My Photo

October 2010

Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
          1 2
3 4 5 6 7 8 9
10 11 12 13 14 15 16
17 18 19 20 21 22 23
24 25 26 27 28 29 30
Blog powered by Typepad

Photo Albums


December 01, 2006


crew member of hound dog

No one contacted me or anyone I know to ask any questions about what i witnessed.

Dakota was not nude, kids were not having sex, and no one was forced to be in the movie they were all there because they wanted to be acting in the movie.

But this was one of the worst working expereinces I have ever had on a film. The production company was extremely unprepared and unprofessional. Many of the crew hated being there.

And yes some of the scenes were downright perverted. Two guys I worked with, both fathers, walked off the set during the rape scene. It was brutal and very graphic. I heard many people complaining.

They will never find anything to file charges on, but if I was the law I would slap their asses in jail for not only putting us in tough jams but working those kids half to death.

I will never be proud to say I worked on this movie but I am curious about how it will all come together so I guess I will see it when it is released.


Dear Crew Member:

First of all, I'd like to thank you deeply for coming forth with your statement. As you may know, information on that film's making, especially credible first-hand accounts, have been rare to non-existant since the initial testimonies of late July. For those and the copies of the screenplay that were provided to Tre Benson, we no doubt have your two co-workers (among others)to thank. That information, some of which you have just now corroborated, is what has spurred so many of us into action these last four months.

It hasn't been an easy go! The virtual news blackout that has prevailed in the major media has worked in favor of ignorance and apathy. There have been many moments of utter frustration! You have just provided a ray of sunlight through the overcast. Thanks again!

I need to point out here that no one firmly believed that those children had actually been assaulted or molested. Not on camera, at least! I must admit, though, that I've harbored a few worries as to how well they were treated in all capacities. When you consider the very nature of that film, the use that was made of the children in it, coupled with the fact that they were surrounded and controlled by adults who had no apparent qualms about their being subjected to simulated sex on a fully-crewed soundstage... well, you see what I mean.

That scenario becomes even grimmer when you further realize that those children had already been led into a state of compliance. And now you say that they were overworked into the bargain! I'm not suggesting that any abuses, sexual or otherwise and beyond those mandated in that already depraved screenplay, actually took place. I'm just saying that the climate for it must have been there to a worrisome degree.

This illustrates why we refer to the "Hounddog" crimes (and they were!) as "sexual exploitation" and not "molestation". It also illuminates the reason why their "no nudity" claim, which you have confirmed, is still meaningless. Most people are unaware of the laws governing "Sexual Exploitation Of A Minor" of both North Carolina and the Federal Codes.

In fact, if a child is presented in any semblance of nudity or semi-nudity and in a sexual situation, it is a major felony. The law makes no distinction between nudity, real or portrayed, where kids are concerned! You'll find the entire legal itinerary listed elsewhere on this blogsite or at "" at the bottom of the page.

One last note on this. You are no doubt aware that "body socks" are still technical nudity. They were originally intended as psychological props for nervous adult actresses in sex scenes. I've never heard of them being used with children before. I certainly hope they never have! Please correct me here if I'm wrong. This is just one of the many small, but potentially telling background questions that remains unanswered to date.

And thanks once again, C.M. Come back again with some more professional and personal insight!


The bottom line is that the DA has investigated and found that NO federal or NC state laws were broken during the filming of this movie. I think the DA knows more about what is or isn't legal than any of you guys at Blue Line Radio.

Concerned citizen

Nice try?

So what you're saying here is that any investigation that comes to a similar conclusion as Ben David's or that ultimately disagrees with your point of view will be inconsequential and inaccurate?

Expect a similar report from Rex Gore's office soon - not that it will have any bearing whatsoever on your foregone conclusion that laws were broken in the making of this film.

Look - I have no attachment to this project whatsoever. From what I heard, it was terrible to work on, but that's not unusual for a low budget independent. You work long hours for less pay than you'd like - but it's work.

The problem I have with the attacks on Hound Dog is they're trying to impugn folks like you and me, crew member - people who work in the film industry to put food on our tables and pay the bills. They're accussing everyone from Screen Gems to Frank Capra to state legislators to crew members like you of being complicit in the commission of a crime, which is patently absurd.

They'd just as soon throw the incentives out the window for what they see as the transgressions of one infinitesimal minority of the productions that chose NC as a location, which means that instead of getting bigger budget films and improved working conditions, we'd be relegated to nothing but a series of Hound Dogs.

If you want to attack Hound Dog, narrow your focus and go after the real people who may have been involved in those transgressions - not the entire North Carolina film production crewbase and its hard working crew members, because if incentives go away, so does their chances of earning a livelihood and being with their families while doing so.


Dear Crew Member:

Nobody's trying to impugn you at all. Nothing could be further from the truth. Like you, many good people are appalled by the recent trends in the culture (and therefore in filmation) in regards to the use and depiction of and the marketing aimed at children. "Hounddog" exemplifies an accelerated trend toward their sexualization and the inherent dangers to them that this poses. Having seen it for yourself, you can appreciate this better than most.

