Hopper Engineering was asked to perform a structural analysis and risk assessment of an elevator gag for a high budget blockbuster movie. The scene involves the hero’s car driving into and being lifted by an elevator on set then split in half by the facade ceiling utilizing pyrotechnics.
Our engineering team developed a STAAD model of the elevator structure utilizing a 3D CAD representation provided by the client. We then evaluated the proposed structure to determine if it had adequate capacity for the support of the car and subsequent dynamic loads being exerted from a sudden stop, breaking glass, personnel live loads, and the final explosion and drop of the back portion of the vehicle. The gag was prominently shown in the final cut of the movie.