This month marks the third anniversary of Full Sail University’s partnership with sports entertainment giant WWE, which for the past three years has provided students with one-of-a-kind educational and professional opportunities, both on and off campus.
Recently Mike Kiefer, a current Film student and WWE scholarship recipient, traveled to the San Francisco Bay Area to assist the production crew at WrestleMania 31, held on March 29 at Levi’s Stadium.
We caught up with Mike afterward and asked about his week-long experience preparing for the event.
“At WrestleMania my responsibilities varied from day to day. Monday started the first day of work and Sunday was show day. On the first day, we started testing all of the cables to make sure they worked before we ran them. I tested all of the DT cables, which actually took about a day and a half. Once everything was tested, we started the cable runs.
“Running the cables also took a couple of days. We had runs that dropped from the top of the stadium down to the trucks or house I/O panel, some that went through the bowl of the stadium, and others from the trucks into the stadium. Thursday through Saturday consisted of fine-tuning, adding, or removing camera drops, and rehearsals.
“Sunday was show day and strike. During the show, some of us would run behind the camera guys and coil cable. Some would watch the pile and feed out and in. Some guys were there solely to ‘put out fires.’ And that week’s worth of work got put away as soon as the show was over. We worked close to 24 hours that last day.”
Mike has also worked on WrestleMania 30, Monday NightWWE Raw, WWE SmackDdown, and WWE Battleground. “The WWE production team is a well-oiled machine,” he says. “These guys are a family and everything is planned out methodically. Everyone wants to work hard and get the job done. It’s a great crew to work with.”