Airmen support new Hollywood movie 'Eagle Eye'
By , Air Force Office of Special Investigations Public Affairs
/ Published September 26, 2008
ANDREWS AIR FORCE BASE, Md. -- Members of the Air Force Office of Special Investigations will get ready for its close-up Sept. 26 as the movie "Eagle Eye" will be released to selected theaters around the country.
The movie stars Shia LaBeouf and Michelle Monaghan and is directed by D. J. Caruso.
"This was a great opportunity for the Air Force to be involved in such an action-packed thriller that reflects our core values through a prominent character in the story," said Lt. Col. Francisco Hamm, the Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office director.
The Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office is the single point of contact for information and assistance with entertainment productions having Air Force themes or segments. The office offers direct access to Air Force people, aircraft, equipment, technical assistance, military advice and locations, and ensures that projects highlighting the missions and members of the Air Force are plausible and realistic.
Although the story is not specifically about the Air Force Office of Special Investigations, the Air Force's participation afforded the opportunity to highlight the dedication and professionalism of the AFOSI mission through the character Special Agent Zoe Perez, played by actress Rosario Dawson.
"We worked very hard with the filmmakers to develop this character in this film," Colonel Hamm said. "It allowed us to depict the Air Force as being on the front lines of the war on terrorism and gave us the chance to highlight this normally low key investigative organization."
The story is about two strangers who become the pawns of a mysterious woman they have never met, but who seems to know their every move. Realizing they are being used to further her diabolical plot, they must work together to outwit the woman before she has them killed.
Other well-known stars in this film include Anthony Azizi and Billy Bob Thornton. "Eagle Eye" is a DreamWorks production and produced by Steven Spielberg, Ed McDonnell and Roberto Orci.
Air Force Entertainment Office members previously worked with Mr. Spielberg and Mr. Orci on several previous projects including "Transformers" and "War of the Worlds."
"Many of their movies reflect our Air Force core values and depict characters who fully embrace them," Colonel Hamm said.
The two project officers who worked on the film were Senior Master Sgt. Vince Arragona and Capt. Christian Hodge.
"The Air Force is involved with 'Eagle Eye' because of our overall increased profile in Hollywood in the last few years. The producers were familiar with the Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office from our work on 'Transformers' and 'Iron Man' and wanted the Air Force to be an integral part of the film," Captain Hodge said.
"Sergeant Arragona and Captain Hodge did a great job in working with the filmmakers on making our character plausible and accurate as well as coordinating all the moving pieces for such an action-packed thriller," Colonel Hamm said.
Some of the assistance provided to "Eagle Eye" included script and story development, dialogue to enhance the authenticity of character development, wardrobe and uniform assistance, cast training and research visits for project development.
"We coordinated Rosario Dawson's meetings with AFOSI agents at both Andrews Air Force Base and Los Angeles AFB, Calif., for several days as part of her research," Colonel Hamm said.
AFOSI husband and wife team, Special Agent Christopher Ouellette and Special Agent Rachel Ouellette were Rosario Dawson's personal escorts for two days during her visit to Andrews AFB and the Pentagon. Both agents talked at length with the actress about what it's like being an AFOSI agent.
"Since Rosario was totally unfamiliar with AFOSI, it was really important for her to understand our mission well, in order to accurately depict her character in the movie," Special Agent Rachel Ouellette said. "When she left Andrews, she really had a very good understanding of AFOSI's role, how we support the Air Force and how we work with our other federal law enforcement agency counterparts."
The actress also spent some time at the Pentagon with Agent Christopher Ouellette where she got a sense of the inter-workings of the Pentagon's hierarchy and overall mission in our nation's defense.
"Rosario quickly grasped the Pentagon's mission, organizational structure and AFOSI's computer crime mission," Agent Christopher Oullette said. "We also discussed the fact that AFOSI is the Department of Defense's leader in computer crime investigations," he added.
In addition to the AFOSI character, the film also features the C-17 Globemaster III, KC-135 Stratotanker, F-16 Fighting Falcon and C-130 Hercules. An HH-60G Pave Hawk was also used for both aerial and ground photography in San Pedro, Calif.
Aerial filming included a UH-1N Huey landing at the Pentagon and the filming of the MQ-9 Reaper at Creech AFB, Nev. The Air Force also provided Airmen as extras in several military-related scenes in Washington, D.C., and Los Angeles.
Air Force officials said they will continue to take advantage of opportunities to build awareness and inform the American public about the Air Force through movies when the characters and Airmen portrayed reflect our core values.
"By officially supporting these projects, we are able to ensure the depictions of our capabilities and our Airmen are as credible as possible, and that helps us educate the public and builds Air Force morale," Colonel Hamm said.
The office is currently working on the Michael Bay film, "Transformers II: Revenge of the Fallen," and developing several other projects that could feature the Air Force.