Billions for Weapons and Millions for movies-‘Act of Valor’

When I first arrived in Hollywood, the very first script handed to me was a Vietnam based war film. The Producer was a Vietnam vet, and as I have high-regard for war vet’s I took the meeting and reviewed the project. It was an education.

I learned very quickly the resources made available to the producer should the Pentagon deem the script appropriated. With it’s vast loose billion for weapons it also has a full fledged production unit based in Los Angles ready to work with film maker to get movie’s made. It’s for the same reason that the mobsters got involved in Hollywood, everyone wants to look good on the silver screen.

The upcoming film “Act of Valor” is action, but there are a few things it doesn’t have: There are no corrupt officers, no damaged heroes, no queasy doubts about the value of the mission or the virtue of the cause.

That’s because “Act of Valor” was born not in Hollywood, but in the Pentagon. It was commissioned by the Navy’s Special Warfare Command and its success will be measured not in box-office receipts, but in the number of new recruits it attracts to the Navy SEALs. Yea, baby, so all you girls and guys out there who want to kick some serious butt, in Somalia, Pakistan, Afghanistan, Iran opp’s did I just say that, get ready to get those bad guys and go sign up.

Today, the Film Liaison Office is among the most powerful forces in the movie business. Teaming with each armed service’s own film arm, the office cuts sweet deals with studios desperate for the kind of real-life props and troops that can’t be generated by computers.

Philip Strub, the current head of the office, wields one of the mightiest pens in show business. He reviews scripts sent in by producers and studios, deciding whether or not to provide material assistance based on, he said, “whether [the film] is something that might be of information value to the public or whether there is some benefit to military recruitment and retention.”

‘Act of Valor’ is using real SEALs instead of Hollywood actors. The brass loved the idea, though the SEALs themselves were initially resistant to the idea of acting, Waugh said. They needed some convincing, he said, that, “it was going to be authentic and legitimate and not some hokey, cheesed-out Hollywood version of their community.”

Unites States Navy Seals where magic is real and dreams come true.


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