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SHOOTING STARS: Sheryl Crow gets ‘Private’ with A&E

  It’s tough keeping things private in Las Vegas, especially when you’re a celebrity. Which isn’t stopping A&E’s “Private Sessions” from focusing on musician Sheryl Crow this week — during the show’s very first road trip.
  “This is our first time venturing outside the studio” in New York, notes “Private Sessions’” senior producer, Nicholas van Hoogstraten.
  Six video cameras will capture Crow in action Friday night at Planet Hollywood; five songs will be featured in the Las Vegas episode. In addition, host Lynn Hoffman will interview Crow in a Planet Hollywood suite.
  Beyond the performance and interview, however, “Private Sessions” plans to explore Glitter City topics from free entertainment and fine dining to the “up-and-coming swimming pool culture,” van Hoogstraten explains.
  “It’s a little bit of everything,” he notes, citing planned shoots at such Strip fixtures as Wynn Las Vegas, Mandalay Bay and The Venetian, plus the Rio and downtown’s Fremont Street Experience.
  Las Vegas is “a very media-savvy town, and everyone’s been very helpful," according to the producer, who adds that Las Vegas is one of A&E’s “strongest markets in terms of viewership.” The cable channel’s made-in-Vegas episode is scheduled to debut Sept. 21.
  Campaign trail: All roads lead to Vegas. And that explains why one of Germany’s major broadcasters, RTL, begins a six-day visit Thursday for an hourlong documentary “about America and the American people during this historic election year,” explains the production’s Marika Gutmann.
  “Las Vegas was chosen for its iconic images and beautiful landscapes surrounding it,” she notes, “coupled with the recent economic stresses of the housing bust.”
  Accordingly, the Las Vegas shoot includes the Strip and some casino interiors, plus a wedding chapel, aerial shots of Hoover Dam and Lake Mead — and a foreclosure bus tour.
  The documentary, hosted by an RTL news anchor, will air in October, exploring “the zeitgeist of America in 2008” through politics, the economy, immigration, religion, entertainment, the environment and technology, Gutmann reports.
  Mini minimovie: Maintaining our election theme, an Internet minimovie promoting the Mini Cooper automobile, titled “Vote for Marty,” hits the campaign trail throughout Southern Nevada.
  The minimovie features a small-town setting — and takes the 15- to 20-member cast and crew to Overton, where Sugar’s, True Value Hardware and various local streets will share the spotlight. The production then returns to Las Vegas for shots of the Strip and downtown, plus a local residence and Smart Cars on Fremont Street.
  Election extra: The political references continue as the independent comedy “Running 4 President” keeps rolling this week and next. Writer-director Marko Sakren reports “amazing progress despite a few challenges” — including the shoot’s “ultra-low budget,” he notes. Accordingly, the production “has been extremely fortunate to have a very loyal and hard-working cast and crew.”
  And Sakren needs more extras to join the cast — particularly for a day shoot Saturday at Josette’s Bistro, 4983 W. Flamingo Road, and another daytime shoot Aug. 31 at a Hualapai Way strip mall. (More details on that one in next Monday’s installment of Shooting Stars.)
  If you’re interested in being an extra, e-mail casting@R4Pmovie.com — and check www.R4Pmovie.com for call times, directions to the location and other info.
  Musical notes: Jet at the Mirage hosts a music video featuring the reunited New Kids on the Block … in conjunction with Las Vegas’ own R& B hitmaker, Ne-Yo. (NKOTB will bring their reunion tour to Mandalay Bay in October.)
  Parting shots: If you have any info, comments or questions about Las Vegas’ location scene, feel free to e-mail them to your humble Shooting Stars correspondent at ccling@reviewjournal.com. We’re here all week! (And every week …)

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