Virgin’s ‘Departure Date’ Captures Love Story at 35,000 Feet

By Ella Riley-Adams 

Virgin Airlines has always set itself apart from the competition by appearing to own a fleet of party buses in the sky. With features like purple lights and goat cheese paninis, the airline caters to young, stylish jet-setters. Now, Virgin America, Virgin Atlantic Airways, and Virgin Australia have partnered with San Francisco agency Eleven and Virgin Produced (the entertainment branch of the Virgin Group) to create their latest trendsetting campaign.

Instead of a staid Boeing 747 tour video or “Love Travel? Love Virgin.” gimmick, the team opted to make the first short film shot at 35,000 feet. Written and directed by Kat Coiro (L!fe Happens, While We Were Here and A Case of You), Departure Date is a love story starring Ben Feldman (Mad Men) and Nicky Whelan (Hall Pass). In 20 hours, the cast and crew captured footage en route to England, Australia, and the US. And, perpetuating the glam Virgin lifestyle, some scenes take place in Virgin Australia’s International Business cabin that boasts a sit-down bar, Ladies-Only bathroom, and “exclusive Row Five.”


The trailer, which you can find out more about here, makes Departure Date look like a cheap Lifetime special (better font at least, please!). But the concept of a movie shot at 35,000 feet in the air is original enough to compensate for the lack of clever narrative. Though the love story may be tacky, Virgin is still an innovative, glamorous host.

Departure Date premiered last night at the 2012 Los Angeles Film Festival. See the full credits after the jump.

Chief Creative Officer: Mike McKay

Executive Creative Director: Rob Price

Creative Consultant: Paul Stechschulte

ACD Copywriter: Jay Rendon

ACD Designer: Sami Saaud, Ted Bluey

Copywriter: Joanne Torres, Ross Cavin

Art Director: Brenden Yezbak, Chris Adams, Matthew Wakeman


Executive Producer: Anastacia Maggioncalda

Executive Interactive Producer: Daniel Murphy

Senior Interactive Producer: Jeff Macke

Interactive Producer: Justine Stein

Web Developer: Jake Bellacera

Flash Developer: Hook

Interactive Designer: Brenden Yezbak

Writer/Director: Kat Coiro

Cinematographer: Doug Chamberlain