This talk of incentives is a side-track issue and is all too typical of the narrow-focussed, amoral thinking of many union activists. There's nothing inherently wrong with incentives. If the citizens of North Carolina are for this, fine. As a Texan, it's none of my business! At issue is the content of some of the films that have been made under it's auspices. This is a question of ethics and common decency. Not money.

Yours is a highly technical and specialized calling. It's an honorable and established one as well. As with you, I'd like to keep it that way. If "Hounddog" succeeds, there will be others like it. Many more. If North Carolina is deemed a "friendly" environment by heartless, child-pandering filmmakers like "Full Moon Films", more will be made there. You will be called on for technical support.

With every statement made by those previous crewmen from the set, there runs a common theme and motivation. You alluded to it yourself.

"What if that had been my daughter?"

No decent man should have to make this terrible choice: The financial support of their beloved families on one side verses the moral and physical dangers to their children (and all others!) that their activity helps to pose. The decisions to make such films are not those of you and your co-workers. They are those of others; producers, directors, writers, agents and, sadly, the parents of child actors who give their approval. It is they who must be held accountable. So, too, must the governmental and legal officials who shirk an inconvenient duty and allow such depredations to continue and to flourish.

There are plenty of good themes that filmmakers can pursue without resorting to those bordering on, if not in fact, child pornography. However, if such films are cheap enough and vile enough, there will always be enough vile people to give them an audience.

Your profession should not be reduced to complicity in such endeavors. That is why your help and those of your fellows is needed. Nobody wants good, hard-working family men to have to make such compromises as a condition of their livelihood. No one wants you to jeopardize your jobs now. Nevertheless, films like "Hounddog" cannot be allowed to continue. I think we both see that. There are many anonymous venues of action you can take to make a difference. Your testimony here is one.

Wilmington is the film capital of the South. That's a good thing. It must not become the smut center of the nation as well. Screen Gems should encourage good quality of content in it's clients and thereby send a message of hope and value to the depravity-beleaguered families of this country. If enough people say so, then Mr. Capra (and Hollywood) will have to listen.

God bless.


Letter to Mr. Benjamin David
District Attorney,Prosecutorial District 5


Since the disturbing story about the motion picture "Hounddog" broke on July 20th, many of us who read the statements and screenplay and saw the danger to children that it represented, came to hope that legal redress would soon follow. As the weeks and months passed, that hope faded. This Friday, with a timing that curiously co-incided with the beginning of Dakota Fanning's publicity tour for her previous film ("Charlotte's Web") and the announcement of "Hounddog's" long-forstalled premiere at the Sundance Film Festival, you ended the last of those hopes.

I realize that asking you to take on this case in earnest was to ask a lot. Screen Gems Studios is a major contributor to the local economy and is, itself, a subsidiary of Columbia/TriStar; a prominent Hollywood concern. Powerful and influential interests such as that, plus the attendant legal resources they can draw upon, makes them a formidable opponent to a small city D.A. When you couple that with a case that might have developed into a bellweather social justice issue- and with it the inevitable attention of other legal and political entities- then you might have found yourelf in a very precarious position indeed.

Still; some of us hoped that somewhere, somehow... someone with authority would speak up and say, "This shall not stand."

You say that you have now interviewed the production staff, presumably that of "Full Moon Films". What did you expect them to say? Would they have willingly sent themselves to jail by, in essence, confessing to multiple major felonies under state and federal law? Did you think they would provide you with incriminating film outtakes or video assists? They've had months to re-edit the film, dispose of "excess" footage and get their story straight! Months... while nothing was done.

And what about the set technicians... like Crew Member who posted above? It was likely from some of them that the initial information came. Did you talk to any of them under conditions of anonymity? Their jobs are generally well-paying, but specialized. Therefore, they are vulnerable to industry blacklisting. Did you consider any of that?

And did you, by chance, interview any of the three children who were there? Yes, that means Dakota, too! How about the parents of Cody Hanford and Isabelle Fuhrman, the "other" child actors? Their children were identified as participants in some of the film's sex scenes; young Mr. Hanford in particular. What do those parents think about it now, in retrospect? How about those children? Are they sleeping well in the aftermath? Have you asked?

Mr. David; children cannot remain unaffected by sexual enactments inflicted upon their persons. This was done- and graphically so- in the process of filming. We both know this. I think we're also both aware that this film, if released in any form, will be an enabler and an inspiration for other child-pandering producers looking for a quick buck off the darker elements of society. "Hounddog", itself enabled by the corruption of the most loved child actress in the country, will prove to the film industry that all those lauded child protective laws of ours mean essentially nothing. Nothing, at least, in places where a "safe" authority holds sway. They realize what others of us have now learned to our sorrow: The law is only as binding as the willingness of legal authority to uphold it.

