While radical followers of the Ayatollah Khomeini held other Americans hostage for over a year at the US Embassy in Teheran, CIA disguise expert Antonio Mendez facilitated the escape of six diplomats who had managed to seek refuge at the homes of Canadian Ambassador Ken Taylor and Canadian consular officer John Sheardown.
Mendez evaluated a number of possible cover situations. What was believable and possible? A movie production company scouting locations for a new film fit the needs. Creating scripts, Hollywood offices, and announcements in Hollywood Reporter and Variety, Mendez's production company appeared authentic. The "film crew" would include the six American diplomats.