Flight Of Passage Then & Now A Conversation With Rinker Buck

  • Jan 11, 2016 4:52am GMT

Film makers Henry Saine and Colin Ebeling have finished a short film based on Rinker Buck’s best-selling memoir Flight of Passage. Their company, Just Chorizo Productions, launched an Indiegogo campaign to raise funds for it and hope that the short film will lead the way to a feature length version of the story.

“In 1966, Rinker and Kern Buck, aged 15 and 17, rebuilt a Piper Cub in their backyard barn. Later that summer, the two brothers flew the small aircraft from their home in rural New Jersey to San Diego in six days, making them the youngest aviators ever to fly coast to coast. The journey captured the attention of newspapers, television stations and eventually the entire country, catapulting the pair to celebrity status amongst aviators and common folk alike.” Colin said.

While learning to fly a few years ago, Colin received a copy of the book and after finishing passed it on to Henry. “Rinker and Kern’s story is so full of warmth, humor and adventure that I fell in love with it immediately,” director Henry Saine says, “It’s an important story, not just for aviation, but to show young people, or anyone for that matter, that you can create your own odyssey, that you don’t have to be bitten by a radioactive spider or get hit by a magical comet to do something great or head out after your life’s passion. You truly have the freedom to become your own hero, not just with flying, but with anything in life. It’s a really inspiring journey.”

Inspired by their moxie, Rinker agreed to let Henry and Colin be the guardians of his memoir. Shooting is finished so I thought it would be a good time to talk to him about it. I caught up with him via phone busy promoting his new book The Oregon Trail but he was generous with his time.

I asked him how he felt about what Colin and Henry are doing with his story and he said, "It’s been a long process for me because a number of people over the years, including some really talented screen writers, had options for this to develop. Hollywood is just a very frustrating place, it’s like nothing ever happens there, so for Colin and Henry to come along with all the energy and direction that they’ve brought it's obviously very very helpful and I’m excited about that. I developed a lot more affection for the project after I saw some of the shooting they did in New York state in October. Once I saw the quality of their work I was excited. I think all writers are ambivalent about having their work turned into a movie because while it can really help your book there are things they want to change however in general I’m very optimistic about Henry and Colin and can’t wait to see what they come up with."

Video Below Several takes of the hilarious Rinker Buck scene from Flight Of Passage with Sean D. Tucker. Warning: strong language.

From the clips I’ve already shared from the short film here at All Things Aero, those who’ve read the book were quick to point out that the film uses a different Piper Cub. I asked Rinker if it's a big deal and where the plane is now. He was quick to point out, "I think everyone understands that in a low budget short film designed to help garner interest in a feature length version you just want to get an idea of what that full movie will look like. This little short is something they’re taking around to the studios. In Colin and Henry’s case they’ve only done one other movie before and so the studios who would have to spend a lot of money to make a movie aren’t going to buy into somebody who doesn’t have a lot of work out there unless they get a sense of what it will look like. The original airplane will be available to film the feature length movie with. I don’t think it matters if the plane is yellow."