Ad of the Day: Virgin

The company's three airlines team up to shoot a short film at 35,000 feet

Branded entertainment often falls at the starting line for lack of a buzz-worthy hook—but Virgin seems to have a winner, in terms of publicity if not actual content, in making the first short film shot at 35,000 feet.

The film, Departure Date, a joint production of Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia, San Francisco ad agency Eleven, and Virgin Produced (the entertainment arm of the Virgin Group), premieres Monday night at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. Check out the trailer and some behind-the-scenes footage in the video below. Mad Men fans will be excited to see Ben Feldman—aka Michael Ginsberg, copywriter of Sterling Cooper Draper Pryce—in a leading role here, alongside the young Australian actress Nicky Whelan and some familiar faces like Philip Baker Hall, Luis Guzmán, Janeane Garofalo and Max Brown. The film itself, to be frank, looks exceedingly average, centered on a love story between Feldman and Whelan that isn't—or more likely, in the end, is—meant to be. "What if life handed you exactly what you wanted, and then took it all away?" says the voiceover—which doesn't exactly scream independent film.

Still, it's a fun idea—a $1 million experiment that Virgin, always a marketing pioneer, was happy to gamble on. Directed by Kat Coiro (who also shot the the feature film L!fe Happens), the film was shot in May over nine days and three continents during flights from Los Angeles to London, Dallas, Fort Worth and Sydney, Australia. It promotes Virgin's service from Los Angeles and will be featured as in-flight entertainment on Virgin flights. The company is also hoping to get it aired on TV, too.

Client: Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic, Virgin Australia
Creative Credits: "Virgin Skies" Campaign
Agency: Eleven Inc., San Francisco

Chief Creative Officer: Mike McKay, Eleven
Executive Creative Director: Rob Price, Eleven
Creative Consultant: Paul Stechschulte
ACD Copywriter: Jay Rendon, Eleven
ACD Designer: Sami Saaud, Ted Bluey, Eleven
Copywriter: Joanne Torres, Ross Cavin, Eleven
Art Director: Brenden Yezbak, Chris Adams, Matthew Wakeman, Eleven

Executive Producer: Anastacia Maggioncalda, Eleven
Executive Interactive Producer: Daniel Murphy, Eleven
Senior Interactive Producer: Jeff Macke, Eleven
Interactive Producer: Justine Stein, Eleven
Web Developer: Jake Bellacera
Flash Developer: Hook
Interactive Designer: Brenden Yezbak, Eleven

Account Director: Rob Garnett, Eleven
Account Supervisor: Christine Cheng, Eleven
Account Manager: Tina Arguelles, Eleven

Jason Felts, Virgin Produced
Justin Berfield, Virgin Produced
Rene Rigal, Virgin Produced

Simon Bradley, Virgin Atlantic
Cat Huettner, Virgin Australia
Dimitrios Papadogonas, Virgin America

Huntley Ritter, Virgin Produced
Jessica Stout, Virgin America

Carolyn Anderson, Virgin Produced
Brian Skuletich, Virgin Produced
Laura E. Kilroy, Virgin Atlantic
Naia Cucukov, Virgin Produced

Ted Bluey, Eleven
Anastacia Maggioncalda, Eleven

CAST: (In order of Billing)
Ben Feldman
Nicky Whelan
Philip Baker Hall
Luis Guzman
Janeane Garofalo
Max Brown
Eve Brenner
Elaine Tam
Tarina Pouncy

Writer: Kat Coiro
Director: Kat Coiro
Cinematographer:  Doug Chamberlain
Location Sound Engineer: Kevin Bellante
1st Assitant Camera/DIT: Phil Newman
EPK Director/Operator: Zach Osterhout
Wardrobe: Stacy Lauwers
Hair/Makeup: Jennifer Shelton
Editor: Scott Chestnut
Sound Engineer: David Ho
Behind The Scenes Editor: Marty James
Casting Director: Leslie Woo
Still Photographer: Jessica Stout
Unit Production Manger: Carolyn Anderson
Production Coordinator: Brian Skuletich, Jessica Stout, Laura Kilroy

Canon USA: Canon Cinema EOS C300

Main Titles:
Curt Neumann

Wardrobe Provided By:
Tart Collections
Sanctuary Clothing


Airplanes Provided By:
Virgin America
Virgin Atlantic
Virgin Australia

35,000 Feet
Los Angeles California
London England
Dallas USA
Sydney Australia