Yippie-Ki-Yeah….. Another Die Hard Film!!  You know you love it!

Per the IMDB; “John McClane and his son take on local forces in Russia.”

Da!  (Russian for “Yes!!!”)

Dan Dorrance  (Production Designer) gave me a call to help him out on this film for a short while (Pre-production in the USA) before they packed everyone up and headed to Budapest, Hungary.

The main project I was to attack with Dan, was the Chernobyl Bank that was key to the script’s story.  First we analysed the existing site.  Much of the model I used was received from the Previs Department.

We used this as a base point to modify the Bank Building to work within the Story and Action of the script.  This site model was used to pull real world numbers of actual distances from one place on the site, to another.  It also gave us an idea of what the construction budget might become, and was valuable to get all the departments on the same page as to what parts of the scene might be shot on location, what might become a set on stage, and what could become a CG element.

ABOVE:  More camera views of the site and proposed building and vehicle positions.

From here, we began working on the Roof Top of the Bank where we knew from the script that much action was going to take place.






The surprises of reality are always interesting when helping design a film.  I think most of us were surprised just how large the helicopter we had chosen really was when placed into our set.   In reality, it would have almost no room to maneuver around the stage.   I’m sure (not having been in Europe to see this part out to the end) that the helicopter will only be partially constructed in the end, and fleshed out with a CG “extension” in the end.

In helping to study and design this set, we played with different heights of the rooftop, for jumping off of and different budgets of building size (platform heights), as well as various action sequences and studies with the director.

Now we needed to figure out what was going to be inside of the bank.

The design of the Bank Interior was driven by a few things.  One of them being research from location scouts, and second, the style of the architecture of the period for Russia.

Due to the Action in the script, we knew that we needed the Bank to be a two story space, and that the bank vault needed to be straight ahead from the main entrance doors.

There needed to be stair cases to the second floor, and the director really liked a decorative ceiling piece from a location scout.

Because of the size stages available, and the size of the Interior Bank set, it needed to span across two stages.

Anything on this project could have changed between when I was involved with it in pre-production, and when it was actually ready to shoot, so I look forward to seeing what was created from these early conceptual layouts for the film.

The last few days before the production headed to Europe, we looked quickly at one more set… The Hotel Penthouse and Ballroom.  We knew some of the dramatic action sequences to take place here, and also knew that it was going to be a large set piece on stage with a lot of green screen required.


ABOVE:  Some quick 3D model  views studying the view from inside the Penthouse living room out to the exterior balcony;  Seeing what on stage would be in view.   And a simple preliminary Stage Plan to begin discussions on what would need to be built to capture the action in the script.

I hope you enjoyed the movie, and seeing here a little bit of what my part in the film process was.



** All images and videos copyrighted to respective rights holders. No unauthorized reproduction allowed.