SHOOTING STARS: Indie feature shows gritty side of Glitter City


Most made-in-Vegas movies concentrate on Neon Nirvana’s glitz and glamour.

But the independent drama “An Entire Body” — now going into its second week of production around town — shows Las Vegas from a different perspective.

It’s a perspective that includes apartments near the Boulevard Mall, a Rancho Drive discount mall, downtown’s venerable El Cortez casino and other locations.

The locations make sense for “An Entire Body’s” main character — Angela Jacobs (played by “Six Feet Under’s” Lauren Ambrose, pictured), a struggling single mother who’s pressured into giving up her 8-year-old daughter (Audrey P. Scott, who played the young Penny Chenery in “Secretariat”) in an under-the-table adoption.

Described as “an unflinching portrait of the daily trials and painful choices confronting America’s working poor,” the project from writer-director Bryan Wizemann — a 1991 Chaparral High School graduate — won third place in the 2007 Slamdance film festival’s feature screenplay competition.

As production supervisor Chris Ramirez puts it, “It’s a story about loss — and what’s not there.”

This week’s locations range from a carwash on East Charleston Boulevard to Faith Lutheran Elementary School to a desert area where “one of the dramatic ending scenes” is set, notes Ramirez, whose Las Vegas-based Lola Pictures is providing various production services, from locations to catering.

“It’s a big step for us,” says Ramirez, who’s “done locations for all kinds of projects” but welcomes a wider role in this production.

And while “a handful of key” production members are from out of town, locals make up the majority of the movie’s crew, Ramirez says.

Producer Michael Ryan (“Junebug,” “Choke”) hopes to premiere “An Entire Body” at next year’s Cannes film festival, Ramirez says. “We’ll be proud of this one.”

‘Pit’ crew: Animal Planet’s “Pit Boss” focuses on the pit bull-rescue and rehab efforts of performer-turned-talent-manager Shorty Rossi and colleagues Ashley Brooks, Sebastian Saraceno and Ronald Lee Clark.

They’re combining business with pleasure this week as “Pit Bull” hits town, shooting Monday through Wednesday at locations ranging from the Strip to a pet hotel.

The Vegas shoot will enable Rossi to revisit some old haunts with his pit bull Hercules, whom Shorty rescued in 2004; location footage is expected to air in February, during “Pit Boss’ ” second season, according to Animal Planet officials.

Time travel: A road trip and a time trip in one, the documentary “Legends of the West” plans a three-day shoot Monday through Wednesday at locations ranging from the Strip to the Grand Canyon.

A wedding-chapel visit also is planned for the “discovery-type” road movie “that will link yesterday’s legends ... to the American Dream today, in the West,” explains Guillaume Serina, chief executive officer and found of France USA Media, the movie’s production company.

“Legends” will be “the first documentary in 3-D that will be released in theaters in Europe” next year, notes Serina, who adds that producers also are looking for a U.S. distribution deal.

Quick hits: “Supernanny” herself, Jo Frost, pictured, is scheduled to be in town to film her ABC series at a Las Vegas residence. (Shooting Stars is scheduled to stop by the “Supernanny” set, so tune in to next week’s column for Frost’s comments.)

Elsewhere in the reality-TV realm, MTV’s “The Real World” continues its Hard Rock Hotel run, while Oxygen’s “Bachelorette Party” parties on at the Palms. But History’s “Pawn Stars” takes a Thanksgiving break.

That doesn’t mean that the “Pawn Stars” stars will be off camera this week, however. They’re scheduled to join Louie Anderson, Little Anthony and co-star Frank Vincent in a restaurant scene for the horror thriller “Resurrection: Wrath of Seduction,” reports Jeff Ross, the movie’s co-writer, director and supervising producer.