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Films Shot On Trains

Published : 25th April 2008

CML’ers,

I've got a dramatic short coming up, a warm feel good story, that is going to be shot 90% on a moving train. I have to sit down with the director and work out a look. We'll be using my Varicam. It's a feel good story , but I don't want it to look boring. Does anyone have any suggestions of films we can look at?

Thanks,

Marty Mullin
DP
www.martymullin.com
Los Angeles
818 712-0272
305 606-1262


>>Does anyone have any suggestions of films we can look at?

Strangers on a Train
The Lady Vanishes
Runaway Train
The 39 Steps
North By Northwest

and on and on...

Here's a list of films set on trains:

http://www.goletadepot.org/rr_movies.php

Google trains and films and you'll get quite a bit.

Tim Sassoon
SFD vfx & creative post
Santa Monica, CA


A few that come immediately to mind:

Strangers On A Train
A Hard Days Night
North By Northwest
From Russia With Love
Silver Streak
Trading Places
Some Like It Hot
Dr. Zhivago
The General
The Wild Bunch
Days of Heaven
Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid
The French Connection

many more, no doubt....

Michael Petros
Associate Professor, Media Arts Dept.
Glendale Community College, CA


Mercy! No-one's yet mentioned "Murder on the Orient Express".

Hal Smith
Engineer and Somewhat DP
Edmond, OK


Darjeeling Limited (Wes Anderson's new one)- saw it yesterday and it's fantastic.

Jen White
DP
L.A./Austin


Mercy again - where's "The Taking of Pelham 123"?!

Dominic Jones,
DP/AC, UK.


Marty Mullin wrote:

>>I've got a dramatic short coming up, a warm feel good story, that is >>going to be shot 90% on a moving train.

There are dozens of films that have been, or at least appear to have been, shot on moving trains. When you and the director decide on which films you like, it would be a very good idea to find out from people who were actually involved in the filming of those films what problems they encountered, and how they overcame them.

Filming on a moving train is a far more difficult enterprise than you might think, especially by viewing finished films.

Brian Heller
IA 600 DP


Under Siege 2: Dark Territory - almost all of it takes place on an AMTRACK train in the Colorado Rockies

L'étoile du Nord has some train stuff in it (period)

Mark Weingartner
LA based VFX


Frankenheimer, "The Train", starring Burt Lancaster.

Jeffery Haas
camera operator-editor
Mansfield TX


I would say definitely check out 'Six Shooter'. It won a bunch of awards in 2005/2006.

There is a clip (tho not a very inspiring one) and some info about the film here:

http://www.bbc.co.uk/dna/filmnetwork/A7934042

I haven't seen the whole thing yet but what I have seen looks really good! I had a podcast at one point all about it, but I can't find it right now...

Jamie Fraser
VFX/Animation/Post
Super Mega Action Plus Limited, Bath, UK.

Super Mega Action Plus Limited
Place of Registration: England & Wales.
Company Reg No: 6229259.
Registered Office: 138 Englishcombe Lane, Bath BA2 2EJ.


Let us not forget “Flashback”, we shot it on a train in Colorado.

Wayne Baker
LA & MB AC/Tech
Shooting in London currently…


I'm late to this and don't know if it has been mentioned.

"Emperor of the North Pole"

Kent Hughes
DoP
SoCal


Watch Wes Andersons new movie "The Darjeeling Limited". I don’t know if its out yet, but I was the Key Grip and we shot a lot of it on a train.

Sanjay Sami


Two more train films I've not seen mentioned:

Antony Zimmer - A French feature. TGV stuff early on in the film (I did the aerials!) - the crew shot it in a specially hired carriage on normal services and they told me a horrible story about the sickening crunchy bump as the train ran over a body. Ho hum.

And, Belly of an architect, I seem to remember some couchette scenes in that.

And what was that European one with Meg Ryan and Kevin Kline? She TGV'd a bit in that one, I think.

All the best

Jim Swanson
UK/EU aerial/tracking cameraman



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