SAR – Saudi Arabian Railways

This film was commissioned by a collaborative organisation consisting of the Saudi Government Transport Ministry and the Mineral Mining companies in the North of the country.
Tasked with producing a film that not only provided an interesting way of relaying information about the proposed project, we also needed to provide a show piece for the opening ceremony in the desert that was attended by the King himself, to officially start the enormous operation involved in this railway project. The railway itself is the biggest engineering feat ever undertaken in the world, phase one is covered in the film, linking the North and South of Saudi Arabia from the mineral rich mountains to Riyadh and the coastal ports.

After weeks of pre production planning, storyboarding and casting, both in London and Riyadh, we split into two filming units for the project. Unit one went on a journey through Saudi, filming landscape, factory, town and building works for all the cut-aways and train plates. Unit two, shot the main visual effects and scripted parts. Starting in a tower block looking over Riyadh’s flat landscape, we created a set for an architects office, before grabbing some more material outside in the Riyadh streets. The next day we moved into the desert for the bulk of the shooting, which was a challenging environment to shoot in, especially with the wind and swirling sand. We still needed to shoot some greenscreen material for the train interior, before getting the flights back to London to begin the edit and post production.
We edited on Avid Media Composer, onlined in Avid DS and created the 3D cgi in Autodesk Maya with Thumbprint Animation. Avid DS composited a majority of the shots, along with Autodesk Discreet Flint. We used Adobe After Effects for the map sequences and some of the demonstration effects.

Client: Saudi Arabian Railways / OR Madarat

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