Aviation in the Film Industry

July 2, 2013 by  
Filed under Features

Have you ever wondered how film crews manage to capture footage inside the cabin and cockpit of an airplane, where space is often very limited? Or how they film those airport terminal and runway scenes without bringing an entire airport to a standstill? Based in Pacoima, Los Angeles, Air Hollywood is the world’s largest film studio dedicated to aviation, providing a full range of services to the motion picture, television and commercial production industry in the United States and far beyond its borders. Established in 1998, Air Hollywood has played an important role in hundreds of productions, from big budget feature films through to low budget student productions, providing everything from a full film set to historic and modern stock film footage.

Following the tragic events of 9/11 it became very difficult, if not impossible, for film and television crews to obtain permission to film at an airport anywhere in the United States, and Air Hollywood became an even more valuable resource to the film industry. The studio’s set-up and services are so comprehensive that they have been used by production companies as far away as Japan, but also attract business from around the United States, with the majority of their business coming from Hollywood. Their mockups and sets include cockpits and sections of passenger seating and toilets with removable ceilings and walls for easy camera access. Special effects like turbulence can be created and their props and soundstages can be adapted to portray various parts of an airport, such as check-in, security and baggage claim.

A fairly new service offered by Air Hollywood is the K9 Flight School, providing training for service and companion dogs so that they will be able to handle the sights and sounds of an airport, the interior of an airplane and even the sensations of taking-off, landing and turbulence. It is estimated that one in six adults in the United States is afraid to fly, and people with a fear of flying (Aerophobia/Aviophobia) will benefit from Air Hollywood’s Fear of Flying Program, designed by top medical and airline professionals. The program includes a day of simulated travel, including the experience of turbulence in flight, and counseling from an experienced certified therapist, thereby empowering the participant to handle the real deal with confidence.

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