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Super Bowl XLVI halftime show: Madonna

Super Bowl's halftime show like never before

2012 - Indianapolis

Creating a spectacle within a spectacle seeking to immerse and enthrall nearly 114 million faithful NFL fans.

The Giants’ surprise victory over the Patriots made for an exciting Super Bowl 2012 at Lucas Oil Stadium in Indianapolis, Indiana. The only thing drawing a bigger crowd that night was Madonna’s halftime show, with an estimated 114 million television viewers, plus the nearly 70,000 attendees in the stadium itself.

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For the halftime show, we were invited to bring our expertise in projection mapping to join a team of accomplished creators including Cirque du Soleil’s Michel Laprise and Jean-François Bouchard, set designer Bruce Rodgers, Madonna creative director Jamie King, and TV director Hamish Hamilton among others. The challenge before us was considerable: create an enhanced, immersive visual environment around Madonna throughout a 12-minute, five-song performance. With unique concepts designed to evoke the emotions of each individual song, the idea was not only to enthrall those in attendance, but also deliver the stadium’s energy and excitement to the many millions watching from home.

Among the larger-than-life scenes we created for the show, one made the grid-iron appear to come alive as an entire football field was sucked under the stage in a massive, field-wide trompe l’oeil. Utilizing an integrated system of 3D animation and editing programs linked through a “Hippotizer” playback system, 32 HD projectors hung directly over the field combined to create a seamless interaction between signature Moment Factory projections, a dynamic LED stage, and stadium ribbon boards. The show took viewers on a journey through the songs. For the emotionally climactic finale, thousands of LED pixels drifted like a river’s current toward the center a darkened stadium. Where they pooled, they spelled out a message of “World Peace.” For a brief and awe-inspiring moment, the entire stadium shared an intention.

Behind the scenes