Monday, May 28, 2012

Studio Snoqualmie

Former NP stock car is positioned for
filming inside the Train Shed exhibit
Lights!  Camera!  Work Extra 4024, take it ahead!  Not quite what you were expecting?  The Northwest Railway Museum was briefly transformed into a movie studio for the production of You Can’t Win, a screen play adapted from the literary work of the same name.  Filming at the Museum of this independent production took place on May 16 and 17, 2012; other scenes were filmed in the Snoqualmie Valley in the following week.
Costume specialists make last minute
 preparations to a jacket for a young
 Jack Black as extras prepare for their
 entry into the scene.
You Can’t Win is a novel published in 1926 and is the autobiography of Jack Black, a hobo and thief for more than 30 years who in later life reformed himself and became a librarian.  Black is portrayed by Michael Pitt, an American actor best known for his role as Jimmy Darmody in HBO’s Boardwalk Empire.  The film is directed by Robinson Devor, a Seattle-based director.
Inside the stock car, the film crew
prepares to shoot as the train operates
between Snoqualmie Falls and Bridge
35.  Director Devor is seen in the
center looking toward the camera. Pitt
is seen at the other end of the car in
The production team had a variety of “riding the rails” scenes they wanted to recreate, many dating from the late 19th Century.  A train station scene was filmed in the Snoqualmie Depot ladies’ waiting room with locomotive 11 visible through the windows.  Several more scenes were filmed with representative freight cars from the Museum’s collection including a stock car, two former Northern Pacific Railway boxcars and a former Great Northern auto boxcar as they operated between Snoqualmie Falls and Bridge 35.
The former Great Northern automobile
boxcar is prepared for an action scene
with lighting and a blue screen.  The
car was rocked back and forth while
filming took place.

Later, the Museum’s Train Shed exhibit building proved to be a workable studio where a number of important scenes could be filmed inside the cars while they were stationary.  A“blue screen” was placed in the background and will be used to insert motion scenes later.  A crew of more than 70 specialists was involved in the production, which is expected to debut at a film festival in 2013.

Former NP boxcar was
the site of a "staged" ac-
The Museum only rarely participates in movie production - it is very disruptive to operations and is distracting to volunteers and staff.  You Can't Win is different: it has thematic content consistent with the Museum's mission.  And license fees the Museum charged were sufficient to fund work on Bridge 35 earlier this year.  Overall, the project progressed without incident thanks in part to the Museum's great team of volunteers (more than 20 participated!), staff, and a great and respectful movie production company.

1 comment:

David said...

Spike, Actually this is very cool! Also a great way to make some money for the Museum. Quality attracts quality... Take Care,
Big Daddy Dave