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Photo ©Randy Jay Braun, www.randyjaybraun.com, randyjaybraun@gmail.com “Hidden Cove” - Pa'ako, Makena, Maui, looking out to Kaho'olawe.

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G E T

T H E

D E TA I L S

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H A W A I I F I L M O F F I C E . C O M


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O F F I C E S

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FilmHawai‘i


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H AWAII film & video

CONTENTS

M A G A Z I N E

www.hawaiifilmandvideo.com www.hawaiifilm.com

PUBLISHER

James Baker

10 12 16

A Decade of Success is Just the Beginning

18

Hawaii Film & Video Magazine at 10

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10 Years of Filmmaking on Kauai Island Retrospective/ Production Timeline

What a Difference a Decade Makes

EDITOR-IN-CHIEF

Tim Ryan tryan@media-inc.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR

Katie Sauro ksauro@media-inc.com CONTRIBUTING WRITERS

LL Cool J and Scott Caan film the first episode of a two-night Hawaii Five-0/NCIS: Los Angeles cross-over event.

Jason Blake, Walea Constantinau, Donne Dawson, Harry Donenfeld, John Mason, Art Umezu, Scott Wilks SALES MANAGER

Katie Higgins SALES EXECUTIVES

Eric Iles, Kathy Riley, Paul Yarnold PRODUCTION MANAGER

John Rusnak DESIGNER

Dawn Carlson, Jenny Carlson, Christina Poisal WEBMASTER

Eric Pederson OFFICE MANAGER/ACCOUNTING

Audra Higgins INFORMATION SERVICES MANAGER

Lois Sanborn

PHOTO BY NORMAN SHAPIRO/CBS ©2012 CBS BROADCASTING, INC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED.

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Editor’s Letter

30 Hawaii: ‘If Can, Can.’

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Hawaii Film Office (and the State’s Tax Incentive) Alive and Well

32 Kilauea Stars in Volcano Live

24 Task Force Aims to Attract More Production to Neighbor Islands 26 Last Resort: A Q&A with Producer Karl Gajdusek

34 Harrington Productions Stays Busy with New Film Projects

54 Big Winners at Big Island Film Festival

46 The Family Business

56 Tropical Visions Video Dances with the Goddess

50 IATSE Mixed Local 665 Celebrates 75th Anniversary

58 Pacific New Media Marks 25th Anniversary

36 Kauai Celebrates and Honors Movies Made on the Garden Isle

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52 Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands Earn Marketing Awards

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

38 Forging a New Career Path on Kauai 42 Kauai Production Profiles

Media Index Publishing Group (800) 332-1736 media@media-inc.com Display Advertising: Call Media Index Publishing Group for a current rate card. Discounts for frequency advertising. All submitted materials become the property of Media Index Publishing Group and will not be returned. Subscriptions, call (800) 3321736 for information and rates. Copyright © 2012 Media Index Publishing Group. All Rights Reserved. No part of this publication may be used for solicitation or copied by any means, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying or recording by any information storage or retrieval system, without the express written permission of the publisher. PRINTED IN THE USA.


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Editor’s Letter

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h, spring! Births and rebirths. Certainly one reason to celebrate this production spring is that the Hawaii Film Office is back up to full strength now that former HFO commissioner Donne Dawson has been rehired after being laid off due to state budget cuts. Not only has Dawson returned, but so has former Maui film commissioner Benita Brazier, who has been hired temporarily as economic development specialist. After Brazier’s hire is complete in a few weeks, she, along with other candidates, can apply for the fulltime position. Georja Skinner, Creative Industries Division manager, said, “Donne’s return to the film branch manager’s position is a very positive step for us to strengthen the film programs and the Creative Industries’ mission. “Those who had been focused on the film area can get back to arts and culture and music. I’m trying to make sure that we recalibrate the Creative Industries Division, and the film office in particular, with Donne back.” She added, “It’s extremely helpful to bring

on Benita Brazier, even on a temporary basis.” Not only are Dawson and Brazier back, but the state has also created a new film office position with a full interactive media/new technology kind of focus. In other news, illustrating that Hawaii remains Hollywood’s favorite tropical backlot, this fall the state will have two network primetime series, as CBS’s Hawaii Five-0 starts filming its third season in mid-July and ABC’s new drama Last Resort starts filming 13 episodes July 30. Read the interview with Last Resort’s cocreator and one of the series’ executive producers, Karl Gajdusek, featured on page 26. As for possible productions shooting here in the near future, there are just rumors about a big-budget Disney adventure feature, though the script reportedly isn’t yet written. Even more exciting is that producers of The Hunger Games sequel are considering shooting a portion of the film on either Oahu or Kauai in early 2013, if budget concerns can be worked out. On the local side of the production busi-

ness, writer Robbie Dingeman and retired homicide lieutenant Gary A. Dias have written a screenplay of their book, Honolulu Homicide, and are reportedly shopping the script to studios. Be sure to check out the Family Business story on page 46, featuring the irrepressible Angie Laprete and life partner Chico Powell, who both now work on Hawaii Five-0. It should be an inspiration to all aspiring Hawaii filmmakers, not only of the respected couple’s climb up the production ladder, but that it’s possible to work steadily in Hawaii production if you just keep at it. And last but not least, Hawaii Film & Video Magazine is celebrating its 10-year anniversary this year. Check out our special anniversary section—complete with film commissioner insights, quotes from local production professionals, and a timeline—which starts on page 10. Hana hou! Tim Ryan Executive Editor

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ISSUE TWO 2012 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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Hawaii Film Office (and the State’s Tax Incentive) Alive and Well BY DONNE DAWSON State Film Commissioner

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PHOTO BY PONO GRACE

t’s official. I’m back. More than two and a half years have passed since I led the Hawaii Film Office in its support of the state’s film industry. Doesn’t seem that long ago, but a lot has happened since December 2009, when the state’s previous administration laid off hundreds of state workers, including 75 percent of the Hawaii Film Office staff, due to an unprecedented fiscal crisis.

For nine years prior to the layoffs, I served capably as state film commissioner for Hawaii during some of the most economically and politically challenging times in the 30-year-old history of the office. The decision to do away with the Hawaii Film Office manager and two of its key film specialists seemed unwise at best. After all, the film industry was generating millions of dollars in annual revenue for the state, at a time we desperately needed it. It didn’t make sense to anyone to pull the rug out from under the office charged with supporting this important industry without a viable plan on how it would survive. But it did, and the worst is behind us. We now have a new administration under Gov. Neil Abercrombie, and a new director for the Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT), Richard Lim, and the state is working diligently to bring the Hawaii Film Office to full force. We are grateful to our colleagues in DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division/Arts and Culture Development Branch for their tireless efforts in covering for us during the difficult period when the film office was operating with such a skeleton crew. And we are thankful for the only two film office staffers Hawaii Five-0 actors film in Waikiki, Oahu.

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The Descendants director Alexander Payne.

who were allowed to stay on to lend their expertise and years of experience to keep the program going. We owe a debt of gratitude to Sandi Ichihara-Abe, our senior film industry development specialist, and Tammy Hasegawa, our longtime Hawaii Film Studio manager. They both made tremendous sacrifices to make sure the industry had the support it needed, when it was uncertain whether we could carry out our statutory mandate of efficiently processing state film permits and managing tax credit applications. I returned in January of this year as interim state film commissioner and in early May the position was made permanent. While I was away I came to appreciate that our decades-old centralized film-permitting system is key to a smooth-running film industry that employs thousands of Hawaii residents. I learned that we need to constantly justify our tax credit, as there will always be naysayers who don’t recognize its value to the state. I learned that

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

having experts in film offices keeping tabs on how filming can impact our cultural and natural resources is key to preserving Hawaii’s world-renowned native Hawaiian culture and the state’s exquisite natural environment. I learned that Hawaii truly is one of the most beautiful places on Earth and certainly one of the very best locations to film. We are excited that Hawaii Five-0 is entering its third season. And we are hopeful they will stay on for many more. They’ve done so much for the state and we’re grateful. We also can’t wait to see the thrilling pilot of Last Resort, a Sony production that will air on ABC Television this year. They will begin production of 12 exciting episodes based out of our Hawaii Film Studio at Diamond Head. Both of these productions are here, in part, because of Act 88, the state’s tax credit. Since its inception in July 2006, Act 88 has generated more than $1.3 billion in economic activity for the state and much more in terms of demonstrating to the industry that Hawaii is a global player in this business with a competitive edge. Since Act 88 passed, Hawaii has been host to numerous hit TV shows, including Hawaii Five-0, LOST, Modern Family, and Amazing Race, and feature films such as the third and fourth installments of Pirates of the Caribbean, The Descendants, Soul Surfer, Tropic Thunder, Just Go With It, and The Tempest. We encourage you to pick up the latest edition of the Hawaii Production Index, which serves as your resource bible when considering film production in Hawaii. Learn more about our visa pilot program for international production, our expedited airport release program for domestic animals, and of course, learn about Hawaii’s incomparable native Hawaiian culture and the pristine environment that sets us apart from the rest of the world. There’s an expanded section called “Guidelines for Filming in Sensitive Hawaii Locations” in the production directory that’s really worth reading. I’m proud of the hardworking members of the Hawaii Film Office and my colleagues at the county. Together, the Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands want to open your eyes to all Hawaii has to offer the film community and ensure that your filming experience here is second to none. HFV


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A Decade of Success is Just the Beginning BY WALEA CONSTANTINAU Honolulu Film Commissioner

T

ime is a strange thing. I have days where I can’t believe all “that stuff” just happened yesterday. And yet, I’ve blinked and somehow it has been 10 years since the first issue of Hawaii Film & Video Magazine was published.

