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James Baker



Katie Higgins



John Rusnak


Sonjia Kells


Ciara Pickering, Sam Rockwell, Liz Weickum WEBMASTER

Jon Hines


Audra Higgins



Lois Sanborn

Stuntman Adrian Hein (Deadpool, Captain America, Jack Reacher 2) performs a stunt at the newly opened Da Kine Action Design Studio on Hawaii Island. Photo by Josh Harmsworth

7 Production Rolls Through 35 Preview: Big Island Film Hawaii in 2015 with Festival Unprecedented Support from Government Agencies 37 Locally Filmed Water Girl Chosen for Big Island 11 Kong: Skull Island: Oahu Film Festival Selected to Host a “Legendary” Tale 39 Green Lake Screens at BIFF 17 Kauai 2015 Creative Industries Film Highlights 21 Maui Film Update

41 Big Island Documentary Premieres at HIFF Spring Showcase

27 New Hawaii Island Film  3J½GI0EYRGLIH

42 Hawaii Women in Filmmaking: Advocates for Female Filmmakers

31 Cutting Edge Stunt Studio Comes to Hawaii Island

46 A Taste Test With Sweet Marie’s


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Shooting in beautiful Makua “Tunnels” Beach for the Hawaii Tourism Japan 2016 ad campaign. Photo by Angela Tillson


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BY DONNE DAWSON State Film Commissioner, Hawaii Film Office


his past year proved to be a great one for production in Hawaii. With $244 million in direct expenditures for the state, which translates to more than 2,300 jobs and $427 million in economic activity once those dollars pump through our economy, we saw more than 300 productions filming throughout the Hawaiian Islands. More than 100 of these productions filmed on the Neighbor Islands. These included commercials, documentaries, TV specials, music videos, feature films, travelogues, still shoots, sporting events and episodic television. And as if the production figures were not impressive enough, this year showed our state, county and federal agencies stepping up to an unprecedented level to enable these projects to get their work done in the Islands.

Hawaii Chef Ed Kenney, host of Family Ingredients in a Hanalei Lo‘i. ©2016 Rock Salt Media Inc. Photo by Renea Veneri Stewart. • ISSUE ONE 2016


Take Hawaii Five-0 for instance. With their sixth season of production just completed and a seventh season on the way, the challenges for this fast-moving, demanding show are relentless. But our ability to support them day in and day out and to secure cooperation from our government agencies has undoubtedly contributed to Five-0’s longevity in Hawaii. A great example of this cooperation came last August when the Department of Transportation (DOT) Highways Division allowed Hawaii Five-0 to film on the Kaneohe-bound direction

create their movie magic. Jones stated that the support production received from the film offices and government agencies was unprecedented in his career filming all over the world. Starting with DOT-Airports’ willingness to allow extensive use of Kalaeloa Airport and DOT-Harbors’ extraordinary efforts to allow harbors property to support filming. And of course the City & County and Honolulu Film Office for its assistance in turning Chinatown into a 1970s Saigon street scene. There are other success stories for 2015. Producers of the much-anticipated Disney animated feature Moana, scheduled for release November 23, showcased some impressive clips from the film and introduced the world to Auli‘i Cravalho, the 14-year-old Hawaiian girl from Kamehameha Schools who has the title role and will star alongside Dwayne Johnson. Also in the animated realm, Disney/Pixar produced the sweet musical short LAVA, featuring the amazing voices of local Hawaiian artists Kuana Kahele Torres and Maui Kumu Hula Napua Greig Nakasone, which has shown around the world at festivals and opening for the Oscar-winning animated feature Inside Out. Hawaii also welcomed another Fox feature, Mike & Dave Need Wedding Dates, directed by Jake Szymanski and starring Adam DeVine, Anna Kendrick and Zac Efron, which is set for release July 8. From left: Mike (Adam DeVine), Tatiana (Aubrey Plaza), Alice (Anna Kendrick) and Dave And two locally produced projects that have been (Zac Efron) celebrate at a wild wedding. Credit: Gemma LaMana.TM & © 2016 Twentieth getting a lot of attention are Rock Salt Media’s Family Century Fox Film Corporation. All rights reserved. Ingredients, hosted by Hawaii Chef Ed Kenney. Directed by of H-3 and agreed to shut down the Interstate freeway for a day. Ty Sanga and produced by Heather Giugni, Renea Stewart and Dan It was a big deal that took an incredible amount of coordination Nakasone, Family Ingredients is the first Hawaii series to be picked by DOT-Highways officials and a tremendous amount of patience up by PBS national. It will air on June 22. The other local project from the public. But all went relatively well considering the logistishot last year and creating lots of buzz is Ho‘omau: A Story of Percal challenge a shutdown of a major freeway presents. For Five-0’s severance, a local independent film directed by Kenji Doughty that part, they did all the necessary advance planning and notification got some critical help from the Hawaii Film Office for permission and worked extra hard to get their filming sequences done by 2:30pm so as not to impact afternoon rush hour traffic. The state also assisted Five-0 with a couple of stunts at Honolulu Harbor involving a truck driving off a pier into the harbor and a shipping container being “dropped” into the waters. These two stunts in 2015 followed another successful stunt from Season 3, where Five-0 drove a car into Honolulu Harbor after a high-speed chase through Honolulu, all in an attempt to re-create the famous “Hookman” episode from the original series. All three of these stunts required extensive coordination and support of several key state agencies, namely the DOT-Harbors, Department of Health, and Department of Land and Natural Resources (DLNR) Division of Aquatic Resources. Not to mention the City & County for its support of the city street scenes to simulate the chase. The state was lucky to host Legendary’s Titan Productions (Kong: Hawaii Five-0 just wrapped its sixth season and is heading into its seventh Skull Island) here for more than six months. We’ll have to wait season of production in Hawaii. Photo courtesy of CBS. another year, March 10, 2017, for the film’s release, but it promises to be worth it as Hawaii will figure prominently alongside Vietnam to film a key scene at Makua Cave on the Waianae Coast. and Australia, among others. This was not the first time Legendary All of these successes contribute greatly to Hawaii’s film-friendly has filmed in Hawaii. They were here shooting Godzilla and Jurassic reputation and demonstrate the enormous success of the state’s World and had successful experiences both times. But with Kong, film industry. They are just a few examples of our daily efforts to Legendary was particularly pleased with how supportive the state support productions filming in the Islands. As the state and county and county were. Veteran locations manager Ilt Jones sent letters film offices continue these efforts, we look forward to even greater to all of the state and county agencies who had stepped up to help success stories in 2016 and the years to come. HFV 8 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO

