South Jersey Elevator helps keep big budget film on schedule

The Blackwood-based company provided assistance for Army of the Dead to Premier on Netflix and 600 Theatrical Screens Nationwide

Special to The Sun/The Sun: Within 48 hours of the initial phone call, South Jersey Elevators fixes the problem and production is able to run smoothly. From left to right are Bill Jr., Mike and Nick from South Jersey Elevators.

A movie’s finished product can often belie the insane struggle it took to make it.  There are so many people, pieces of equipment, and moving parts to keep track of which is why scheduling takes such a huge priority in filmmaking.  The bottom line is production delays cost money.  One recent film project in Atlantic City, New Jersey for both Netflix and theatrical release was able to avoid a scheduling catastrophe thanks to the quick work by the folks at South Jersey Elevator, which is based in Blackwood, New Jersey.

Director Zack Snyder, whose film credits include Batman v. Superman: Dawn of Justice, Watchmen, Justice League, and 300, was on location at the Showboat Hotel and the shuttered Atlantic Club Casino Hotel shooting scenes for his zombie sequel Army of the Dead.  Interior casino scenes were shot at the Atlantic City properties which were relatively empty at the time of filming.  An entire floor was recreated, complete with slot machines, “dead” bodies, and plenty of space for mayhem to occur.

The building was shut down for 6 years and parts of the elevator were taken off the elevators by other vendors. They also were not inspected by the State of New Jersey and they were red tagged for operation, which means they were not safe to operate. South Jersey Elevator job was to get two elevators up and running and certified in 48 hours

“Everyone was very cooperative – the city of Atlantic City especially. Their fire and police departments and film office went above and beyond to help us achieve our work,” Location Manager Mike Fantasia said.

The fun nearly turned to despair when the faulty elevators nearly brought the production to a halt.  Producers scrambled to find a local vendor who could immediately come to their aid, and South Jersey Elevator was able to answer the call.  In fact, according to Netflix officials, without the company’s help they would not have been able to finish filming.

“It was an exciting and totally unexpected call,” said South Jersey Elevator President William McGrath.  “We were able to get the necessary resources on site quickly, diagnose the problem, and make repairs so the filming could proceed.  In fact, our crews spent several days on location in Atlantic City to ensure everything continued to run smoothly.  To see how the film making process works, and know we had a small part in making it happen, is something our entire team is very proud of.  We can’t wait to see the finished product.”

“Outstanding customer service, quality work, and reliability have been the hallmark of South Jersey Elevator for over 30 years.  We remain a family owned and operated company, committed to serving customers in South Jersey, Philadelphia, and Delaware with honesty and integrity.  Our commitment to your safety is how we earn your trust and ‘Elevate your Expectations’.  Whether you need a new elevator, or maintenance for an existing elevator, our professional team is ready to help you find the best solution,” McGrath concluded.

Army of the Dead follows a zombie outbreak in Las Vegas where a group of mercenaries take the ultimate gamble, and venture into the quarantine zone to pull off the greatest heist ever attempted. The movie should appeal to those who like action and suspenseful movies.

For more information about your commercial or residential elevator needs, call South Jersey Elevator at (609) 545-8512, or visit our website at www.sjelevator.com. They offer 24-hour emergency service, seven days a week.