CULVER CITY : Movie Technician Plunges to His Death on Stage

A movie technician fell 80 feet to his death Friday on a Sony Pictures sound stage being prepared for the upcoming movie “Indian in the Cupboard,” officials said.

Pat Tanner of Redondo Beach was riding a motorized hoist designed to lift scenery but not people when he fell at 9:09 a.m., said John Bogner, Sony Pictures’ director of fire, life and safety.

Fire Department Battalion Chief Neil Petzing said Tanner was in “full traumatic arrest” when the firefighters arrived. He was transported to Brotman Medical Center where he was pronounced dead, Petzing said.

“He decided to ride the hoist up,” Bogner said. “It’s strictly forbidden.” It was unclear why Tanner fell, Bogner said.

“Indian in the Cupboard” is a production of Sony’s Columbia Pictures and Paramount Pictures.