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Oahu Selected to Host a “Legendary” Tale

Kong: Skull Island filmed all over the island of Oahu, including (from top to bottom) Kualoa Ranch, Dillingham Ranch, and Kaaawa Valley.

BY WALEA CONSTANTINAU Honolulu Film Commissioner All photos ©Honolulu Film Office/WConstantinau


he location inquiries started in November of 2014 by veteran location manager Ilt Jones. An unnamed project was interested in jungles. It sounded innocuous enough… Little did we know at that time that Kong: Skull Island, one of the most significant projects to come to the state in a decade, would choose to do the majority of their filming on Oahu. • ISSUE ONE 2016


“Before I arrived I canvassed the opinion of colleagues who had shot there before,” said Ilt Jones, who was honored in 2014 with the Outstanding Achievement by a Location Professional Award by the Location Managers Guild for his work on Iron Man 3. “One of them said wryly, ‘You’ll scout all over the world but mark my words, for lots of reasons, you will end up in Hawaii.’ He was spot on. Nowhere else combined virtues of aesthetic beauty, logistical ease, crew base, and film office support as well as Hawaii.” Kong also filmed at Judd Trail on Oahu. Kong: Skull Island, Kong By the Numbers: which will be released 1st unit production days: 42 worldwide in 2017 by 2nd unit production days: 22 Warner Bros. Pictures Hotel room nights: 12,000 and Legendary Pictures, Full time local hires: 200 reimagines the origin of Part time local hires: 1,000 the iconic King of the Local businesses used: 100 + Apes in a compelling, original adventure from director Jordan Vogt-Roberts (Kings of Summer). In the film, a diverse team of explorers is brought together to venture deep into an uncharted island in the Pacific—as beautiful as it is treacherous—unaware that they’re crossing into


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the domain of the mythic Kong. To fully immerse audiences in the mysterious Skull Island, Vogt-Roberts and his cast and filmmaking team filmed across three continents over six months, capturing its primordial landscapes on Oahu between October and December 2015, and on Australia’s Gold Coast and in Vietnam after a short hiatus over the Christmas holiday season. “Oahu just blew me away,” said Jones, when asked if he was surprised by the diversity of different looks on the island and around the state. “It’s amazing how much diversity is crammed into so few islands—the sheer magnitude of the mountains, cliffs, valleys… wild, rugged scenery abounds statewide. One of the biggest surprises was how amazing Oahu is. I seriously fell in love with the island and its people, who were so kind, fun and interesting.” The project, which was executive produced by Eric McLeod and Alex Garcia and produced by Thomas Tull, Jon Jashni and Mary Parent, proved to be an economic powerhouse for Hawaii. But despite all its virtues, Hawaii would not have been a contender were it not for its stable production tax credit. The cost of production weighs heavily in the deliberations of where a project ultimately decides to shoot. “It’s a very competitive global landscape,” said McLeod on a scout in the summer of 2015, “and without the production tax credit, the numbers financially would not allow us to consider Hawaii as a location.” Pre-production started three months before principal photography so that massive sets, befitting the film’s title character, could be built. Cameras began to roll in October 2015 and continued through December with two units. The 1st unit shot for 42 days • ISSUE ONE 2016



