The Hollywood Reporter. September 4-10, 2001
By Melissa J. Perenson
Real-life bluesuiters advise the 'Stargate SG-1' team.
What do Amanda Tapping and silent film star Clara Bow have in common? The sound military advice of the AFELO. Established in 1927, the U.S. Air Force Entertainment Liaison Office (AFELO) first imparted its authentic military touches on the Oscar-winning, Bow-starring, William Wellman movie "Wings." Eight decades later, the production team on "Stargate SG-1" requested the AFELO's guidance for its own futuristic Air Force team. "Every week when we open a new script, it's amazing to see what these Air Force people are doing," marvels Tom Giannazzo, U.S. Air Force master sergeant, who handles the "SG-1" crew on behalf of the AFELO.
The Air Force not only consults the writers about military protocol, it also reviews scripts and rough cuts of the episodes, looking for issues, contradictions and ways to make the series more rooted in military reality. "The scripts come in via E-mail," Giannazzo says. "We'll go over them; then we'll give [the writers] notes for things that are problems, such as relationships and language, to help make sure [the representation] is accurate."
Giannazzo also keeps an eye out for such minutiae as character hairstyles that have strayed outside regulation parameters. The AFELO has even facilitated production by contributing shots of Stargate Command headquarters, which are shown in the series each week (the shots are of the actual exterior of the Air Force's Cheyenne Mountain facility). "We got them a C-130 airplane for the episode 'Watergate,' where they supposedly parachuted into Siberia," Giannazzo says.
The level of cooperation between the "Stargate SG-1" production and the Air Force benefits the AFELO, too. "We've [put] the fictional characters to good use," Giannazzo says. "The cast all recorded public-service announcements that are used by the Air Force Recruiting Service."
The series - a hit with Air Force personnel - is shown on Armed Forces Radio Television Service in hundreds of countries overseas. Visit (www.airforcehollywood.af.mil) for information.
Perenson, Melissa J., "Flair Force." The Hollywood Reporter. September 4-10, 2001: p. S-11.