It was to you that we (and with us every decent family in America) looked to for that willingness. It was not forthcoming. And, because of it, children will suffer. Not just the three kids in that despicable movie, not just the eight thousand odd child actors out there whose career requirements will be "altered"; but all of them. Children will see this film to see their favorite little actress... and instead find something beyond their ability to comprehend. Perverts will likewise see the film... if only to see their darkest fantasies realized. And, with movie set conditions now largely unscrutinized, filmmakers will be able to do almost whatever they wish with their small, still innocent "assets". They'll need only a barely-legal film edit with a cinema-friendly and loosely-policed location to use as their base. Someplace like Wilmington.

Mr. David; is this the climate and reputation you want for your old, storied and once-honored city? Is Wilmington to become a capital of pedophilic hedonism and the starting point for the newest phase of Hollywood's ongoing sexualization of children? This is the spectre that your inaction has raised. Perhaps sir, if you have children whose lives and spiritual upbringing you cherish, you might look to them as a moral compass in this sorry and sordid affair. They're at risk, too... just as those three child actors are. For all their sakes, sir: Do Your Duty!

Concerned citizen


You really should attempt to get your facts straight before you start accusing people and corporate entities of collusion and slandering their integrity.

First of all, the Screen Gems you're talking about, the one related to Columbia Pictures, isn't the same company as the EUE/Screen Gems that owns the Wilmington studio. The one you're referring to is based out of Hollywood and produces primarily small budget features. The EUE/Screen Gems that owns the Wilmington studio is based out of New York and is primarily a commercial production company. They're completely unrelated. Completely. The "EUE" was added to the Wilmington facility in order to delineate that distinction.

Secondly, EUE/Screen Gems is merely a rental facility and had nothing whatsoever to do with the production of "Hound Dog" other than leasing them office space. They don't have any approval of script content or any say-so whatsoever in the manner in which a film is produced.

Blaming Screen Gems for the content of "Hound Dog" is like blaming the owners of a storage facility when it's discovered someone has been storing stolen goods there without their knowledge. It's a completely illegitimate accusation.

Finally, saying that Screen Gems has somehow put their corporate weight or financial support behind "Hound Dog" or has in any way pressured the local DA’s office to come to their current finding regarding “Hound Dog” is baseless and libelous. The success or failure of “Hound Dog” is inconsequential to Screen Gems, certainly to the degree that they would in anyway, explicitly or implicitly, put any pressure on local legal authorities to come to a certain legal finding related to the success or failure of that film.

Screen Gems in and of itself is not a major contributor to the local economy. They employ about 10 people locally - most of them being maintenance workers. It's the various films that are shot in Wilmington and the companies that bring them in that contribute to the local economy. Screen Gems profits from their presence here - most of which doesn't even stay in the local economy. They rent stage space and grip and lighting equipment and that money goes primarily to their corporate office in NY, not into the local economy.

I understand your concerns in regard to "Hound Dog", and they may be legitimate in some regard, but when you so thoroughly confuse the facts and point fingers at people and entities which are completely innocent of any wrongdoing or involvement, then attempt to impugn the objectivity of the local DA’s office, you completely undermine your argument and in the end do potentially more harm than you do good.

Good day.


Dear Concerned:

The diffeence between "Screen Gems" and "EUE-Screen Gems" is only a subtle one at best. Your statement that the studio is primarily a "rental facility" is essentially correct. I am fully aware of this and have never said otherwise. However, any facility or entity that provides such services also inherently bears a responsibility, moral if not legal, for the usage made of those services by a client.

Like most liberals, those vital terms- morality and responsibility- are to you ambiguous and relative. To others of us, they are not. We hold any concern, public or private, to basic standards of decency. Screen Gems may claim innocence as to the conception of that film project, but they cannot claim ignorance as to the events that occured on their property, using their facilities and personnel.

And don't try to tell me that Screen Gems is a minor player in state or local affairs. It's importance is notable if in nothing more than it's prominent references in all the websites I've seen pertaining to Wilmington commerce in general and theatrical entities (again, both public and private) for your state as a whole.

Screen Gems is an old, established name, especially in the areas of television and film shorts, and remains so to this day. That name carries weight. It is also tied to the film industry as a whole; an industry noted for it's influence (to say the least!) and it's willingness to pull together against any perceived common threat to it's power and profitability.

I'm sure that the local powers-that-be, right up to state level, are perfectly aware of this. In fact, the perpetuation of this state of affairs has become a well-established base of political self-interest. The recent moves from Raleigh on publically financed movie incentives and the conscienceless passage of the watered-down quasi-Jessica's Law only further illustrates this.

In short, it is you who are trying to confuse the facts. Not I

Au revoir.

Concerned citizen


Like I said, the Screen Gems to which you're referring and the studio in Wilmington are completely different coroprate entities. EUE Screen Gems in Wilmington is not a subsidiary of or any way currently tied to Columbia Tristar or Sony Pictures.

EUE Screen Gems in Wilmington is owned by George Cooney, who bought the assets of Screen Gems from Columbia Pictures many many years ago, but not the name, thus the addition of the "EUE", which means nothing, but denotes the distinction in the corporate identity.

Screen Gems may be an old and well-recognized name, but EUE Screen Gems is not. They are, as I said, essentially a commercial production company in New York and a soundstage and equipment rental facility in Wilmington. That is essentially the extent of their involvement in the film industry. Look 'em up if you don't believe me. And look up "EUE Screen Gems" specifically - not Screen Gems. You'll quickly see the difference.

