Friday, June 27, 2003

Xena paraphernalia going under hammer
The New Zealand Herald


Decomposing bodies, a headless corpse and a large collection of
swords and medieval weapons will all be up for grabs today in an
auction of props from canned television show Xena:Warrior Princess.

Hundreds of props are on sale. They come from a private collection
that is taking up too much room.

More than half the swords are real but there are no dangerous items
and many of the props are made of polystyrene.

Thornton Auctions in Penrose will host the auction.

Owner Brad Jackson says Xena junkies have already shown overwhelming

Fans have come from as far south as Christchurch.

The auctioneers also received 125 hits a day on their website from
American Xena followers. Mr Jackson says some potential buyers have
medieval shops - he knows of one buyer who plans to make a "Xena
room" in his antique shop.

Other buyers will be Halloween tricksters and "someone that's into
playing tricks and things like that."

The prize items include a chaise longue adorned with skull heads and
a bust of New Zealand actor, the late Kevin Smit.

There are also two thrones with dinosaur backbones.

The highest price may be fetched by two "cobra" candelabra.

They are each more than 2m high and are estimated to fetch $3000 as a

The props are on sale because a Xena fan who bought up to 600 Xena
props has reluctantly decided to sell them because he no longer has

Tuesday, June 24, 2003

From Mary D's updates:

The following is from Renee via Missy Good

Renee will be doing a signing session of 2 hours at Comic-Con on Saturday, July 19. The information about the con - from the official site is:
July 17-20 at the San Diego Convention Center

Comic-Con International sees an incredible migration of professionals of all walks of the creative life each and every year. In addition to the largest contingent of professionals working in the comic book industry of any convention, Comic-Con attracts creative people from movies, television, animation, gaming, and the toy industry.
For more information go to: Comic-Con
New Renee O'Connor movie begins filming in Las Vegas
Copyright © Las Vegas Review-Journal

SHOOTING STARS: NBC's `Las Vegas' pondering how much time to spend in Glitter City

Hello ... and goodbye again. (At least temporarily.)

Shooting Stars returns after two weeks on hiatus (showbiz-speak for "vacation"). Next week's column will be missing-in-action once again, due to an out-of-town assignment.

So this is it until July 7. Let's dig in -- and catch up on NBC's upcoming "Las Vegas," which launches production July 29.

Exactly how much time the series will spend in its title location, however, has yet to be determined, show creator Gary Scott Thompson noted during a visit to last week's CineVegas Film Festival.

NBC is considering four options, Thompson says. The first (and unlikeliest) involves shooting everything in "Las Vegas' " namesake. The second involves a 50-50 split between Glitter City and Hollywood. The third (also unlikely) calls for construction of a soundstage casino, where special-effects backdrops would create the Vegas atmosphere.

The likeliest prospect, however, involves periodic treks from Los Angeles to Las Vegas "to get the scope of what Vegas is," Thompson explains, much as "ER" and "NYPD Blue" do in Chicago and New York, respectively. (And "CSI" does occasionally here in Neon Nirvana.)

With eight-day shooting schedules for each hourlong episode, "you do either five, six or seven days" in the studio, Thompson explains, then "bank the extra days and wait until you have three episodes to shoot and then you come here."

Thompson anticipates that the series -- which stars James Caan as an ex-CIA agent who heads security for the fictional Montecito casino empire -- will begins its production schedule in Las Vegas.

Shifting from the future to the here and now, two independent features are filming today -- one on the Strip, one downtown.

The comedy "Diamonds and Guns," starring Renée O'Connor (alias "Xena: Warrior Princess' " longtime sidekick Gabrielle), begins a seven-day shoot at the Riviera, with locations ranging from the parking garage to the pool, the convention center rooftop to the casino, according to the Riviera's John Neeland.

Writer Dawn Higginbotham, who's also co-producing the project, describes the farce as " `Swingers' with girls" and " `Romeo and Juliet,' Vegas-style," centering on two friends (O'Connor and Helena Beaven) whose one last fling turns into a comedy of errors.

To that end, "we wanted to stick to the classy-style, old-school" Vegas look, according to Higginbotham, which explains why "Diamonds and Guns" wound up at the Riviera.

An even older-school Vegas casino, -- Las Vegas' oldest, Main Street's Golden Gate -- welcomes "@lien," which is scheduled to complete a two-day shoot today, according to producer Melissa Berry.

The quirky tale, from Haxan Films (home of "The Blair Witch Project"), deals with young lovers on a cross-country trek -- one of whom is using the odyssey as an excuse to rendezvous with an Internet romance known only as (you guessed it) "@lien." (Before arriving in Las Vegas, the production shot in Georgia, Louisiana, Texas and New Mexico; the movie's final destination is another place with a Golden Gate, San Francisco.)

Also downtown, the History Channel's "Hands on History" visits the future neon museum's boneyard as part of a segment devoted to the history of neon, according to associate producer Brandy Downing of Jupiter Entertainment.

In addition to the boneyard, the Young Electric Sign Co. -- better known as Yesco -- also will host "Hands on History" host Ron Hazleton and crew to demonstrate "how neon's developed and made," according to Downing.

Elsewhere on the documentary beat, "Big Rig" rolls into Las Vegas Thursday to continue production on a "portrait of America told through the eyes of truckers," explains producer Brad Blondheim.

In addition to capturing the action an international trucking show at the Las Vegas Convention Center, director Doug Pray (who's also directed the theatrical documentaries "Scratch" and "Hype") plans to film interviews with truckers at other locations around town.

Another documentary shooting this week focuses on longtime Las Vegan Dolores Fuller, onetime muse of cult director Ed Wood -- and a music industry veteran who wrote several songs for Elvis Presley. Shooting on the hour-long project began over the weekend at the Alexis Park, where Fuller signed autographs as part of the Starstruck in Las Vegas event. The documentary's Presley connection extends to producer Don Wilson, a former member of Presley's entourage who's made several Elvis-related projects.

Also on this week's location calendar: "Around the World in Eight Days," a Hungarian TV show with Tamas Frei, which begins a scheduled three-day shoot Saturday at downtown and Strip locations; Bellevue Entertainment's documentary "Las Vegas Live," scheduled to wrap production Thursday; and the Sci-Fi Channel's "Scare Tactics," which continues its hidden-camera antics for the next few months.

Finally, two British-related casting notes.

The BBC needs (more than) a few good men, fit and 40-plus, who have military fatigues, to work as extras for a computer fraud documentary shooting July 11 at Red Rock Canyon. It's a nonunion shoot and pays expenses only; if you're interested, e-mail information and pictures to the BBC's Liz Collier at

And Britain's ITV needs British families who vacation regularly in Las Vegas for a show about Brits who can't get enough of Glitter City. (British families featured on the show will receive free trips back to Vegas.) E-mail for more information.