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VH1 show returns with Heart, Ozzy, Genesis

Is it live or is it Memorex? It’s actually both, as the "VH1 Rock Honors" returns to the Mandalay Bay Events Center for the second consecutive year.

Although Saturday night’s show will be taped for telecast May 24, "we try to run it like a live show," explains Lee Rolontz, VH1’s senior vice president for original music production.

As such, "everyone stresses out a lot more," she says. "It has to be perfect."

Honorees Genesis, Heart, Ozzy Osbourne and ZZ Top each will perform three songs (two for telecast, the third for VH1’s online VSpot). Keane, Gretchen Wilson and Alice in Chains, Queens of the Stone Age and Nickelback honor their respective inspirations with one song each.

To accommodate the performances, "we’re building a giant rock set," Rolontz notes, complete with "a giant turntable" to keep things running smoothly.

Back on track: One of Southern Nevada’s most popular locations, Valley of Fire State Park, is ready for its close-up once more.

Staffing shortages prompted state officials to close the park to location shoots this year.

"At the beginning, we turned down … quite a few requests," reports the park’s Julie Tanner. "In the last month or so," however, "everybody just quit calling."

Valley of Fire’s on-screen history includes countless car commercials and numerous big-screen hits, from 1965’s Burt Lancaster-Lee Marvin Western "The Professionals" to 1994’s "Star Trek: Generations," says Nevada Film Office chief Charles Geocaris.

"Everyone seems to use it," he says. And when the film office "found out they had no one there" to staff shoots, Geocaris’ office "volunteered our personnel" to assist visiting productions.

Tax brackets: Everything you ever needed to know about federal tax incentives will be explored Wednesday at a free seminar sponsored by the Nevada Film Office.

Hal "Corky" Kessler, industry attorney and executive producer, will explain how the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004 can benefit filmmakers and investors at 10 a.m. Wednesday at the Clark County Library, 1401 E. Flamingo Road. For more information, call the film office at 486-2711.

Speaking of tax incentives, the Nevada Senate Finance Committee currently is reviewing Nevada Senate Bill 321, which would establish incentives to help lure film and TV productions to the Silver State.

The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Bob Coffin, D-Las Vegas, doesn’t expect the bill to come up for a vote before the current legislative session’s scheduled conclusion, June 4.

So there’s still time to weigh in on the bill; you can find e-mail links to legislators online at http://www.vegasbackground.com. (Click on "Casting Calls.")

Carol Cling’s Shooting Stars column appears Mondays. Contact her at 383-0272 or e-mail her at ccling@reviewjournal.com.

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