Film In Honolulu

on your Hawaii Spend



and a sizable 2nd unit shot for 22 days. During that time, over 200 full-time local crewmembers and more than 1,000 local part-time hires, including background extras and day players, were employed by the project. Over 12,000 room nights were booked at various hotels and over 100 local vendors were used throughout the shoot. At one point the production had over 170 pieces of rolling stock across all of its locations around the island. “We had a sizable number of new people get a chance to work on a major film project, which helped to grow further our skilled crew base,” said Henry Fordham, business representative for IATSE mixed Local 665. “This project is significant to us because we were able to show that we could handle more than one large production at a time because Kong: Skull Island filmed in the middle of Hawaii Five-0’s 6th season. Now we have even more crew to offer to incoming productions.” One of the challenges with a large production is being aware of how to work within environmental concerns. But, according to Jones, this is one of the things Hawaii does so well. “Hawaii manages expectations and environmental concerns very intelligently,” said Jones. “Hawaii is such a precious and understandably treasured ecosystem. Sometimes Hollywood’s requests and the local environmental concerns are incongruent, but we found both the State and Honolulu film offices worked diligently and ingeniously to affect mutually agreeable solutions.” What advice would Ilt Jones give to fellow location managers after this experience in Hawaii? “My enthusiastic advice is to go straight to the film offices, both the Honolulu and the State… I have worked all over the world, and these offices rank among the very best in terms of provision of location choice, information, as

well as permit and logistical guidance.” Concerning the locations, Jones said, “Every single, and I literally mean, every location was a delight to work with. For example, John Morgan and his team at Kualoa Ranch were a joy, Mike Navares at Kalaeloa Airport could not have been kinder or more cooperative, and the rest unfailingly did their homeland proud.” “I had a magical time there,” said Jones. “I met many folks who will be friends for life. I very much enjoyed working in Hawaii and really loved learning about the islands, and their marvelous tradiLocation manager Ilt Jones on location at Kualoa Ranch.

tions during my time off. Hawaii has rocketed to the top group of my favorite places on the face of the Earth, and remember, I have traveled a great deal!” On behalf of the Hawaii production community, we would like to thank the entire production team. We welcome you back anytime with open arms and with much aloha. Kong: Skull Island will be released worldwide in 2D, 3D in select theaters, and IMAX beginning March 10, 2017, from Warner Bros. Pictures, a Warner Bros. Entertainment Company. HFV

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An HTJ & Magic Island Productions shoot for Japan.

Kauai 2015

Creative Industries Film Highlights BY RANDY FRANCISCO Creative Industries (Film) Specialist, County of Kauai Photos by Angela Tillson


n 2015 there were 28 projects produced on Kauai which included 10 television shows/series, 5 commercials/ print ads, 3 music videos, 8 documentaries and 2 travel productions. These projects only reflect County of Kauai approved Film Permit applications and don’t include the State of Hawaii and private sector locations used throughout the year. The economic impact to the county included 194 film days (53 percent of 365 days), $1,378,500 total production revenue, and 77 Kauai hires out of a total production crew of 193.

Half of the television shows/series included HGTV’s Hawaii Life highlighting Kauai real estate opportunities. The total permits approved for both the County of Kauai and

State of Hawaii were $3,107,429. Using the State’s Multiplier Effect of 1.75 percent, the total economic multiplier was: State Multiplier = $1,728,929 x 1.75% = $30,256.25 = $1,759,185.25. • ISSUE ONE 2016


A drone shoot on Kauai for Matador & Max Seigal Photography.

The total projects according to category were: Television Shows/Series, Episodic/Special Commercials/Print Ads, Still Photography Music/Video, Travel/Indus./Video tour Documentaries, Docu./Edu./News Travel Production Total Projects:

14 7 12 14 2 49

(28.5%) (14%) (25%) (28.5%) (4%) (100%)

The county’s website was recently updated in time for this year’s AFCI Annual Locations & Global Finance Show in April where again we will join our state and county film commission counterparts. We invite everyone to visit us at the State of Hawaii booth. Thanks to our private sector partners, Courtyard Marriott Kauai at Coconut Beach and Grove Farm Co.,

Inc. where many movies and projects were shot, the County of Kauai is pleased to welcome them to this year’s show in support of film-related productions on the Garden Island. As part of their joint participation, a grand prize drawing of a one-week stay at the Courtyard will be awarded to the lucky prize drawing winner simply by stopping by the booth and dropping off a business card while visiting with the exhibit hosts. Towards the end of the first quarter of 2016, we’re pleased to announce nearly 20 projects slated for the winter and spring quarters, including a movie scheduled for production during the latter part of the spring. Feel free to visit us at the State of Hawaii and Kauai exhibit booths and visit us at where we also updated our Production Directory and Kauai Film Permit Application Form. HFV

Locations/Production Management Production Coordinator Features • Commercials • T.V. Music Videos

Casting*Kauai Angela Tillson PO Box 1405 Kapaa, HI 96746-7405 (808)823-0105 Phone • (808)635-3710 Cell E-mail: 18 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO

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KAUA’I PRODUCTIONS MANAGEMENT • COORDINATION • LOCATIONS • SERVICING ALL THE ISLANDS Feature Films • TV • Commercials • Fashion • Print Ads. & Editorials • Apple - Ad Campaign

