Hollywood-style Sting Nabs Alleged Pirate Kingpin

Hollywood Steps Up Security to Keep Scripts Secret

“(He’s) one of the most important and infamous kingpin pirate leaders, responsible for the hijacking of dozens of commercial vessels from 2008 to 2013,” Delmulle said. Abdi Hassan whose nickname, Afweyne, means “Big Mouth” was charged with hijacking the Belgian dredger Pompei and kidnapping its nine-member crew in 2009, Delmulle said. The Pompei’s crew was released after 10 weeks in captivity when the ship’s owner paid a reported $3 million ransom. Belgium caught two pirates involved in the hijacking, convicted them and sentenced them to nine and 10 years in prison. But prosecutors still wanted the ringleaders. “Too often, these people remain beyond reach while they let others do the dirty work,” Delmulle told reporters. Malaysian authorities almost captured the reclusive Adbi Hassan in April 2012, but a document from the Somali transitional government let him slip back home, according to a U.N. report last year that called him “one of the most notorious and influential” leaders of a piracy ring that has netted millions in ransom. So Belgian authorities decided to go undercover to get him, because they knew he traveled very little and that an international arrest warrant would produce no results in unstable Somalia. They approached an accomplice known as Tiiceey, dangling a fake job as an adviser to a fake movie about piracy, Delmulle said. The two men took the bait. Tiiceey was also arrested Saturday. The prosecutor refused to divulge any more details of the sting. The two Somalis were to appear in court Tuesday in Brugge.

Now they stay awake imagining that an incomplete draft of a script will be posted online, reviewed by a fan blogger and trashed on Twitter, potentially souring audiences before a frame has been shot. As a result, even some of Hollywood’s most veteran hands are treated like they’re being shown state secrets when they read a 120-page story about superheroes, robots or Jedi Knights. “It’s like the NSA these days,” said Lynda Obst, a producer whose 30-year filmography includes “Flashdance,” “Sleepless in Seattle,” and “How to Lose a Guy in 10 Days.” Ms. Obst is a producer on Mr. Nolan’s “Interstellar” but declined to discuss the security procedures on that film, which recently began shooting. Mr. Nolan isn’t the only filmmaker whose scripts are guarded like nuclear launch codes. To read J.J. Abrams’s summer sequel “Star Trek Into Darkness,” cast members had to visit his Bad Robot Productions, housed in a brick building in Santa Monica, marked only by a sign that says “The National Typewriter Company.” Once buzzed in, they could read the sole physical copy of the script, printed on red paper, which is difficult to photocopyand, some complain, to read. “Security has just gone through the roof for every movie,” said Chase Michaels, chief financial officer of Los Angeles courier service 24/7 Delivers Inc. His company once delivered as many as 300 scripts a week on behalf of clients like Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal and Viacom Inc.’s Paramount Pictures. Now, said Mr. Michaels, it only handles about 20.

Leaving Hollywood To Break Into Hollywood: ‘Thula’

Nelson ( @noahjnelson ) It takes a lot for filmmakers to stand out in Los Angeles. After all, there’s a whole lot of talent and desire bubbling all over the basin. There are an infinite number of paths to making it. Any one could be a dead end. Every one could be the golden ticket. The only mistake is to not try the biggest, boldest thing you can think of. What the makers of ” Thula ,” a short film that is having its LA premiere this week thought of was to fly all the the way to South Africa to shoot a very personal-scale story. I recently sat down with the filmmaking team of Jahmela Biggs , Caitlin Talbot and James Bland to talk about how they pulled together an international shoot on the back of a crowdfunding campaign. We started with the choice to go to South Africa in the first place. “The decision to shoot there was made before we had the script,” said writer-actor Biggs. “Or the crew,” added her co-star Talbot. “Or the money,” tagged in director Bland . “Right, exactly, or the financing,” continued Biggs. “So we decided pretty early on we wanted to make that happen.