The creation of the magazine came out of a great brainstorming session. We were talking about how there was so much more to say in our growing film community and as great as our annual resource guide was, it was not filling a need we had. We needed a vehicle that could serve to showcase our local businesses, talk about our successes, celebrate the outstanding work being done, and underscore that we were a community of filmmakers on the move. Goals met? Check! In 2002, we were fortunate enough to have had a number of productions come through Honolulu, choosing our locations for their beauty and because we are part of the USA. Travel concerns around the attacks of 9/11 were at an extremely heightened state and films like Tears of the Sun, formerly called Man of War, changed their name and focused on finding a setting in America that could double for Africa. Oahu was happy to oblige. At a time when hotels were in danger of shutting down because air travel was at a minimum, Tears contributed 30,000 hotel room nights over a 5-month period and helped keep its host hotel from closing. Not only hotels benefited. The film interacted with over 270 different businesses during their stay—a welcome infusion of money into our economy at a crucial time. The film industry continued to make significant economic contributions in the month following because production is a niche busi-

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ness traveler, and a tenacious one at that. Soon after Tears, other features followed: Blue Crush, 50 First Dates, The Rundown, The Big Bounce, and a few days of Charlie’s Angels: Full Throttle. All of these major projects created hundreds of direct and indirect jobs and infused our economy with a direct spend of over $120 million. Some projects filmed on Oahu because we are a safe destination and some came to try out a new investment credit called Act 221. All captured our scenic beauty in captivating and exciting ways. With each project, our local crews were building their production street cred, becoming known entities in an often closed system that would bode well for them in the future. As their reputations gained notoriety, the industry took notice. Major television projects dominated the landscape and in 2004, three network TV series were based on Oahu—LOST, Hawaii and North Shore. While North Shore and Hawaii did not return or got canceled, LOST grew into a global phenomenon, airing in 210 countries and territories around the world. One of our own, Archie Ahuna, became the first person of native Hawaiian ancestry to receive an Emmy award and we got a shout-out from JJ Abrams on the live telecast. For six years the show, helmed by some of the most creative minds in Hollywood, helped to not just sustain our community, but helped it thrive. In 2006, after many in the industry worked

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

countless hours, a new tax credit passed—one that vaulted us into the stratosphere. Within the first 30 days of the passage of the credit, Hawaii was named one of the Top Ten U.S. States to Film. Within 90 days, the feature film Forgetting Sarah Marshall had committed to shooting. It was clear Act 88 was a gamechanger. In its final 2009-2010 season, people kept asking me, “How are you going to follow up LOST?” The implication was that any production from here on out would be a step down. But just like in the movies, a perfectly timed reboot of Hawaii Five-0 emerged, hitting its mark like a pro. So I had my answer: “You follow up an über-mega-hit by bringing back one of the most beloved series of all time, one deeply ingrained in our cultural psyche and a marketing juggernaut for the islands.” Then you follow that up with the most amazing year of production ever seen in the islands, a record-breaking $400 million in direct spend in 2010 that includes The Descendants, Alexander Payne’s love letter to the islands that is already inspiring a new generation of filmmakers. Through it all, Hawaii Film & Video Magazine has been there, at each turn, documenting our successes and challenges, introducing us to the new, and bidding a fond aloha to those we have lost. The magazine continues to be a great, informative marketing tool, but it’s become more than that. It’s our history, our time capsule, told and preserved, one story at a time. Now, tell us about that new series Last Resort that starts shooting in a few weeks, the one created by Shawn Ryan (The Shield, The Unit) with Andre Braugher, Robert Patrick…HFV


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Hawaii Film & Video Magazine at 10 BY JOHN MASON Big Island Film Commissioner

For these kinds of celebratory events, I like the “top 10 list” approach to chronicle major events here on the Big Island over this time frame. So, what follows is an attempted chronological and historical overview of key events and activities from the past 10 years or so that have impacted the Big Island Film Office.

and working relationships between those with vested interests in production. Marilyn deserves a huge amount of credit, for it was under her watch that the entire structure and operation of the film office were created and very ably managed for 10 years. She and her husband retired to Mexico in 2006.

that a mixture of mainland experienced crew and locals from Honolulu and the Big Island could work at high and effective levels on the biggest projects, and that location diversity was indeed a reason why producers came to the island. Tim Burton was the director and Richard Zanuk producer on this 20th Century Fox production. The mahalo letter written to Marilyn Killeri by executive producer Ralph Winter expressed perfectly what the Big Island has to offer: “It was a real pleasure working with you and the film office in bringing our entire production of Planet of the Apes to the Big Island. Where else can you find such diversity of locations like the stunning black lava fields and the tropical jungles so close to Hollywood? The people of the Big Island were so gracious. I’ll definitely go back.”

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irst of all, a hearty aloha and mahalo to the great team at Hawaii Film & Video—publisher Jim Baker, editor-in-chief Tim Ryan, and the sales and production staffs that we have had the pleasure to work with over the years. The magazine has had consistently high production and editorial value, and it is clearly a prime source of marketing that tells the world about production in Hawaii in a very effective and professional way.

Waterworld (1994-95). There was no official film office when Waterworld came to Kawaihae Harbor and Waipio Valley to film. Billed as the most expensive film produced up to that point at $172 million, this Kevin Costner/Universal Studios feature film impacted the Big Island in ways that are still being felt. The Big Island economy was in a terrible slump, and the influx of more than $100 million spent was a true blessing to hundreds of island residents and businesses. Everyone who knew anything about film worked on this project and people still talk about what a positive and timely difference that film had on our local economy and industry. It was the first and still only major studio feature film shot entirely on the Big Island.

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Film Office Established (1996). It didn’t take long for the powers in county and state government to see that based on the unqualified success and impact of Waterworld, it might be a good idea to create an official governmental office to promote the island as a film destination and to go after other productions. So, in 1996, the Big Island Film Office was created, with my predecessor Marilyn Killeri as its film commissioner. Initially, the film office was funded by a combination of county and state grants. Now, the film office is fully funded as a department within the County of Hawaii and its Research and Development Department. Its main missions since inception have been to market the island as a film location, build up our local production and infrastructure capabilities, and develop supportive

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Wind on Water (1998). This much heralded but ill-fated TV series from producer Zalman King, in association with NBC Studios, starred Bo Derek in her television series debut. The electronic press kit captures perfectly the main marketing and promotional messages that the film office would have producers everywhere believe in: “Set against the Big Island of Hawaii, NBC’s new drama Wind on Water follows the Connolly family as they struggle to keep their land and livelihood…From snow capped volcanoes to 20 foot swells and everything in between, the Big Island has something for everyone.” What the show didn’t have, apparently, was good writing and audiences, and was canceled after only a few episodes. From a planning and scheduling perspective, this show was significant because it brought into high relief the conflicts on the island between those who favored encouraging production almost at any cost and those who resisted based on various environmental and cultural factors. It took months of meetings between the film office, community groups, and the producers to work out compromises to allow for filming in culturally sensitive areas.

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Planet of the Apes (2001). A portion of the remake of the original Planet of the Apes was filmed on island during March of 2001. As is typical of high-profile studio projects like this, it had a working alias of a title, The Visitor. This picture was significant historically because it set the model for studio feature film production on the island—that being that only a portion of the feature would be shot,

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

Changing of the Guard (2007). Marilyn Killeri retired in 2006 and I took over as film commissioner. One of the key things we do is prepare statistics related to revenue, number of productions, and activity level by genre of production, and so forth. In 2010, I prepared a comprehensive statistical summary of revenue and production over the past decade (see page 15). In addition, these would be some summary comments about production activity on the Big Island over the past 10 years: • Revenue for the past three fiscal years has been the largest on record for any comparable time frame, with the years 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 the largest two years ever with total revenue of 19.6M and 19.9M, respectively. Four feature films have been shot here during this time. • Revenue for 2009-2010 is 8.8M, the highest total (excepting for the two previous years mentioned) since 2002-2003 at 8.8M. • Excluding the banner years mentioned above, average revenue from all types of production from 2001-2002 to the present is 6.3M • Parts of the feature film Planet of the Apes filmed on the Big Island in 2001—there were no other major feature films shot here for six years, until Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull in 2007.

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Landrover Commercial (2006). Even before taking office—I was working on a contract basis for a few months before Marilyn left—an interesting project came in that put into perspective many of the critical aspects of filming in sensitive tropical locations. The key players were ad agency Young and


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ISSUE TWO 2012 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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Rubicam, commercial production company Crossroads, and client Landrover. Landrover wanted to introduce a new off-road vehicle, and the working title of the storyboards was “Conquering New Lands.” The vehicle was going to prowl over lava lands, the tires digging into the lava, with flowing molten streams nearby suggesting the heat and power of this new vehicle. It was a great concept theoretically, but totally wrong in application to Hawaii Island, where lava and Madam Pele are worshipped as gods of creation and supreme power. The title of the concept was an affront to many local Hawaiians with sensitivity about lands being conquered by foreign entities, so right out of the box this project faced several formidable hurdles: it served to aggravate sensitivities around land and sovereignty, and it appeared disrespectful toward long-standing cultural beliefs. Incredibly, this project came to a screeching successful conclusion, primarily because all sides listened and responded respectfully to the concerns and needs of the other stakeholders. It also helped that skilled production pros had alternatives to locations that were off the table, and access to editing software that could make you believe in the impossible. The commercial was a success.

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The Big Island Film Festival (2006). Still going strong since 2006, the Big Island Film Festival enjoyed its seventh annual iteration this past May (see page 58). This is the “Talk Story” festival that celebrates narrative filmmaking with a mixture of features and shorts, with celebrity appearances and networking, seminars, a Mayor’s Reception, and first-class amenities and venues. The festival is now hosted by the Fairmont Orchid and the Shops at Mauna Lani. It’s arguably the film event highlight of the year. Congratulations to founders and executive directors Leo and Jan Sears for bringing this to the island and appreciative visitors from the other islands and mainland.

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Act 88 (2006). Officially known as the Motion Picture, Digital Media, and Film Production Tax Credit, it is a refundable income tax credit based on a production company’s Hawaii expenditures while producing a qualified film, television, commercial, or digital media project. On Oahu the tax credit is 15 percent, and on the Neighbor Islands it’s 20 percent. According to official records, the tax credits have accounted for $1.1 billion in estimated production revenues,

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

providing an estimated $1.7 billion in economic impact since inception in 2006. Act 88 drove $400 million in production spending to the islands in 2010. This forward-thinking piece of legislation has been a major element in attracting production to the island, as almost every major production center now offers attractive tax and/or income rebates. So, to be competitive, Hawaii has had to put in place an attractive tax program to go along with compelling locations and a seasoned workforce in order to carve out our own niche in the production landscape.

