It is clear Lorenzo Cornacchia gets a charge out of blowing things up. As vice president of Pyrotek Special Effects Inc., he is called upon to design and create onstage pandemonium for Total Non Stop Action (TNA Wrestling). TNA Lockdown Pay Per View at the Family Arena in St. Louis, Missouri was the most recent stomping ground for the TNA roster and pyrotechnics mayhem.

“I flew in with my six member crew on April 13th 2007,” recalls Cornacchia. “The design I created for the opening of Lockdown consisted of a barrage of 30-ft crackle mines and comets, quick shot silver gerbs, airbursts, flashes with bang, fireballs, and concussions. The entire opening consisted of a total of 150 effects in chase, and all fire combinations lasting over a 12 second period.”

He says the conference calls between scenic director Greg Horne, onsite director Steve Small, and TNA’s lighting designer Jeff Bornstein gave him the direction TNA wanted to take this show. During these planning sessions Cornacchia remembers TNA Director David Sahadi, TNA Producer Kieth Mitchell, and Wrestling Director Jeff Jarett stated, “We want the opening to look and sound like a complete and utter destruction!”

As announcers Don West and Mike Tenay opened the event on live TV, the main camera moved to a wide angle on the stage, which cued the pyrotechnics barrage. The sequence started with a concussion firing with a gerb chase up the main ramp coupled with a comet and mine chase from off stage to onstage. As the chase finishes on stage center, quick shot silver gerbs, mines, and comets fire asymmetrically from scaffold structures and varied angles across the stage (vertically and horizontally), simulating “pyrotechnics mayhem.” The final barrage of 13 rapid-fire concussions, coupled with 12 flash airbursts, and 12 flashes with bang led into the finale all fire cue of 12 large fireballs with concussion.

The laser design consisted of two 40-watt Green Yag high-powered lasers positioned downstage right and left of the main ramp and two micro Yags positioned upstage right and left of the main stage. Over 50 bounce mirrors were utilized: 30 on the downstage truss (over the center of the main ramp) and 20 placed on a pipe directly opposite the main cameras. Ten floor-supported mirrors were positioned on the main stage, and an additional eight flat mirrors were placed on the main ramp. The direct location of the 40-watt high power Yag lasers (right and left of the main ramp) created spectacular scans, diffractions, beam and machida looks over the main stage and ramp. At times, the wrestlers looked as if they were completely submerged in the Laser effects.

TNA was a successful event drawing a sellout crowd and high Nielsen ratings. They will continue with another Pay Per View Match June 17 in Nashville TN, where Lorenzo and his Pyrotechnics crew will continue their large scale special effect designs.

Crew

Crew Chief and Gas Specialist:
Bob Ross

Master Pyrotechnician and Shooter:
Keith Hellabrand

Gas Specialist and Pyrotechnician:
Keith Maxwell

Laser Operator:
Jason McEachern

Laser Technician:
Ken Schmidt