To my knowledge, none of "Hound Dog" was filmed on the EUE Screen Gems studio lot, but rather at a large property in another county, so I'm not sure how they could be in any way held responsible for the actions of a production company filming 20+ miles away.

No Screen Gems personnel were employed by "Hound Dog" as Screen Gems doesn't employ film crew members (every production hires their own crews), and the only use of their facilities was to house the offices for the production. They may have also rented lighting and grip equipment to the show, but they were otherwise uninvolved.

Attempting to incriminate EUE Screen Gems for renting office space to "Hound Dog" is like trying to blame Smith and Wesson for armed robberies. That might be something you'd like to do, but I don't think you'd get very far with the case.

I'll let Ben David speak to your accusations of power-brokering and influence peddling. I'm not even sure he was a proponent of the film incentives, but as a District Attorney, he was in no position to offer a vote on the matter, so I'm not sure what impact you think his feelings on the matter might have had or how you think he might profit from a repationship with EUE Screen Gems or the film industry in general.

The incentives passed by a large margin in the NC House - 85-17 being the final vote in favor if I recall correctly, with support across the political spectrum, as state representatives recognized that the bill could potentially provide many jobs for one of the few lingering industries still trying to stay afloat in the state, now that our furniture production has moved to China and textile mills have shut down. As every state in the area (SC, Georgia, Louisiana in particular) have adopted similar measures, it's all the state could do to try and salvage the industry. And it was almost too little too late. And it wasn't passed so Hollywood smut peddlers could produce kiddie porn. It was passed to help keep our experienced NC crew base working at home rather than working in SC and La. and Ga.

And, for the record, I'm not a liberal. Not that it matters, but attempting to color me with that brush won't help your cause either.

Have a good one.


Movies are filmed in other parts of North Carolina:

Charlotte Regional Partnership:

Durham Film Commission:

North Carolina Film Commission:

Piedmont Triad Film Commission:

Western North Carolina Film Commission:

Wilmington Regional Film Commission:

These incentives help productions in EVERY part of North Carolina and not just Wilmington or EUE/Screen Gems.

Concerned citizen

Exactly Cynthia.

I almost went into that in my last post. Screen Gems is a very local concern indeed in the overall incentives scheme and the film industry as a whole. Local not to North Carolina but ever moreso to Wilmington. Their powers of influence are similarly limited.

Very good point.

Tre Benson

Spoke with Connie Jordan an Assistant DA in Wilmington. She was actually the one investigating the accusations against Hound Dog. She explained to me that the "uncut" version that she saw was indeed the edited but unfinished movie. She thought the movie to be an excellent portrayal of a victim of child sexual abuse. She did not see it as being pornographic. Her investigation had her in conversation with Dakota Fanning to insure that Miss Fanning was unharmed, Joy Fanning, the producers and Dakota's teacher/ welfare worker. After talking to each of them she was convinced that there was no child pornography created on set in the process of making this movie.

In the five months that passed since I first alerted her to this possible act of the sexual explotation of a minor ADA Jordan came to the conclusion after viewing the final version of the film that no one was harmed, no child porn was manufactored.

There was at least two scenes that I regard as sexually explict that were not in the final cut of the movie according to Ms. Jordan. I encouraged her to seek the video assist recordings which she was not aware of and she said if I can provide her with someone willing to go on record she would look into the situation but highly doubts any crime took place.

To Ms. Jordan's credit she is a champion defender of children who have suffered some of the most horrorable acts of abuse against children. Acts that most normal adults would never imagine possible. I do not doubt that she believes anything criminal took place, this is not a cover-up. What she saw was an edited version. And no matter who I pull out of the shadows to say what they saw and know, who will argue with Dakota when she says, "That's impossible, it never happened." And that's the bottom line.

Concerned citizen

Case closed.

Concerned citizen

So these recent findings don't rate the same kind of front page coverage that the original accusations of wrong-doing did?

Publicize the accusations and bury the acquittal.

Did you say you had a degree in yellow journalism?

Tre Benson

The story is still the same. Up next is Little Gurls Gone Wild videos, the door is wide open now.

Because of my big, fat mouth I'll never work in the business again, after a long successful 20 years packed full of experiences I just might start up a production company that has 10 year olds pull up their shirt and talk dirty to the camera. The DVD's would be partially financed by the lucrative film incentive program . Want in?

Concerned citizen

No thanks.

But nothing you've said here would keep you from getting a job in the film industry.


Dear Tre: I'm glad to know that Miss Jordan is an honest investigator. However, there are still too many troubling events to ignore... the statements, the script and the background and record of the producers. Additionally, we have Miss Jordan's acknowledgement that the films she saw (and when and where did she see them?) were edited. She did not see the raw footage. Nor did she talk with anyone who would have had anything but jail to gain if they confessed to participating in child pornographic scenes.

