Special vehicles in Sunny Juliette
7 May 2017
For a film set in the 1970s, it is of course necessary to find appropriate props from that era. And that was a joy! The production team scoured various thrift shops looking for magazines, newspapers, radios and typewriters. But perhaps the most special props are the three vehicles that played a role in Sunny Juliette.
Westnederland 3114 (Leyland National MK1)
During a location search in The Hague, we saw a whole row of old buses. By chance, we came across a depot of the Haags Busmuseum (The Hague Bus Museum). We walked in to talk to one of the volunteers. It quickly became clear that they were very interested in our film project. And if that wasn't enough: they had a bus that fit our story perfectly!
In the film, Gabrielle rides the bus after being conned by Willem. Through bus and train she finally arrives in Luxembourg where a confrontation with Willem will take place.
The bus in the film is a Leyland type National, built in 1975. The bus was owned by public transport company Westnederland (now Connexxion). Although the bus is not legally roadworthy, it was possible to drive a few laps on the museum's private grounds. Driver Nils Boting, a volunteer at the museum, drove us back in time. Cast and crew enjoyed it and the bus proved to be a perfect addition to our story. Thank you Haags Busmuseum!
Audi 80 B2
The Audi 80 served as an escape car for banker Willem LaSauvage. This car was found by the production team on a second-hand website. The car had a hard life, was damaged and had technical problems. With a jumper cable and a spray can, it eventually became the prop seen in the film.
The Audi 80 B2 is actually from 1982, but the design is from 1978. For the enthusiasts, the car contains a 1.6 cylinder engine that produces 75 hp. At the moment of writing, the car is still driving around.
The number plate on the car, 01-JS-16, does not belong to the car. It was made by production and it stands for Animæ's first feature film (01) Sunny Juliette, but in reverse order (JS) and the year of production (16). Blue number plates in the Netherlands were used until 1 January 1978 before there was a switch to the familiar black-on-yellow plates. However, to make the car look older, the older type of plate was chosen. Blue number plates were still in use some time after 1978. So it's not quite an anachronism.
Orenstein & Koppel Steam Locomotive
A final vehicle that certainly deserves attention is the train that Gabrielle uses to travel to Luxembourg. Although the film mentions a ride with the TEE (Trans Europ Express), the scene with the steam locomotive takes place before she boards the international train. These types of trains were used for intercommunal transport.
In reality, the train can be seen and visited in Leiden. It is operated by an open-air museum, Stoomtrein Katwijk-Leiden, which also owns a narrow-gauge railway and a large collection of historic railway equipment. The steam locomotive that transported Gabrielle came from historic Germain train builder Orenstein & Koppel and dates from 1928.