Zhang Yimou mourns prominent Hollywood stunt pilot

By Zhang Rui
0 Comment(s)Print E-mail China.org.cn, September 14, 2015
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Alan D. Purwin. [File photo]

Chinese director Zhang Yimou mourned famous Hollywood stunt pilot Alan D. Purwin yesterday, who died on Sept. 11 in a small plane crash in the Colombian mountains.

The small plane, carrying crew members from a new Tom Cruise movie, crashed Friday due to foggy and cloudy conditions in the Colombian mountains. The crash killed two people aboard, including Purwin and Carlos Brel. They had just wrapped up work on the new film "Mena."

Purwin also worked on Zhang Yimou's new fantasy epic "The Great Wall." Zhang released a statement through his wife Chen Ting's micro-blog, "I'm shocked to know Alan died filming in Colombia, I'm very sad!" Zhang said.

"Alan was the best helicopter aerial film operator. He finished all the aerial shooting for our 'The Great Wall.' The scenes he shot were stunningly beautiful," the director remembered, "When he took me flying, my experience was like riding a roller coaster, very exceptional and amazing. Afterwards, I simply called him 'The World's Greatest.' His death was very unexpected. I hope the beautiful scenes he shot for 'The Great Wall' will help commemorate him forever. May he rest in peace in Heaven! "

"The Great Wall" is scheduled to be released in November, 2016.

Purwin was an American helicopter pilot, aerial film operator, entrepreneur and philanthropist. He contributed to the aerial cinematography industry and aided in the filming of hundreds of Hollywood movies such as "Pearl Harbor," the "Pirates of the Caribbean" film series and the "Transformers" film series. Purwin also appeared in cameo roles as a pilot in many productions, including the films "Jurassic World," "Zero Dark Thirty" and "Indecent Proposal."

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