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National Liberty Ship Memorial, SS Jeremiah O'Brien,
Offers Ideal Location for Film Shoots
Location Scouts and Film Crews Offered Availability
Ship has been featured in such films as Titanic and Sphere
Last Surviving Fully Functional WWII Vessel Celebrates 65th Anniversary in 2008
Click on any thumbnail below to download a high-rez image for print publication.
The S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien on a San Francisco Bay Cruise
Many interiors, sounds and visuals for James Cameron's Academy Award-winning Titanic were captured aboard the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien.
The Jeremiah O'Brien was an integral participant in helping James Cameron's major motion picture Titanic take home 3 of its 11 Academy Awards, including Best Sound, Best Sound Effects and Best Visual Effects.
29 January 2008 – San Francisco, CA: Why build a ship to film when you can rent one? Why fake history when can sail into it? The S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien, home to the National Liberty Ship Memorial (www.ssjeremiahobrien.org) -- considered the last surviving, fully functional, and most historically accurate World War II Liberty Ship -- is proud to announce film and television location availability for her 2008 operating season. Docked at San Francisco's Pier 45, this unique marvel of World War II maritime engineering, celebrating the 65th Anniversary of her June 19, 1943 launch in 2008, offers unprecedented film, television and photography location opportunities, with stunning views of the San Francisco Bay, city skyline, Alcatraz, and Bay Bridges. The 441 foot S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien was also an integral participant in helping James Cameron's major motion picture Titanic take home 3 of its 11 Academy Awards, including Best Sound, Best Sound Effects and Best Visual Effects.
Fully restored down to her original fittings, equipment, and cabin appointments, the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien transports visitors back over half a century to when sailors dared brave the harshest of high seas to convoy food, supplies and troops to Great Britain when that country was under siege during WWII. The O'Brien 's expansive exterior deck areas can accommodate historical scene recreations for film and television productions, with casts of up to 800 extras, while the ship is moored or underway on the San Francisco Bay or Pacific Ocean. The massive metallic, industrialized cargo areas, described by one insider as a “cross between The Hunt for Red October and Blade Runner,” can easily accommodate scenes involving 200 to 300 extras. Location scouts will also appreciate the historical accuracy of 1940's-era crew and captains quarters, the bridge, radio room, galley, and antiaircraft gun, and canon emplacements.
Click on the above image to view a library of 85 Jeremiah O'Brien interior and exterior pictures
Many interiors, sounds and visuals for James Cameron's Academy Award-winning Titanic were captured aboard the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien , including her fully-operational triple expansion marine steam engine, which provided the dramatic massive and churning metallic parts of the famed White Star liner's engine room. In addition, the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien also contributed her bow wave and wake to Cameron's epic film, which was multiplied and overlaid to make it look like it was generated by Titanic's massive three screws.A wide range of Jeremiah O'Brien Academy Award-winning sound effects were also captured for Titanic, including metallic door closes, hatch openings, distant engine rumbles (which run throughout the film, to give the sense of movement), bells, clangs, etc. The O'Brien also was taken out into San Francisco Bay so Cameron's sound team from Skywalker Sound could capture a tremendous variety of bow wash, mid-side wash, propeller wake, hull laps, and other water movement sounds, which occupy much of the movie's first 11 reels before Titanic 's iceberg collision. The O'Brien 's crew even threw the engines into full-reverse about 20 times, simulating the climactic iceberg collision moment, which provided a wealth of creaks, groans, distant rumbles, perspective shifts, and countless backgrounds used to re-create the factory-like ambience of the steerage compartment. Other interiors and exteriors were shot for others movies, including Sphere and Inflammable. In addition, entertainment industry gala events, such as the mini series premiere of The War by documentary filmmaker Ken Burns, were held aboard the S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien in her expansive cargo hold. The O'Brien draws from a highly trained, Coast Guard-approved crew and staff of 300 engineers, mariners, deckhands, and docents that can be employed to assist in any production.
The S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien History in Brief:
During World War II, 2,751 Liberty Ships, constructed at 18 US ship yards, were meant to be built quicker than German U-Boats could sink them. “Built by the mile and chopped off by the yard,” as President Roosevelt said, they were to form a “bridge of ships” across the Atlantic. Winston Churchill wrote, "Without the supply column of Liberty Ships that endlessly plowed the seas between America and England, the war would have been lost."
The S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien was built in a blisteringly fast 40 days and launched in South Portland, Maine on June 19, 1943. She made four harrowing Atlantic crossings and eleven Normandy D-Day landings during WWII and also served in the Pacific Theater and Indian Ocean. Mothballed in 1946, she was laid up for 33-years in Suisun Bay before possession of the ship was taken over in 1979 to be restored. After countless thousands of hours of restoration work, the ship is now a living National Monument on the National Register as a historic object and museum dedicated to the men and women who both built and sailed the ships of the U.S. Merchant Marine in WWII. The S.S. Jeremiah O'Brien proudly returned to Normandy as part of the 50 th Anniversary of the Normandy D-Day Celebrations in 1994, as the only large ship left of the original 6,939-ship armada.
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