And then there's this: The basic and most far reaching point of contention here is the sexualization of children in popular culture. Even in it's new and revised form, "Hounddog" is certain to break new ground in that direction for future films. This film which, in the original script, revolved solely around the sexual escapades and traumas of a nine year old girl, can only be edited away so much from that theme without going extinct.

We may never know the true story now behind "Hounddog". Too much time was allowed by lawyerly footdraggers to the producers to legitimize things. Nor do I have any doubt that legal crimes were committed on that set and have been since covered up. What I do know is that "Hounddog" and all films like it represent a threat to children everywhere. There will be more like it... and the crime rate against children will rise as well. It always has.

Concerned citizen

You do realize that the events that occur on a film set are pretend - donn't you?

What's written in a script is an indication of the events that are to appear to happen to an audience - not necessarily what actually does happen in the process of making the film.

It's entirely possible to present the illusion of, for example, a graphic beheading, without harming anyone physically or emotionally.

It's also possible, in a professional atmosphere, to present the illusion of a graphic rape scene, with no sexual contact of any sort actually occurring. It's even possible to put an actor in the mindset of something as emotionally distressing as a rape or a death without it even having a sexual or violent context.

Anyway, despite your doubts to the contrary, it has been determined by folks much more qualified than yourself, and much closer to the situation than yourself, that no such "legal crimes" were committed.

I'd suggest that you look in your own state and in an area in which you may actually have some degree of expertise for a cause to champion next time.


Steve, I don't agree that the people who worked on the set have more to gain by covering up anything illegal than from telling the truth to investigators. I don't know about the film industry, but in the IT industry down here in SC, IT workers are required by law to report any suspected child pornography they may find on any computer.

Hounddog is nothing new in the area of child sexuality on film. If you look back through the movie industry, I think you'll see that the trend in movies is for *less* child sexuality depicted on screen, especially here in the USA. There were far more movies with child nude and sex-related scenes made back in the 70s to mid-80 than there were since 1985.

I think it's silly to think the crime rate against children has anything to do with what we see in movies. Has the crime rate against children gone down since 1985 when there was a decrease in child nudity/sexuality in movies? It seems like over the past few years we've heard more news stories about teachers having sex with students and people making/having child pornography than we did before 1985.


Dear Concerned Citizen:

Once again; the economic aspects of the film industry (or any industry) in North Carolina are not my concern and none of my business. As I have said, I have no involvement in the film incentive acts passed by your legislature, your labor/management relations, your political imbroglios, the job losses to China (!) or the price of tea there. I'm not here to comment on these material factors. I'm involved in a question of morality at it's most basic level... children.

Since you've began commenting, most of your focus has been on what's economically good for your state. How about what's morally good? Do you want to sacrifice the good name of one of the original states of the Union and allow it to become a haven for degenerate filmmakers? And for that proverbial extra "chicken in the pot"? A peoples' greatness comes from within. Material wealth flows from industriousness... and that originates with spiritual resolve. Would you gain the world at the loss of your soul?

Sorry if I seem to be sermonizing, but again, this is an issue who's prime focus is one of common decency.

Screen Gems hired out it's services to Full Moon Films. To exactly what degree and to what level of involvement I can't say. However, if they were involved to any degree at all, then the responsibility for what was done with their resources devolves upon them accordingly.

The analogy to Smith & Wesson is a patently false one. Once a gunmaker (toolmaker, carmaker, etc.) sells their certified product to a legitimate customer, their control and, thus, their responsibility for the proper use of that product ceases. Not so with a film studio.

Also; if as you say, the technicians involved on the set were not Screen Gems employees (which is as I had originally assumed) then this only makes my point ever stronger. If film crewmen, used to the standard depravity for which Full Moon Films was renown, could quit this set in disgust... what does that tell us? If men so hardened to graphic sex and violence enacted in their presence could balk at this, then it was plainly something on a level they had not yet experienced.

That their common thread seems to be "What if it was my daughter?" is revealing. Again; instinctive morality on it's most basic level. If adults wish to defame and prostitute themselves on film for a remittance, that's one thing... odious as it is. To do the same with children- little developing persons dependent on those adults for guidance and support- is an unspeakable outrage.

Either you've lost sight of this basic, fundamental truth or you're attempting to peripheralize it for political and/or economic concerns. Whatever. I haven't lost sight and won't. This issue is too important... and it's impact reaches far beyond the boundaries of North Carolina.


Dear Dave:

You miss the point. Those workers who are required to report pornography are not it's originators. They cannot be held liable for it's making, only for not reporting a crime that they witness. This was not the case here.

Once again; that films including child sexuality have been made before (though not on this heightened scale) is no excuse. It's only cause for additional shame.

Also; you're not looking at the big picture in regard to child sexualization. It's not just in movies that this occurs, Dave. It's in television, books, music, computer games, the internet, etc. It's the entire popular culture that's involved and infested.

That the focus is on films here is for a twofold reason; that this latest boundary-pushing effort WAS a feature film and that Hollywood lies at the center of the popular culture, giving it direction and inspiration. Often enough, these interests are co-joined.

