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<nettime> Military-Entertainment Complex Alive and Well
Bruce Sterling on Wed, 10 Oct 2001 04:22:41 +0200 (CEST)

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<nettime> Military-Entertainment Complex Alive and Well

It's the Analog Mujihadeen Version of Digital Special Effects -- bruces


Monday October 8 2:34 AM ET

Feds enlist Hollywood for spook theories
By Claude Brodesser

HOLLYWOOD (Variety) - In a reversal of roles,
government intelligence specialists have been secretly
soliciting terrorist scenarios from top Hollywood
filmmakers and writers.

An ad hoc working group convened at the University of
Southern California just last week at the behest of
the U.S. Army. The goal was to brainstorm about
possible terrorist targets and schemes in America and
to offer solutions to those threats, in light of the
aerial assaults on the Pentagon and the World Trade

Among those in the working group based at USC's
Institute for Creative Technology (ICT) are those with
obvious connections to the terrorist pic milieu, like
``Die Hard'' screenwriter Steven E. De Souza, TV
writer David Engelbach (``MacGyver'') and helmer
Joseph Zito, who directed the features ``Delta Force
One,'' ``Missing in Action'' and ``The Abduction.''

But the list also includes more mainstream suspense
helmers like David Fincher (``Fight Club''), Spike
Jonze (``Being John Malkovich''), Randal Kleiser
(``Grease'') and Mary Lambert (``The In Crowd'') as
well as feature screenwriters Paul De Meo and Danny
Bilson (``The Rocketeer'').

In August 1999, the Army awarded USC a five-year
contract to create the Institute for Creative
Technologies with a mandate to enlist the resources
and talents of the entertainment industry,
videogame-makers and computer scientists to advance
the state of ``immersive,'' or virtual reality,
training simulation for soldiers.

The entertainment industry brings a certain expertise
in story and character, as well as visual effects and
production know-how to the table.

But one USC insider describes the ad hoc group as
focused ``on the short-term threats against the
country'' and said that Army Brig. Gen. Kenneth
Bergquist had been heading the effort, which has met
twice already via teleconference with the Pentagon.

ICT creative director James Korris confirmed that the
filmmaker meetings were ongoing with the Army but
declined to elaborate as to what specific
recommendations had been made to the Pentagon.

A call to the Army's office of public affairs seeking
comment from Gen. Bergquist was not returned as of
late Sunday.

Reuters/Variety REUTERS 

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