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Keeping It Real
In order to keep audiences along for the ride with Jerry and Rachel in a world where an unknown entity seems to be able to control everything in their lives, the filmmakers stuck to a single mantra: keep it real. "There is a little bit of science fiction at the center of this movie,” explains co-producer Chiarelli, "and the way to sell that idea is to have everything around it be as real as possible. Whether it's the Pentagon hallway or Capitol Building, we worked really hard to re-create everything as accurately as possible.”

"We were very careful while developing the script to make sure that every event they experienced was somehow possible,” says Kurtzman. "If even one of them felt fake, the whole thing would fall apart.”

With audiences overly familiar with military and criminal investigation through news and procedural television shows, it was paramount to make those aspects as authentic as possible. To assure that the military met audience expectations, the filmmakers enlisted the help of the Pentagon. "It's very difficult to get the Department of Defense in cooperation,” says producer Ed McDonnell. "But they worked closely with us on the script. They were fully onboard with us on this movie, in order to give it a sense of genuineness and realness that you couldn't get without their help.” Everything from the semantics of speech, body posture and attitude were kept in check. "D.J. and Shia both relished having the advisers on set on a daily basis.”

Adds LaBeouf, "There was a guy there for everything – monitoring the mannerisms, the way you hold your gun, the way you speak to a certain officer.”

Rosario Dawson actually traveled to the Air Force's OSI headquarters in Washington, D.C. to learn what her real-life counterparts' lives were like. "We arranged for her to meet with them to learn about what they do,” explains Air Force technical advisor Vince Aragona. Dawson also spoke with a female agent similar to her own character at L.A. Air Force Base. "That person actually ended up as an extra in the movie,” appearing as Dawson's sidekick in some scenes. Other active duty military also appear in the film as extras. "When you get active duty people in here wearing uniform,” Aragona says, "they already know how to walk, how to carry themselves, how to wear the uniforms properly. They're active duty, they know what they're doing. Plus, they love doing it.”

Technical assistance for the criminal investigation side came in the form of adviser Tom Knowles, a recently retired 22-year veteran of the FBI. Among other tasks, Knowles worked with Thornton and Ethan Embry, and reviewed the script for authenticity. "They asked me to help, for example, on a ‘crime scene,' to help the actors with the kinds of things they should be focusing on, what evidence is critical and what is not – things of that sort,” he explains. In one crime scene, a body wearing a small earpiece is found, surrounded by footprints. "They were initially focusing on the footprints,” Knowles says. "Footprints are good as evidence. But microphones or anything that's manmade has a manufacturing code, information that can be traced back to the manufacturer or who it was sold to. That can lead you to a potential suspect.”

One of Knowles' own commendation plaques even ended up as set decoration on the walls of Agent Thomas Morgan's office. "He had the same first name as Morgan,” says Carr. "So if you're looking at it real quickly, it could have been Thomas Morgan's stuff.”

Knowles himself appears in one scene, doing one of the things he does best – driving like a cop. "You know, one of those high-paced stops that anyone in law enforcement's done a thousand times. I was just trying not to wreck their cars,” he says, adding, "I have had a reputation for wrecking a few government vehicles here and there in my ca

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