After the Super Bowl LII Halftime Show, featuring a duet of "I Would Die 4 U" between Justin Timberlake and a clip of Prince, projected onto the billowing facade of a giant silk sheet, reminiscent of his own Halftime Show performance in 2007, fans took to social media to remind JT how Prince once called holograms "demonic."
It's time to set the record straight.
"There was no hologram," Justin Timberlake's visual creative lead Nick Whitehouse of Fireplay told Billboard. "It’s impossible to create a hologram in a 360˚ stadium environment. We never contemplated the idea. We were, however, lucky enough that Bruce [Rodgers] and Bob [Barnhart] from the halftime team were the creatives who worked with Prince to make the famous silhouette moment happen in Prince’s own  halftime performance."
The Halftime Show team—including producer Ricky Kirshner's Touchdown Entertainment team, director Hamish Hamilton, production designer Bruce Rodgers, and lighting designer Bob Barnhart, among others—and Timberlake's creative team collaborated with the Prince estate to make the tribute beautiful and respectful.
"When it finally came together back in January, we knew that it would be one of the standout moments in the show," Whitehouse also told Billboard. "The biggest technical challenge was balancing airflow and merging multiple projectors. A silk with projection that large and bright in any stadium is tough. Each night at rehearsals it would improve, and finally on game day, Bruce and his team nailed it!"
As to the moving image of downtown Minneapolis lit up with Prince's iconic symbol, Whitehouse credits the idea to JT and the execution to the entire team.
"JT said to us 'Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could light up all of Minneapolis purple?' as we discussed ideas of how to pay a fitting tribute to the city, and it evolved from there," Whitehouse told Billboard. "As for how we did it, all I'm going to say is it took an amazing amount of effort and coordination over many months by Ricky, Hamish, Bruce, and Bob in bringing this idea to life, and I think they pulled it off in a way far better than we had ever imagined."
Read the rest of the Billboard article, and stay tuned for more of our Super Bowl LII Halftime Show coverage, sponsored by All Access Staging and Productions.