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THE SUM OF ALL FEARS

About The Production
Because accuracy and realism were vital to the telling of "The Sum of All Fears," the producers sought out military and government officials to advise them on the film. Among those most helpful to the production was Air Force Entertainment Liaison Chief Charles E. Davis, the Department of Defense project officer assigned to the film.

"We were delighted when asked by the production company to provide assistance," says Davis. "We worked closely with the producers and director to identify their needs and then offer our recommendations on how those needs could best be met. I can tell you this: "The Sum of All Fears" is probably one of the most technically correct movies released in a long time."

In addition to providing the production with a host of technical advisors, the Department of Defense also made it possible to film numerous aircraft including a wing of F- 16 and B-2 aircraft, as well as U.S. Army Blackhawk helicopters. For the scene in which the U.S. President is rescued by the Marines, the Department of Defense arranged for the production to film with three CH-53 helicopters manned by a team of Marines from the reserve unit in Willowgrove, Pennsylvania.

The look of the film also benefited from the art department's extensive access to the Pentagon, the White House and the National Airborne Command Center. To that end, the White House Situation Room, the White House Mess, the Pentagon Control Center and the Hotline room are all based very closely on the actual places of operation. In fact, the art crew, under supervision, was permitted to take photographs, make sketches and take notes that proved invaluable in recreating the physical details of the sets built and dressed on stage. In addition, the Department of Defense allowed the production to film the actual National Airborne Command Center plane taking off, flying and refueling.

"Having such support from the government and military added verisimilitude that could not otherwise have been achieved onscreen, says producer Neufeld. There is no substitute for the real thing."

To prepare for his role as a CIA analyst, Affleck spent time at CIA headquarters in Langley, Virginia. There, under the tutelage of Chase Brandon, a 25-year veteran of CIA field operations (who now serves as film liaison to the agency's Office of Public Affairs), Affleck was given a tour of the facility and the opportunity to spend time interviewing real Russian analysts.

"The initial request for assistance came from the senior production team," explains Brandon. "They wanted the director, the producers, some of the set decorators and costuming people to come and see CIA headquarters, to basically have a chance to see the terrain and what we look like, in order to make a realistic movie. We extended the offer to have some of the talent come because, having worked with moviemakers in the past, we know that the people who are portraying CIA officers invariably learn more about the role when they get to see, talk to and be around actual agency officers.

"One of the things, I think, that benefited Ben as he walked around the agency was to simply feel the atmosphere of the place," adds Brandon. "There's a very palpable sense of mission and importance to what goes on there, and I think Ben picked up on that simply by being in the building. But what, undoubtedly, helped him more than anything was to spend several hours with actual Russian analysts talking about the issues they deal with every day. He was able to engage in some analytical exercises, and I think that clearly enhanced his role as Jack Ryan."

Affleck says that he found his time at the CIA invaluable in preparing for his rol

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