CareFlight stars alongside and advises Dwayne Johnson in 3D action thriller San Andreas

A helicopter from the iconic Queensland based rescue service has a starring role alongside Johnson in the 3D action thriller San Andreas.

The movie, which was shot on the Gold Coast, centres around a magnitude 9-plus earthquake triggered by the infamous San Andreas fault line.

Johnson plays a search and rescue helicopter pilot who joins with his estranged wife, played by Carla Gugino, on a treacherous journey from Los Angeles to San Francisco to save their only daughter. 

That’s where CareFlight enters the picture.
“We’re really excited about the movie and the publicity it will give our lifesaving work in Queensland,” CareFlight CEO Ashley van de Velde said.
“The movie makers also made a kind donation that has gone towards buying lifesaving equipment for the not-for-profit service.”

The film’s action hero was also put through CareFlight’s rigorous training program on helicopter safety, winching and rescue procedures by experienced CareFlight Aircrewman Ben Trollope, who was also on standby during filming as an adviser.

“It was very important to the film producers and Dwayne Johnson that the helicopter rescue sequences were based on real life mission procedures,” Ben said.

“I spent two weeks with Dwayne going through the techniques and one of our most experienced pilots did the same.

“Dwayne was one of the nicest people I’ve met and incredibly dedicated to getting the rescue procedure right.”
San Andreas reunites Johnson with director Brad Peyton and producer Beau Flynn, following their collaboration on the global hit Journey 2: The Mysterious Island. 

Peyton said, “Dwayne and the film crew wanted the action in the helicopter to be authentic and CareFlight and its crews have been fantastic.

“We really appreciate and respect the experience and standing CareFlight has in the rescue community.

“We were learning from the best.”

CareFlight is part of the fabric of Queensland life, with the not-for-profit service treating and airlifting nearly 40,000 people in need over three decades.

It now has a fleet of 14 aircraft, which includes three air ambulances and 11 rescue helicopters.

One of these, a Bell 412, had the starring role alongside Dwayne Johnson, Carla Gugino, Alexandra Daddario, and Ioan Gruffudd, best known for the Hornblower series but also currently starring on TV screens in the smash hit Forever. 

The film also stars Archie Panjabi, Hugo Johnstone-Burt, Art Parkinson and Oscar nominee Paul Giamatti (Cinderella Man). 

The screenplay is by Carlton Cuse, story by Andre Fabrizio and Jeremy Passmore. Richard Brener, Samuel J. Brown, Michael Disco, Toby Emmerich, Rob Cowan, Tripp Vinson and Bruce Berman served as executive producers. The film, from New Line Cinema, will be distributed by Warner Bros. Pictures and Village Roadshow Pictures. 

The movie hits Australian movie theatres today (Thursday, May 28).