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Wheel of Fortune (2008). Back after a 10-year hiatus, Wheel of Fortune set up camp in exactly the same grid pattern as before for the production of 20 episodes of this award-winning and most successful television syndicated program—this from Sony Pictures Television. Some fast facts: 20 episodes taped over 4 days; 37 trailers and containers shipped to Hawaii; 150 Hawaii residents hired as crew and assistants; 225 mainland residents brought to Hawaii as crew; 1,225 room nights booked for Hawaii-based crew; 2,600 room nights booked for Los Angeles-based crew; 1.8 million pounds of


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equipment brought to set up the studio; $5.4 million in donations to charities by Wheel of Fortune during the last 10 years. This was a first-class operation from beginning to end. The telecasts from Hawaii are always the most popular of the remote programs, and provide massive amounts of positive advertising for the island. Executive producer Harry Friedman and supervising producer Steve Schwartz and their staffs are at the top of their game.

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Feature Mini-Tsunami (2007-09). We enjoyed atypical levels of feature activity for three years, starting in 2007 with the Indiana Jones sequel, Kingdom of the Crystal Skull. This was followed in 2008 by The Tempest, and then Predators in 2009. The base camp Indy set up in the Puna jungles was awesome. All of a sudden, here was this functioning small city—hundreds of people, dozens of trucks, vehicles, cars, equipment and buildings everywhere. And then all gone. It’s really hard to describe what happens when a big feature rolls into town unless you actually see it. I will long remember scouting with director Julie Taymor for The Tempest. We were at Spencer’s Beach Park relaxing and eating. She had to take a swim in the ocean, and walked unfazed

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STATISTICAL SUMMARY OF FILM PRODUCTION ON THE BIG ISLAND Year

Revenue:

# of Productions:

Main Categories of Production:

Main Revenue Generators:

2009-2010

8.8M

47

Documentary, TV Episodes, Print

Feature Film, Documentary, TV Episodes

2008-2009

19.9M

81

TV Episodes, Documentary, Print

TV Episodes, Feature Film, Print

2007-2008

19.6M

96

Documentary, Print, TV Episodes

Feature Film, Documentary, TV Commercials

2006-2007

3.3M

113

Documentary, Print, TV Episodes

TV Commercials, TV Episodes, Print

2005-2006

4.5M

134

Documentary, Print, TV Episodes

Documentary, TV Episodes, Print

2004-2005

4.3M

100

Documentary, Print, TV Episodes

TV Commercials

2003-2004

8.7M

129

Documentary, Print, TV Episodes

TV Episodes

2002-2003

8.8M

116

Documentary

TV Episodes

2001-2002

6M

by the shark sighting signs posted in the sand! Then there was scouting with director Nimrod Antal for Predators. He was like a child in a candy store walking through the jungles over near Hilo, excited and enthusiastic as if he had never seen anything like those vines and

canopy and trees before! So, congratulations again to Hawaii Film & Video Magazine and to all those great memories and experiences over the years. I’m looking forward to many more in the years to come! HFV

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What a Difference a Decade Makes BY HARRY DONENFELD Maui County Film Commissioner

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ver the last 10 years Maui County has seen an incredible amount of growth in the film and TV arena. It started with Georja Skinner, who is now chief officer of the Creative Industries Division for the State of Hawaii.

Back then, Georja was Maui County’s film commissioner and it was through her direction that Maui County started to get noticed in the entertainment community. Shortly thereafter, film productions started to migrate to Maui, with the James Bond film Die Another Day filming Maui’s incredible monster waves of Peahi (Jaws). Television followed almost immediately. Under Benita Brazier’s tenure (Maui County’s third film commissioner), Maui County continued to expand into the worlds of film and TV. According to Ms. Brazier, who is now with the State Film Office, “We had a great success with ABC’s Modern Family filming a special at the Four Seasons

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Maui, America’s Next Top Model, and of course, there were all the Amazing Race finales. However, my best year was in 2010 when we had productions like Clint Eastwood’s Hereafter and Adam Sandler’s Just Go With It on Maui, and Julie Taymor’s The Tempest, which filmed on Lanai.” With each new production comes a renewed push to make the film and TV industry a top economic driver for the county. As Maui County’s newest film commissioner, it is my hope to continue on the tradition of excellence that has been left to me by my predecessors and to build on this foundation. Already in the first quarter of 2012 Maui County has seen over $3 million in pro-

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duction with shows like Lifetime Network’s remake of Blue Lagoon (which aired June 16th), Syfy’s Haunted Collector (season finale airs in August), TNT’s pilot episode of its newest reality show called Drop Zone (filmed on Lanai), and a handful of shows for The Travel Channel and TLC. Everyone knows that Maui is blessed with beautiful landscapes, but what is lesser known is the incredible talent pool we have. The one thing that all of Maui’s past and present film commissioners agree on is the incredible talent on Maui. Over the last decade the list of available crew and cast has gone from a mere handful to well over 100 today, and is still growing! It is this wonderful human element that really makes Maui County shine. Maui’s future looks bright and if the county continues in the direction it has been heading, then the next decade should be one to watch. See you on the big screen! HFV


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10 Years of Filmmaking on Kauai BY ART UMEZU Kauai Film Commissioner

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loha from the Garden Isle of Kauai! First of all, congratulations to publisher James Baker, editor Tim Ryan, and the staff at Hawaii Film & Video Magazine for 10 years of fine and resourceful film industry news! And also, a heartfelt congratulations to Donne Dawson, who was recently re-appointed as Hawaii Film Commissioner, a position she held from 2002 to 2009. Welcome back, Donne! KAUAI’S FILM BACKGROUND A decade ago, Kauai Film Commission was headed by former HBO executive Judy Drosd, who began working as commissioner in 1992, the year Steven Spielberg shot his epic movie Jurassic Park on Kauai. In 10 years under Drosd, Kauai landed many Hollywood feature films, including Outbreak and two Jurassic Park sequels (The Lost World and Jurassic Park 3). In 2002, Drosd was appointed to head the new Creative Industries Division in Hawaii’s Department of Business, Economic Development & Tourism (DBEDT), established by Governor Linda Lingle. Drosd held that position until 2006. Meanwhile, Kauai County appointed Tiffani Lizama as film commissioner until mid-2004, when I succeeded her.

MY FIRST DAYS AS COMMISSIONER When I started as Kauai film commissioner in November 2004, the first thing I did was an interview with the local daily, The Garden Island, which ran a full page article with a color photo of me standing next to The Lost World: Jurassic Park poster in my office. In the article, I pointed out that Steven Spielberg and Dreamworks ‘know’ Kauai, so if there’s a script to fit Kauai’s location, they’ll be back to shoot. No later than two weeks after the article ran, an L.A.-based location manager called to say he was scouting for Dreamworks’ Tropic Thunder, starring Ben Stiller, who is a parttime Kauai resident. I spent a few days with the location manager and also with Kauai location manager Angela Tillson. He scouted for a few weeks but there was no followup or updates about the film until December 2006, four months after Act 88 had kicked in. But this time, Steve Molen, head of physical production at Dreamworks, called me directly and asked for assistance with a new LM coming to Kauai that evening. I provided the needed assistance, and the rest is his18

tory. The pre-production started in February, and shooting started in July and wrapped in late October 2007. I truly believe the $100-million-plus Tropic Thunder helped to open up the minds of Hollywood filmmakers that a ‘big-budget’ movie can still be shot on Neighbor Islands. However, the following several years were back to the normal dose of small TV commercials and reality shows, industrial films and other small productions. But 2009 brought back a glimpse of hope when I heard that Disney and others were looking to scout Kauai for upcoming features.

FEATURE FILM BOOM In January 2010, Gov. Lingle announced jointly with Disney that the fourth segment of Pirates of the Caribbean, called On Stranger Tides, would be shot on Oahu and Kauai. As I was getting ready for that big production, there was already a crew headed to Oahu to film Soul Surfer, about Kauai’s young surfer phenom, Bethany Hamilton, who tragically lost her arm in a shark attack in 2003. Although it shot mainly on Oahu’s North Shore and only for about a week on Kauai, people still know that the real-life tragedy happened on Kauai and Bethany will always be a Kauai girl. Soon after Soul Surfer wrapped on Kauai, director Alex Payne and a crew of six arrived to scout for The Descendants. While Descendants scouted, the Pirates crew was starting to make their presence known on Kauai, looking for construction sites, base camps and a production office, and setting up casting calls. By the end of March, all was in place for The Descendants to start in April and Pirates in June or July. The Descendants began their first day of shooting at Lihue Airport’s arrival area and then went north to Hanalei and Princeville to St. Regis Hotel overlooking Hanalei Bay. In between, they shot at Kealia across the beach

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near Kapa‘a and also to Kipu Kai, where the movie calls it the ‘last piece of paradise.’ While Descendants was finishing up shooting on the North Shore, another crew descended on Kauai to scout for Sony Pictures’ Just Go With It, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Just Go With It was shooting on Maui but needed a spectacular waterfall shot that they couldn’t find on the Valley Isle. By mid-May, Just Go With It and its large crew hopped over from Maui to Kilauea, Kauai, where its waterfall became a

I truly believe the $100million-plus Tropic Thunder helped to open up the minds of Hollywood filmmakers that a ‘big-budget’ movie can still be shot on Neighbor Islands. Maui attraction just for the movie. Dozens of trailers, rigs and equipment were basecamped on the dusty slopes leading to the waterfall of Kilauea. While Pirates was sailing into Kauai, Just Go With It crew wrapped and was going back to Maui. No one on Kauai’s east and north shore could escape the presence of Hollywood’s convoy of huge movie trucks and trailers, as they were base-camped at various visible locations. Soon after Pirates wrapped and sailed to Oahu, Universal Pictures used the terrain of Na Pali coast in the opening scene for liveaction/animated film, Hop. For this production, location manager Angela Tillson and I had to literally walk into the state’s Department of Land and Natural Resources office on Kauai to persuade the official in charge to allow the filming since they were trying to eradicate the wild goats in the area where Universal wanted to build a prop for the opening scene. 2010 was truly a whirlwind year of major productions. But now in 2012, with the exception of a few scenes for Journey 2: The Mysterious Island, it’s back to the normal cycle of small productions (TV reality shows, commercials and print ads) on Kauai. But because production in the islands is cyclical, we expect the Kauai industry to pick up soon, bringing even more blockbuster films to our county. We’ll be ready. HFV


