A day in the life of Otis (Dominique Pinon), the
elevator operator who has never set foot outside his elevator.
Here he shuffles a myriad of characters to and from their various
floors. The operating elevator doors were one of my
K (Claude LaValle), who prefers to walk up to her
job on the twentieth floor, and has never set foot in Otis'
elevator, types during her lunch hour at her steam-powered
workstation. I built and installed the 3-meter tall illuminated
My early sketch of the geared elevator control,
which plays significantly in the action of the film.
Otis must finally confront his prolonged infatuation
with K. I also designed and built the vertical floor indicator
The magnifying glass rotates as it ascends and
descends, enlarging the number of the current floor. The
illuminated "20" indicates that someone on twenty has called the
My sketch of the "ferris wheel" action in the
fantastic mail-cart that friend, colleague and welder Ben Carter
helped me construct. Inset
is the original conceptual sketch by Producer and Cinematographer
The magnifying glass is a theme in Lift.
Otis is slipping a secret letter into K's mail basket, while the
half-blind mailman (Jay Keenan) sorts the mail.
The floor indicator above the elevator doors has
entertaining mechanics. The arrow elongates to follow the
elliptical contour as it rotates.
In a moment between takes, Dominique mischievously
clutched my beard and said (in English), "You grab my beard, I'll
grab yours. The first to laugh loses." After 15 or 20 seconds
Director Hughes Dalton snapped this photo and stepped in to break
up the competition.
Later in the shoot Dominique autographed the photo