Virgin Produced makes claim for first film shot on location at 35,000 feet
Richard Branson’s Virgin Produced production company is staking a claim for the first film to be produced at 35,000 feet. Departure Date is a 30-minute romance with Virgin branding that was filmed over 20 hours on flights between Los Angeles, Forth Worth, Dallas, Sydney and London.
Using a production budget of less than USD1 million, the crew used lightweight digital cameras and filmed over nine days, the LA Times reports. Scenes were mainly shot in business and first-class sections of the planes, with some of the passengers recruited as extras alongside the professional cast.
Jason Felts is Chief Executive of Virgin Produced and spoke to the outlet: “We pride ourselves on doing things that are a little bit different and this is certainly an example of that. As far as we know, nobody has made an entire movie at 35,000 feet.”
The crew faced a few challenges unique to the environment. Make-up bottles had to be small enough to satisfy aviation rules on liquids and at one point some turbulence forced them to stop filming briefly.
We pride ourselves on doing things that are a little bit different and this is certainly an example of that. As far as we know, nobody has made an entire movie at 35,000 feet.
Jason Felts, Virgin Produced
Departure Date features branding from three separate Virgin airlines, but Felts is keen to stress that it’s not explicitly a Virgin commercial: “At the end of the day the film stands on its own. We’re telling a real narrative story. We’re not overtly trying to promote Virgin.”
The film will be shown on Virgin’s in-flight entertainment systems and will be shown at the Los Angeles Film Festival in June 2012. There are also plans in progress for a TV deal of some kind.
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