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Monday, 8 October, 2001, 12:36 GMT 13:36 UK
Army turns to Hollywood for advice
Die Hard
Disaster film-makers may have advice for the US Army
American intelligence specialists are reported to have "secretly" sought advice on handling terrorist attacks from Hollywood film-makers.

According to the trade paper Variety, a discussion group between movie and military representatives was held at the University of Southern California last week.

The group is said to have been set up by the US Army to discuss future terrorist activity in the wake of the attacks of 11 September.

Among those reported to have been involved were Die Hard screenwriter Steven E De Souza and Joseph Zito, director of Delta Force One and Missing in Action.

Other, more conventional, feature makers were also said to have been present, including Randal Kleiser, who made Grease.

Expertise

Such a scenario - where the army turns to the creators of film fantasy for advice about real-life disaster - would seem an unusual, not to say unlikely, reversal of roles.

But Variety argues that there is much the masters of screen suspense can offer the US Army in the way of tactical advice.

Missing in Action
Missing in Action starred Chuck Norris

In particular, says Variety, the entertainment industry can offer expertise in understanding plot and character, as well as advice on scenario training.

The US Army is also behind the university's Institute for Creative Technologies (ICT).

The ICT calls upon the resources and talents of the entertainment industry and computer scientists to help with virtual reality scenario simulation.

Variety reported that the ICT's creative director James Korris confirmed that the meetings between the film-makers and the US Army were taking place.

However, the paper added that Mr Korris had refused to give details as to what specific recommendations had been made to the US government.

See also:

12 Sep 01 | Showbiz
US showbusiness shuts down
24 Sep 01 | Film
Films slump in US
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