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Virgin Takes on In-Flight Filmmaking (on Three Airlines!) with 'Departure Date'

May 9, 2012 at 2:40 PM | by | ()

Leave it to Richard Branson to take on in-flight filmmaking.

Last week the Virgin Group's film and TV company left the studio behind and teamed up with Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic and Virgin Australia airlines to shoot and edit a half-hour movie aboard several different commercial flights.

Departure Date, which follows a developing romance between two people who meet on a plane, was entirely shot in nine days on previously scheduled flights over three continents, from Los Angeles to London, Dallas-Fort Worth and Sydney, Australia.

Janeane Garofalo, Ben Feldman and Luis Guzman starred in the Kat Coiro-directed film, which had a crew of 20 people working on each flight.

Plenty of movies have been set on planes, but never before has an entire movie been filmed at 35,000 feet, which meant the crew had to overcome a few challenges.

At one point, turbulence over Iceland forced the crew to stop filming, the limited size of liquid bottles allowed caused problems for the hair and make-up department, and they had to use small, handheld digital cameras to get the shots they needed without disturbing passengers.

Despite the challenges, Branson was thrilled with the venture:

“Virgin airlines have swept all the awards for having the best entertainment systems in the skies, but a movie about falling in love with a stranger onboard a Virgin plane: now that’s in-flight entertainment!”

Departure Date will debut at the Los Angeles Film Festival next month and will also be featured on Virgin flights to promote their service to Los Angeles.

[Photo: L.A. Times]

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