Boy walks on to Potter set
NAVARRE, Fla. — Joel Willoughby logged onto the Internet in February and answered five trivia questions. Now he’s headed for London to join Hagrid the giant and Albus Dumbledore in the next “Harry Potter” movie.
The 11-year-old won a walk-on role in “Harry Potter and the Chamber of Secrets” as the grand-prize winner of the “Owl Prowl” game.
It was created by Warner Home Video to celebrate the release of the first Potter film, “Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone,” on DVD and VHS.
“I was just trying to win a DVD,” Joel said Wednesday. “I had no idea I would actually win a trip.”
Joel and his mother, Teresa Willoughby, are flying to London for the filming June 24. Later, he and three family members will return for the movie’s premiere in November.
He doesn’t know what part he’ll play, but he’s hoping they’ll “sort him into a house.”
The Hogwarts School of Witchcraft and Wizardry, which Harry and his friends attend, has four houses, or dormitories. The Slytherin house, for example, is where bad students go. Ravenclaw students are intelligent.
Most of all, Joel is looking forward to seeing the “Harry Potter” set and meeting Daniel Radcliffe, who plays the title role.
Terrorists not allowed at the fair
FALCON HEIGHTS, Minn. — Fans who plan to catch Alicia Keys, Bonnie Raitt or Doc Severinsen at the Minnesota State Fair this year better leave their state fair goody bags in the car, or plan to spend extra time at the gate.
Extra security guards at the Grandstand will check purses and concertgoers loaded down with packages to make sure they have no terrorist intentions.
Art Blakey, chief of police for the State Fair, said security is tighter this year, after the Sept. 11 attacks and government warnings that Osama bin Laden’s al-Qaida network is regrouping and more attacks are likely.
“We want people to be safe. We want them to come and enjoy themselves. And we’re putting some things into practice that hopefully will keep everybody safe,” Blakey said.
Blakey also said fair officials are being careful in their planning. “We don’t want this to look like an armed camp,” he said.
The Minnesota State Fair, the nation’s second-largest behind Texas last year, runs Aug. 22-Sept. 2. More than 1.7 million people attended last year.
Baltimore film industry rebounds
BALTIMORE — “Head of State,” a comedy starring Chris Rock as a presidential candidate, will help boost the economic impact of film and television production in Maryland to a record $80 million this year, said Jack Gerbes, director of the state film commission.
Baltimore will double for Washington in the movie which will be the next feature film with its production based in Maryland, Gerbes said in an interview with Associated Press editors and reporters.
The effect of this production will mark a rebound from the previous fiscal year, when film production was stalled for several months because of the possibility of strikes by actors and screenwriters, Gerbes said.
The state took in just $34 million from film production in fiscal year 2001, compared with more than $75 million in each of the previous three years, according to data from the film office.
Production crews have become a common sight over the past few months on the streets of Baltimore. “The Wire,” a crime series from the co-creator of the long-running police drama “Homicide: Life on the Street,” debuted this month on HBO and is in production for its initial 13-episode run. Crews for “Red Dragon,” a prequel to “The Silence of the Lambs,” recently completed 13 days of filming in downtown Baltimore.