• MTV - 10 Episodes TV Series

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• H&M Apparel - Ad Campaign

• Claritin - TV Commercials

• National Geographic Television

• Adidas Sportswear - TV Commercials/Catalog, Oahu

• America’s Most Wanted

• Billabong Girls - Fashion Shoot

• Good Morning America - TV Series

• Chico’s - Women’s Fashion Print Ads/Catalog

• Jeep Commercial - Call of Duty • Subway Sandwiches - Multiple TV Commercials

• Glenfiddich Scotch Whiskey Ad Campaign

• Nike - Multiple Ad Campaigns/ TV Commercials

• NBC Universal/The Weather Channel - TV Documentary Series

• Quiksilver & Roxy - Kauai and Oahu

• Soul Surfer - Feature Film

• Condé Nast Publications - Kauai & Oahu

• Jockey, International - Print Ads • Maurices Women’s Fashion Commercials/Catalog

• History Channel - TV Documentary • Billabong - Ad Campaign/Catalog/Videos • Thule Sweden - Print Ads/Catalog

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Maui Film Update BY TRACY BENNETT Maui County Film Commissioner Photos courtesy of Maui County Film Office


nother busy year has come and gone in Maui County, with over 20 commercial shoots, a feature film, TV pilot, popular reality series and numerous still photo shoots.

Continued growth of our crew base remains the main focus internally, as the Maui County Film Office and Local 665 will offer training courses for potential IATSE members in a variety of positions. Our local production companies continue to thrive with the influx of work. Among those shooting in Maui County were feature film The Inquisitor, released April 16, which shot at a multitude of locations using local crew and actors. Surf Break Hotel, written and directed by local Maui talent Stefan Schaefer, is a TV pilot most recently shot around the Paia area, through Schaefer winning Global Virtual Studio’s Transmedia Accelerator program based out of the Big Island. Schaefer also has a TV series idea purchased by The Weinstein Company, a story set in 1800s Lahaina Town entitled Thy Kingdom Come, which hopes to shoot in late 2016. MTV’s most popular reality series Are You the One? shot season four in Haiku and other popular Maui locations. Gearing up for production in May is popular zombie sequel Dead Season 2, and a couple major feature film producers have scouted • ISSUE ONE 2016


the island recently. Formerly known as Maui Film Studios, the Maui Lanibased studio is now managed by industry leader in stages and equipment, Cinelease, and has changed its name to Pan Pacific Studios. Maui County has a talented crew base, with several IATSE members and SAG actors, the most current and updated equipment available, transportation vehicles, and low group rates at participating hotel partners. With support from Mayor Alan Arakawa, we look forward to a busy 2016 and onward. HFV Visit for more. Photo by Harry Donenfeld


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OVER 30 YEARS OF PRODUCTION in Hawaii • Serving all iSlandS • Hawaii’s Newest Grip & Lighting Packages • 3-Ton, 5-Ton, 10-Ton & Van Packages • Mobile/Live Video Production • Expendables & Supplies • HMIS • Incandescents • LED’s • Kino Flo • Light Kits • Chimeras • Generators • Distribution • Fog • Fans • Props & Effects • Location Scouting & Management • Production Coordinator/Management • Permits & Exclusive Locations • Marine & aerial Coordinators


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OVER 30 YEARS OF PRODUCTION in Hawaii • Serving all iSlandS • Hawaii’s Newest Grip & Lighting Packages • 3-Ton, 5-Ton, 10-Ton & Van Packages • Mobile/Live Video Production • Expendables & Supplies • HMIS • Incandescents • LED’s • Kino Flo • Light Kits • Chimeras • Generators • Distribution • Fog • Fans • Props & Effects • Location Scouting & Management • Production Coordinator/Management • Permits & Exclusive Locations • Marine & aerial Coordinators


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New Hawaii Island Film Office Launched BY DONN MENDE Deputy Director of Research & Development, County of Hawaii


he County of Hawaii, under the leadership of Mayor Billy Kenoi and the Department of Research and Development, has recently reinvigorated the island’s film office. This includes new branding, website, strategy and syllabus for the office and (soon to be announced) new Film Commissioner.

industry professionals. The industry professionals from the mainland, Europe, Oahu and Hawaii Island represented multiple lifetimes of experience, relationships and resources. The sessions on the state of our industry was led by State Film Commissioner Donne Dawson and Creative Industries Director Georja Skinner, followed by workshop discussions which were led by the guest consultants in the areas of maximizing incentives, building industry infrastructure, growing on-island content creators and attracting visiting productions to the island. The three-day event was bookended with a Hawaiian welcome protocol and an island tour showcasing the diverse “looks” of Hawaii Island that could double for so many places around the world. From this time a defined strategy emerged on how to get Hawaii Island on the map. Warner Bros. Event As part of the marketing strategy to attract projects, the County of Hawaii partnered with the State’s Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism

Bob Strachan and Ken Ott of Metacake present regarding Film Office retooling.

A New Brand Formerly known as the Big Island Film Office, the newly branded Hawaii Island Film Office (HIFO) has gone through several months of retooling. The new theme for HIFO is “Storytelling Reimagined” with a focus on the diverse landscapes, 25-percent tax incentives, quality of life and growing infrastructure.

