If you think it's tough to remove spots from a sofa, think about taking them off a Dalmatian. The 102nd Dalmatian in 102 Dalmatians is an all-white puppy named Oddball. There aren't any all-white breeds resembling Dalmatians, so producers mulled over putting makeup on a real Dalmatian before dropping the idea. A body stocking didn't work either (the spots showed through). So the spots were removed digitally, frame by frame, in a process that took four months and 65-plus technicians. The result: spotless.
On location in New Zealand, the cast and crew of the action film Vertical Limit raised the art of fine dining to new heights—about 10,000 feet. The filmmakers, who liked frozen backdrops but not frozen food, hired a catering crew with experience preparing meals for expeditions on Mt. Everest to deliver four-star feasts to the set. Helicopters flew the caterers and heating units up to the site of the day's shoot to prepare gourmet meals of roast beef, quiche, Thai food—you name it. "We were so spoiled," co-star Izabella Scorupco says. "We ate so much. There wasn't much else to do."
On the Dec. 12 episode of the CBS military drama JAG, Lt. Col. Sarah MacKenzie (played by Catherine Bell) finally gives Lt. Cmdr. Mic Brumby (Trevor Goddard) her answer to the marriage proposal he made at the end of last season. Viewers won't be seeing the first take of that scene, though. When Bell walked in on Goddard as his character was putting on his Royal Australian Navy uniform, she was greeted by Goddard dropping trou to show off a black garter belt and white stockings. Bell cracked up and threw her character's engagement ring at him. Maybe they should change the name of the show to DRAG.
Alanis Morissette is still wrestling with some of the deepest mysteries of existence: God and men. One of our spies caught the feminist rocker shopping with a friend in the Bodhi Tree, a New Age bookstore in West Hollywood. Morissette bought several books, including one of Neale Donald Walsch's about relating to God and The Men They Will Become, a tome about "the nature and nurture of the male character." Why the latter? The singer told her companion, "So I'll gain some compassion for them."
Fast take: The 10 best episodes from the first five years of Friends will be out on video and DVD Dec. 19—after producers and the studio spent three years debating what to include. (I'm told the cast had no vote on the selections.)