Planes: Fire & Rescue Press Event – “Do Your Research”


Planes:  Fire & Rescue is the all new Disney sequel to Planes and premieres in movie theatres on July 18th.   Attending the media press event at Disney’s Toon Studios in Burbank, I was able to participate in several sessions of Q&As with Director Bobs Gannaway and Producer Ferrel Barron, Paul Gerard (Director, Creative Develoopment) and Jeff Howard (Co-Writer), Story Artists Art Hernandez (Head of Story) and Lawrence Gong and Art Director Toby Wilson.    Spending the day learning all about how Planes: Fire and Rescue came to be was an incredible experience.

The first session – Do Your Research was with Paul Gerard (Director, Creative Develoopment) and Jeff Howard (Co-Writer) who shared how one of their biggest resources was the California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection (CALFIRE).   Extensive research was done at several National Parks and with key individuals who provided expertise about the aircraft and personnel.   Aircrafts used by CALFIRE are all recycled planes and that added to the movie’s concept of “second chances”.    The original concept was based on the duties of a crop duster and how they are also used to put out fires as a SEAT—a Single Engine Air Tanker.   This led to research that in turn led to the story line where Dusty gets into fire fighting.

Jeff and Paul shared how there are over 5000 fires fought in California every year, which was incorporated into the scene where Dusty arrives and almost immediately there is a fire alarm and Dusty is told there are always fires, but “you only hear about the big ones”.

The research team spent time on location the Hemet-Ryan Air Attack Base with CalFire at Yellowstone and Yosemite National Parks, and with the CALFIRE units and were able to capture live footage of the pilots and aircraft in action, however the team was not able to actually fly during a fire due to liability issues.  The pilots’ input and feedback was tremendous and invaluable in making sure Planes: Fire & Rescue were portrayed properly and authentically   Research and footage from Yosemite and Yellowstone were used in the movie, allowing for detailed designs used in the lobby of the Grand Fusal Lodge in the movie.    Another location used in filming was the Angeles National Forest.   Chuck Aaron, legendary aerobatic helicopter pilot who lives in So. Cal was instrumental in helping the artists capture the flight and manueverability of the helicopters.   Paul and Jeff along with Bobs and several other members of the team were able to fly with Chuck and be a part of a unique helicopter ride that was a once in a lifetime experience for all.

CalFire Battalion chief Travis Alexander was an inspiration for Blade’s personality in the movie as were many of the dedicated personnel – smokejumpers at the US Forestry Services, LA County and City Fire Departments and even the Walt Disney Studios Fire Department.

Check out the next article – “The Art of the Story”

My name is Loretta Garcia and I am the Entertainment Writer for Chip and Co.  Follow me on facebook for promotions and news.

Please note: some posts may contain affiliate links which means our team could earn money if you purchase products from our site


Let our friends at Destinations to Travel help you book your next Disney Vacation. They are the preferred Travel Agency of Chip and Company and Disney Addicts, and who we use ourselves.

Get started below for your FREE No Obligation Quote.

Book With our friends at Destinations to Travel

MM slash DD slash YYYY
This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

For the BEST in Disney, Universal, Dollywood, and SeaWorld Theme Park News, Entertainment, Merchandise & More follow us on, Facebook, Instagram, and Youtube. Don't forget to check out the Chip and Company Radio Network too!

YouTube player

Written by:

This account is for Past Writers and Friends who love Disney and want to share that love with you.
View All Posts
Follow Me :