Joseph Gordon-Levitt Discusses Nailing the Technical Details of Aviation in ‘7500’

     June 18, 2020

Writer-director Patrick Vollrath took on quite the challenge for his very first feature film. After scoring an Academy Award nomination for his short film Everything Will Be Okay, things really got going for Vollrath on 7500. The movie stars Joseph Gordon-Levitt as Tobais, a pilot working a flight traveling from Berlin to Paris. Soon after takeoff, the plane is hijacked and Tobais must manage the situation while locked in the cockpit. 

Making a feature film is quite the endeavor, period. Filming a midair thriller must be quite tough. But on top of that, Vollrath opted to push it even further with 7500 by having almost the entire movie shot in the close quarters of the cockpit. On top of that, Vollrath is also becoming quite well known for his unique shooting style; he prefers to do very long takes – think 30 minute takes – and encourages a lot of improvisation. 

With 7500 now available to watch on Prime Video, I got the opportunity to have a brief Zoom chat with Vollrath and Gordon-Levitt about their experience making the film. They discussed the wide range of nationalities featured in the movie, the importance of accuracy when it came to the technical details of aviation, and Vollrath’s unique process on set. You can hear about it all for yourself the video interview at the top of this article, and be sure to check out Matt’s review of the film right here. 


Image via Amazon

Patrick Vollrath and Joseph Gordon-Levitt

  • Vollrath addresses the wide array of nationalities in the film.
  • They talk about the attention to detail and accuracy when showing the work of a pilot on screen.
  • Gordon-Levitt talks about nailing the technical details of aviation and Vollrath’s unique process on set.

Here’s the official synopsis of 7500: 

It looks like a routine day at work for Tobias, a soft-spoken young American co-pilot on a flight from Berlin to Paris as he runs through the preflight checklist with Michael, the pilot, and chats with Gökce, his flight-attendant girlfriend. But shortly after takeoff, terrorists armed with makeshift knives suddenly storm the cockpit, seriously wounding Michael and slashing Tobias’ arm. Temporarily managing to fend off the attackers, a terrified Tobias contacts ground control to plan an emergency landing. But when the hijackers kill a passenger and threaten to murder more innocent people if he doesn’t let them back into the cockpit, this ordinary man faces an excruciating test.


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