Local Film Extra Takes Part in Hollywood Blockbuster

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By Mia Freneaux

    Central resident Shorty Haynes was chosen to play an extra in the locally filmed big budget movie "Battle: Los Angeles".  He recently shared his experiences in this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity with Central Speaks.  Haynes was cast to act the part of Marine in most of the major scenes filmed at Baton Rouge Airport Hangar Command Center, along with scenes at the State Capitol, St. Francisville and Florida Boulevard.  In these scenes, he was filmed saluting Aaron Eckhart, who played Staff Sergeant Nantz, and Ramon Rodriguez, who played 2nd Lt. William Martinez, running along side them, and jumping in and out of Sikorsky and Osprey military helicopters as they prepared to protect Los Angeles from "an insidious attack by the aliens."  The Osprey had never been used before in film. "I played a dead Marine in one night scene with my platoon at the Baton Rouge Airport.  Michelle Rodriguez, who played TSGT Elena Santos, checked our pulse to see if the alien attack had killed all of us, while in the background were shown downed and burning military helicopters.  A picture of this scene with me in it was published in "Sci-Fi" magazine in their April 2011 issue."  "Battle: Los Angeles" was also in the March 11 edition of "The Advocate", appearing in the fun section.  Haynes is shown standing with his platoon waiting to board military helicopters to battle the aliens. "We were fully dressed as real Marines, full gear, equipment, and the dirty, gritty look of real Marines in combat scenes, using everything from M-16's to grenade launchers to M-240 machine guns bipod-mounted on humvees for the invasion scenes.  All authentic military equipment, helicopters, and weaponry were used during filming, not to mention the presence of real life Marine instructors on the set, training us to act like real Marines.  I played a Master Gunnery Sergeant, which got me into a lot of the major scenes." 

    This is not the first major movie Shorty Haynes has appeared in.  He has also been filmed in "The Dukes of Hazzard", "Jonah Hex," and "Red" to name a few, and will appear next in "The Green Lantern", to be released in June.  "This was a real exciting, run and gun, down and dirty experience playing a real Marine in a supposedly real alien attach invasion movie," Haynes enthused.  "I loved every minute, every day of being with major actors in this big budget major motion picture filmed right here in Baton Rouge.  I met all of the major actors, who were real down to earth and extremely professional.  I got to eat with them on lunch breaks and consult with them on water breaks.  I became friends with them." 

    Haynes also had this to say about the film industry and Louisiana: "I encourage everyone in Louisiana to go and see this monumental, extremely well-directed movie which should put our state and city on the Hollywood map of places to visit and film, to come and experience the new Hollywood South!  Scenes of the State Capitol in the midst of an alien ground assault and an alien attack scene on a California beach were the last of the filming that ended up at the state of the art metroplex Celtic Media Centre right here on Airline Highway.  The more we support these films and the industry that comes here to create them, the better the chances Hollywood will keep knocking on our state's door for a friendly welcome, great Southern hospitality, and spectacular filming locations statewide.  Let's all do our part to support the film industry and if the box office has a great turn out we could all benefit in the future."

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