The SNCF adventures of Adèle Blanc-Sec
In August 2009, when Luc Besson returned to filmmaking for The Extraordinary Adventures of Adele Blanc-Sec, the legendary French director told us that he wanted to capture his main character arriving in Paris by train. Shot on four days in four different places, the scene involved more than 160 people.
The steam locomotive was initially filmed in Longueville, outside Paris, then transposed to the tracks of the Saint-Lazare Station in Paris, shot separately as background. The rest of the sequence involved two more Paris stations: Adèle was filmed getting off the train at the Gare d’Austerlitz, and then came out of the Gare du Nord in the final shot.
The finished product was a success—thanks to outstanding planning and organization.
Film, advertising and fashion shoots
Cinéma & Tournages supports a wide range of media projects:
- films and television, including "Untouchable", "Welcome to the Sticks", "Amélie" and "Mission Impossible"
- commercials and photo shoots for Chanel, B for Bank, Louis Vuitton, the City of Metz, Peugeot and other clients
- documentaries and television programmes, including Top Chef, the French talent show Nouvelle Star, and the documentary series "Des racines et des ailes"
Starring role for Paris-Nord station
The 2013 film Gare du Nord involved shooting on location at Paris-Nord station—a challenge for director Claire Simon and SNCF.
Preparations required two years of work and many encounters with SNCF employees and passengers. Actors François Damien, Nicole Garcia, Reda Kateb and Monia Chokri spent two months on location, weaving a narrative around the 500,000 passengers that streamed through the station every day.
Once shooting began, Simon reduced her team to ten people, adapting to station life. In the film’s most complex scene, protesting nurses climb down onto the tracks. To get what the director wanted—and avoid blocking rush-hour traffic during the week—the crew commandeered five or six tracks on a Saturday between noon and 4 pm.