DP Mandy Walker on Filming ‘The Mountain Between Us’ Plane Crash as One 4.5-Minute Shot
With Oscar-nominated filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad (Omar) new movie, The Mountain Between Us, opening this weekend in North America, I recently spoke to Cinematographer Mandy Walker about making the disaster drama. If you haven’t seen the trailers, the film is based on the novel of the same name by Charles Martin and revolves around an neurosurgeon (Idris Elba) on his way to perform surgery and a photojournalist (Kate Winslet) on the way to her wedding who charter a plane together as strangers to get to their destinations, only to have the plane crash and leave them as the only survivors in the freezing wilderness. Scripted by Chris Weitz and J. Mills Goodloe, the film also stars Beau Bridges and Dermot Mulroney.
During the interview, Mandy Walker talked about the fantastic, four-minute oner (where the shot keeps going without any edits) that captures the plane crash and how challenging it was to shoot, why they had to have the cameras on 24 hours a day and the challenges of calibrating the lenses due to the cold temperature, how two people slept on the mountain with the cameras in their sleeping bags to make sure they wouldn’t freeze during the night, and so much more.
Check out what they had to say in the player above and below is exactly what we talked about and the official synopsis. You can also watch the trailer here.
- She talks about the plane crash being a long oner and how the shot came about. Reveals they did 24 takes!
- Talks about what cameras they used and why.
- Reveals why they had to have the cameras on 24 hours a day and the challenges of calibrating the lenses.
- How 2 people slept on the mountain with the cameras in their sleeping bags to make sure they wouldn’t freeze during the night.
- Says she is shooting the live-action Mulan next.
- How early on from filming is she involved in a project.
Here’s the official synopsis for The Mountain Between Us:
Stranded after a tragic plane crash, two strangers must forge a connection to survive the extreme elements of a remote snow covered mountain. When they realize help is not coming, they embark on a perilous journey across hundreds of miles of wilderness, pushing one another to endure and discovering strength they never knew possible. The film is directed by Academy Award nominee Hany Abu-Assad and stars Academy Award winner Kate Winslet and Golden Globe winner Idris Elba.