Sunday, 30 April 2017

The Shoot - Day Two

It's all starting to get interesting! Naturally, I can't divulge too much, save to say that the programme will be aired in the autumn, part of Discovery Science channel's What on Earth? series. One of the elements of the hour-long show will be my search for the Nazi Gold Train. Today's shooting was conducted close to the Wałbrzych-Kłodzko railway line, where I believe the train could well be hidden. Full health and safety was observed, the upshot of which was - no filming within three metres of a live line, which this one most certainly is.

We set off in the morning to meet the guys from PKP who were supervising the shoot - both of them, local men, told me interesting stories about the legend from the perspective of people they had met. It's clear that something was going on here after the war - the stories of military trucks driving around these parts in the dead of night during the late 1940s and early '50s suggested a top secret and intensive search for something. Was it found back then? Had the Soviets discovered something - would we know about it today?

Below: Marcin, Oscar and Rory set up the kit for filming the line off the bridge. This reinforced concrete bridge is visible in pre-war German maps.

Below: by the reinforced concrete bridge - this reinforced concrete structure. What was its purpose? A storage tank? For what? With such thick walls?

Below: this is a live railway line, with trains running through both bores of the tunnel under the hill. Not somewhere you want to go filming, even with all the permits. This story, of how a crew member was killed by a train in the US three years ago, shows how (rightly) sensitive the film industry is about filming on live lines.

We filmed on top of the hill under which the tunnel goes. In the distance, the Sowie Góry (Owl Mountains), where Hitler's Silesian redoubt, codenamed Projekt Riese ('giant') was under construction when the war ended. More on this tomorrow.

Drone taking off. Stunning aerial footage can now be obtained for a tiny fraction of what a helicopter with crew would cost. It is very battery-hungry; in practice, little more than seven minutes of flight (and filming) can be achieved per battery load. So you need to take five loaded batteries to shoot anything meaningful. In the distance, the snow-covered peaks of the Sowie Góry.

The outdoor footage having been shot, we returned over the highest peaks of the Sowie Góry to our hotel to shoot an interior sequence (in which I explain how I used satellite imagery and pre-war German maps to work out a possible - though logical - location for the Gold Train). Up here in the morning it was just 1.5C.

This time last year:
Semi-automatic (short story)

This time four years ago:
Jarosław Gowin quits as justice minister

This time five years ago:
So good to be back in Warsaw

This time six years ago:
At the President's

This time eight years ago:
Summer's here, and the time is right...

This time ten years ago:
Why I'm staying in Warsaw

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