WEARSIDE TV viewers could be forgiven for experiencing a sense of deja vu when they see the new advert from IT giant Intel.
The company’s “Train” commercial for its new Ultrabook Convertible – with the slogan “Everything else seems old-fashioned” – features a woman in a modern-day railway station who finds herself whisked back to the days of steam when other travellers see her new computer.
It was shot in Sunderland by London-based production company Rattling Stick for agency Venables Bell and Partners in San Francisco – and the opening sequence meant a trip home for location manager Chris Harrison, who is originally from Washington.
“We shot the opening at Sunderland station and then the Victorian sequence at the Bluebell Railway in Sussex,” he said.
And all is not quite as it appears. The title of the ad may be “Train” – but look close enough and it is actually a Metro that is visible pulling into the station just for an instant.
Filming in Sunderland was easier than shooting in London, but still posed some serious challenges, as Chris explained.
“Metro and Northern Rail were great – it was a difficult job in terms of the restrictions involved but they were both really helpful,” he said.
“But we still couldn’t shut down a major transport hub, so we went in there about 6pm, just after rush hour, and filmed until about 3 or 4am.
“The director was a guy called Daniel Kleinman, who did the title sequence for Skyfall.” Chris, who grew up in Biddick and went to John F Kennedy Primary School, was delighted to be back on home turf.
“We do a lot of jobs and I have been all over the world but I had never managed to shoot anything in the North East before – then I found myself in Sunderland train station at 3am,” he said.
“It all went very well.”
Joselyn Rankin, public relations manager at Northern Rail said: “It was a fantastic experience to work with Rattling Stick on the Intel UltraBook project at Sunderland station.
“When the advert was released, it was amazing to see the station transform before our eyes on national television. It’s also a great way to showcase what the North East has to offer location scouts.”