Filming at the Intrepid Sea, Air and Space Museum

photos courtesy of Bill Winters

Not only is the Intrepid an aircraft carrier, it’s a working museum and a film location.  The aircraft carrier Intrepid (CVS-11) first served in World War II, became one of the primary recovery vessels for NASA, and served three tours of duty during the Vietnam conflict.  It is now a national historic landmark and one of the most unique attractions in New York City.

I’ve shot inside the Intrepid a couple of times now, and I’m always amazed at the size.  An aircraft carrier is a floating city, and on one shoot, my team and I were allowed to visit the bowels of the ship that are off limits to the public.  We walked though dimly lit labyrinthine corridors, disturbing a fine layer of dust.  Giant wheel valves and levers that covered the interior walls were almost irresistible to turn.  Eventually, a little claustrophobia got the better of me as I imagined people running through such close quarters.  Needless-to-say, I don’t think I’d do well on a submarine.

I had the privilege of shooting inside the Intrepid again this week for an upcoming project and was inspired all over again.  Stay tuned for a later post once it airs on AMC.

In the meantime, did you know:

  • Fo’c’s’le stands for Forecastle.  On the Intrepid, it’s the bow of the ship that contains the ropes and chains for the two 30,000-pound anchors, and everything is massive – even the wrenches!
  • In order to take equipment on board, they don’t use a freight elevator; they use a Bomb Elevator.  How many times can you say you’ve ridden in a Bomb Elevator?
  • And when a cable in the bomb elevator snaps, they use a cargo wench to haul the gear onto the ship.

Be sure to visit the museum after July 19, 2012 when the space shuttle Enterprise becomes part of its permanent exhibit!

What happens when the bomb elevator breaks.

Our set up.  Go big or go home!

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