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ISLAND RETROSPECTIVE HAWAII’S KEY INDUSTRY PLAYERS DISCUSS THEIR MOST MEMORABLE PRODUCTION MOMENTS AND PROJECTS OF THE PAST 10 YEARS. In fall 2009, Hyperspective Studios produced a film trailer promoting the Hawaii International Film Festival #29. Taking a different direction than past trailers, Hyperspective packed the production with a medley of different genres and technical approaches revolving around a screenwriter, played by Hawaii Five-0’s Daniel Dae Kim, engaging with a magic ink blot to find the inspiration needed to complete his script. The trailer was an international showcase of Hawaii-based talent and crews and even garnered national recognition when it won a Key Art Award from The Hollywood Reporter. –Todd Robertson, Hyperspective Studios

My Maui-based company is celebrating TV/film production work in Hawaii well over 20 years. Working on my acclaimed film Kiho’Alu-Keola Beamer in Maui, Oahu and the Big Island, the first Hawaiian documentary to be recognized with an Emmy, has been a wonderful journey. It won 13 awards and screened at 10 film festivals and aired on National PBS. It opened more doors with our acclaimed Jazz Alley TV Productions and HawaiiONTV.com Networks in working with the History Channel, CNN to HBO to National Geographic Channel to Viacom, and with people like Bono, Sting, Kris Kristofferson, Aretha Franklin, Herbie Hancock and Michael Douglas, and major studios, record

2002 Hawaii Film & Video Magazine publishes its first issue. The Kate Bosworth/surfer film Blue Crush is the first production to take advantage of Act 221, the tax incentive established in 2001.

companies and corporate companies. All with Aloha! – Kenneth K. Martinez Burgmaier, Jazz Alley TV, Inc./HawaiiONTV.com Networks

Production Accommodations In Paradise has been assisting productions since 1993, to locate the perfect housing for casts and crews. From booking until departure, we are available to help with any situation. Even working with room service to supply the right diet, or helping to place a satellite dish on a roof, and even changing the colors of the telephones in a suite because the producer wanted only black phones! I look forward to each challenge and welcome the opportunity to make everyone feel at home and comfortable while working in Hawaii. – Carol Pozy, Production Accommodations In Paradise

Tropical Visions Video, Inc. is producing a new Blu-ray/DVD television program tentatively entitled VolcanoScapes… Dancing with the Goddess. The show takes a look into the lives of those who work, study, worship, take inspiration from, or simply visit Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano. Most seem to have a deep spiritual connection with the volcano. We seek to share, in a variety of ways, what the volcano means to these people, how its energy translates to their everyday lives, and why they are willing to get up close and personal with a force some people consid-

The Rundown, with Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Christopher Walken, films on Oahu.

2003 Benita Brazier joins the Maui Film Office as film commissioner. Adam Sandler and Drew Barrymore’s 50 First Dates films all over Oahu for six weeks.

James Bond film Die Another Day shoots its opening sequence on Maui.

Edgy Lee’s documentary Ice: Hawaii’s Crystal Meth Epidemic,

Hostile Rescue, an action-adventure film starring Bruce Willis and directed by Antoine Fuqua, begins filming on Oahu.

shoots on multiple islands.

Oahu lands a starring role as Nigeria in Tears of the Sun.

Two Universal Pictures’ films, The Hulk and Along Came Polly, shoot briefly on Maui and Oahu, respectively.

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er to be highly dangerous. Tropical Visions will feature clips from our vast six-year HD and twenty-year SD library of volcano footage… images that have been broadcast worldwide over the past three decades. – Mick Kalber, Tropical Visions Video

Prop styling and set building can be fun yet challenging here in Hawaii. We don’t have the amazing prop houses full of everything imaginable and Hollywood history. Sometimes the smallest thing on the prop list can be the most challenging one to find or replicate. Some of my most enjoyable moments are building of and staging a scene, and having a tourist or sometimes even a local mistake it for something real! Like the fun lunch wagon that doesn’t really serve up lunch. The beach shower that’s not really hooked up to a water source. And the all-time winner is always the grass shack on the beach that ends up inhabited as soon as the crew breaks for lunch! – Mike McHale, Hawaii Prop and Production Rentals

I have two favorites from the past couple of years of film success on The Garden Island. I loved the huge coordination at the filming of The Descendants at the St. Regis in Princeville— the number of people, all the moving parts... but it went so smoothly and calmly and gently—right there on gorgeous Hanalei Bay. On Just Go With It, I

2004 TV makes a splash in Hawaii with three new series: LOST, Hawaii, and North Shore. LOST soon becomes a global phenomenon. Art Umezu becomes film commissioner for Kauai County.

Dog the Bounty Hunter, a reality series following an Oahu-based bounty hunter and his crew, premieres.

2005 Oahu’s TV production gets another boost with teen series Flight 29 Down, which filmed three seasons and ended in 2007.


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loved how the directors chose all kinds of obscure locations that might be harder to reach for lesser productions—moving mountains, almost literally, for the best shots and glimpses of Paradise. – Jason Blake, Lucky Dog Productions, Inc.

I was the full-time acting coach on two national TV series that had the most beautiful models/actresses in the world as series regulars and guest stars… In Hawaii… In bathing suits… And I got paid to coach them! In their trailers… On the beach… And at their hotels… You can make fun of Baywatch and North Shore all you want. But I’m still smiling... – Scott Rogers, Scott Rogers Studios This has been an exciting time for HD Under H2O! In April 2012, our president, Craig Musburger, won a National Emmy Award in the Outstanding Camera Work category for his amazing underwater videography on the NBC Sports telecast of the Ford Ironman World Championships. We have also continued our mission of producing top quality documentary films with the completion of two important films in ocean conservation: Micronesia’s Changing Climate and Laolao: Ridge to Reef. Looking forward to continued success in the next 10 years. Congratulations to Hawaii Film & Video Magazine and the Hawaii production industry on 10 great years! – the team at HD Under H2O

My current project has me excited most. It brings to bear all my skills in tele-production and Web marketing and facilitates international distribution of content I’m producing

Oahu hosts bits and pieces of several films, including: The Shaggy Dog (with Tim Allen and Kristin Davis), You, Me, and Dupree (Kate Hudson, Matt Dillon and Owen Wilson), and Snakes on a Plane (Samuel L. Jackson).

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here on Maui. I’ve launched the first of several Web-based, extended video products called Dying Into Love, a collection of 42 videos, totaling almost 18 hours, designed to ease the way for anyone who is dying and those in service to the dying. Several additional titles and specific product niches are coming. The results have been fantastic. I hope to have blended the right mix of content with a state-of-the-art video marketing and delivery system to make it all go. Stay tuned! – Sam Small, Small Wonder Video Services Ten years is but a flash of commitment to finding the joy of working. Our industry has seen many technological changes. Film survives and is still the classic medium that fuels our desire to do better. We create, see and feel images that motivate us to be the messengers. What’s changed? We have, as we get to know our craft better and what’s important. Very simply, our industry is a village of unique individuals who care enough to work together. – Amos Kotomori, Amos Kotomori Production Services

As an Oahu-based underwater videographer, I spend most of my time capturing images of the ocean’s beauty. In 2009, I had the rare opportunity to join the crew of the ORV Alguita on a two-month voyage to study the Pacific Garbage Patch. As the voyage videographer, it was my job to document all the research conducted and to capture images of the severity of the problem of plastics in our ocean. One would think that scuba diving in the middle of the Pacific Ocean—1,500 miles from land, 20,000 feet of water beneath me— should have been a voyage of wonder and dis-

Kauai Exclusive Management has had the pleasure of housing our Hollywood guests for a handful of blockbuster films. Raised on Kauai, I was able to help with Thorn Birds at the age of 10 in 1983. My baby sister was baby Justine (Rachel Ward’s baby) and my part as a plantation kid got cut. I remember Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward having lunch with our family and doting over my baby sister. Chamberlain asked me if I was excited to be in a movie and I sadly admitted that they had cut my scene. At 10 years old I got a handshake from a star who promised he would get me in the next one, and though I never followed through with this, it sure felt great to chat it up with the stars, see my sister in a movie and share beautiful Kauai with the world on film! Extremely professional, clean and kind to our island residence, our Hollywood friends are full of Aloha and always welcome to stay with www.kauaiexclusive.com… I am also still available to be in another movie, even if they cut my part again! – Joshua Rudinoff, Kauai Exclusive Management

The Big Island Film Festival, founded by Leo and Jan Sears, debuts.

Harrison Ford returns to the role of “Indy” in Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull, shot on the Big Island and co-starring Cate Blanchett. This is the first major feature film shot on the Big Island in six years.

Beyond the Break, another Oahu-based drama, begins filming the first of three seasons.

A handful of reality series film in the islands, including Call to Greatness and Meet the Barkers for MTV, and Blind Date for NBC Universal.

2006 The Motion Picture, Digital Media, and Film Production Tax Credit (Act 88) is signed into law by Governor Linda Lingle, signaling a huge step for Hawaii’s production industry.

covery of exotic creatures that inhabit the most remote place on the planet, but instead, my experience was filled with disgust. Disgust at the amount of plastic that is clogging our ocean’s ecosystem. Every day, every dive, every trawl net sample, we found plastic. The most disturbing part was the amount of micro plastic that was found in every location of high plankton concentration. There is no way around it. “The plastic in the ocean has entered the bottom of our food chain!” – Drew Wheeler, ScubaDrew VideoWorks

MTV reality series Living Lahaina and Maui Fever film on Maui.

With a budget of more than $100 million, Tropic Thunder, starring parttime Kauai resident Ben Stiller, Robert Downey Jr., Jack Black, and Tom Cruise, lands on Kauai.

2007

Former Maui Film Commissioner Georja Skinner returns to the islands as Creative Industries chief.

Tim Ryan is named executive editor of Hawaii Film & Video Magazine.

Forgetting Sarah Marshall signs on to film in Oahu just 90 days after Act 88 is passed.

2008

Big Island Film Commissioner Marilyn Killeri retires after a 10-year stint in the position. John Mason takes the reins.

Disney’s third installment of Pirates of the Caribbean, called At World’s End, shoots on Maui and Molokai.

Production slows down a tad with the three-month-long 2007-2008 writers’ strike, then picks right back up where it left off.

