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October 2001, Week 2


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Mikhail Gershovich <[log in to unmask]>
Reply To:
Film and TV Studies Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>
Wed, 10 Oct 2001 03:14:49 -0400
text/plain (85 lines)
This is interesting in light of the "just like a movie" discussion we had
last month.

            U.S. Filmmakers Mull Terror Scenarios for Army

            By Steve Gorman

            LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Some of Hollywood's top action
filmmakers -- men behind such
            octane-fueled thrillers as ``Die Hard'' and ``Delta Force
One'' -- are helping the U.S. Army dream up
            possible terrorist threats America might face in the future and
how to handle them.

            The counter-terrorism brainstorming sessions are the latest
focus of the Institute for Creative
            Technologies, formed in 1999 at the University of Southern
California to develop advanced training
            programs for the Army, institute officials said Tuesday.

            Like previous enterprises the institute has undertaken on such
subjects as U.S. peacekeeping and
            natural disasters, the counter-terrorism project brings together
producers, writers and directors from
            the film and TV industries with experts from academia and the
military, Institute officials said.

            The officials, who spoke on condition of anonymity, declined to
describe any of the scenarios
            discussed by the latest panel at its first meeting earlier this
month, just days after the Sept. 11 aerial
            assaults on the Pentagon (news - web sites) and world Trade
Center that left at least 5,000 people

            But one official confirmed a report in the entertainment trade
paper Daily Variety that participants
            included ``Die Hard'' screenwriter Steven E. De Souza,
television writer David Engelbach
            (''MacGyver'') and movie director Joseph Zito, whose credits
include ``Delta Force One,'' ``Invasion
            U.S.A.'' and ''Missing in Action.''

            Also joining the panel were directors Spike Jonze (''Being John
Malkovich''), David Fincher (''Fight
            Club,'' ``Seven''), Randal Kleiser (''Grease,'' ``Honey, I Blew
Up the Kid'') and Mary Lambert (''The
            In Crowd''), as well as screenwriters Paul De Meo and Danny
Bilson (''The Rocketeer.'')

            The institute originally was formed under a $45 million U.S.
Army grant as a partnership among
            academics, video game makers and creative talent in Hollywood to
design advanced ''virtual reality''
            and simulation training systems for the military.

            One multimedia ``mission rehearsal'' displayed on the
institute's Web site involves a group of Army
            troops in Bosnia who are confronted by a large, hostile crowd
after a U.S. military vehicle accidentally
            runs down a Serbian boy in the street. The situation is

            ``The group looking at counter-terrorism is really an extension
of the kind of efforts we've been doing
            for about two years,'' one institute official said. ``The
benefit of the entertainment group is that they
            think more creatively. They think outside the box.''

            He said the team was asked ``what kind of things could possibly
happen, and how could they be
            prevented.'' Results of the discussions will ultimately be
presented to the Army.

            ``It's very dynamic, and everybody agrees we don't sleep well
afterward, because we're very keyed
            up,'' said one institute official who sat in on the first

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