DEVELOPMENT AND PRE-PRODUCTION
[FEASIBILITY ASSESSMENTS & BUDGET
RTMS personnel have decades of experience in conducting
realistic assessments of available railroads, equipment, and locations and then
creating realistic budgets based on those assessments. Meaningful railroad cost
(i) be developed as early as possible in a production's
(ii) utilize established rail industry cost categories
and revenue requirement protocols; and
(iii) reflect current market lease, rental and operations
rates. RTMS has handled more than dozen Budget Estimating projects. References from
major studios, production companies, and railroad managers are available on request.
RTMS can dramatically reduce the time and cost of railroad
location scouting because -- simply stated --
We Know Railroads.
Our professional railroaders have seen thousands
of miles of track and hundreds of shops, yards, and rail-served industries in the
past 35+ years. Once we understand a production's artistic goals, budgets, and geographic
focus, RTMS can immediately identify a list of candidate locations and railroads.
Then our staff will step out smartly and start a flow of photos, maps,
and assessments heading your way in only a few days. This industry knowledge
can shave days (and dollars) off location scouting costs. (See Location Scouting
& Management page for additional information.)
EQUIPMENT SCOUTING, ASSESSMENT,
LEASING AND TRANSPORTATION
RTMS railroad professionals will help productions find
locomotives and cars that fulfill artistic goals, PLUS are useable and affordable.
We have years of experience in passenger and freight car and locomotive leasing.
If repairs to historic equipment are considered or required, RTMS will develop clear
benefit:cost analyses and guide the production company through this often-complex
decision process. For transportation to and from a location, RTMS can arrange and
supervise all aspects of these special railroad moves while controlling Special
Train and equipment deadhead expense.
Railroad executives and historic railroad managers across
North America know RTMS project management strategies always provide the basis for
a safe and successful production experience. The RTMS safety record is recognized
throughout the rail industry. In addition, railroad managers know an RTMS project
will be properly planned and well organized. RTMS has designed dozens of production
projects that created WIN-WIN situations for both the railroad and the production.
RAIL OPERATIONS PLANNING
Never forget: Trains are big and heavy and take
time to go anywhere, do anything. RTMS will help design attainable shooting schedules
based on the unique characteristics of each production’s selected equipment and
locations. If required, detailed operations and switching diagrams (like the one
shown in the pdf file linked to the right) also will insure both train and production
crew efficiency.To insure precise day-of operations – particularly when complicated
operations or switching are scheduled – RTMS may recommend a rehearsal. Rehearsals
definitely enhance film crew productivity and help insure safety.
CARRIER SERVICE CONTRACTS
Creating effective railroad Service Contracts can be a nightmare for the inexperienced.
Skillfully-crafted Railroad Operations and Service Contracts secure a production's
filming requirements and concurrently allow a railroad or museum to maintain its
operations metrics and meet customer service commitments. The document will reflect
applicable principles of commerce law; rail industry regulations; railway labor
contracts; and include equipment leases, Maintenance of Way work, and car and locomotive
repairs and inspections unique to each project. A Contract prepared by RTMS also
will provide the flexibility a production needs to handle weather, talent availability,
and allow for the creative genius and serendipity that are hallmarks of film makers.
In summary, RTMS writes Contracts to provide value to both the railroad and the
production company ~~ they are based on realistic budgets and Operations Plans so
film crew productivity is assured.>
MOVIE TRAIN OPERATIONS SUPERVISION
When the railroad scenes go to camera, RTMS personnel
will be on hand insure all the planning and preparation come together to create
smooth and productive shooting. We’re expert experienced rail operations supervisors,
so expect safe, crisp, and on-schedule Movie Train operations.
RAILROAD SCHEDULE RETIMING
In many situations, even a slight change in existing railroad operating schedules
can significantly enhance a film company's productivity. Designing railroad schedule
adjustments — known as "operations retiming" — is not for amateurs. It is a highly
quantitative process based in advanced quantitative logistics science. RTMS has
attained outstand results in previous retiming efforts. Not every project is a candidate.
We can advise if a particular production may benefit from schedule retiming.
STUNTS & SPECIAL EFFECTS (SFX)
Creating illusions of danger and building dramatic impact
with railroad equipment and on railroad locations are particularly challenging endeavors.
Railroad equipment is big, heavy, and always potentially dangerous when stunts/SFX
are involved, there is no place for amateurs and guesswork. RTMS brings an essential
set of skills to every stunt and SFX project. These include decades of practical
railroad and production management experience.
LOCOMOTIVE AND RAILCAR RIGGING
RTMS personnel are experts at all types of locomotive
and railcar modifications ~ ~ ~ from touch-up painting to custom engineering and
construction. Our experienced professionals also will work in concert with Art,
Camera, Electric and other departments to help design and implement all types of
decorating, painting, and rigging plans. For larger productions, RTMS previously
has designed and built custom Camera Cars and Video Village Cars.
RTMS personnel have extensive experience in track inspection;
cost-effective repair program design; and Maintenance of Way (MoW) contracting.
This comes in handy since productions occasionally find that the perfect location
has a rail line not able to withstand the rigors of planned production work.
The selected track may be perfectly safe and suitable
for normal freight traffic. However, even after a healthy application of "movie
magic," a production still may require higher speeds, faster acceleration and braking,
and heavier locomotives.
In these cases, track improvements -- ranging from a "light
touch-up" to major rehabilitation -- may be required. Bridges and overpasses always
present special challenges as federal regulations and industry standards require
higher margins of safety. Maintenance of Way (MoW) projects require expensive materials,
labor, and equipment. It ain’t cheap.
CREATIVE SERVICES AND HISTORIC
RTMS expertise extends beyond railroad and production
operations, economics, and management. This firm’s principals have a deep appreciation
for the creativity, artistry and beauty found in railroad cars, locomotives, structures,
and the landscapes traversed by railroad routes. (Hopefully, this sensitivity is
reflected in the photographs displayed on this website . . . . and by the website
RTMS can provide Production Designers, Art Directors and
other members of a production’s creative team with advice and counsel concerning
modern and period equipment, structures, and operating practices. We have extensive
experience in railroad history research and without fanfare have contributed to
a number of railroad history periodicals and books. A 300 volume reference and extensive
periodicals collection is available to help writers and production personnel tell
their railroad stories.
All inquiries will be handled in strictest confidence.