Stephen Low, IMAX filmmaker
With big diesels, beautiful landscapes, and unique camera shots, the documentary Train Time takes the IMAX audience on an adventure from the crew’s point of view. Those working behind the scenes of the BNSF Railway openly share their triumphs and struggles as they battle brutal weather-related conditions, unforeseen delays, and much more.
With computer-generated imagery, along with aerial shots taken from helicopters to photos captured trackside, Director Stephen Low presents viewers with a 5,000-mile-long round trip, from Chicago to L.A., highlighting the past, present, and future of railroading in the United States. But how did his team choreograph all this footage into one cohesive, family-friendly film?
“To make Train Time, BNSF, one of the world’s great railroads, gave us unlimited access over a period of three years to film on their massive 32,000 mile, 28 state network,” says Low. “I doubt if that’s ever happened before, at least not to that extent.”
This behind-the-scenes photo gallery showcases images not in our June 2023 issue, which features an exclusive Q & A with Low.
Director Stephen Low, on left, discusses camera angles with DP Tristan Breeuwer (far right). Master Rigger Derek Teakle (center), prepares camera mount. Location Vancouver, Wash. Alexander Fattal
Director Stephen Low jokes with 1st Assistant Camera Philippe Prud'Homme, as they prepare the IMAX camera for a trackside shot of the Daylight No. 4449 steam locomotive. Train Time Films Inc.
Director of Photography Tristan Breeuwer and 1st Assistant Camera Philippe Prud'Homme prepare a new camera position on the rear of the BNSF diesel locomotive. Michel Chauvin.
Director Stephen Low looks at the scene ahead as the crew sets up the next shot. Director of Photography Tristan Breeuwer and Master Rigger Derek Teakle position and mount the camera. Michel Chauvin
Director Stephen Low reviews the camera angle on his monitor before heading out onto the tracks for a run along the Columbia River Gorge. Vancouver, Wash. Alexander Fattal
Master Rigger Derek Teakle builds a massive support system for the IMAX camera, for a nose view shot of the diesel locomotive. Solid support to avoid vibration was critical here. 1st Assistant Camera Philippe Prud'Homme wires up the camera for remote control. Michel Chauvin