WWE executive vice president of television production Kevin Dunn spoke with Cynopsis Sports about the ThunderDome. Here are some of the highlights:
On the genesis of WWE ThunderDome:
“During months of testing and learning and listening to our fans, we were experimenting with new ways to add more energy into our live shows. We looked at what other leagues were doing, but we ultimately wanted to do something that was right for us and right for our fans.
We knew we had to innovate, think outside the box, and recreate the in-arena atmosphere and interactive experience that is synonymous with WWE events. But do it virtually. Our world-class WWE TV production team had a specific vision, and designed and executed WWE ThunderDome, which launched on August 21, in advance of SummerSlam. A state-of-the-art set, video boards, pyrotechnics, lasers, cutting-edge graphics and drone cameras. A true spectacle. To date, nearly 300,000 WWE fans from around the world have registered to be a part of WWE ThunderDome. It’s the hottest ticket around.”
On lessons learned and surprises:
“I think the biggest challenge was just trying to reimagine our weekly flagship programming with a new technology that, we believe, has never been implemented before at this scale. Everything had to be reassessed as we were planning to launch ThunderDome. In testing, traditional camera shots were making the virtual fans look flat. Our entire lighting and production design had to be reimagined from the ground up.
We have a great team that had to reinvent themselves, and their day to day responsibilities, in order to come up with something as innovative as WWE ThunderDome.”