PRG Super Node™.

“PRG proved that we are at the top of our industry not only in lighting, but also in camera, networking and broadcast,” says PRG Global Sales Officer Jens Zimmermann. “We were hired for this job because we bring our decades of expertise from the film, music and sports worlds. No other company can so consistently deliver cinema-style cameras in a live environment.”

Halftime Show

  • Executive Producer: Jesse Collins
  • Event Producer: Dave Meyers
  • Supervising Producer: Aaron Cooke
  • Director: Hamish Hamilton
  • DP: Dylan Sanford
  • Co-Executive Producer: Dionne Harmon
  • Lighting Designer: Al Gurdon
  • Production Designer: Bruce Rogers

Halftime Cameras & Broadcasting

  • Technical Producer: Tim Kubit
  • Technical Supervisor: James Coker
  • Lead Video Operator: John Hurley
  • DITS: Justin Wells, Matt Conrad
  • Video: Terrance Ho
  • Tape Op / EVS: Mark Katz
  • Technical Management: Morgan Kellum
  • PRG Account Managers: Matt Puthoff, Brian Barnett
  • Camera Engineers: Vince Warburton, Derek Wojtkun
  • Lead Camera AC: Adam Kirschhoffer
  • Lead Engineer: Warren Chong
  • PRG Lead Engineer: John Bagtatlyan
  • PRG Project Manager: Michael Lai, Don Burkhart
  • Systems Engineers: Sam Sanchez, Kelly Nixon
  • 2ndSystems Engineer: Joe Daleki
  • PRG Systems Support: Israel Zuniga, Robert Arias
  • PRG Systems Engineer: Mark Belhumeur
  • Offsite Engineering Support: Dave West
  • PRG Prep Floor Manager: Jose Orozco
  • PRG Prep Tech: Katelynn R. Lapka
  • PRG Operation Lead: Nick Casas
  • Vision Mixer: Rod Wardell
  • Media Server Programmer: Jason Rudolph
  • LED Media Servers: Tim Nauss
  • PL: Bill Saltzer
  • Camera Ops: Tore Livia Jr, Jose Rosero, Kevin French, Sean Flannery, Keyan Safyari, Allen Merriweather, Jeremy Freeman, Kary D’Alessandro, Helena Jackson, Tayler Knight, Mike Carr
  • Head Utility: Bill Greiner
  • Utilities: Billy Butler, Angel Vazquez, Tony Arpaia, Matt Cleveland, Frank Maronski, Arron Tubb, Paul Morales, Byron Harris, Chad Lovegren, Chris Stotelmyer, Robert Brown
  • Steadicam: Robert Lorenz, Drory Yelin
  • Fiber Tech: Kit Donovan, Sean Macgregor
  • RF Techs: Maxwell Butler, Trevor Deell, Craig Hallas
  • AVs: Randy Hermes
  • Lead Asst. Camera: Adam Kirschhoffer
  • ACs: Matt Stenerson, Dan Schroer, Juan “Nito” Serna, Tiffany Aug, Candace Higgins, Mike Farrell, Ryan Guzdial, Joseph Arthur Soria, Gus Bechtold
  • 2nd ACs: Matt Leslie, Lamont Reeves, Neo Arboleda, Daniel Ash
  • Grips: Greg Hoffman, Joe McKenna, Cruz Bernal, Gene Rivera, Phil Sperry,

Halftime Lighting

  • Lighting Directors: Harry Forster, Ben Green
  • Lighting Director/Programmers: Eric Marchwinski, Mark Humphrey
  • Build Programmer/Tech: Vanessa Arciga
  • Media Server Programmer: Jason Rudolph
  • Media Server Tech: Tim Nauss
  • Gaffer: Alen Sisul
  • Field Gaffer: Jason Uchita
  • Best Boys: Dennis Sisul, Chris Latsch, John Cox
  • Best Boys / Followspots: Adam Hagin, Damon Isaacks
  • Field Best Boys: Mikey Smallman, Robbie Spehn
  • PRG Chief Tech: Robb Minnotte
  • PRG Lead Techs: Matt Genezcko, Mark Klopper
  • Pre-Vis Tech: Nick Couaette
  • 22 Degrees Project Manager: Marie Turner
  • PRG Account Managers: Tony Ward, Patrick Osuna
  • Stadium Lighting Tech: Kyle Arnold
  • SoFi Stadium Local 33 Head Electrician: Chris Lopez
  • Fiber/Stadium Cable Management: Nathan Wilson, Larry Ganson
  • Field Local 33 Team: Daisy Toledo, Jarret Jackson, Ivan Padilla Robles, Ryan Shull, Elija Dhanifu, Brian Cooper, Gerardo Vizcarra, Brian Hoch, Kevin Sanchez, Vernon Bennett, Gustavo Mejia, Kevin Steele
  • Spot Operators: Jon Gosselin, Jesse Escamila, Mark Villa, Jacob Dewilde, Orland Gonzalez, Mark Dyson, Luna Manzano, Izabella Antolin, Joe Dominguez, Jaime Aguirre, Terry Hashimoto, Stanley Williams, Alvin Tresvant, Marco Rodriguez
  • Local Labor: IATSE Local 33

Pre-Game Lighting

  • PRG Fiber Networking Engineer: Michael Dodge
  • PRG Project Manager: Bryan Barry, Jason Winfree
  • PRG Account Executive: Bobby Allen
  • Technicians: J.R. Harris, Luis Collazo, Wade Cotton, Thomas Walls

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