Tuesday, May 15, 2012

[OMG] Johnstown's Inclined Plane: Ancient Anime Hero

Videographer Kenji Wakabayashi shoots one of the cars on Johnstown's Inclined Plane - photo by John Rucosky
[Editor's note: This story comes from OMNIpixel's parent publication, The Tribune-Democrat. More specifically, it was written by the lovely Kelly Urban. That being said, it was too geeky to pass up for our purposes. Certainly, one of the weirdest things I've seen happen in Johnstown...]

The world’s steepest vehicular incline plane is going anime.

A Japanese film crew from Total Planning Office Co. based in Toyko was in Johnstown Tuesday shooting footage of the Inclined Plane that will be used in a children’s animated series that is to air on TV Tokyo next year in April.

Wakabayashi and his camera ride the steep
incline on Tuesday, shooting footage for a
new anime series, "Train Heroes"
The show, called “Train Heroes,” will follow futuristic looking trains as they work to do good deeds, but it also will feature a segment in which the heroes look back at their “ancestors” to see what rail transportation was like 100 years ago.

“The Incline will be featured in one episode,” said Trudy Nodohara, a liaison for the film crew who is employed by Los Angeles-based Teleport USA. 

“Right now we are out compiling video at each location we visit.”

The program is slated for 26 weekly episodes, and the crew has traveled to locations in Taiwan, China, India, Spain and Britain to gather video of rail transportation systems.

After the Inclined Plane, the crew was scheduled to fly to Buena Park, Calif., to shoot video at Knott’s Berry Farm amusement park. Following that, they are to travel to Ewa, Hawaii, to film the Hawaiian Railway Society.

“These are all very unique and specialized trains we are videoing,” said Nodohara, who did extensive research on the Inclined Plane prior to filming. 

She said the concept for the series emerged from the Japanese fascination with trains.

“We have a lot of railroad fanatics, regardless of age, who are interested in how they run and wonder what the future will look like,” Nodohara said. 

“So we are incorporating all this together for the show.”

The hope is the TV series eventually will be distributed to other countries.

SOURCE: The Tribune-Democrat (By Kelly Urban)

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