Monday, May 14, 2012

Railroad Commercials

Currently, two television commercials featuring trains are broadcasting over the airwaves.

The first is pretty straight forward. Employees who build locomotives at General Electrics Erie Pennsylvania Locomotive works yearn to see their handiwork in action.

What better way to do so than travel all the way from Erie Pennsylvania to the Mighty Columbia River Gorge in Oregon and Washington.  The location, about 45 miles east of the Portland/Vancouver Metroplex, known as Cape Horn, on the Washington side of the river, is stunning.

Scott Dietz generously provided a photo taken from his kayak, as he explored Cape Horn from the Columbia River. The train in the commercial was traveling up river, exiting at the far end of the tunnel.

Much like the employees who wish to see their jet engines in action, the locomotive builders want to see their handiwork in action.

Here is how the site was selected, as written up in The Colombian, Vancouver Washington. Click on the photo to view the commercial.

The second commercial is more whimsical. And raises an interesting question.

The commercial explains how Dow Chemical is making products to quiet noise from rail tracks. Click on the video to see how these products work.

As we have all come to appreciate computer generated art.  It is a fantastic tool for visual producers, first used on the screen in 1973s  Westworld, casting Yul Brynner as a heartless gun slinger.

Talk about rich detail. I've watched the video a dozen times, and notice a different nuance each time. Like the folks on top squatting down in the tunnel! Or the passengers using the light from the screen of their cell phones to create a headlight!

Just as with the roll-out of Vale's Vale Brasil, the accompanying music, in this example, Whispering Grass, by the Ink Spots, thoroughly anchors the visual. 

Some shots featured 12 railcars, carrying 7,200 passengers. Here's how they did it!

The interesting question is ...

"Thanks!" to Scott Dietz  for the BNSF tunnel imagery. Scott is a very accomplished photographer. I encourage you to read his story of Cape Horn, and other scenic features in the Pacific Northwest in his Blog, "The Narrative Image."

2 Comments - Click here: said...

Loved the commercials- special effects one was visually thrilling (especially with my new Hugh monitor) Thanks for another winning article. Very informative and appealing-

Unknown said...

Great stuff as usual OE. Quiet trains will be interesting, but I already miss the clickety-clack from time to time. -Leland

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