Do you honestly think that this glut of porn and semi-porn in all these venues- a fact that people have wearily come to accept over the years- does not affect the impressionable minds of children? Do you think that these warped and darksome views of life don't register... and carry over into adulthood? They do... and do still.

The difference here is that now we're seeing children in direct participation AS children. What was once limited to horrendous third world back alley cinema and the dark, hidden corners of the internet is now making it's first tentative inroads into mainstream filmation. This is a matter of logical (though grossly immoral) progression. If there's money to be made and the legal constraints can be circumvented, there "entertainers" will go.

Make no mistake. The rise of crimes against and by children in this country are directly linked to the increasing levels of child sexualization in the culture and the rise of organized perversion as a cultural and political force.


Concerned Citizen wrote:
"You do realize that the events that occur on a film set are pretend - donn't you?

What's written in a script is an indication of the events that are to appear to happen to an audience - not necessarily what actually does happen in the process of making the film."

That seems to make Tre Benson's point. It doesn't matter that the cut or even entirely unedit film was not child pornography. What matters is what actually happened in the process of making the film. The director makes the point that Dakota was wearing a body suit and that the scene is shot as to not expose the bodies. I'm not sure what difference that makes. If the actor with Dakota is naked and grinding on her, then it doesn't matter what made it to film.

The director hasn't seemed to find it necessary to explain what the actor was wearing. We do know from a NY Times article on the controversy that there is a scene in which Dakota is filmed in a bed as a naked adult male actor climbs in bed next to her.

Does North Carolina not have any laws against a man flashing his penis to a child? If not, then that will probably be a boon for the Wilmington, NC economy. There's lots of perverts having to travel to Brazil and Thailand in order to get away with such things.

Steven Mark Pilling

True enough, Leland. These people are masters of the arts of understatement, diversion and bland, conscienceless denial. That these people are also not adverse to using children as they have ("Hounddog" being but the most recent, but groundbreaking example) but will use any means to defend it says it all about their characters.

And, as always, all the laws in the world are meaningless in the absence of dedicated legal authority. Had such existed in Wilmington in the summer of 2006, there would be a lot of people in jail by now... and few more deserving.


The director said Dakota filmed her part of the rape scene alone--no other actor was on the set. In other words she was NOT "groped, licked, pawed and humped by an actor take, after take, after take"

From USA Today:
The scene lasts less than a minute, and no simulation of a sex act is depicted on camera. The viewer sees flashes of Dakota's face, hand and foot as she falls, but the camera looks away as she begins to cry. No nudity is shown, though all involved in the movie agree it is a disturbing sequence.

Fanning, however, said the scene was not disturbing to shoot. She filmed the close-ups of her face alone, with the direction: Hold your breath, wait, now gasp.

How's it feel to be 100% wrong, geneos? All that time spent covering every internet blog and forum, propogating lies, rumors, innuendoes, and half truths, all a mistake on your part.

Dakota has a special message for YOU, Steve:

Some who bashed the film's concept "were attacking my family and me, and that's where it got too far," says Fanning, 12, jabbing her finger into a table at a restaurant. "Pretty much everybody who talked about it attacked my mother, which I did not appreciate. That was extremely uncalled for and hurtful."

How's it feel to be the evil one, Steve?

Tre Benson

I have heard from far too many people say what actually took place on set to believe someone with the self interest in protecting not only a multimillion dollar investment and a "promising" career as an independent, artsy fartsy filmmaker but also herself from a potentially costly legal defense. The scene was graphic and included physical contact between Lewellen and Wooden Boy.

As for Miss Fanning's being upset because of the nation's outrage over her mother's approval of a script that places her daughter in several sexually explicit scenes is just one more indication that the girl is still a little child. Attacking the mother is one of the first things that comes with the acceptance of such a controversial role.

The true evil in this is the demon that drove the writer/director to exploit children in the manner that she chose to do, not those that reject her attempts at force feeding us a taste of her own festering mental illness.


OK Tre and Mark pat yourselves on the back. Change is a coming:

Berger said the film should not receive state incentives regardless of whether it is an "art" film that, as some see it, tackles a difficult subject with sensitivity.

"One of the best ways to think about this is to ask yourself, 'Do you think it is right for the taxpayers of North Carolina to subsidize the depiction of child rape?' " said Berger, a Republican whose district includes part of Guilford County. "I think most would say no."

The law should not provide public money for any project that raises questions about the exploitation of a minor, he said.

But Sam Froelich of High Point, a co-executive producer of "Hounddog," said it is unfair for Berger and others to condemn a movie that they have not seen. The film handles its explosive topic with great care and tact, he said.

"There is no titillation," Froelich said. "Things are implied. There is absolutely no nudity."

Berger said his proposal also would require projects seeking incentives to apply before shooting in the state and to submit scripts to state officials as part of that review.

Unlike Georgia and South Carolina, North Carolina's law requires no advance application or preproduction review. Instead, the decision is made by the state Department of Revenue after filming.

Steven Mark Pilling

Dear Deffie:

Can you possibly be as big a fool as you make yourself out to be? Can't you, after so many postings between us, grasp a simple concept? Just one?