Mayor’s Task Force The retooling process started in August of last year with the “Mayor’s Task Force: WhiteBoard Event” with the goal to create a syllabus of recommendations for the County. This three-day event, held at Honua Studios in Kona, included County and State representatives and an impressive roster of local, national and international • ISSUE ONE 2016


(DBEDT) through its attached agency, the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation (HSDC), in an event that was held at Warner Bros., Honolulu and Kona. The launch party was held to debut the new private fiber and giga-hubs now located in both Honolulu and Kona that link Hawaii now to more than 430 studios across three continents. “This new fiber connection is a major development in technology linking Hawaii to the global film and creative media industry…” said Gov. David Ige in an October press release. “This will help grow our local film and TV industry and potentially make Hawaii a hub for production and post production.” With this new technology, filmmakers will now be able to A launch party was held at Warner Bros. to debut the new private fiber and giga-hubs now located in both Honolulu and Kona.

Some of the industry professionals, including: Steve McEveety (Braveheart), Jeff Zacha (Disney Post Production), Steve Rundell (Technicolor), and Mayor Billy Kenoi.


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transfer and simultaneously edit raw High Definition (HD) dailies from Kona to producers and studios around the world with efficiency and security. New Website has gone live! This dynamic and robust web site includes location showcase videos and 360-degree images of film-friendly properties, which will provide an immersive experience and mobile tools to assist in the exploration of the island of Hawaii. A new database that features on-island professionals, equipment, facilities and related infrastructure has also been launched. If you are a professional or vendor on Hawaii Island and haven’t registered your info on the new site, be sure to! New Film Commissioner Hawaii Island Film Office will soon have a new Commissioner at the helm. As of the writing of this article, the announcement has not yet been made, but we are excited to welcome this new member of the ‘ohana to continue bringing productions to Hawaii Island. Thanks to the leadership of Mayor Billy Kenoi and our hardworking colleagues at the Department of Research & Development, as well as the hard work of our partners in this reinvigoration, the Hawaii Island Film Office is off to a fresh start. We look forward to welcoming you to Hawaii Island soon! HFV • ISSUE ONE 2016


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HAWAII ISLAND Reference art for the mural. Designed by: Randy Dahl



hings are changing on Hawaii Island and the infrastructure is dramatically shifting to cater to the film industry in new ways. One of the latest additions to the island is Dakine Action Design Studio, the brainchild of professional stuntman and new Hawaii Island resident, Adrian Hein.

Adrian Hein. Photo courtesy of IMDb

HOLLYWOOD’S TOP STUNTMAN Who is Adrian Hein? You have probably seen him many times before, but would never know it. He fought in 300: Rise of an Empire, doubled for Captain America, and even “Bagheera” in Disney’s upcoming Jungle Book. With over 50 film credits under his belt, Hein is one of Hollywood’s top stunt professionals. On any given day, Hein may receive a phone call, and is on a plane from the Kona airport to shoot on some of the largest productions in the world. Recently he was called to set for the next Jack Reacher film where he went face to face with Tom Cruise in a gun battle. Adrian Hein is a badass when it comes to the stunt world, and now he is playing a key part in the changing film landscape of Hawaii Island.

Randy Dahl (left) and Adrian Hein (right) discuss reference art for the mural.

Adrian Hein demonstrates a movie stunt during a preview in front of a live audience. Photo by Josh Harmsworth

TOP-OF-THE-LINE STUDIO IN HAWAII Hein lives with his family in a quiet neighborhood deep in the heart of Hawaii Island’s famed “Kona Coffee Belt.” Every day he commutes along the winding Mamalahoa Highway and down into the Kaloko Industrial Area just below Costco. At the farthest corner in an unassuming warehouse lies Honua Studios and Dakine Action Design Studio. Dakine is currently finishing up final construction and artwork. When it is completed, this will be a truly unique, one-of-a-kind facility. “This is the next step in my professional career,” says Hein. The “Action Design Studio” is a fairly • ISSUE ONE 2016


new concept. It is a gym that is designed specifically for training talent/ cast and rehearsing stunts for film and TV production. You will only find a couple of these facilities in L.A. and they do not yet exist in Vancouver. Traditionally, a production will have to rent out an empty warehouse and ship in equipment. Hein’s facility eliminates the logistics and finances needed for such an endeavor, creating an incentive for productions. This is especially appealing to smaller budget productions. Hein is filling the gym with brand new state-of-the-art equipment.

