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SteelMaster on the Big Screen in Top Gun: Maverick

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airplane in q-model quonset hangar on the set of Top Gun: Maverick

Top Gun: Maverick picks up the story more than thirty years after the original, with one of the Navy’s top aviators, Pete “Maverick” Mitchell still pushing the envelope as a courageous test pilot. It became the highest grossing film of Tom Cruise’s career, raking in 1.355 billion USD worldwide. And excitingly, SteelMaster Buildings got to play a role in the movie!

About three years before the film was released, Senior Design Specialist, William Swafford received an urgent phone call.

The customer called in to ask what building was made in our heaviest gauge steel, but would not tell William where it would be installed or what it would be used for.

It turned out the customer was Paramount Pictures, and the building was to be used on the set of the Top Gun sequel.

William recalls, “Once they realized that we’ve done projects [for big clients], you know, we’ve worked for Disney, we’ve done movies before, they went ahead with it.”

After settling on a 60’W X 30’H X 100’L Q model, the building was delivered to the set location around Lake Tahoe, California.

Our team made introductions to a local independent contractor to assemble the building. Once erected, the Paramount Pictures team worked their “Hollywood magic,” as William remembers. He continues, “they came in after to build the face of [the building] and did some things to make it look older. They turned it into a set piece rather than an actual building.”

outside view of q-model quonset hangar in snowy environment

A Twitter user posted a behind the scenes photo of the building on set!

Once the assembly and design were complete, they began filming right away considering their permit was temporary and they had a tight time constraint.

When asked what his favorite part of the process was, William replied, “It’s always exciting to work on a project like this. And, to ultimately see your hard work and vision up on the big screen is so rewarding.”

To celebrate the release of the Top Gun sequel and the appearance of our building in the movie, the entire company went to the theatre to cheer on Maverick shoot down the bad guys! The biggest applause that day, in that theatre, was for the SteelMaster building during the climactic scene!