If you kept tabs on Lady Gaga's halftime show on Fox from the comfort of your own home, you may have noticed a fairly weird cut-to shot from the top of the roof to her arriving down on the stage set up in the stadium. If you were more astute than me, you may have realized that Lady Gaga actually shot her first part of the act earlier, rather than going for the big rooftop jump live. If you wondered why the high-end performer ultimately decided to go with the recorded performance, Intel Drones, has an answer for you. Here's what the company that supplied the twinkling drone flag in the background had to say.
So there's a lot of weather and environment (issues). In February, you don't know what it will be like during Super Bowl day. We'd hate to plan all this and, if the wind speeds are too high or if it's raining and the roof is closed, no one can see this spectacular show. So our creative team as well as the Super Bowl creative team felt this would be best to be filmed. Lady Gaga also was on the roof when this was filmed, and from a logistics and creative perspective, it's a bit hard for her to go from the roof all the way down to the floor of the stadium.
Intel Drones was on hand during the filming of the big sequence, which kicked off with Lady Gaga singing "God Bless America" from the roof of the stadium. Behind her were drones, which offered cool shapes and a focal point in the background behind the singer. From the perspective of filming something that required so many moving parts from the singer and the 300 Shooting Star drones, no one really wanted to do all of that planning and then have a major snafu. Intel GM Natalie Cheung explained that everyone was concerned weather would be an issue, and the whole thing would need to be cancelled.
So, instead of worrying about the weather the night of, the whole team involved in the pre-recorded bit opted to film on January 30, just a few days before the big game. According to USA Today, the planning was intense, too and featured the whole team being on site in Houston for a period of nine days. The animation of the drones had to be worked out and waivers had to be filled out in order to use the drones. It all eventually came together, and the team filmed the Pepsi halftime show in one day.
Of course, it wasn't just drone issues that kept the stunt from being performed live. As Cheung also noted, getting Lady Gaga down to the ground so she could finish out the rest of her performance would have been a much bigger feat from 260 feet in the air. Since the halftime show is really under a strict schedule, it makes sense everyone opted to go with the pre-recording, although that didn't make it any less shocking when the actual footage from the Super Bowl came out.