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"I'm here to shoot a pilot," director Mike Figgis is reported to have said to security screners at Los Angeles International Airport today -- meaning, in entertainment industry parlance, "I have returned to Los Angeles with my crew, so that we might produce a first episode of a television program made to test audience reaction with a view to the production of a series."
Scott Weinberg at Cinematical writes that Figgis was detained for 5 hours of questioning and related security theater bullshit.
Good thing the immigration officers didn't ask him about his body of work. Figgis' answer might have been "I recently made a huge bomb."DISCLAIMER: Odds are, this story is as bogus as the explosive potential of a carry-on bottle of water. I see no legit coverage with more than one source (Figgis himself) cited, nor do I see confirmation or any direct quote from Figgis himself. I'm blogging this from a small village in the Guatemalan highlands, with crappy satellite internet connection, so I'm not in a position to quickly chase down the details with LAX officials or Figgis -- but will gladly post followup when the connection's up again. Looks like AOL / Moviefone Entertainment News was the source. I've asked them and Cinematical for their reply.
Reader comment: Zan Hecht says,
I sincerely doubt the authenticity of the Mike Figgis story about being detained for saying he was there to "shoot a pilot." I've heard versions of this same story (involving several different directors and destination airports) floating around Hollywood since as early as late 2001. My guess is that Figgis spread this urban legend to the press in an attempt to gain publicity.In all fairness, Figgis is not directly quoted in the blog items circulating this story, so he may have had nothing to do with it, if it is truly a hoax.
Clark Perry says,
Just to chime in on Xeni's post re: Mike Figgis -- my personal experience causes me to doubt this.(posted on the road in central america / xeni)
A few months ago while passing through LAX, a TSA employee singled me out for screening. My carry-on bag was so stuffed with clothes that I barely got it zipped up. As he moved to unzip it, I grinned and said: "That thing's gonna explode." He looked up sharply for a moment and my heart froze. I thought I'd just screwed up big-time. Then he just returned my grin. He knew what I meant.