Lift truck: Damon drives Yale forklift in “Hereafter”

Actor Matt Damon operates a forklift in the new movie "Hereafter," which was directed by Clint Eastwood and opens on October 22.

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In his latest role, Oscar-winning actor Matt Damon dons a hardhat and takes the controls of a Yale forklift in the movie “Hereafter.”  The hush-hush shooting of the forklift scenes happened on January 19 in the warehouse of the C&H Sugar Co. refinery in Crockett, California, near San Francisco.  The production company chose this site because of its industrial appearance but prohibited any disclosure until after the shooting ended.

About 125 people from the studio spent about 12 hours at the refinery setting up and shooting the scenes.  The forklift-related action took about two hours. “We required everyone from the studio to follow our rules for hard hats, safety glasses and hardcover OSHA toes,” said Jake Peterson, C&H warehouse manager.

Apparently from some prior instruction, Damon was familiar with how a forklift operates, Peterson said.  In this case, Damon drove a battery-powered Yale forklift with a 5,000-pound lifting capacity and operator-monitoring ShockWatch equipment. “We programmed a ShockWatch key in Damon’s name and I showed him how to log on to the forklift as well as the basic functions of the lift,” Peterson explained.

While Damon has earned Oscars for his performances in “Good Will Hunting” and “Invictus,” he’s not likely to win any awards for his lift truck driving skills.  In one scene, Damon drove the forklift, picked up a pallet of boxes, raised it and placed it on top of other boxes. In another scene, he drove the forklift without any load.  But at one point, Damon inadvertently rubbed paint onto a metal box that stores empty pallets.  “He pushed the box against a column but with so little impact it did not set off the ShockWatch unit,” Peterson said.


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