Aug. 22, 2014 SIGN IN | REGISTER

Heard on the Hill: Lights, Camera, Activists

Haven’t had enough of the political conventions? They’ll be coming someday to a theater near you. Actors attending the conventions gave HOH an update on the filming of the new documentary by Barry Levinson called “PoliWood,” which examines the nexus between Hollywood celebrities and politics. Levinson began rolling his cameras during the Democratic convention in Denver and continued in the Twin Cities.

And although Levinson is, in Hollywood parlance, “kind of a big deal,” it was actor Tim Daly who started the project — at least according to Daly. The actor and co-president of the Creative Coalition tells HOH that during a cross-country road trip with his 18-year-old daughter last summer, the father-daughter team started shooting footage in which they

asked “regular folks” what they would say if they could speak to the president and interviewed them about the Constitution and important policy issues.

Daly said once Academy Award-winning director Levinson, whose credits include “Rain Man” and “Good Morning, Vietnam,” signed on to direct the project, it moved the documentary into a “different echelon.” And Daly said the director collected plenty of interesting footage from both conventions, particularly during the Democratic gathering, where he caught celebrities interacting with both regular folks and high-powered politicians. “People seemed so full of ... well, I don’t want to sound gooey about it, but full of love,” he said of the convention in Denver.

Actor Tony Goldwyn, who is co-president of the Creative Coalition along with Daly, told HOH that Levinson filmed focus groups in each city to determine how regular people perceive activist celebrities. He was surprised to hear that most people’s initial reaction to celebrities’ activism was negative. “There was this sense that ‘you’re not me,’” Goldwyn said. “But as soon as you start to deal with people as people, they realize that you care, too.”

Start popping the popcorn.

Minne-Bye-Bye. Goodbye, goodbye. That’s one farewell for each of the Twin Cities. As HOH and plenty of other convention-goers head back to Washington — for many of us, following a two-week convention whirlwind — we thought it was only fitting to take a look back at the week’s highlights.

• Star of the Convention: Conventional (sorry) wisdom would give this one to vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin, but we’re giving it to little Piper Palin, the 7-year-old daughter of the Alaska governor who, for our money, stole the show during her mother’s Wednesday night speech. Waving to the crowds, smoothing baby brother Trig’s hair and grinning, Piper also stole a few hearts in the crowd.

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