Ice-T autograph irks local cops on film location

HERE’S SOMETHING hot off the wires from the Associated Press:

In Wenatchee, Wash., where he’s shooting the New Line Cinema release “Surviving the Game,” Ice-T has raised the hackles of local law enforcement officials by autographing a fan’s baseball cap with a code for killing police.

The hubbub started Saturday, when a boy showed a local police office a baseball cap reportedly autographed by Ice-T with the phrase: “187 all pigs.” The number comes from the California Penal Code and means murder.

The rapper, who clashed with law enforcement over the song “Cop Killer,” was en route to Lake Wenatchee Wednesday and not immediately available for comment.

Fred Caruso, a producer for the movie, said Ice-T was “reprimanded by me, the studio (New Line) and the director, Ernest Dickerson. It was a stupid thing to do.” A New Line spokesman had no comment.

Earlier this month, some Chelan County, Wash., sheriff’s deputies refused to work off-duty security for the movie because of Ice-T’s presence.

“We protect a lot of people who are worse than Ice-T ever dreamed of being,” said Wenatchee Police chief Ken Badgley. “It doesn’t do a lot of good for the reputation of the movie producers, but they can’t control everybody on set either.”

ALSO IN the Evergreen State, Seattle’s “downtown adult entertainment emporium” the Lusty Lady loves to play with the names of current studio movies, and it has another hit marquee on its hands with this slogan: “We can free your willy.”

YOU’LL REMEMBER that two weeks ago we told you about the current wrangle over production of “The River Wild,” as the environmental group the Oregon Natural Resources Council questions the legality of the use of public Rogue River land for production of the Universal Pictures release.

Last week, the producers of the movie withdrew a request to use helicopters over Bureau of Land Management property, but negotiations over the use of crucial U.S. Forest Service land has proven to be a far more ticklish subject.

At issue are 20 days of production, scheduled for October, along the lower Rogue.

The Forest Service has already given the go-ahead to the production, but some environmentalists are appealing the decision on the grounds that the production violates the Wild and Scenic Rivers Act of 1968.

The shooting schedule for “The River Wild,” which stars Meryl Streep, calls for constructing camera platforms in the middle of the river and on the river banks, stairways leading up from the river bank, and a 200-foot walkway on one side of the river leading away from the river bank.

“The problem we have is that the Forest Service is allowing temporary violations of the law,” said Mark Hubbard, attorney for the Natural Resources Council.

“In our view, just because the use is temporary does not make it legal.”

Universal publicist Jeff Sakson said “productive discussions” are under way among Universal execs, including production executive Andy Given, movie location managers, representatives from environmental groups and U.S. Forestry officials.

A separate appeal against “The River Wild” has also been filed jointly by Wilderness Watch and the Rogue River Guides Assn.

The movie is currently in production in Montana.

It is scheduled to move to the upper Rogue River in Oregon around Sept. 9.

PHOTOGRAPHY STARTS Monday in Washington, D.C., and Bethesda, Md., on the low-budget “Eli’s Coming,” which marks the directorial debut of former Joan Rivers joke man Edward Sherman. The movie is about a young Jewish boy who gets cold feet on the eve of his bar mitzvah and runs away from home in quest of his identity.

HOW’S THIS FOR a lost and found? Former “Trip to Bountiful” executive producer Sam Grogg is facing a busy month as he takes over as the new dean of the school of filmmaking at the North Carolina School of the Arts.

Grogg segues to the fledgling film school after stints at FilmDallas Inc., which financed such pics as “Bountiful,””Da,””Patti Rocks” and “Spike of Bensonhurst,” and a partnership with special effects wizard John Dyksta at Magic Pictures Inc.

He’ll lead an ambitious effort by the school to build a film department.

Here’s a favorite quote from a profile on Grogg published in the Winston-Salem News & Record: “The film business is an antagonistic, chauvinistic , terrible industry, and it can drive you nuts. You think you have a slam-dunk, blockbuster hit with Bruce Willis and Danny Aiello, but then you end up with ‘Hudson Hawk.’ Being in the business took about 20 years off my life.”

CAYMAN ISLANDS officials are keying on “The Firm” as a promotional vehicle for one of its chief attractions — scuba diving.

They point out that Tom Cruise and Gene Hackman are scuba aficionados, and insisted on shooting the film’s underwater scenes themselves.

They also supplied the following Diving Equipment Manufacturers Assn. list of celebrity divers: Cruise, Hackman, Harrison Ford, Chuck Norris, Brooke Shields, and, of course, Lloyd Bridges.

THE ABC-TV MOVIE “Betrayed by Love” got a big-screen premiere in Lexington, Ky., late last month. The Mare Winningham-starrer received the bluegrass unspooling because portions were shot in the state and co-producer and consultant Rich Baker is from Lexington.

THE ASSOCIATED PRESS ran a major piece on George Lucas’ Skywalker Ranch, which included a variety of formulas used by Lucas to deliver sounds. Here are a few:

o The Wookie’s sighs of angst in “Star Wars” are a taped amalgam of animals in distress at the Marin Humane Society.

o The velociraptor’s cry in the opening scene of “Jurassic Park” is a dolphin , while the sounds used for the velociraptor when hunting the two children are tortoises mating.

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