'Innocence of Muslims' movie shot in L.A. County last year
The movie “Innocence of Muslims” was shot in Los Angeles County in August of 2011 under the working title of “Desert Warriors” according to records released Wednesday evening by FilmL.A. Inc.
The trailer for the film, which depicts the prophet Muhammad in a negative light, was posted on the internet, translated into Arabic, and blamed for sparking violent riots Tuesday in Egypt and Libya.
A crew member who worked on the film and asked not to be identified told The Times the cast and crew had no idea they were making an anti-Islamic screed and had been told the film was a war drama called “Desert Warriors." Dialogue in the trailer that makes specific attacks against Islam was re-recorded after the actors had left the set, he said.
“We were grossly misled about its intent and purpose,” he wrote in an email. He added: “We’re deeply saddened by the tragedies that have occurred.”
Late Wednesday, Paul Audley, the president of FilmL.A., which coordinates on location filming in the county, said in an email that his agency also had no idea what the project’s intent was.
“By law, the content of film projects need not be disclosed in order to apply for or receive a film permit from FilmL.A. Neither FilmL.A. nor its government partners had any foreknowledge of this project’s content, and the release of a film permit can in no way be construed as endorsement or approval of this film,” the statement said.
A source familiar with the production said the movie had one day of shooting at the Blue Cloud Movie Ranch in Santa Clarita. The ranch has a popular "Middle Eastern town" set that has been featured in several movies and television shows.
FilmL.A. referred requests for copies of the permit to Los Angeles County officials, saying the film had become a law enforcement issue. County officials could not be reached for comment.
-- Richard Verrier and Jessica Garrison