20 March 2008
In “Spiderman 3,” the tower crane disaster scene is quite unbelievable to those who know anything about crane operation, but it's entertaining nonetheless.
Besides the mostly animated disaster scene, cranes were a big part of the behind-the-scenes filming of the latest Spidey movie, according to sources at All Erection. Among the stunt extras in the movie is a Grove GMK5120B that was responsible for, among other things, lifting and twirling a car high over a street in downtown Cleveland. While the crane is not actually shown in the scene, its role was a critical one, with All Erection of Cleveland providing the lifting and twirling expertise, among other things.
The crane, with a 120 ton lift capacity and 167 foot boom, was concealed from the camera by closing off an intersection and by building a graffiti-covered wall that, at street level, looked just like the side of another building. The “flying Taurus” scene in the movie is part of the larger sequence in which an armored car robbery turns into an exciting chase scene.
Suspended from the ball and hook was a specially adapted gyrator, and then, the Taurus. Once the car was lifted, the gas-powered gyrator kicked-in to rotate the car. This, coupled with the crane slowly sweeping the car, created the “spinning-out-of-control-through-the-air” effect Sony wanted to get on film. Of course, they accomplished this by also speeding up the sequence considerably.
In the movie “Evan Almighty,” set for release on June 22, several cranes owned and operated by W.O. Grubb were used in the filming of the movie that depicts a modern day man, at the direction of God, to build an arc.
Universal Studios relied on cranes and crane operators supplied by Grubb, both for behind-the-scenes set building and filming and starring roles. Grubb crane operator George “Stump” Pennington has a role in the movie, as well, with Universal Studies giving him star status, flying him out to Hollywood for two weeks to do additional taping at its California set for the movie, according to sources with Grubb.
Also starring in the movie was Grubb's Demag AC 535. Other cranes held up apparatus used to deflect sunlight, and cranes were a critical part of the set building, specifically the giant boat.
Universal rented two Grubb cranes for three months before filming began to construct the Noah's Arc on site and other elements of the set. During shooting, eight more Grubb cranes were used to hold rain bars during the “the great flood” scene, which is the scene were Grubb's Demag and Pennington were featured.
Cranes play a starring part in the James Bond movie “Casino Royale.” UK-based crane suppliers Lee Lifting Services Ltd and City Lifting Ltd provided the cranes used both to build the film set in Nassau in the Bahamas and for the stunt fight scenes that were. lmed in Nassau and England.
City Lifting provided two Comansa LC5211. at top tower cranes, together with operators, Jimmy Randall and Scott White, to work on construction of the film set and as the main stage for the stunt fight between James Bond and his enemy, Mollaka, which takes place on the highest point of the cranes. The 14-story steel-framed set was built on a Royal Bahamas Defense Force training site on the island of New Providence.
Lee Lifting provided two Liebherr LTM 1080 all terrain mobile cranes for further stunts carried out at Dunsfold airport in the UK and a Grove GMK5100 all terrain, to erect the tower cranes.