When World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) marked the 25th anniversary of "WrestleMania" with a dynamic four-hour Pay Per View event, four grandMAs and four grandMA lites were deployed by Christie Lites. Lighting/Production Designer Jason Robinson and programmers Jeff Wilkin, Anthony (Geddy) Kordyjaka, Jason Shaw, John Buck and Troy Eckerman were tasked with programming and running the massive show, which aired on April 5 from Reliant Stadium in Houston. A.C.T Lighting is the exclusive distributor of the grandMA in North America.
Christie Lites is no stranger to special one-off events where it has to coordinate resources and get online in a timely fashion. Previous WrestleMania's had employed a different control platform and the design team was really pleased with their switch to grandMAs," says Robert Roth, of Christie Lites. "The boards performed flawlessly and enabled them to get the show programmed in three days. That's a testament to the quality of our equipment and to our highly experienced crew of 12 who did a great job."
"WrestleMania XXV" was "big in all respects: big audience, big production value, perhaps the biggest PPV event of the year," Roth reports. According to the Houston Chronicle "WrestleMania XXV" drew a sellout crowd of 72,744 people to the stadium and grossed $6.9 million in ticket sales. It featured eight matches with wrestlers from all three WWE brands: Raw, Smack Down and ECW.
"From a visual and programming standpoint think of each of the superstars of WWE as having his own personality with his own look, color scheme and music," explains Roth. Putting all of this variety at the programmer's fingertips while allowing a dynamic, flexible, playback environment is easily accomplished with the grandMA "In addition, the team had to light the audience completely for TV while allowing them to see the matches. Production designer Jason Robinson did a masterful job of that in a stadium scale environment."
Ten semis of lighting equipment were required for "WrestleMania XXV." The gear included more than 500 moving lights and an equal number of conventional fixtures, plus truss, rigging and 15 miles of cable. "That's pretty substantial in today's market," notes Roth. "There were four lighting directors: one controlled the entrance lighting system, one the ring and audience, and one the Synchrolites and Macs, while the fourth had six Hippos."
The show, which delighted the live audience in Houston and fans viewing the event around the world, was "challenging and fun, and we enjoyed doing it," he concludes.
"My hat is off to Jason Robinson, to Christie Lites and to the talented team of programmers for pulling off a well-lit spectacle. These shows are an extreme adrenaline rush from load-in to being on the air, and the grandMA system is ideal in this environment. This is the environment in which the grandMA really shines," concludes A.C.T Lighting President and CEO Bob Gordon.
Brian Petree was production manager for "WrestleMania XXV."
About A.C.T Lighting
A leading importer and distributor of lighting products, A.C.T Lighting, Inc. strives to identify future trends and cutting-edge products, and stock, sell and support their inventory. The company provides superior customer service and value for money to all of its clients. For more information call 818-707090884 or visit www.actlighting.com.