In addition to the trusses and wires that create movie magic, Hein’s inventory includes world class mats and pads, brand new weight equipment, a dance floor for fitness and dance, a world class Max Air trampoline, a massive air bag for free falls and much more. Dakine is taking the Action Design Studio concept one step further by adding an aesthetic approach. According to Hein, this is where “Action meets Art,” a concept that is birthed from the four values of Dakine: Inspire, Equip, Create and Reflect. “Beauty inspires,” says Hein. The four walls of Dakine feature a fully immersive mural by world class artist and Hawaii Island resident, Randy Dahl. When you step into the studio, you are immediately transported to the tropical backdrop of Waimanu Valley with waves crashing against the rocks around you. BUILDING UP THE COMMUNITY Dakine Action Design Studio is a stunning facility that lends itself to a multitude of purposes beyond training for stunts and 32 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO

movies. Many of its features will be available to the community. It will feature the only indoor climbing wall on the island, space for parkour and free running, acrobatics and tricking, mixed martial arts (MMA), and even Ninja Warrior training. Climbers, dancers, gymnasts, ninja warriors, and those just looking to stay in shape will all have a place at the Dakine facility. Whether patrons are looking for basic personal training, or to practice free-falls into an airbag, Dakine has everything to facilitate both traditional and extreme workouts. Hein’s real excitement comes from a parallel vision, Hawaii Action Academy, a program to train talent for the film industry. “We all have our own Kuleana when it comes to investing into the community,” says Hein. “I want to make sure that Hawaii Action Academy seeks first and foremost to serve the community and help individuals go after their dreams.” Ultimately this is something that will deeply impact both the community and the industry in the long-term. “This is about raising up the next generation. Teaching set etiquette through ‘on-set like’ experience while we are training and building a roster of talent,” says Hein. When agencies call looking for somebody, Hein hopes to put his proteges to work in the film industry. Hein’s goal is to take the inspiration that comes from the environment and equip talent by training them with the skills necessary to be successful in their craft. Hein is quick to point out that knowing martial arts or how to fall is only part of being a stunt person: “You need to know how to interact with the camera.” Dakine will give students access to cameras and large TV screens so they can immediately review how their work is portrayed on screen. Reflection is a significant part of Hein’s curriculum. He wants people to rest and take time to review their work in order to better hone their skills. PART OF A LARGER VISION Dakine Action Design Studio is a resident company of Honua Studios, a coalition of content creators, state-of-the-art facilities and cutting edge technology. Honua Studios is also the home of the GVS Accelerator Program, a public-private initiative between GVS, the Hawaii Strategic Development Corporation, the County of Hawaii and the GTA Development Fund that empowers Ha-

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waii-based creative entrepreneurs to launch original entertainment franchises for wide commercial audiences. Hein is a part of a larger vision to enhance the resources available to produc-

Adrian Hein in 300.

tions on Hawaii Island. Here you will find 11 of the 13 climate zones, the real estate is less expensive than Oahu, and the 25-percent neighbor island tax credit is available for above-the-line, post production, and VFX. Last year, Hawaii Island connected to private fiber through GVS Connect, providing ultrafast connectivity for productions utilizing SOHO Net’s vast studio network. Hein plans on utilizing this connectivity to provide live high definition auditions for studios off island using talent he has trained in his gym. Dakine Action Design Studio is a world class facility that is on the cutting edge of the industry. Studios and productions from around the world will be hard pressed to find an equivalent elsewhere. As the film industry expands beyond Los Angeles and into places like Atlanta and New Zealand, Hawaii Island is being positioned to be the next destination film hub. Adrian Hein is a pioneer and a significant part of the first wave of professionals and facilities making their way toward and putting a flag in the ground on Hawaii Island. HFV The Dakine facility is currently finishing construction and plans to open Spring 2016. Visit for more. • ISSUE ONE 2016



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Preview: Big Island Film Festival May 26-30, 2016 Photo courtesy of Big Island Film Festival


acked with film screenings, parties, workshops and more, the 11th annual Big Island Film Festival at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, has something for everyone.

Also known as The Talk Story Film Festival for its specific focus on narrative films, this year’s festival features 58 total films, 7 of which were produced in Hawaii and 3 of which were made right here on Hawaii Island. Screenings will be held at the Fairmont Orchid and The Shops at Mauna Lani, where filmgoers are invited to kick back, relax and enjoy quality indie films amidst Hawaii’s tropical setting. Some of this year’s Hawaii-shot films include: • God is a Dog, Producer/Director/Writer: Diq Diamond God is a Dog is a story about the love and connectedness between a man and a dog. This short explores the questions, ‘how will you spend your last day’, and ‘just who is the master’? • Green Lake, Producer/Director: Derek Frey Industry hasn’t destroyed all of the sacred spaces in the world. In Hawaii pockets of magic still exist. And so do those that protect them. (Read more on page 39.) • Popolo, Producer: Quantae Love, Edo Natasha, Valerie Joseph, Bianca Tubolino, Tyler J. Bishoff, Kristen Lal, Director: Edo Natasha No matter how fast you run, you always catch up to yourself. • Throuple, Producer: Paul Valdes Jr., Director: Phillips Payson A conflicted young couple, a polyamorous trio trying to dig a hole, and a mysterious recluse spin a tale of love, murder and madness. • Water Girl, Producer: Richard Gonzalez, Karen Rose, Director: Richard Gonzalez A young girl is left at a Mexican orphanage by her father who is involved in human trafficking. (Read more on page 37.) In addition to film screenings, BIFF annually hosts celebrity guests for onstage interviews

and post-presentation receptions. This year’s guests include actress Bellamy Young, who currently portrays First Lady Mellie Grant on ABC’s Scandal, and Michael Gross, who played Steven Keaton on Family Ties, among many other roles over a 40-year career. The celebrity salutes take place May 28 and 29 for Young and Gross, respectively, and are sponsored by Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, Pau Maui Vodka, & Kona Brewing Co. The Gold Honu Awards Brunch will be held on May 30 to honor those films and filmmakers that are chosen as the best in their category. The winners of the Audience Choice Short and Audience Choice Feature will be screened once more that evening at the Best of the Fest closing night celebration. HFV For ticket information and a full schedule of screenings and events, visit • ISSUE ONE 2016


