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Genie on Set

Genie on Set


From filming to lighting to special effects, Genie’s scissor lifts, booms, and telehandlers play a role in the production of popular movies and television shows.

When you think of film and television production, images of cameras, directors, and actors often come to mind. However, behind the scenes, much more goes into making movie magic than you may realize. One unsung hero is the equipment that allows crews to reach new heights — literally. 

Genie scissor lifts, telehandlers, and booms have emerged as essential tools on sets, enabling better camera angles, safer and more efficient lighting setups, special effects, and even help in construction on set.

The company’s equipment has been used in productions such as the popular show Game of Thrones, and the hit movies Jurrasic World, Avatar, and Inception, just to name a few.  

Lift and Access sat down with the Genie team for an exclusive interview to discuss how these versatile machines are making a mark in the entertainment industry.

Telehandlers in Lighting

A well-lit scene is the cornerstone of any good production. 

From creating the soft diffusion of a romantic scene or the high contrast of a suspenseful moment, having a secure and adjustable base for intricate lighting setups is important.  

Amalija Kopac, Genie telehandler product manager, says that telehandlers are used often on sets as lighting equipment.  

“Whether it’s a bar of spotlights, light diffusion frames, cameras, anything that’s kind of big and heavy that they need to position and hold up at height, telehandlers are best suited for these tasks,” Kopac said.  

According to Kopac, the light diffusion frames the telehandlers lift can range anywhere from, 20' by 20' to smaller. 

“A telehandler will hold up one of these frames in a position in a shot to get the control that the team needs for the various lighting effects that they’re trying to generate,” Kopac said.  

Lift and Shoot

Cameras need to be agile and flexible to capture the perfect shot. A static tripod won’t always cut it when directors are looking for dynamic, sweeping angles.  

According to Genie scissor lift product manager Christian Dube, Genie’s scissor lifts are a popular choice for filmmakers.  

“You have a guy up there with his camera that he’s got set up in the platform. He will have the space to lift up the tripod and other needed items,” Dube said.  

Special Effects 

When a movie needs a rain effect, they can use CGI, or they can create “practical effects” and actually make it rain in real time using the rain bar on a boom lift.  

Sean Larin, global product director for Genie booms, says a rain bar was recently approved by the company as a special application. 

“Genie worked carefully with studios, labor unions, and staff who use our equipment so they can attach a rain bar that literally simulates rain,” Larin said. 

“It makes the water come down in any kind of flow they want on screen to create very specialized effects. The rain bar is a really specific example of practical effects that our booms are used for,” Larin said. 

Custom Color

Due to so many requests from the film industry, Genie created a special non-reflective “Hollywood flat black” paint. According to the Genie team, the special paint color was created about a decade ago.  

“We created the flat matte black paint because any light reflection on a set needs to be intentional. We often custom paint our products from the factory for uses in special applications,” said Larin.  

Kopac added to this and said the matte black is used frequently due to editing needs. 

 “The flat black doesn’t reflect light, it blends into the background. It’s easy to edit out any part of the machine if it happens to be in a shot,” she said.  

While the matte black is frequently used in filming by various studios, it is also a popular choice for big-name companies like Disney, Universal, and ESPN.  

In addition to films, other entertainment-related applications for Genie equipment includes stadiums and arenas.  

“Our equipment has been provided in custom colors to Disney World in Florida to be used in more discreet ways to maintain things in their parks,” Larin said.  

Heavy Lifting

Genie’s boom lifts have proven to be particularly useful when heavy lifting is involved on a set. By using a boom lift, crews can safely and efficiently work on a variety of construction needs, like building a soundstage.  

“Genie’s XC booms are used a lot because of their large capacity and reach,” Larin said.  

He added, “The most common type of boom used in film is a mid-size, straight, high-capacity boom. But, you also see the use of super booms. Genie has even fulfilled a custom matte black order on the SX-135 XC.”  

Safety Measures

When you’re working on a busy set with many moving parts and crew members, safety is paramount. 

Kopac says that it has, “Been really important for Genie to be involved in supporting the safe use of the machines because, a lot of time, they need to hang something outside of the platform. Our machines are designed to have everything inside of it.”  

It’s been vital for Genie to do their due diligence of making sure that they give guidance to the users on how to operate the equipment safely, including the use of supplement manuals when combined with special application qualifications. 

“For telehandlers, we’ve given them guidance on a load chart, how much they can hang, what the different wind restrictions are, things like that, so it doesn’t impact the stability of the machine,” Kopac said. 

In addition to highlighting the specific safety needs the entertainment industry has, Kopac said that this is a great example of the many nontraditional ways to use lifting equipment.  

“Industries have gotten creative and then partnered with equipment manufacturers like Genie to make sure that we can safely support that,” Kopac said.  


When asked if Genie equipment used in the entertainment industry is most often rented or purchased, Kopac said rental is the most common choice.

“Movie shoots are highly decentralized, constantly moving around, and happening in different locations. Many times they’re only there for a day or two,” Kopac said.  

Kopac continued, “Partnering with rental companies who are more local to where that shoot is tends to be a lot more convenient.” 

Future Films

As filmmaking technology continues to advance, the demand for more complex and dynamic shots will most likely continue to increase.  

Genie’s equipment is rising to the challenge, allowing for greater flexibility and creativity on set.  

From large-scale film productions to smaller TV sets, these machines are becoming indispensable in crafting the scenes and stories that captivate audiences worldwide. 

The next time you’re engrossed in a movie or TV show, take a moment to think about the engineering marvels that helped bring those magical scenes to life.  

Genie may not win any Oscars, but they certainly deserve a round of applause for their role in making cinematic history.  


Spot the Star: Genie Equipment On-Screen 

Not only is Genie equipment used to create both movie and television shows, but it also can be seen on the screen too. Next time you sit down for a movie night, see if you can spot Genie booms and lifts in a scene! 

Batman vs. Superman: Dawn of Justice (2016) 

At 27:16 the Metropolis Channel 8 News shows a Genie boom assisting with the removal of vandalism from the statue of Superman in Heroes Park. 

Jurassic World (2015) 

At 15:40, there is a panoramic shot of the Indominus Rex paddock and two Genie Z-45/25 J RT articulating booms are shown in the periphery, welding the final structure in place. The boom also gets a close-up at 16:15. Then, again at 33:15, the same boom is in the background, in stowed position, behind Chris Pratt. 

NCIS, Season 15 Episode 2 (2017)

The episode opens with a GTH-5519 in a cemetery.



Lift & Access is part of the Catalyst Communications Network publication family.