The longest take.

A grand piano, dropped from a height of 10 stories onto a beautiful Audi TT. You only get one chance at filming this unlikely marriage. So everything had to go perfectly.

F Our Audi TT on location at Ryerson University, moments before the drop.
F The crane and explosive rigging that would drop our piano.
F Everyone had to take cover in the student center for safety.

The plot featured an Alfa agent delivering a claim check BEFORE the impending disaster, followed by a perfectly-timed piano landing on the Audi as its owner looked on in abject horror.

One thing you can always count on: you can never count on anything. On the day of filming the crane lifted the piano (now lined with plate steel and lead to be doubly sure it would crush the Audi) into position high overhead, the safety crew called the countdown.

At “zero,” the lead effects director would push a button on a handheld remote which would in turn trigger a solenoid that would pull back the pin holding the 2000-lb. piano.

At “Zero” he pushed the button and all that was heard was a


Then, nothing.

No one breathed. There was no plummeting piano. No crushed car. Just, nothing. Now what? Probably the longest 30 seconds ever as the team slowly lowered the piano back to the ground to check what could have possibly gone wrong. At any point, the piano could have dropped, effectively wasting a expensive sports car, and our chances at this commercial. Once on the ground, it was determined that the solenoid needed just a bit more voltage in order to fully pull the pin back. Once that was resolved, they were able to carry off the shot without any more hitches. Whew. We got our shot.

F Hundreds of pounds of metal plating ensured our piano would destroy its target.
F Mission accomplished. Finally.

As the smoked had cleared on the crushed Audi TT, and the crew was preparing to scrap the car, we had a revelation: why not take the car complete with impaled piano, ship it back to Alabama and create an exhibit out of it that the client could take on the The client heard our idea, thought it would be an unconventional way to give the message extra life, and approved it on the spot. The result you see here:

F We loved having a three-dimensional version of the spot we could share at events.