If you’ve ever seen a movie with a scene taking place inside an airplane—and who hasn’t—one thing you should know: the odds are nearly 100% that the scene was not, in fact, filmed on an actual airplane.
The odds are high that the movie was filmed, in fact, at Air Hollywood.
From the Air Hollywood website:
We provide the most realistic, film-friendly airport and aircraft standing sets and props to the motion picture production industry. Our design division fabricates unique aviation art pieces from repurposed aircraft parts.
If you think about it, there are lots of reasons why shooting on an actual aircraft—or in an actual airport—is tough. It’s cramped. The walkway is narrow. There are lighting limitations. And for some scenes, an actual airplane interior simply would not work. Look, for instance, at one of the scenes of the cockpit in the movie “Airplane!”
The above is a full video link, and no doubt some reading this won’t miss watching a favorite movie scene again. But the picture itself tells the story. You’ll see the empty pilot’s seat (Peter Grave’s pilot character had taken ill) ‘Otto’ the autopilot taking over flight control in the co-pilot’s seat, Julie Haggerty between the two seats, and Leslie Nielsen standing behind the pilot’s seat. Think about a time where you’ve peeked into the cockpit while boarding a plane. While the scene actually works while watching it, it just doesn’t work in real life. There would be nowhere near the amount of room….
You see, the exterior shots of the plane in the movie were actual shots of a Boeing 707, but the interior flight deck shots were based a Convair 880/990. Below is an actual Convair 880 cockpit. Besides wondering where all the people would go… where would you put the camera operator?
If you’d like to see how it’s done, make sure to visit Air Hollywood. They have the actual “Airplane!” cockpit used for filming inside the studio.
It was situations just like these that led Talaat Captan — a writer and movie producer shooting scenes in an airport for the movie “Ground Control –” to decide there had to be a better way.
He founded Air Hollywood right after filming wrapped.
“To this day, we’ve probably done about 500 movies and hundreds and hundreds of commercials, TV shows and music videos,” said Captan, now CEO of Air Hollywood. And today, “We have dealings in China, Japan, Thailand, Europe,” he explained. Some films are shot right on-site, and for others, Air Hollywood transports plane sets and props throughout town– and in fact throughout the world.
“It comes from everywhere,” said Captan.
For instance, Japanese director Takashi Shimizu shot much of his film “7500” – about supernatural forces affecting a trans-oceanic—at Air Hollywood.
“We literally built an entire 747…” explained Captan, and …”literally shook that plane like there was no tomorrow.”
“The biggest asset is being able to shoot all of the action inside a plane,” said location manager Tony Salome. “They offer all of the versatility of filming at a studio… (and) complete control for scenes involving planes. It’s a major convenience to be able to go there… When you film at LAX or on a real plane, no matter how real it is, you’re dealing with limitations.”
That’s one reason Salmo chose Air Hollywood in which to shoot two episodes of “NCIS: Los Angeles.”
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