Director Hany Abu-Assad on Filming ‘The Mountain Between Us’ Plane Crash as One 4.5-Minute Shot

     October 4, 2017

With the disaster drama The Mountain Between Us opening this weekend in North America, I recently landed an exclusive interview with director Hany Abu-Assad. 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.


Image via 20th Century Fox

During the interview, Hany Abu-Assadtalked about the fantastic four-minute oner (where the shot keeps going without any edits) that captures the plane crash and why he wanted to shoot it that way, the endless challenges he faced making the film, why they had six calls sheets each day on set, what he learned from test screenings and how they impacted the finished film, and a lot 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.

Hany Abu-Assad:

  • Talks about the plane crash being a long 4.5 minute oner and why he wanted to do it this way.
  • What was the most challenging part of the shoot? Reveals they had 6 calls sheets each day due to weather conditions.
  • How his assembly cut was an hour longer.
  • Talks about what he learned from test screenings and how they impacted the finished film.

Image via 20th Century Fox

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.

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