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In the years I’ve been in this business there has been so many great memories, to pick one is very hard. Working with all the great people, and becoming a stuntman is number 1 for me. But the best memory would have to be the memories of this beautiful place, Hawaii. I have been blessed to be a part of most major productions that have come to the Hawaiian Islands. From television to the big screen, working as a stuntman or an actor or just behind the camera, all of it has been the most exciting experiences of my life. Truly being blessed to be born and raised here in Hawaii and to top it off, I work in the film industry. I would like to say Mahalo to all the people who make it happen and keep it going: Mike Crowe, Jeff Cadiente, Brian Keaulana, Brock Little, Mike Trisler, I could go on for days but that’s just a few of my heroes out there. Mahalo and aloha. – Aden Stay, NSC Construction

Our staff at Marie Louise Fine Garment Cleaners takes great pride and pleasure in caring for the wardrobe cleaning needs for television series such as Hawaii Five-0 and Lost as well as movie costumes for Battleship and Pirates of the Caribbean. We all enjoy watching each episode of Hawaii Five-0 and seeing the clothes we clean in action! – Wendy Kia, Marie Louise Fine Garment Cleaners

As a musician, composer and film scorer, I have had the opportunity to work on a wide

Island Film Group produces Princess Ka`iulani (Q’orianka Kilcher, Barry Pepper, Will Patton), a feature film depicting the life of Hawaii’s Crown Princess and her struggle to preserve the Hawaiian Monarchy against the overthrow movement. Independent Japanese feature film Honoka’a Boy shoots on the Big Island. The Big Island and Lanai play host to the Helen Mirren vehicle, The Tempest.

Wheel of Fortune shoots 20 on-location episodes on the Big Island.

2009 After several economically turbulent months, the Hawaii Film Office is forced to lay off half its staff, including film commissioner Donne Dawson. 22

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array of rewarding projects, and to work with a number of talented artists. Henry Mancini once said of my music: “His playing has always intrigued me. His use of electronics never gives the impression of gimmickry. Both in esoteric mood music and in standard pop, he is a master.” What I enjoy most about making music is its healing power. For more than 25 years, my music has been used for all types of healing. Most recently, I collaborated with Project Peace on Earth and the SupportVetsNow.org program to offer a free copy of my album, Harmonic Dreamtime, to returning veterans who are in the process of readjusting to civilian life. The music aims to help veterans relax enough to get a peaceful night’s sleep, while also awakening their spiritual awareness. In addition to creating my own music, I also have an acoustically perfect, 30-foot Geodesic dome and soundstage available for rent. The recording complex, Aloha Land Studios, is open to all audio, film, video and multimedia projects produced in Hawaii. – Tony Selvage, Bakada Productions

In 2008 Island Film Group produced Princess Ka‘iulani (Q’orianka Kilcher, Barry Pepper Will Patton), a feature film depicting the life of Hawaii’s Crown Princess and her struggle to preserve the Hawaiian Monarchy against the overthrow movement. Filmed in both Hawaii and England, Princess Ka‘iulani was

the first feature to depict the Hawaiian Monarchy and showcase Hawaiian ‘olelo, and it was the first film permitted to capture the lush interior of ‘Iolani Palace. The film also boasts a beautiful score by Oscar-winning composer Stephen Warbeck, which was performed by the Honolulu Symphony. Following a successful premiere at the Hawaii International Film Festival, where the film won the Audience Award, Princess Ka‘iulani enjoyed a theatrical run in Hawaii and the mainland, with Japan to follow. The DVD release includes an original documentary that sheds light on the history behind the film. Island Film Group continues to produce film and television projects for domestic and international distribution. – Ricardo S. Galindez, Island Film Group We are so honored to be a part of Hawaii Film & Video Magazine 10th anniversary celebration. The past 10 years have been exciting, prosperous and history-making for Kauai. Several of the greatest movies ever made in the past decade have been filmed on our beautiful sandy beaches or in our tropical green jungles. It’s been a pleasure to be a part of this and to have the opportunity to work with some of the best producers and directors in the business, not to mention working with some of the most professional and creative people in the motion picture industry. Work Horse Productions is Kauai’s leading production company specializing in film and stage production. We are also the only grip house on the island with professional and experienced crew and Kauai Grip Truck services 24/7. – Michael Gregg, Work Horse Productions

Georja Skinner, chief officer of the Creative Industries Division, takes a more hands-on role in terms of daily film office activities.

2010

Clint Eastwood films a small but vital part of his supernatural thriller, Hereafter, in Lahaina, employing around 70 locals.

Hawaii’s most successful production year so far, 2010 saw the state raking in more than $400 million in estimated production revenues due to several major film and TV projects filming in the islands. These include:

Hyperspective Studios produces a film trailer, starring LOST’s Daniel Dae Kim, for the 29th Hawaii International Film Festival. Ohina Short Film Showcase rises again at the Doris Duke Theater in Honolulu, marking a strong renewal of independent short film in Hawaii. Hawaii Film Partners’ You May Not Kiss the Bride films on Oahu, bringing stars like Mena Suvari, Vinnie Jones, and Tia Carrere to the islands.

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LOST wraps its sixth and final season on Oahu.

Hawaii Five-0: The reboot of the popular ‘80s series has proven to be quite popular in its own right, and in 2012 the CBS series will be filming its third season on Oahu. The Descendants: The Oscar-winning George Clooney/Alexander Payne film, based on the novel by Hawaii’s own Kaui Hart Hemmings, films all across the state, including on Oahu, the Big Island, and Kauai.


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I have been fortunate to have worked alongside some of the most gifted designers and visual effects artists in the industry. My experiences have allowed me to travel to destinations on the mainland and overseas. Fortunately I have contributed to over 20+ feature films, several commercials, and music videos. I have worn many hats to include: Visual Effects Supervisor and Director. My most memorable experience was this past year (2011); assembling a local team of artists to tackle 78 Stereo 3D visual effects shots. The client was Amarok Pictures in Chicago, Illinois. This type of post production had never been accomplished in the state of Hawaii. Locally I have also contributed to Journey 2: Mysterious Island, Pirates of the Caribbean, and Lost. Thankfully, a handful of projects I have contributed to have won awards. Lol. – S. Kai Bovaird, ADAM CX, LLC I hosted President Bill Clinton, Hillary and their daughter Chelsea during their week vacation on Kauai. Each morning, I conducted production briefings with 14 secret service agents, explaining what type of locations we would be at; delineating our exact route to each location so they could coordinate their security en route and positioning at the final destination. President Clinton is an avid golfer and we played two days of golf—the Princeville Makai Course and one day at The Prince Course. Our “fivesome” included the President, myself, my son Clay, Murphy the golf pro, and my good friend Pierce Brosnan. A day hike on the Na Pali Coast was quite interesting with the secret service men carrying Halliburton

Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides: The fourth installment of the Pirates series found stars Johnny Depp and Penelope Cruz exploring the terrain of Oahu and Kauai. Just Go With It: Maui plays host to the Happy Madison production, starring Adam Sandler and Jennifer Aniston. Battleship: This mega-budget popcorn flick shot on Oahu and stars Liam Neeson, Brooklyn Decker, Alexander Skarsgard, Rihanna, and Hawaii’s own USS Missouri. Journey 2: The Mysterious Island: Another 2010 film that utilized most of the Hawaiian islands (Oahu, the Big Island, and Kauai), Journey 2 stars The Hunger Games’ Josh Hutcherson, Michael Caine, and Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson. Predators: Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Danny Trejo, and Laurence Fishburne are chased all over the Big Island by a merciless alien race.

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suitcases. Dinners with the Clintons and bonfires on the beach were amazing and totally unforgettable. Although not a film production, my week consisted of all of the same requirements, skills and finessing that we as managers and coordinators utilize. – Eddie Abubo, Kauai Productions

cameo, it is exciting to participate in the production that features the beautiful Hawaiian locations and culture. As a big fan of the show, working with the excellent cast and crew makes it even more special. We look forward to a long relationship with this great piece of television history. – Josh Lang, Paradise Helicopters

Working with Dondi Bastone, Richard Ford and Alexander Payne on The Descendants soundtrack with island slack key artists, Keola Beamer and Jeff Peterson. It was memorable because it’s the first time newly recorded slack key music would be used in a major motion picture. All recording was done at the newly named Island Sound Studios in Hawaii Kai. – Gaylord Holomalia, Island Sound Studios In 2009, Ohina Short Film Showcase rose again at the Doris Duke Theater in Honolulu, marking a strong renewal of Independent Short Film in Hawaii. The following year Pacific Resources for Education and Learning (PREL) began for the first time a two-year series of animated short films, garnering high praise and awards for The Menehune and The Birds in 2011. Hawaii is a hotbed of a surprisingly large group of talented animators and storytellers. Pacific Music Productions was able to use our enormous collection of authentic Hawaiian sound effects in many short films these past 10 years. – Gerry Ebersbach, Pacific Music Productions

It has been a privilege to be part of the Hawaii Five-0 series filming experience. From flying for the aerial footage, to a brief on-screen

Carol Spinney, a man with snowy white hair, not too tall in stature, walked into my studio on March 9, 2012 wearing a buttonup checkered shirt and carrying a bag that looked like it contained a bowling ball. He came to read lines for a ‘sync to picture’ voice over video session starring Big Bird of Sesame Street fame. Once the session was over I found out that the bag he carried did not contain a 10pound ball—Carol opened the bag and introduced me to Oscar the Grouch. The way Carol breathed life into his muppet was truly magical. He said he brought Oscar to the studio for the sole purpose of bringing joy to our time together. Whether I was on the other side of the microphone, or sitting with him while he introduced Oscar to me, memories of my childhood arose. It was incredible to experience, in person, a man who has such love for what he does. Working with Carol Spinney was truly memorable—a moment I will never forget. – Lindley P. Cannon, Blue Planet Sound

2012

Soul Surfer: The much-anticipated film features AnnaSophia Robb as Bethany Hamilton, the Kauai surfer who lost her arm in a shark attack.

The Descendants wins the state’s first Academy Award, for Best Adapted Screenplay. ABC’s new series Last Resort shoots 13 episodes for its premiere season, while Hawaii Five-0 returns for season three.

2011 Harry Donenfeld is hired as Maui County Film Commissioner. Oahu serves as the backdrop for the third installment of Alvin and the Chipmunks, Chip-Wrecked. The production films all the background shots in Hawaii, then travels to Vancouver, B.C., to animate the chipmunks into the film. The jungles of Oahu double for the jungles of Africa for Rise of the Planet of the Apes, starring James Franco, Andy Serkis and Frieda Pinto.