1. "The director said...": The writer/director was made a liar of by her own script, her own crewmen and her own prior reputation. Additionally, she had absolutely no incentive to be candid. You're being stupid, Deffie.

2. "The scene lasts less than a minute.": And from USA Today, yet!! We ALREADY knew that, Deffie, and long ago. Where have you been? And we also knew that they had repeatedly re-edited and reworked it, the final time being on the weekend prior to Sundance. And they had to! Either that, or excise it completely. They had a natural aversion to jail! That was stupid, too, Deffie.

3. "Dakota said...": What difference could that possibly make? Dakota has been isolated, indoctrinated and inculcated in whatever her handlers want her to think. Do you believe that she's seen any of these comments directly, much less in context? Does she freely mix with those of her age anymore? Is she allowed to speak for herself outside a tightly controlled environment? Can't you look into her often vacant eyes and see a child whose spirit is being blotted out?... who is being turned into a soulless puppet by the very adults who should have loved her more than life itself? Good God, girl! That goes beyond stupidity on your part!

And you're abetting it, Deffie. You're contributing to the process by defending it. And what's really tragic is that now, for all their evil machinations, those adults have failed utterly in their purpose. Sundance turned out to be an unmitigated disaster. Virtually every watcher hated it. Almost every reviewer panned it. No distributor would touch it. And now, the story of this film and what it portends is on the major media... the very last thing the "Hounddog" crew wanted. Disaster.

My only regret is Dakota. First they desecrated her on set. Then they denegrated her on film. Then they defamed her before the press. And now, in the wake of their failure, they have dragged her down with them into infamy.

And you have abetted them, Deffie. Right down the line, you have. Now, how does it feel to be complicit in evil of this nature and magnitude... and to be 100% stupid?

Steven Mark Pilling


What I just said to Deffie goes for you, too. You're either being devious or downright stupid. Mr. Berger doesn't have to see the film. Nor do any of us. The screenplay, the witnesses and the filmographies of the perpetrators is reason enough. And the film does not reflect all of what went into it's making- the prime consideration.

How many times must I remind you of this? All Froelich is doing is what you're doing... being devious! Of course, he has a immediate reason to do so. His financial status- and possibly his personal liberty- may be in peril.

P.S. For what it's worth, many people now HAVE seen the movie. And they don't like it, Me. Not one bit.


Steve you are the one that is stupid. Connie Jordan called the Blue Line show this weekend and talked to Tre and Marc live on the air. You were wrong about almost everything. The producers complied the film into movie form in Sept 2006. They contacted the New Hanover DA office the following month to ASK them to view the film and interview crew members and actors to PROVE to people like you that NOTHING ILLEGAL occurred during the filming of the movie. In early NOVEMBER just over three months after filming completed they interview CREW MEMBERS, the camera man, sound tech, PEOPLE WHO WERE ACTUALLY ON THE SET, the actors, parents, and producers and determined that NO LAWS WERE VIOLATED during the filming of the movie. What part of that don't you understand??? The law in regards to sexual exploitation of minors does not apply to motion pictures because the viewer is not lead to believe it's a real sex act by a real minor. The sheriff of Brunswick county contacted the DA Rex Gore who also interviewed PEOPLE WHO WERE ON THE SET not people the Bensens claimed were present and he also determined that no laws were broken.
In the interview with Connie she also mentioned that the Bensens have never disclosed who the people are that they claimed gave them this information and asked how she was expected to take legal action when they would not tell her who these people are and that these people have never come forward to file a complaint (as required by law). The movie reflects EXACTLY what happened on the set because that is what is in the final product. At no time was anyone nude on the set during the filming of the movie. At no time was Dakota humped, croped, and pawed by Christoph Sanders. At no time were any minors forced to act out masturbation scenes. IT DIDN'T HAPPEN.

The reviews of the movie were mixed and everyone said it wasn't sexual or exploitive. Some people didn't like the movie simply because the storyline was bland and had no point to the movie. Some people like the movie because of the acting and cinematography was excellent.

EVERY law enforcement official that investigated found that NO LAWS WERE BROKEN. That's the bottom line. They spoke to the people who were actually there not some unknown people unwilling to come forward to back up their claims. The Bensens still refuse to tell who these people are. All that you managed to do was promote the movie and make people want to see it. It will get distributed later in the year after all the controversy dies down.

Tre Benson

The District Attorney's office was notified the end of June and again in July. On July the 24th we received an email thanking us for alerting them to the matter and that they have it under investigation.


The week before Thanksgiving is when Ms. Jordan said she viewed the movie and spoke with everyone.

One would have to consult with a criminal defense attorney to know what the actually penalty would be for a crime such as the felony charge associated with Sexual Exploitation of a Child to understand what sort of concerted effort it might take to clear themselves of such a potential charge.

ADA Jordan never asked me to name my sources prior to her making her determination that there was not crime that took place. She never called and asked me anything.

Because of my respect for Ms. Jordan and her office I am not going to contradict anything she has said. ADA Jordan is a champion advocate for children who have been seriously abused. Her experience dealing with these issues far and away out shines anything I have done in my life.

