Super Bowl LVI: Owning The Moment

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.

Below are a few highlights of PRG’s participation:

Super Bowl LVI

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

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 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.

Super Bowl LVI

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

Halftime Cinematic Cameras, Engineering and Lighting
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.

Last year, Director Hamish Hamilton and show producers Jesse Collins and Aaron Cooke worked with PRG to put cinematic cameras on the halftime show for the first time ever. Cooke and Hamilton were strong proponents in the leap to the cinema platform, really pushing for the camera type and look. After achieving such a stunning visual result they had to bring it back, and PRG once again delivered with its proprietary 35LIVE!® multicamera system.

The 35LIVE! workflow replaces a traditional multi-camera approach using 35mm cinema cameras and film lenses, powered by a broadcast engineering and fiber system. For Sunday’s live production, PRG built 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.

“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 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. James Coker, Lead Camera Supervisor, designed a camera workflow that allowed each Venice set-up to tie in seamlessly with the control room.

Super Bowl LVI

A PRG-built control room for the halftime show feed, set up in the NFL Media Center.

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 PRG's Lead Engineer Johnny Bagtatlyan and his team of engineers: Sam Sanchez, Izzy Zuniga, Bobby Arias, Kelly Nixon, Dave West, and Mark Belhumeur.

PRG additionally provided lighting for the design by Al Gurdon, with programming by Eric Marchwinski and Mark Humphrey, and gaffers Alen Sisul and Jason Uchita. 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 6 minutes, making it one of the most high-pressure moments in television. With the world watching, there is no room for error. PRG Series 400® was used to rapidly connect power and data to the field carts, ensuring that everything went off according to schedule. The rolling carts housed 8 full racks and 8 half racks for a total of 144 break out boxes, with the overall system including more than 30 Super Nodes.

“PRG proved that we are at the top of our industry not only in lighting, but also in camera, networking and broadcast” said 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.”

Pre-Game Lighting Crew
• Lighting Designer: Griffin Behm
• Technical Producer: Tim Fallon
• PRG Fiber Networking Engineer: Michael Dodge
• PRG Account Managers: Bobby Allen, Jason Winfree, Bryan Barry
• Technicians: J.R. Harris, Luis Collazo, Wade Cotton, Thomas Walls

Halftime Camera & Broadcasting Crew
• Director: Hamish Hamilton
• DP: Dylan Sanford
• Producers: Jesse Collins, Aaron Cooke
• Technical Producer: Tim Kubit
• Technical Supervisor: Chris Sullivan
• PRG Account Managers: Morgan Kellum, Matt Puthoff
• Lead Camera Supervisor: James Coker
• Lead Camera Operator: JM Hurley
• Camera Engineers: Vince Warburton, Derek Wojtkun,
• Lead Camera AC: Adam Kirschhoffer
• DITs: Matt Conrad, Terrance Ho
• Lead Engineer: Warren Chong
• 2nd Systems Engineer: Joe Daleki
• Technical Project Manager: Brian Barnett
• Systems Engineers: Sam Sanchez, Kelly Nixon
• Systems Support: Israel Zuniga, Robert Arias
• Systems Engineer: Mark Belhumeur
• Offsite Engineering Support: Dave West
• PRG Lead Engineer: John Bagtatlyan
• PRG Project Manager: Michael Lai, Don Burkhart
• PRG Prep Team:
• Prep Floor Manager: Jose Orozco
• Prep Tech: Katelynn R. Lapka
• Operation Lead: Nick Casas

Halftime Lighting Crew

• Designer: Al Gurdon
• 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