Maui County keeps busy with Lifetime’s remake of Blue Lagoon, Syfy’s Haunted Collector, TNT’s pilot episode of Drop Zone, and a handful of shows for The Travel Channel and TLC. Donne Dawson returns to lead the Hawaii State Film Office.

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Task Force Aims to Attract More Production to Neighbor Islands BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor

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ahu has always been the state’s production central, collecting more than 90 percent of production revenues spent in Hawaii every year, with the Neighbor Island counties getting the rest.

There are sound reasons for the disparity. Oahu has the necessary infrastructure to sustain several major productions at any given time, including a soundstage at the Hawaii Film Studio, more available warehouse space, several production equipment houses, a large crew base, and major urban and extremely rural locations. Oahu also is serviced by several major airlines. The Neighbor Islands’ lack of some of these essential services can greatly increase production costs for companies, as they must fly in crew and transport production equipment from Oahu. Hence, Oahu remains production central. But now some members of the Hawaii Film & Entertainment Board (HFEB)—a committee of the state and county film commissioners, trade union representatives and associations—want to change that. In April, several members—including all the Neighbor Island film commissioners, Screen Actors Guild Hawaii director Brenda Ching, Teamsters business agent Jeanne Ishikawa, chief officer of the Creative Industries Division Georja Skinner, and local producer Dana Hankins—formed a task force to look into specific ways and solutions to increase production in Maui, Kauai, and Hawaii counties. The idea initially emerged after complaints from some HFEB members about the disparity in production opportunities on the Neighbor Islands. But the idea to form a task force was championed by SAG’s Ching. “There had been enough complaining within the group about the Neighbor Islands not getting enough production that she thought we should do something about it,” said John Mason, Big Island film commissioner. “We want to formalize an approach to really look into this issue and see what we can do.” Oahu has more productions, production dollar revenues, and crew days than all of the Neighbor Islands combined, year in and year out, he said. According to Mason, the task force has met once since forming, as they “crank up” their agenda. 24

“We’re trying to understand in detail the reasons why there’s so little productions on the Neighbor Islands and what, if anything, can be done about it,” he said. “We need to identify the critical factors related to the issue and why so much goes to Oahu. Do we fully understand how these factors play out, and can they be solved?” Ultimately, after the task force understands that, then the goal is to go to the full HFEB community with some ideas on how to address these problems, said Mason.

“We’re trying to understand in detail the reasons why there’s so little productions on the Neighbor Islands and what, if anything, can be done about it.” “We know the primary reasons—like lack of infrastructure, low crew base, more expensive— but I’m not sure we understand the full context of those reasons,” he said. “If we say labor is an issue, then what do we mean? What programs are in place to help make up for financial short falls? Why is it more expensive for labor on the Neighbor Islands? Then we’ll see if we can come up with ideas to address those things.” Mason said the issue of having “stage space” on the Neighbor Islands is also important to attract productions. To address this issue, he continued, the task force discussed the possibility of taking the “Ryan Kavanaugh approach.” This would mean that rather than expect the state to build a soundstage or production facility, individual counties could build one or partner with a private citizen like producer Kavanaugh, who is in talks to help build both an Oahu and a Maui studio. That would require, Mason emphasized, “drafting legislation, then working to get the legislation passed… (and) constructing programs to get tax dollars for such projects to

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

make partnerships attractive.” Mason and at least one other task force member, Maui film commissioner Harry Donenfeld, question why the state wants to build more soundstages on Oahu and not a Neighbor Island. “So we’re left even farther out in the cold,” continued Mason. “The state has an obligation to assist the Neighbor Islands. Making us more attractive for production can only help the state. Obviously, one of the challenges for the task force is how can we all work together so all the vested interests have their day in court?” A major issue, Mason concedes, is the transportation costs for production equipment, crew and actors. “I’m not sure we understand how that works to get discounts,” he said. “If we know who the major shipper is, we go to their official reps and talk to them to better understand their position on these kinds of arrangements.” A big problem is that Hawaii only has one Neighbor Island shipper. One member of the task force said that this shipping company doesn’t give any concessions, even for a top studio like DreamWorks when it filmed the Indiana Jones sequel on the Big Island. The task force also hopes to meet with Hawaiian Airlines reps to discuss discounted fares. The company is a major sponsor of the CBS series Hawaii Five-0. “Everyone wants a lower fare,” said Mason. “We’ve had general conversations with Hawaiian (Airlines) about working together on the production side to get some kind of a kamaaina rate and to learn how it works from their side… what they need to make the deal work, or can it work.” Later this month, several Hawaii Five-0 executives will scout locations on the Big Island to film an episode there in season three. “Hawaiian has said they’re not opposed to working with people on deals and partnerships, but the key thing for them is what do they get out of it?” said Mason. “That could be branding, or featuring a new service they’re introducing.” But the word from “sources” is that Hawaiian will not offer any discounts for the Five-0 scout team, said Mason. “If we can’t get deals out of the airline,” he said, “then we have to look at what we can do to offset it.” HFV


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LAST RESORT

A Q&A WITH PRODUCER KARL GAJDUSEK BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor

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arl Gajdusek has been a selfdescribed “fanatic” about submarines since he was a young

boy.

“I read a lot about U-boats as a kid and studied that side of it a lot; then I got a bit into the more modern versions of nuclear subs,” said the co-creator and producer of ABC’s Last Resort. Set to begin filming on Oahu on July 30, Last Resort is a character-driven drama in which an Ohio Class nuclear power submarine—the USS Colorado—is a prime character. The series, from Gajdusek and Shawn Ryan, will film 13 episodes but could go to 22 episodes, depending on ratings. The show is scheduled to air Thursday nights in the fall. “It’s the type of show I had been wanting to work on for a while,” said Gajdusek, whose credits include the forthcoming Trespass, starring Nicolas Cage and Nicole Kidman, The Mechanic, and Unknown. Last Resort co-creator Last Resort is a Karl Gajdusek. thriller set in the near future when the country is very fractured, and revolves around the crew of a U.S. nuclear submarine who becomes hunted after ignoring an order to fire its nuclear missiles. The crew and the sub escape to a NATO listening outpost in the South Pacific—filming locations are Kualoa Ranch and Coconut Island in Kaneohe Bay—where they publicly declare themselves to be the world’s smallest nuclear nation with 24 nuclear warheads. The show will explore the society the fugitives create, the natives they meet, and how what they’ve done affects the group and its unity. Hawaii Film & Video Magazine caught up with the affable Gajdusek at his office in Los Angeles. Hawaii Film & Video Magazine: Where did the concept for Last Resort originate? Karl Gajdusek: Well, as a kid I had a big interest in submarines and it stayed with me. 26

Last Resort cast photo.

Then I was doing research on the (submarine) fleet and came across this tidbit that the fleet carries half of the U.S. nuclear weapons; that was startling. Then a very simple realization came to me. A modern U.S. nuclear submarine Ohio Class has enough armament that we could call it a nuclear-armed nation. Anyone with that much armament we think of as a global player. HF&VM: How did the conflict idea evolve? KG: From that realization of what that weaponry can mean. When you decide that you want to make a television show like this one, you have to come up with a conflict. So what are the circumstances? Where’s the story that turns one of these subs and the men and women on it into their own entity. The story Shawn and I came up with is in the pilot. We think it’s compelling, and borders realism, and could happen. HF&VM: How much did the original script differ from the final pilot version? KG: That final script was pretty close. We always knew that the submarine had been ordered to fire its nuclear missiles. And the

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

crew would not. But the question of why they didn’t was really the most important to us and we probably worked the most on that. And that change was the biggest from the original. This was not the story of a bunch of guys who say, “I don’t feel like doing my duty today; I’m having a crisis of conscience so I don’t feel like pushing that button.” That seemed like such a liberal Hollywood fantasy. It was important to us that the actions of the crew of the USS Colorado would be seen by everyone, including the military and especially the Navy, as plausible and possible that this could happen. HF&VM: So how does this situation unfold? KG: The order to fire the missiles comes through a network that’s not standard operating procedure. It’s only used in that lastditch effort when all D.C. has been wiped out. The first thing the crew does is to roll out their antenna and they learn that all of America is fine and there’s no conflict whatsoever. So they radio back and say, “We’re ready to fire these missiles, but why did the order come the way it did? The message should have come the way it’s supposed to come.”


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HF&VM: Was Hawaii the first choice as a location? KG: It was my first choice and a lot of people’s first choice. But on day one, everything was on the table: Australia, New Zealand, Mexico, Puerto Rico, and the coast of California, but we decided California wouldn’t work.

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Last Resort was written by Shawn Ryan and Karl Gajdusek, who are also executive producers along with Martin Campbell and Marney Hochman Nash. The pilot for Last Resort was directed by Martin Campbell. Last Resort is produced by Middkid Productions in association with Sony Pictures Television.

HF&VM: Why did you want Hawaii so badly? KG: Hawaii, I thought, would be good for a lot of reasons. Hawaii is not that far from L.A. It has a thriving TV and film industry, fantastic crews, and soundstages… and it passes for our fictional island in the South Pacific with the right ethnicities. When you make a TV show, you’re asking (crew) to commit a lot of their life and time. And you want to be able to say to people, “Hey, it’s worth it to come to work with you in this place,” and some places it’s just too hard to ask people to sacrifice for. HF&VM: Was Hawaii’s production tax incentives a lure? KG: Of course they were. Hawaii has good incentives, but of course we wish they were better. But there were so many other factors that brought us here. The Hawaii Film Studio was a huge incentive for us when we were making the decision about where we would film. ABC’s series The River had the Hawaii Film Studio. We ended up sharing the soundstage and were able to build a set inside and outside, where we built the sub’s conning tower that we put on a gimbal so we can move the tower. HF&VM: Will you and Shawn work in Hawaii or Los Angeles? KG: We’ll be in L.A. running the writers’ room and doing post there. Kevin Hooks is the producing director on the ground in Hawaii, but each writer will travel to Hawaii when their episode is being filmed. There will be a rotating crew of writers going to Hawaii. And we will come to Hawaii as needed. HF&VM: Will Last Resort be working in cooperation with the military in Hawaii? KG: That’s a tricky one. We would be happy to work with the military. We think that we have a patriotic show, but historically the military is careful about the shows that they open up to. I think our show is controversial enough that there won’t be an official thing with the military. Maybe when people start watching the show, but we don’t have a military deal officially. 28

HF&VM: So what will you do for the submarine shots? KG: We’re connected to a great special effect house in Burbank called FuseFX that has really gone out on a limb and pushed the boundaries to provide what we need. Underwater stock shots of Ohio Class submarines don’t really exist. But as for making a model, or digital model, we ended up making a digital model and the results are breathtaking. We invested a lot of time, energy and capital. You’ll see that in the pilot episode. HF&VM: Since this is a character-driven show, is there much need for lots of exterior shots? KG: We will have a combination of both. We are not going to succeed trying to compete with a $200-million budgeted special effects movie. But we will live or die on the strength of our characters in interiors or close exteriors. The most important aspect of Last Resort is the relationship between these men and women and what they decide to do. HF&VM: What will be Last Resort’s primary locations? KG: We built the fictional island’s town at Kualoa Ranch, as well as a bar there, which is a major set. When the sub arrives on the island they find a big town there. We’re also using Coconut Island as our harbor shots and ship to shore scenes.

