WATERVLIET ARSENAL, N.Y -- During my travels this month through the Arsenal, I stumbled upon TV cameras and a film crew in Building 35. As I wandered up to the film site, my heart began to pitter-patter as thoughts that Angelina Jolie might be in town came into my very visual mind.

As I quickened my step toward the action, I looked left and right for something that I may use for Angelina's autograph. Finding a notebook on one of the tables next to a 105mm barrel being prepared for machining, I tore off the page that had some foreign calculations on it and then proceeded to the film crew and more importantly, to Angelina.

I, and not so carefully, weaved my way through the tangle web of cables, sound systems, camera booms and...my hopes were quickly dashed. No Angelina. No Cecil B. DeMille (okay, some of you may need to watch the old movies on the Turner Broadcast Channel to know who that is but many of you won't).

Only John Hockenbury stood at the center of the action. For those who don't know Hockenbury he is the Director of Arsenal Operations. But for some reason, Hockenbury seemed to think that he was also a major film director that day.

I stood back and watched as Hockenbury directed the action waving his hand to the film crew to move a camera this way and that way; pointing to a cast of extras by the names of Bill Dingmon and Carl Pearson and telling them to smile more; and telling the film producer what should happen next. This all happened without Hockenbury spilling a drop of coffee from the cup in his non-directing hand.

As impressive as Hockenbury is, he is no Angelina.

Being the inquisitive Arsenal reporter that I am - okay, I'm just nosy - I asked Hockenbury what was going on. In the middle of his directing, John cocked his head on an angle, squinted his eyes, and then stared at me for what seemed like an eternity. I felt very uncomfortable because through Hockenbury's silence I gathered that I not only was wasting his time, but I was also interfering with his destiny. I could see it in his eyes...they sparkled "Hollywood."

Hockenbury curtly told me how the Arsenal Business & Technology Partnership had contracted with a local media company by the name of Media Stream to develop a series of marketing videos for the Arsenal. They were in the second day of shooting.

Make no mistake. Media Stream has a very active, hands-on producer by the name of John Heaney. But what Heaney didn't know prior to accepting the contract was the level of Hockenbury's inner drive to become famous.

When I figured out that I was a distraction to Hockenbury - okay, he told me I was - I decided to leave this site. As I began to move away from the camera action, I saw Arsenal Commander Col. Mark F. Migaleddi walk up. The commander took some direction from Hockenbury and within one minute, he became part of the filming. As the commander walked down the bay aisle, with cameras in tow, I could see it in his eyes...they sparkled "Oscar."

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16