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How BTS filmed a “Top Secret” video at Grand Central Station

The video of BTS, the South Korean band that performs at the Grand Central Terminal, is only six minutes long. But it took almost two months to arrange for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” to film the K-pop group dancing under the roof of the sky inside the famous train station.

BTS is very popular, and is a global phenomenon of singing and dancing with millions of fans and dozens of awards. Last year, the music video for “Boy With Luv” hit 74.6 million views in 24 hours, a record high.

How did they manage to stop filming inside a busy transit center receiving around 750,000 visitors a day?

Meredith Conte, director of special events at North Railroad metro, said that the “Tonight” production team approached North Railways, which runs Grand Central, to schedule a shooting in December.

Once agreed on February 8, a crew of about 180 members, including dancers, a marching band, camera operators and production team members, arrived at Grand Central Station at around 10 pm.

“It is Saturday, so it is a quieter time,” said Catherine Reynaldi, railway chief at North Metro.

She added: “We are on the moon about how successful this is.”

The station, home to M.T.A. Ms. Conte said that the metro-north railway line and the metro station serving lines 4, 5, 6, 7 and S were still open as usual (they closed at 2 am). But it was the weekend, when the traffic was not heavy. , Who has overseen hundreds of productions during her 14 years of operation and was present on the day of the shooting.

“I saw a good number,” said Ms. Conte. “that was awesome.”

The dancer Conte said that the backup dancers and the marching band stayed in Vanderbilt Hall and the northwest balcony of the balcony while training while the crew prepared their multiple cameras.

Then, around 12 am, RM, Jin, SUGA, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook – BTS members – arrived at the station, which remained open.

It was important for the audience not to look at the K-pop members because their appearance on “The Tonight Show” was a surprise.

“They were not in public while we were still open,” said Ms. Conte. “It was very secretive.”

“Tonight Show” declined to comment, but on Twitter, Books producer for viewing That episode was “Our Love for This City” and I noticed that BTS was “A Game for Everything”.

It wasn’t until 2 am, when the station was officially closed to the public, BTS set foot on the main floor.

They spent two hours installing the perfect video “ON” from their new album “Map of the Soul: 7”, before the plant cleaning staff came to wash the floors. The doors will open to the public again at 5:15 am.

The episode, which aired on Monday evening, appeared on the #FallonAsksBTS clip where seven group members rode the subway with Mr. Fallon while answering some of the questions their fans, also known as the Army, asked on Twitter.

“Can you ask BTS, when they make a song, what comes first, melody or lyrics?” Mr. Fallon asked the group on behalf of a fan.

Sarah Mayer, head of the New York City Transit Customer Department, said the part was filmed inside a R160 subway car two days after Grand Central Terminal’s video. Ms. Mayer said that Mr. Fallon’s team contacted the agency in December.

But this was not a regular commute: Ms. Meyer said that the train used in this segment was no longer running but was chartered for special events, including TV and film production, as well as training.

“It was moving while the cameras were rolling,” said Ms. Mayer.

Two train operators, one on each side of the train, were responsible for transporting Mr. Fallon and BTS back and forth along a path from Bowery to Canal Street.

Ms. Mayer said that the shooting, which lasted eight hours, occurred on the afternoon of the last week of the week, but they were able to maintain his secrecy as well.

“We wanted to keep the number that was known about it to a minimum,” said Ms. Mayer. “It was quiet.”

Every year, Grand Central Terminal employees accept 20 to 30 large-scale production requests from television and film companies, said Ms. Conte.

Films shot at Grand Central include “Men in Black II” and “The Proposal”. The site has also been used for music videos such as “Keep going” with fun And “A Legend of Your Time” Carly Simon.

Ms. Conte said that production is usually scheduled for the weekend or overnight, avoiding rush hour and aiming at times when service is not required to be interrupted.

Small products, such as photographing weddings or student films, that require no more than camera or additional support from her office, are usually produced, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m., outside rush hour.

Ms. Conte said that her employees grant about 500 of these requests per year. Ms. Conte added that the station does not allow any registration from late November to late December, when traffic is heavier due to holidays.

The Tonight Show inside Grand Central is not offered for free.

Ms. Conte said that the station imposes work fees that include employees who have been approved to oversee production, electrical personnel, on-site safety and customer service staff, as well as space rental fees. She declined to comment on the amount paid by Mr. Fallon’s bid for BTS photography.

“Tonight Offer” also paid for private metro hire.

“We’ve been very excited about this because we think Jimmy Fallon and BTS bring diverse communities together and that’s exactly what New York City Transit does as well,” said Ms. Mayer. “There is good synergy.”

But back to the rental fee: When M.T.A. Someone on Twitter answered to BTS and Jimmy Fallon saying “Thanks for getting on with us”, someone answered, “Take the money they gave you and fix the damn trains.”

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