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

Actors Scott Speedman and Daisy Betts.

But we will be shooting all over Oahu. We have to pull off a Washington, D.C. location, and in the pilot we used the Hawaii Judiciary Building and a very, very expensive apartment in a Honolulu high-rise. HF&VM: Did you discover any logistical problems while filming the pilot in Hawaii? KG: It’s been pretty nice so far, but I have an anecdote. We shot the pilot here in March and we had built the sub’s conning tower outside the stage at the Hawaii Film Studio. We were told that in Hawaii it never really rains hard. Then in March, we got those tsunamilike rainstorms that completely destroyed that exterior set. HF&VM: What about Hawaii’s crew? KG: Crew-wise we didn’t have any problems at all. We had an incredible crew on the pilot. We will hire as many locals as possible for financial reasons, but also spiritual. We’re shooting here so we want to use as many as we can here. HFV


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Hawaii: ‘If Can, Can.’ MEETING THE HIGH STANDARDS OF FEATURE FILM ADR IN THE LOCAL MARKET BY SCOTT WILKS Guest Columnist

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or decades, a fundamental part of filmmaking has been Automated Dialogue Replacement or Additional Dialogue Replacement, commonly referred to as “ADR.” This process of recording dialogue is done in the post-production phase, well after the location shoots are completed. The participation of the actor, director and producer are still needed, but they are often at far and opposite corners of the globe when the time comes. In the recent past, everyone would need to coordinate through complex schedules, costly travel, and a bit of exhaustion in order to congregate in a Hollywood ADR studio, and hopefully get all the takes needed in that one visit. Of course, this coordination problem has been solved for decades in most major cities

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with the heavier use of Integrated Services Digital Network, or ISDN, technology since the early ‘90s. The actor would just pop into a local, small ADR studio that would send real-time audio and/or time code to the main production studios remotely, where the director could guide the actor through a talkback system. This was basically like a modern Skype call but with two channels of broadcast-quality, digitally encoded, realtime audio. Pretty cool stuff and no problem for studios in most major cities. But what if the actor is in Hawaii? Well until recently, Hawaii had to say “No Can.” Production companies had no choice but to pull actors from their Hawaii-based projects and/or their Island homes, put them on a plane to L.A., get their dialogue work done, and turn them around the next day. But now, Hawaii Can! With the larger wave of film productions that have made it to the Islands, the more and

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more production staff, directors, producers and even actors have made Hawaii a semi-permanent home. This means that Hawaii production facilities have the opportunity to rise to the occasion and accommodate these locals and their larger projects with ADR service that meets the technological needs required by modern post-production audio houses. Tools like ISDN connections and industry standard production software and hardware make it possible for Hawaii-based facilities to provide the same technological services found in Hollywood ADR. Hawaii has already met the expectations of the majors, like Jerry Bruckheimer, Disney PIXAR, HBO and Warner Bros., with high quality service. Here’s to continued success with the Hollywood crowd. Hawaii Can and Does! HFV Scott Wilks is director at Blue Planet Sound in Honolulu. Visit www.blueplanetsound.com for more information.


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STUNT COORDINATOR COLIN C.L. FONG SAG Stunt & Safety Committee; Hawaii Stunt Association Vice-Pres, Second Unit Director; Stunt Coordinator and Stuntman. Imaginative action choreographer, actor’s trainer, safety consultant, motion-capture director, accident re-enactment creator. Multiple fighting styles, weapons & arms, sports, car gags, precision driving, fire gags, high falls, bullet hits, explosions, bikes, water gags, rigging etc. Over 60 coordinator credits on features, TV series, and national commercials.

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Kilauea Stars in Volcano Live THE BIG ISLAND VOLCANO IS READY FOR ITS CLOSE-UP

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ollowing the success of its Stargazing and Lambing Live series, British network BBC Two continues its approach to commissioning live events for television with Volcano Live, a four-part series presented by Kate Humble and Professor Iain Stewart. Broadcasting live over four days, from July 9 through 12, Volcano Live will connect viewers with this active terrain as it transforms the life and landscape around it. The BBC Factual production, from executive producer Lisa Ausden and series producer Alan Holland, will utilize a crew of about 40, including 15 Hawaii hires. One such local hire is Maui-based locations manager Glenn Beadles, who serves as the production’s “fixer”—handling and solving most production problems that pop up. Several Big Island locations will be used in the series, and as of press time, the produc-

tion was still seeking permits for filming, according to Beadles. Besides footage of Kilauea Volcano and Hawaii Volcanoes National Park, there will also be aerial shots of other parts of the Big Island, he said. The BBC crew is scheduled to arrive on the Big Island the last week in June and first week in July. The crew will produce four episodes with four different themes. Episode one will be “An Introduction to our Active World,” episode two will be “Life and Death,” episode three will be “Volcanoes,

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HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

Earthquakes and Tsunamis,” and episode four will be “The Future.” In each episode, live action will be interspersed with prerecorded footage, capturing the expeditions of volcanologists and enthusiasts worldwide. “Volcano Live will offer BBC Two viewers a rare opportunity to join world-class experts at the forefront of cutting-edge volcanology research,” said Janice Hadlow, controller of BBC Two. “Broadcasting live from the edge of one of the world’s most active volcanoes over four days will offer a completely new and unique way of experiencing this powerful and unpredictable natural phenomenon.” Kilauea Volcano has been erupting steadily since 1983, making it the earth’s longestever recorded continuous eruption. During this time, millions of visitors from all over the globe have come to see the dramatic beauty of the volcano that makes Hawaii Island ever bigger. Hawaii Volcanoes National Park is the number one visitor attraction in the state of Hawaii, and one of only 21 UNESCO World Heritage sites in the United States. HFV


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Harrington Productions Stays Busy with New Film Projects

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evin Harrington, a cinematographer and producer, started Harrington Productions in 1998. In 2000, Harrington produced ArtScapes, the Power of Culture and Art, a documentary about art and culture in the Pacific Rim, with Joanna Jeronimo, creative director/writer. ArtScapes originally aired on PBS-Hawaii and won National Telly awards for cinematography and writing. Carlos Molina, program director for PBS Hawaii, wrote, “We are very excited about ArtScapes. A very impressive program. We are going to premiere it during our sweeps week in May. That’s how much we like the program.” Harrington was commissioned to document the last remaining canister of Agent Orange to be incinerated on the small atoll

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of Johnston Island, the site of a high-tech incineration facility. Along with photographer Ray Mains, Harrington flew to the one-squaremile island in a C-140. It was, well, interesting, says Harrington: “We had to have a gas mask on hand and an antidote canister strapped to our leg in case of a leak! The surrounding water and sea and bird life there was incredible though.” Harrington teamed up again with Jeronimo and Diane Dewsbury, a television program consultant on the mainland, and developed Blood Ties Hawaii, a Hawaii-based reality television show. An L.A. production company expressed some interest in partnering but nothing has become of it yet. In 2008, Harrington upgraded his equipment to HD, acquiring a Panasonic HPX-500 HD camera and Avid Media Composer 5.0,

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and became proficient in the latest HD technologies. In 2010, Harrington worked with executive producer Mike Lynch of Phoenix Productions to do a DVD of the Smith’s Family Luau Show on Kauai. Filmed in HD, the shoot included behind-the-scenes footage, interviews and scenic, along with a threecamera shoot of the cross-cultural show. Harrington was the DP and editor of the project. Harrington is presently working on the documentary film, The Place Where You Belong: Ho’i I Ka Piko (A Sense of Place). And in addition to producing documentaries, Harrington produces promotional videos and TV commercials, and works yearly filming corporate events in Hawaii, providing HD cameras, jib arm, editing and multi-cam productions. HFV Harrington Productions is located in Haliimaile, Maui. For more information, call 808-280-1098 or visit www.harringtonprovideo.com.


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Resources for the Hawaii Production Community

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808.881.1645 Email: mwmtrucking@gmail.com ISSUE TWO 2012 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE

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Hanalei Bay from St. Regis Hotel & Resort

Kauai Celebrates and Honors Movies Made on The Garden Isle BY ART UMEZU Kauai Film Commissioner

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s I wrote in this year’s first issue of Hawaii Film & Video Magazine, it’s the year of “Dragons & Descendants,” with Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants garnering much acclaim and many awards, including three Golden Globes and one Oscar. 2012 is also a year in which Kauai reflects back to the golden years of Hollywood filmmaking, as several Kauai-made movies celebrate a milestone. Paramount Pictures’ Blue Hawaii, starring Elvis Presley, is celebrating 50 years this year, since it premiered in late 1961 nationwide but first screened on Kauai in early 1962. The movie was filmed primarily on the Garden Isle at the famous and historic Coco Palms Hotel, where an idyllic lagoon flowed beside the landmark swaying palm trees and thatched bungalows. Kauai Film Commission is spearheading an event this year to honor the global success of Blue Hawaii half a century ago. We are planning a free showing of the movie, complete with special entertainment to bring back the musical past and lifestyle of the 1960s rockabilly and soda fountain era. Four years ago in 2008, Kauai Visitors Bureau celebrated and honored another blockbuster, South Pacific, with a special screening and appearance by the movie’s leading actress, Mitzi Gaynor. The 20th Century Fox movie filmed on Kauai for two months in 1957 at various locations, including Ha‘ena, Kilauea, Polihale, Lawa‘i Kai, and the most famous scene, which was shot from above Princeville nearby, where Hanalei Bay 36

