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Is it a Coincidence a Film Was Made About New Orleans Disaster BEFORE it Happened?
Filmmaker Glen Pitre never
intended to produce a documentary
about the New Orleans Disaster only weeks before it
He never intended to be
onsite in New Orleans
in a specially marked helicopter that would take
him anywhere he wanted to go to capture the horror
as the disaster unfolded.
And of course Pitre never
intended to use his film to
reinforce the media programming that the New Orleans
disaster was 100% of natural causes and nothing more.
All of this is purely coincidental.
Any thoughts regarding this
matter that veer outside the
bounds of media programming will be dismissed as outlandish conspiracy theories.
Posted 9/13/2005 9:00 PM Updated 9/13/2005 9:00 PM
Filmmaker sees storm coming
By Scott Bowles, USA TODAY
Glen Pitre wanted to make a documentary about what might happen to New Orleans should a powerful hurricane strike the city.
Witness to disaster: Glen Pitre had just finished filming a documentary about the dangers of a hurricane hitting New Orleans when Katrina hit.
Instead, he got the real thing.
Just weeks after shooting what Pitre hoped would be a cautionary tale about the region's ailing levees and wetlands, which included dramatizations of residents hatcheting their way through roofs of their submerged homes, Katrina blasted the coastal town.
"We wanted the original film to warn people what nature could do to New Orleans," says Greg MacGillivray, producer and co-director. "Then we watched it happen."
The tentatively titled Storm on the Bayou marks a rare Hollywood project to come from the devastated area. A half-dozen films and TV shows have been shelved or relocated from New Orleans.
Fahrenheit 9/11 filmmaker Michael Moore told the New York Daily News that he wants to shoot a documentary there, although no work has begun.
New Line Cinema hoped to show its film The Man as a diversion for people staying at the Houston Astrodome, but the task proved too difficult logistically.
"It's still chaos here," says Alex Schott of the Louisiana Video and Film Commission, which is urging Hollywood to consider other parts of Louisiana for filming. "We're moving production companies to other parts of the state, but I don't know how you could shoot anything in New Orleans."
Pitre never intended to. The writer and co-director of the movie owns a home in the city and flew back before the storm to board up his house. When Katrina finally passed, he says, "I realized we needed to show people what really happened here, because TV news wouldn't do it justice."
Pitre and MacGillivray sent gear and photographers back to the region. They borrowed a helicopter from Universal Pictures, which was filming Miami Vice in Florida.
"The helicopter still had all of the police logos from the movie," Pitre says. "So while the media was getting shooed away, we could fly anywhere we wanted."
But he wasn't prepared for what he saw. Bodies littered the roadside. Residents begged for help.
The filmmakers became rescue workers, giving out food and sodas from their van to parched residents. They offered their radios to those who were desperate for communication. They rescued a Labrador retriever that had been trapped in a home. The dog, now named Hurricane, lives in Los Angeles with a photographer.
No release date has been set for the movie, which was shot in the big-screen IMAX format and produced by MacGillivray Freeman Films, which produced Everest.
"I'm the writer of the movie, and I still don't know what I want it to say," Pitre says. "But I do know that this town is going to spend years recovering. And in six months, people will have forgotten us. We'll need something to remind America about this place."
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