A Day In The Life With PBR Production Manager Jim White
PBR Production Manager JIM WHITE faces his own beast as he orchestrates the logistics of the load-in and break down processes for each event. White took time out of his 75-hour work week to walk THE DAILY through what preparation at AT&T Stadium looks like for the Global Cup this weekend.
TUESDAY: Load-In Day
6:00am: I get up and I go through my routine. I take my vitamins, I have my protein drink, I go down and I have breakfast. I head over to the building, and I’m there all day long. I’m first in, last out.
7:00am: All my trucks start arriving at the building, with the first five production trucks arriving that day and then two steel trucks and two TV trucks.
8:00-11:00am: We start tipping all of our trucks on the floor of AT&T Stadium. Once all the trucks are tipped, we push all the audio to one side, because we don’t have any dirt yet, and we put all the lighting right under the jumbotron. Then we start building the lighting truss, hanging motors and getting all the lighting slung underneath the jumbotron.
11:00am-12:00pm: Our audio will be building around the perimeter and then we push the audio stacks into place and hang the motors. While those are being built and going up, we have the stage trucks rolling in.
2:00pm-10:00pm: We roll the trucks into place, and we start building those stages. While that stage is being built, we’ll be unloading a lot of our arena steel around the perimeter of the building. We cover almost the entire floor of AT&T Stadium with 8-10 inches of material. At this event, we probably put down about three miles, if you put all of our steel end-to-end. While that arena steel is being unloaded around the perimeter, our dirt guys will be covering all of the vents and all of the floor drains with chloroplast.
12:00am: When I get back to the hotel, I’ll usually have a scotch and water at the bar to relax, and I’ll go to my room and call my wife to chat with her for a while. If I’m down at the bar, I’ll probably have some kind of light salad or something like that. Then I just go to bed and do the whole thing over again.
WEDNESDAY: Dirt Day
We start bringing in 300,000 tons of dirt, and we will run probably eight 53-foot end-up semis for 12 hours non-stop, dumping material in there and spreading it as we go with several large loaders, a couple of excavators and even a bulldozer if deemed necessary. The bulls start arriving between now and Friday, and they will be housed in Weatherford until the show.
THURSDAY: Steel Day
Guys come in to set up all of the arena steel that was unloaded around the perimeter. We go and mark the dirt, they find their lines and they set the bucking chutes around the stage. Either side, they have to be in a perfectly straight line. It will take them probably all-day to build the bucking chutes and the back pins to get all the arena built. Once that’s built, my production crew will come in that afternoon and we start putting in our $750,000 video floor that goes out in the middle of the dirt. Then we’re putting signage around. There’s probably a good two miles of signage that we have to put around the inside and the outside of the arena.
FRIDAY: Final Touches
We bring in all of our special effects, which come out of Hollywood from JEM FX, and we use stadium guns. These things are built for 300-foot flames if we turn them up all the way, but we don’t do that because it kind of gets hot up there in Jerry (Jones') ceiling, so we’ll keep them down to about 100-125 feet. We have four of those and they sound like jet engines going off.
I float around and solve problems. I’m more managing people. I have probably the greatest crew in the world, and we all have little rubber ducks on our radios. Our favorite saying is we are the proverbial duck on the pond. You look at a duck swimming across the lake and it’s just smooth and serene and the duck is just gliding along. But if you’re under the water looking, that duck is paddling like a son of a gun just to keep afloat! That’s us. During the event, I’m there to stomp out burning ducks, the problems that pop up because somebody didn’t do their job earlier in the load-in.
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