Train on platform 5 is the 7.32 for Hollywood

SNCF carriages and stations are transformed for filming scenes and Philippe Laylle has to coordinate it all as manager of the cinema and filming unit

Playing with trains or going to the cinema? It could be any little boy’s dream dilemma but Philippe Laylle has managed to combine the two into a full-time job.

Mr Laylle (pictured below) is the manager of the SNCF cinema and filming department, responsible for talking to film producers, directors and designers and organising film shoots.

“By May this year, we had already received requests to provide locations for about 200 films – 50-60 of them full-length features, around 40 TV series, and news reports, document-aries and other short films,” he said.

“We have a crew filming about the bridges designed by civil engineer Gustave Eiffel right now and also adverts for brands such as Heineken.”

The logistics are formidable. Film crews might want to close a station or work all night, they might need space to put trailers and catering trucks, or they might ...

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