Wall Street Journal | July 20,2016
It has taken 32 days for the Republican National Convention to transform Quicken Loans from a sports arena to the stage where Donald Trump will be crowned the Republican presidential nominee Thursday night.
From building the stage to installing the balloons, it took 300 workers to rebuild almost every inch of the 780,000-square-foot arena. John Klein, a carpenter who has been working at conventions for almost 20 years, said it took about a day and a half to put down the 800 square feet of red carpet.
Bill Schaffell, the technical director of balloons and confetti, says his job title was “destiny” after first sprinkling confetti on a teacher in the 4th grade. He has worked on the balloons at every RNC convention since 1988 and says each one is different. While the technology for the confetti continues to advance, the balloon set-up has stayed relatively the same.
“Gravity is our friend,” he said.
This year in Cleveland, he has prepared more than 150,000 balloons and 1,000 pounds of confetti in custom-built blowers.
“It’s a mix of confetti that we’ve never done before,” he says. “It’s a surprise.”
The Wall Street Journal used a 360-degree virtual reality camera to record transformation of the arena. Watch the video in this article on your computer or mobile device. The latest version of the WSJ app is required. To learn more about the WSJ’s virtual-reality efforts, visit http://wsj.com/vr.
Check out the full 360 video at The Wall Street Journal.