25 Years Servicing the Film Industry Bruce Di Meo, President • 1643 Silva Street • Honolulu, HI 96819 Bus: 808.832.3232 • Fax: 808.842.4141 • Cell: 808.782.8282 •


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Locally Filmed Water Girl Chosen for Big Island Film Festival


f a feature film is a marriage between director and actors, then a short film is a love affair.

Making a film, whether it be a short or a feature-length, is a labor of love for many writers and filmmakers. Local filmmaker Richard Gonzalez and local writer Karen Rose teamed up to embark on the adventurous task of creating a 13-minute short film based on the true story of a young girl left at a Mexican orphanage. The film, Water Girl, was recently chosen as an official selection for this year’s Big Island Film Festival.

The film is based on the real life experience of Kailua-Kona resident Karen Rose, who wrote and produced the short. “I wrote Water Girl in a writer’s workshop last year in Waimea,” said Rose.“At the time, I was just relaying an unusual experience I had as a child. I wasn’t expecting the strong reactions I received from the other workshop participants after reading the piece aloud. The positive responses inspired me to take it a step further, and turn the story into a film.” Rose contacted local filmmaker Richard Gonzalez (GIFilms, Sam Choy in the Kitchen), with whom she had worked on some of his

previous films, and he agreed to shoot and direct the movie. “I couldn’t believe that this happened to my friend,” said Gonzalez.“I was sad, but also relieved that she was able to escape the damaging effects of abuse, and whose human spirit is full of life and able to share with others this remarkable story.” Water Girl is set in Mexico in 1970 and tackles the serious issues of child abuse and human trafficking. Gonzalez does a remarkable job with the editing and effects, turning the otherwise green and lush North Kohala into the arid landscape of Tijuana. Filmed entirely on the Big Island, the film shows the versatility of filming on an island with 4 out of the 5 major climate zones in the world, and 8 out of 13 sub-zones. “Directing Water Girl has given me the opportunity to stretch my directing skills and venture into a serious topic,” said Gonzalez.“It also gives me a voice to help communicate an important message that needs to be shared with everyone who values human life.” HFV • ISSUE ONE 2016



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Green Lake Screens at BIFF


erek Frey is best known for his work with Tim Burton Productions, where he has produced such films as Big Eyes, Frankenweenie, Alice in Wonderland and Miss Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. But Frey also produces, directs and ed-

its his own short films through Lazer Film Productions, and many of them have earned awards and coveted spots at major film festivals. Frey’s latest, Green Lake, is set to screen at the 2016 Big Island Film Festival in May. The horror flick was filmed at the actual Green Lake in Puna, Hawaii Island, a 400-year-old, freshwater-filled crater that has been the subject of urban legend for years. With the tagline “Horror dwells deep,” Green Lake is sure to bring chills and thrills to BIFF audiences. HFV Directed by Derek Frey from a screenplay by Leah Gallo, the film stars RaVani Durkin, Thom Durkin, Valery Nuttall, Leah Gallo, Liam Durkin and Carmen Richardson. • ISSUE ONE 2016



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HAWAII ISLAND Big Island Documentary Premieres at HIFF Spring Showcase


awaiian Anthropological documentary Aloha From Lavaland recently premiered at the Hawaii International Film Festival Spring Showcase. Produced by three Big Island-based production companies, the film follows the aftermath of the 2014 eruption of Hawaii’s Kilauea volcano, which sent a flow of lava directly toward the center of Pahoa, a small rural town on the Big Island of Hawaii. Hard to predict and impossible to stop, the flow threatened to cut off the town’s only access road, leaving the residents of this remote community to rely heavily on one another as they prepare for possible isolation.

Produced by Gift Culture Media, Larkin Pictures and Pure Mother Love, this 52-minute documentary explores an inner community perspective of the lava flow, following residents as they ask

and answer important questions about community, sustainability, harmony, and what it really means to live in such an unpredictable paradise. In addition to street interviews and

news coverage, the documentary follows a local Hawaiian kumu (healer), a sustainability expert and the leader of a sovereign Hawaiian community over a period of seven months as they attempt to prepare for the unpreparable. “Puna is unlike any place I’ve ever lived,” says co-director Suzenne Seradwyn, who has created films in Los Angeles, New Mexico and Hawaii. “The people here have different values because of the natural elements at play, and the rich cultural history surrounding those elements. There is a very important message to share about what happens when you allow yourself to trust these elements.” “This film is important for anyone living in a state of change, whether it be due to external elements or an internal shift,” says the film’s co-director, Phillips Payson. “Part of what this film explores is how one’s attitude toward change can make all the difference.” Before moving to the Big Island, Payson worked in the film industry in New York and Los Angeles. This is his fourth film. HFV For more information, visit

International Productions Locations & Production Management Print • Video • Film

P.O. Box 10799 • Honolulu, HI 96816 Ph: (808) 737-6320 • Em: • ISSUE ONE 2016



One of the many educational programs produced by Hawaii Women in Filmmaking is the Summer Reel Camp. Here, a student learns animation techniques.



ane Campion, Kathryn Bigelow, Angelina Jolie.

