'Aladdin' the Musical: The magic of movementFrom under the stage at Aladdin on Broadway, automation technician Steve Stackle tells CNET about the tech used to move the scenery across the stage.
[MUSIC] We're going to demonstrate one of the moves that we have in the show. Some of these buildings operate by cables under the stage pulling the buildings. And some of these buildings have More wireless control inside and they operate ia battery. And that's how they turn and close down on us like this. And up there, those buildings also move by a cable that are into the deck. I am Steve Stackle, I work as the deck operation editor at Aladdin, which means I operate all of the stage machinery, from, Stage-level on down into the trap room below the stage. This particular show would not be possible without technology. When I first started working in automation, we tried to move three or four things at the same time. They didn't move, they didn't start, they didn't stop together. The show we have 20 things that might move together, and they all start and stop at the same time. these buildings here, some of them have to turn next to each other, and get within inches of each other. And that would not be possible, any other way. All of the machines are connected to motor drives, that all have to communicate back with the main computer at all times. We have about 45 machines that run over a network. About 30 of them are in a wired network and about 15 are in a wireless network. Conveniently right behind a wall is my home. In here is the area where I operate the show every night. The left hand side all of the position information for each piece of scenery is stored. The right hand computer. Each number represents one controlled motor. The first 18 are the tracks in the stage. From here down to about here are the various elevators in the stage. And everything that is blue right now are the wireless buildings. And I operate just a tiny little console here. Very simple. It has a green button that starts the scenery moving and a red button that stops it. In general, I do not ever have to hit the red button. It is only if I see something bad happening or someone tells me to stop that we hit the stop button. [MUSIC]