Producer recruiting military for film projects

Fri May 29, 2009 12:58am EDT
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By Paul Bond

LOS ANGELES (Hollywood Reporter) - A Hollywood filmmaker is looking for a few good men -- and women -- with military backgrounds who want to break into the entertainment industry.

Larry Meistrich, best known for producing the Oscar-winning film "Sling Blade," is soliciting movie and TV pitches from active members of the military, veterans and their family members with the intent to choose at least one project per year to produce and finance.

From writing to directing, producing, acting and all production jobs, Meistrich's GI Pictures wants the projects to be made entirely by current and retired military personnel and family members. Those with potential but no experience, he'll train.

"My management team fits because we all have parents who were in the military," Meistrich said.

"The skills acquired during a military career are very complementary to production," he said. "The way a set runs is similar to a chain of command, but we're obviously not risking our lives."

Although Meistrich acknowledges the "fertile ground for ideas" drawn from military life and war, he says he's encouraging stories that have nothing to do with either.

Meistrich said his father was a captain in the U.S. Army and a veteran of the Vietnam War. "We wanted to support the troops with more than just a yellow ribbon," he said of his incentive to create GI Pictures.

Meistrich and his partners from Nehst Studios have created GI Pictures to oversee the initiative and have recruited a board of military experts, including a former commander of the U.S. Army Soldiers Media Center, a former chief of advertising and marketing for the Army and a former Army liaison to the entertainment industry.   Continued...

<p>U.S. Marines carry the American flag across the outfield before pre-game ceremonies for the New York Mets' home opener against the San Diego Padres at Citi Field in New York, April 13, 2009. REUTERS/Mike Segar</p>