We were just about to break for Christmas when the call came in from a helicopter pilot mate of ours.
Former Iron Man Grant Kenny’s Chopperline had just been privately acquired, and folded into a brand new aviation training company on the Gold Coast called Airways Aviation.
The company needed a film to win the Singapore Airlines Jet Pilot Training account. And pronto.
“What do I have to work with?” I asked. “A half completed hangar. A single engine training plane, a few instructors and a couple of students.” Aaron replied.
So we set out doing what we do. Spinning. First call was to a local talent agency to scare up a dozen young “aviators”. And they needed to look like students. Not models. The next trip was to the local aviation shop to purchase 12 uniforms “with stripes please.” Next came the script, which we knocked into shape over a few passes. Always a challenge when you know absolutely nothing about selling an aviation academy to one of the world’s biggest airlines.
The easy part was filming on the airstrip. The hangar backed straight onto it so with passes and fluro jackets we were good to go. The great thing about Gold Coast International Airport is a lot of friendly staff – plus lots of big jets.
Slap on a 70-200mm and it’s heat haze heaven. Add some coral graduation filters and you’re channeling Tony Scott.
We were even granted access to the tower. Try even pointing a camera at that in Sydney, Brisbane or Melbourne and see how you go.
We filmed in 2:3:1 – RED’s wide screen cinema aspect ratio. All colour and contrast was done in camera. As with almost all our productions, post is a luxury nobody can afford in the digital world.
The film was ready in break-neck team, translated into Mandarin. Then it was pitch-time.
The rest is history. https://airwaysaviation.com