Mention those three names to any random group of persons and many individuals would perhaps recognize only Jolie from that brief list of names. The main reason would be that Jolie is a well known, worldwide celebrity and movie star. 42 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO

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However, Angelina Jolie is also a film director who has helmed features such as Unbroken. The other two women in the list happen to be directors as well. Jane Campion has directed films such as the Oscar-winning picture The Piano and Kathryn Bigelow won an Oscar for directing The Hurt Locker, in addition to sitting in the director’s chair on other films such as Zero Dark Thirty. Despite the often sterling work of female film directors, both in narrative feature film projects and in documentary films, women filmmakers are often little known and constitute smaller numbers in the industry.

Advocates for Female Filmmakers

The first session of Making Media That Matters, an after school program where students produce and direct their own films.

Enter Hawaii Women in Filmmaking (HWF). Now celebrating its 5th anniversary in 2016, Hawaii Women in Filmmaking was created on February 23, 2011 by Vera Zambonelli. A film enthusiast who used videographic methodologies in her doctoral thesis, which recently earned her a Ph.D. in Urban Studies from UH-Manoa, Zambonelli has also worked on a number of local film projects— including shorts—as a camerawoman, production designer and assistant editor. Zambonelli created HWF to redress “gender inequity” in the film industry, but also to create the conditions for young girls and women to make films and possibly working one day in the film industry. “How do we put more women and girls behind the camera?” Zambonelli noted is a crucial question in solving gender inequity, as more women and girls behind the camera will also change how women and girls are portrayed and the type of stories we see in front of the camera! HWF is currently based at the Hawaii Filmmakers Collective in Kaimuki where the non-profit organization holds several ini-

A participant in 2015’s Summer Reel Camp.

tiatives, including monthly gatherings, film screenings, work in progress screenings, and educational programs for girls. HWF offers one-week intensive summer camps, from basic to advanced filmmaking and animation, as well as an after school program usually during the spring called Making Media That Matters (currently offered). Films produced and directed by these • ISSUE ONE 2016


students are screened as part of civic engagement opportunities throughout the year as well as Summer Reel Camp students. officially selected to showcase at the Hawaii International Film Festival and other film festivals. Zambonelli says that these programs, in keeping with the guiding mission of her organization, “create conditions for young women to express themselves through film and become makers of their own stories rather than passive recipients of stories others produce.” “We believe that a larger number of women involved in the creative process will change what we see now,” noted Zambonelli. Finally, HWF also sponsors the Women of the Pacific Film Festival, this upcoming October. Zambonelli observes that Hawaii Women in Filmmaking’s scope runs the gamut “from established filmmakers to emerging filmmakers to people interested in filmmaking.” In the end, though, HWF seeks to encourage female filmmaking not simply to boost and expand the number of women directors but to “build community through filmmaking.” And who knows? Maybe one day the female directors behind the


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HWF sponsors a screening of Indie Lens Pop-Up The Black Panthers.

camera will be written about and covered by the media as much as the female actresses in front of the camera, and everyone will know their names. HFV For more information, visit

Vera Zambonelli

SALLY JACKSON THE ACTORS’ MUSE TALENT MANAGER • Coaching for ‘METHOD FOR FILM’ • Privates & Classes in Honolulu • ISSUE ONE 2016


A Taste Test with

Sweet Marie’s S weet Marie’s Hawaii Inc. has been catering to the film industry since 1984.

Owner and chef Marie Cassel managed to fulfill her passion for food and wine through 30 years of experience in full-service special event planning and coordinating. Along with that, she has developed a signature line of gluten-free culinary delectables. Establishing the first and currently only gluten-free bakery in the State of Hawaii was a “dream come true” for Marie. Motivated by her search for tasty foods to meet her own dietary needs, she spent years developing and testing many recipes and sampling the finished products.


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Tapping into her creative skill as a chef, Sweet Marie’s Hawaii has developed a reputation for delicious food, baked goods, pastries and custom cakes. In fact, she has now expanded into a larger “allergen-friendly” facility in Lihue, Kauai. At Sweet Marie’s, their mission is to tantalize your sense of taste with healthy nutritious meals and desserts by using the finest local, fresh, organic ingredients. In addition to her bakery, Marie continues to provide support to nutrition and celiac health education by putting on workshops and cooking classes at the restaurant. HFV For more information, visit • ISSUE ONE 2016



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