Friday, February 28, 2014

in the CIA set

Installing pneumatic tubes in film sets would have to be one of the more glamorous commissions for pneumatic tube suppliers. Thanks to a recent comment on this blog I found out that Scorsese isn't the only filmmaker to have demanded such close attention to detail on his set, as to install pneumatic tubes. Ben Affleck was also a stickler for detail when making his film Argo. The same vendor who supplied tubes for Wolf of Wall Street also supplied tubes for Argo, so that the filmmakers could replicate the CIA offices of the 1970s.

I've written in a previous post about the CIA pneumatic post system. Affleck used the L.A. Times building to film the CIA scenes, and as InfidelWorld reports, the use of "ancient technology" such as pneumatic tubes helped to set a tone of decline and uncertainty. Argo production designer Sharon Seymour tells Variety that her and her team went to some effort to track down old typewriters, computers, telephones and TV sets for the CIA office scenes, as well as build the pneumatic tubes, "to make audiences think about how communications have changed".

The question now remains: will the tubes be a lucky charm at the Oscars another year round?

Images of the Argo set from DeadlineUntapped Cities and image of a CIA pneumatic capsule from CIA's Flikr page.

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