It was always going to be an incredible nautical feat. In order for Celebrity Cruises’ latest ship, Celebrity Eclipse, to leave its home of eight months – a shipyard in Papenburg (the middle of nowhere in north Germany) – it had to navigate through a tiny gate BACKWARDS, and then along a wiggly windy narrow river before it finally reached the sea.
We were tasked with filming the spectacle and ensuring great coverage of her departure. It was going to be a fun adventure for sure. The question was; how do you film such a thing in the middle of nowhere, potentially in the dark?
You see, when a cruise ship has to leave, it has to leave – TV crew or no TV crew. With a storm brewing, the window of opportunity was small and the risk to the ship was big. The risk of missing out on filming was even bigger, if the captain decided to leave in the dead of night without us knowing.
After a call from our client saying we had to leave the next day, we made it to Papenburg and started filming. I’ve never seen a ship big enough to carry nearly 3,000 guests, let alone been allowed to nose around on board. After donning our hard hats, we started the shoot, with everyone frantically trying to get all the fixtures and fittings finished in time for the conveyance the next day.
In the end, Celebrity Eclipse sailed off without a hitch. My crew breathed a sigh of relief when she left in broad daylight. The helicopter crew made it into the air to get some stunning aerials. And despite there being just a few metres spare on each side of the lock, she squeezed through the tiny hole. And most importantly we had some fantastic pick-up on TV and Online.
A-Roll produced by the TNR production team for TV & Online
Celebrity Eclipse is now heading for Southampton (via Hamburg) ….. no more small holes, but definitely more filming challenges for TNR ahead. Ship Ahoy!
Post by Tessa Parry-Wingfield (Producer for TNR Communications)