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Bee's Knees

December 17, 1995

While amusing us with tales of strange requests made to various states' film commissions (Film Clips, Dec. 3), author Connie Benesch perhaps inadvertently also scored a point against "runaway production." While the often-denied requests to help find cooperative sheep, directable scorpions or trained alligators are met with laughs by distant film commissioners, I've worked with all of the above, and many more, right here in Hollywood.

On Woody Fraser Enterprises' Family Channel show "Wild Animal Games," on which I am the announcer, we've wrangled and presented bees, boas, vultures, cobras, chameleons, piranhas, as well as the more pedestrian lions, tigers, chimps and bears. It's no secret to many that Hollywood has long been headquarters for the unusual and exotic, as well as blood-sucking parasites! And I wouldn't change a thing.




I wonder what it feels like to be "cooked" to death by the sun. That's what happened to hundreds of butterflies while waiting for the cameras to roll for a British washing-machine commercial.

"It took so long to set up the shot that all the butterflies died . . . because the sun started cooking those buggers," recalled Leigh von der Esch, Utah film commissioner and president of the Assn. of Film Commissioners International. "They were panic-stricken."

What is a person with that kind of insensitivity to living creatures doing leading a film association? To Ms. Von Der Esch they merely were "buggers." But they were living, feeling creatures, quite possibly, with as much right to life as she.

Such cruelty should not be part of any kind of filmmaking . . . or life.


Woodland Hills

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