The movie is different from the script, scene 39 has been removed, reports of simulated sex acts did not appear on screen and the production company ended up paying or committing to pay their debts that they owed to local people. The Incentive Bill is up for review and people all over the world are talking about how children should be handled on film. Questions need answers and those questions have made their way to the top of the stack for now.

The Blue Line Radio is smiling, we didn't do so bad for a couple of foolish big mouths.

BTW the show is on the website. Go to

Steven Mark Pilling

Dear "Me": Tre just answered all the relevant points. Your continued inability to distinguish between filmation and final film is puzzling, to say the least. Every defender of the film seems to suffer from this same amazing blind spot. It's almost Orwellian.


"Your continued inability to distinguish between filmation and final film is puzzling"

Because I'm completely dumbfounded!! I can not believe that the director forced two minor kids to remove their clothes, stand on a set or field as you claim, actually fondle each other in full view full of an entire film crew made up of ADULTS and not one of them realized that filming minors kids fully nude in a sexual act would be ILLEGAL. Tre said earlier that they didn't realized that this was illegal. HOW could a rational adult person witness two kids being filmed fully nude in front on an entire crew acting out a sex scene NOT KNOW that it was illegal. You don't have to be a legal expert, cop or lawyer to know that this would be illegal. I'm sure every person now knows that they are required by law to report this. They are also aware that they do not have to give their name. They can call an 800 number or use a pay phone. They would be immune from prosecution. To this day not one person has come forward saying that they witnessed this, why???

Tre Benson

Here's the thing, at least one citizen that I am aware of contacted authorities about the supposed sexual exploitation of minors involved in the production of the movie Hounddog. That person is me. I made inquiries in June and then in July made my formal complaint.

I was never contacted.

In November a copy of the movie was provided to the District Attorney and was reviewed in office and determined to have no illegal pornographic content. In a telephone interview the Assistant District Attorney spoke with the defenders against the complaint who convinced the ADA that their participation in the making of this film did so within the law. The ADA also said she spoke with a couple of people who live in Wilmington, of course there is no transcript to examine the questions and answers given during these interviews. But those "Wilmingtonians", I assume, collaborated the explanations given by the defenders of the complaint.

Almost 5 months later.

I seriously doubt it was my contacting the DA's office that launched an inquiry. I/you/me have no idea who contacted the DA, various bloggers and people emailing me claim that they made a complaint. The ADA herself said she had 10 phone calls a day. Perhaps someone other than me/I/you make a complaint. Even one or two or three of the witnesses, anonymously. Do you know they didn't?


"Even one or two or three of the witnesses, anonymously. Do you know they didn't?"

Connie Jordan: "We have absolutely no evidence that a crime has occurred, no evidence that a crime has occurred, I don't know how anyone expects us to go forward, I certainly understand that people were upset over the fact that this movie was filmed, ...., that's more of an issue of morality, it's not an issue of whether or not a crime was committed, we have absolutely no no evidence that any of that occurred, and from everything everyone said on the set it didn't, I know you said that you had people who were very upset and who had things to add but you would not tell me who those people were, .... you were not willing to come forward to tell me who those people were, without that I'm not sure how we are suppose to go forward, ...., we have determined that no crime has been committed in the fifth district, absolutely it hasn't, Rex Gore has determined, ..., where he has issued a statement and I agree with his determination that this is not child pornography under our sexual exploitation statues, ......., and I completely disagree with you, I completely disagree, we spoke with local people who live and work here and have children here who were on that set at the time when this was filmed, ..., people who had Wilmington phone numbers, ...., if I had any indication from anyone that I spoke with that a crime had been committed we would have gone on further, there was nothing else to look at in my opinion, ...., we had to have touching, everything everyone said, ..... absolutely not, nothing happened, ....., I spoke with these people at all different times, they were not saying the same thing, none of that"

Are you saying Connie Jordan lied and is covering up information that proves your claims?

Steven Mark Pilling

Look "Me", you're going to have to break out of your Hollywood-induced bubble. You're also going to have to come to terms with the concept of intellectual honesty.

Here's one concept for you: Nothing is illegal until one is caught. Another: While truth is an absolute, sanity is not. Yet another: A law is only as good as the willingness of legal authority to uphold it. And still another: The process of filming and the product of editing to not equate. And, finally, the old Limbaugh Maxim (ironically, the guiding principle of the Hollywood elite): Follow the money.

Get those through your pointy little head and we may, at least, find some ground for rational and honest discussion.

By the way, no one I know of has disparaged the character of Connie Jordan. I have little doubt that she was sent out on that fool's errand precisely because her good name would lend an air of legitimacy to it... much in the way that Dakota was cast in the film to lend her's! As Tre has pointed out, the filmmakers were granted months to edit out and destroy anything incriminating. Nor did any of the people she spoke to have anything to gain by being forthcoming. Her mission was doomed from the start.

I expressed much those same concerns in my August 3rd letter to Attorney General Roy Cooper. I intend to publish that letter (along with my January 23rd message to Robin Wright Penn) on my website, time permitting.

The comments to this entry are closed.