Jackson De Govia, production designer: We initially had six weeks. We got an additional two weeks, but that's absurd. It should have been, at a minimum, 10. There was so much construction. It was crazy. Also, all the stunts had to be worked out. We often made it up as we went along. Decisions were made, and, because we kind of mind-melded in the process, the decision-making was a lot faster because we came to trust each other's instincts. For instance, the logo for the Nakatomi Corporation was version two. I designed the graphics for the first one, and Joel Silver came [up] to me very nicely. He thought it looked like a Swastika on reflection and [asked for] something else. So I picked a samurai warrior's helmet as the basis for the logo.
Eric Lichtenfeld, author, Action Speaks Louder: Violence, Spectacle, and the American Action Movie (2007): The big fall from the building that Hans does after the thing with the watch? They had Rickman on the rig. I think it was called "The Decelerator." They were going to drop him, let's say, 35ft. So he started practicing. "3-2-1, go!" They practiced first from, like, 5ft and into the air bag, "3-2-1, go!" Then from, say, like 10ft. They worked their way up to a certain height. They said, "Now we're going to do it for real."
De Govia: Alan Rickman had to drop into a blue screen stretched over a bag. It might have been 30ft, which is plenty scary. You'd break your back, especially if you were untrained, but this is the thing about it: What you see on his face when he lets go is real fear. It's one of the greatest shots ever.
Lichtenfeld: They get him up to 35ft or whatever it was, and cameras started rolling for the first take. Then [stunt coordinator Charlie Picerni] turns to the guy operating the rig and said, "Drop him on 1."
De Govia: He was terrified. Any of us would be. You saw a fear of death, and I think, as an actor, he just let his emotions go. He let us see what he was feeling, and it was a tremendous shot.
Lichtenfeld: You can't fake that look.
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