WWE Set Designer Discusses WrestleMania 37 Stage Plan
"We’re going in there to do something different."
Veteran WWE set designer Jason Robinson has said the company is planning to do 'something different' with the WrestleMania 37 stage design, and thinks fans will love what they see.
Robinson has been a part of the WWE crew since 1995, initially taking charge of the lighting console before becoming the lighting designer in 1997. He first designed the stage for WrestleMania 14 and has since taken a lead on every WrestleMania set design.
This year's WrestleMania is set to be broadcast live from Raymond James Stadium in Tampa, Florida, where the NFL Super Bowl was played just a few short weeks ago. And, while Robinson knows the world will be familiar with the stadium, he has big plans for WrestleMania 37's stage.
Speaking to Metro, he said: "A lot of sports fans around the world have just seen the stadium. So they know what it looks like. Now it’s our turn.
"We’re going in there to do something different. I don’t think it matters whether fans are seeing it again after the Super Bowl or for the first time with WWE, they are going to love what they see."
Robinson - whose full job title is 'Production Designer & Lighting Director' - would give more details on his creative process, revealing that the set design for WrestleMania usually begins around six months in advance. He and his team will visit the empty stadium to get an idea for the space.
Once an idea has been crafted, it is up to Kevin Dunn, WWE's Executive Vice-President of Television Production, to sign-off on the design.
Robinson added: "My favourite thing is carrying Post-It notes around with me and sketching ideas. And those ideas sometimes come at three in the morning or in the show. As soon as I know that I’m in the right direction, that’s where the work becomes really fun.
"My favourite part of the whole design process is the night before WrestleMania. When it’s all quiet, we’ve taken months and months to design and fabricate the set. I’ve done many site surveys and hours of planning. It’s 1am in the morning, all the rehearsals are complete, the stadium is quiet. The lighting guys still have all the lights on and the programming is finished, and we get to quietly look around at the final design before going on air the next day."
Robinson would also reveal that the set for WrestleMania 29, in New York City, has been his favourite so far.
He said: "The Brooklyn Bridge, Statue of Liberty, and the Empire State Building. When we first walked into MetLife Stadium I said: 'I’ve got a great idea. Let’s put the Brooklyn Bridge right here.'
"I think everybody went: 'You’re nuts.' And then we did the design, everybody saw it and went, 'That’s it. You’ve got it.'"