Filmmaker shoots several scenes on EMU’s campus

Eastern Michigan University will soon be immortalized on film. Multiple scenes from the upcoming film “Pilot Error” were filmed on campus last week.

“Pilot Error” is a thriller based on the book “The Rio/Paris Crash: Air France 447,” by Roger Rapoport, who is also the film’s producer.

It tells a fictionalized story based on the real-life events of Air France Flight 447, a plane traveling from Rio de Janeiro to Paris that crashed into the Atlantic Ocean in 2009 and remained lost for more than two years.

“It’s a very technical story and we want to make it understandable,” Rapoport said
Rapoport added the film follows the story of a journalist trying to discover what went wrong on the flight.

“It’s a human interest story,” he said.

Rapoport is a Michigan resident and much of the movie is being filmed in his home state. The film’s cast and crew are mostly from the Midwest.

Two of its stars, Alex Leydenfrost and Brian Ogden, are from the Purple Rose Theater Company of Chelsea, Mich., and their co-star Julia Glander, is an actress from Ann Arbor.

“Locations have been sort of our secret weapon,” he said. “Unlike a lot of places, Michigan isn’t overexposed.”

Rapoport added he was particularly pleased with EMU’s campus.

“This place is really great because of its diversity,” Rapoport said.

Rapoport and his four-man crew spent Thursday through Sunday of last week filming scenes at
Quirk, Ford Hall, Halle Library and in front of the Rec/IM.

University students and staff will appear in the film as extras.

“I think it’s cool,” EMU student Jeremy Kazdan said. “I don’t get to do this every day.”

Kazdan was one of about 10 EMU students and employees gathered in front of the Rec/IM Thursday afternoon brandishing signs and angrily chanting “4-4-7!” in French as part of a scene for the film.

“I want to eventually be on the other side of the camera,” Kazdan said.
Kazdan, like many of the other EMU students who appear in the film, is majoring in electronic media and film.

“Film is part of my major, so it was cool to see how the process works,” film extra and EMU student Jeremy Lund said.

Lund is also majoring in electronic media and film.

“They were fast and to the point,” Lund said.

Production on “Pilot Error” began in July. Filming is expected to take several more months. The theatrical release of the film is expected in fall 2014.

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