Coco Palms lagoon

Resort and St. Regis Hotel now stand. August 16, 2012 also marks the 35th anniversary of the King of Rock’s passing. He was so enamored by Kauai’s exotic and alluring charm during Blue Hawaii’s filming that several months before his passing in 1977, he spent days on Kauai. He had his private jet parked at the old Lihue Airport while he spent time enjoying Paradise Hawaiian Style, another Paramount movie he filmed on Kauai in 1964. September 11, 2012 also marks 20 years since the powerful and destructive hurricane Iniki descended on the Garden Isle, devastating Kauai on the same day that director Steven Spielberg and his Amblin crew were busy wrapping up production for the original Jurassic Park. It was filmed during the

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

summer of 1992 and released in 1993 to global blockbuster success. Two sequels of Jurassic Park were also filmed on Kauai in 1997 and 2001. Although Kauai has completely recovered and rebounded from Iniki, and now bustles with visitors and filming activities, the old Coco Palms Hotel across Wailua Bay still sits idle waiting to re-open. But even while it waits, Hollywood is still very much part of this historic site. Former owner of Hawaii Movie Tours, Bob Jasper, conducts daily ‘movie tours’ at Coco Palms, which provided an ideal location in 2010 for Disney’s Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, where Johnny Depp slung between the tall, swaying night palms in the movie. In 2009, the iconic “King of the Bs” Roger Corman shot his as-always low-budget SyFy flick Dinocroc Vs. Supergator at Coco Palms, where he also shot his cult-film She Gods of Shark Reef in 1956. Kauai is grateful for Hollywood filmmakers who have featured our beautiful island through their eyes, minds and lenses for more than 75 years, and will continue to honor the past as well as embrace the future with aloha. Next year? We’ll celebrate Paramount’s Donovan’s Reef, starring John Wayne (1963/50-year anniversary); Amblin Entertaiment’s Jurassic Park (1993/20 years); and Warner Bros.’ TV mini-series The Thorn Birds, starring Richard Chamberlain and Rachel Ward (1983/30 years). HFV


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Forging a New Career Path on Kauai BY JASON BLAKE Guest Columnist

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any people who live here or have moved to Kauai struggle economically, especially in light of the uncertain times worldwide.

Kauai’s economic challenges lie on a scale between those on the much more rural islands of Molokai and Lanai and those of the bigger industry and tourist destinations of Big Island, Maui and Oahu. A career path can be difficult to construct, as several of the strata of an economy that might exist in a large metropolitan area or even in suburban mainland just don’t exist on an island like Kauai. Kauai does not have a wealth of middle management or manufacturing positions available. Even “tried and true” public service opportunities like teaching or police work have their capacity on a tiny island. What is the plan for the future for the keiki of Kauai? Real estate, tourism and agricultural or plantation work used to be the largest employers on the island. Except for coffee and some agribusiness on our west side, this type of work is a thing of the past on Kauai. Tourism is stabilizing and growing again, but took some hits the past few years. Real estate is finding its feet and not the heyday it used to be for realtors, developers, timeshare salespeople, title companies and all the related industries. Healthcare has some great possibilities and those are continuing to expand. We are laying track in entertainment and media. Along with our mission of creating more entertainment and media work for the trained professionals who live on Kauai, Lucky Dog Productions sees part of its civic responsibility as laying a foundation for what could be a more stable and thriving film, television and media career path on The Garden Island. The great news is we are not charged with handling the whole task on our own. The purpose of this article is to commend the efforts that are happening “in the field” on Kauai in order to train the children of Kauai and point them in the direction of what jobs might be possible in the future. Special kudos go out to the organizations that foster creativity in our youth from the earliest of ages. All of the public schools engage the children in the arts in some way— from basic art skills to music classes. As anyone in entertainment knows, a well-rounded 38

appreciation for all art forms and the right side of the brain is mandatory for quality artsrelated work that also has marketability. Other organizations provide valuable roles, too: Garden Island Arts Council engages children in many art-related activities. Kauai Academy of Creative Arts has a summer intensive program and rounds out an exciting and multifaceted curriculum each summer. Private schools like Island School, St. Catherine’s, St. Theresa, and others till the creative soil every day for our youth. Hawaii Children’s Theater does much solid, intensive training in all things related to theater pro-

to actual paid commercials. The video club produces a daily morning video update for school broadcast. Kevin is part of the steering committee at Hiki No and is a recipient of the Hawaii State Teacher of the Year Award. Julia Sanderl has been head of the Kapaa Middle School media program for the past three years. Her goal is to expose the children to all types of digital and creative media. Students in elective creative media classes are responsible for the school’s daily broadcast. They work hand-in-hand with Hawaii Stream to film sports and other island events. Julia’s husband Chris will be joining the program next year to help expand the curriculum. At Kapaa Middle School, the program focuses on partnering with professionals and other similar groups in the community and “tasting all the flavors” and varieties of potential

What’s Not Said, produced by Kauai High students organized as Above Moon Studios and headed by teacher Edwin Sawyer.

ductions. What impresses in the media industry is the array and professionalism of activities and curricula making their way into schools, from middle school and on. Of special note are the following programs on Kauai: Kevin Matsunaga heads the media program at Chiefess Kamakahei Middle School, which has received too many awards to list. The program started when the school opened in the year 2000. Most recently they won Best Middle School in the HMSA Teen Video Contest. The classes have done everything from shorts, to PSAs on PBS Hiki No,

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future careers related to the arts or media. Nathaniel Evslin was excited to launch the Island School media program just this past year for both middle and high school students. Island School has long had a growing arts and music program, so media was the obvious next addition to their college preparatory curriculum. This year’s tasks included purchasing higher-quality equipment, filming videos for and of school events, and learning the basics of filming and editing. Island School debuted its premiere instructional piece on Hiki No. The curriculum will expand next year to include more


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Feature Films • TV • Commercials • Print Ads & Editorials • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • • •

Chico’s — Women’s Fashion / Print Ads and Catalog Tea Collection — Women’s and Children’s Fashion / Print Ads and Catalog Daryl Hall — Music Video Glenfiddich Scotch Whiskey — Ad Campaign NBC Universal / The Weather Channel — TV documentary series The Golf Channel — Children’s Miracle Network Soul Surfer — Feature Film Jockey, International — Print Ads National Geographic Television America’s Most Wanted Chrysler ABC News — Live TV broadcast Good Morning America — Live TV broadcast series Subway Sandwiches — multiple TV commercials NIKE - multiple ad campaigns / TV commercials Quiksilver, Silver Edition — multiple ad campaign History Channel — TV documentary Proctor & Gamble — ad campaign Roxy — ad campaign. Kauai and Oahu Conde Nast Publications — Kauai and Oahu Billabong — ad campaign / catalog / videos

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interview and storytelling skills. On the high school front, Joyce Evens at Waimea High School is in charge of the business department and has included a broadcast and digital media curriculum under that umbrella. Students are required to be at school earlier than regular classes every morning in order to produce the daily, closed-circuit program Menehune TV3. They also focus on Web design, personal video projects, and Hiki No submissions. The vision is that students learn to make knowledgeable, ethical decisions as consumers, workers and citizens. Michelle Rundbaken is responsible for the Kapaa High digital media program, which has been in place for more than six years. She uses the framework of digital media to work on life skills such as planning, time-management, and working as part of a team—skills that are important on any career path. Students film on everything from affordable Handcams to DSLR. Rundbaken is proud of the students’ news work on PBS Hiki No because not only did they put together quality features, but the students had to research subjects where they formerly had little knowledge and had to work at professional standards when dealing with outside interviewees and participants. The group has won many awards, most recently receiving three different awards in the HMSA Student Video Contest. Students at Kauai High have one of the most interesting programs. Their media program is 100-percent volunteer from the students after school, on weekends and during the summer. Not only are they learning the basics of filmmaking, but teacher Edwin Sawyer has helped them produce Above Moon Studios, obtain a Sony FS100 camera, and produce their first high-productionvalue short entitled What’s Not Said, which they have submitted to the Hawaii International Film Festival. The group is already in pre-production for their next film project, which will be submitted to both Tribeca and Sundance film festivals next year. They have received funding from the Kauai Economic Development Board, Kauai Island Utility Cooperative, and Karen Augudong of Aloha Island Properties. Kauai Community College has upped its game, too. Both media-related certificate programs KCC offers have been over three years in development. Students can choose from either Digital Film and Video or Digital Graphic Design. The certificate programs are designed so that one could flow 40

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Production shots from Kauai High’s What’s Not Said.

into a full bachelor’s or master’s program in the same fields on Oahu or the mainland. Within a couple of years, these programs will be expanded into full associate degree programs. The goal is to strengthen the associate program so that it qualifies recipients for the technical aspects of employment in the media business or lays a strong foundation for the student to pursue an advanced degree that incorporates the more artistic aspects of filmmaking and design. This fall, KCC will offer its largest selection of classes to date in media—from screenwriting to intermediate video storytelling. For working or nondegree-pursuing students, KCC’s Office of Continuing Education offers non-credit media-related classes to adult learners throughout the year. In the past, classes have included audition technique, digital media and other related offerings. These mentions do not even begin to address the great seminars that are often hosted on Kauai. Recently, we’ve had acting coach Margie Haber teach actors on-camera skills.

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There are plans for a few seminars on island from production specialists who either vacation or live here at least part-time. John D’Aquino will be teaching an on-camera workshop for children and teens later in the summer. Lucky Dog Productions’ role is three-fold in this evolution. First and foremost, we are organizing the talent-base of Kauai so that we create more work for local talent on the shoots that come here from the mainland and other countries. Secondly, we will create more work through events and productions that we produce “in-house.” Thirdly, we’ll act as an advocate for the industry on Kauai so that Kauai can continue to be seen as more than just a “pretty face” to the film industry. Rather, Kauai will be a force to be reckoned with—the best locations in the world, the friendliest people, the best climate, and an evolving and growing legitimate infrastructure, including well-trained acting and production talent with the necessary available equipment and facilities. It seems to be working so far—we helped a British TV company organize an upcoming shoot on the island and hire local PAs and source equipment. At least two reality shows are filming on location here soon. And, there’s a rumor that a couple of large studio projects have visited Kauai’s amazing locations for possible upcoming shoots. Stay tuned for more. HFV Jason Blake is the president and CEO of Lucky Dog Productions, Inc. (www.luckydogkauai.com.) Jason can be reached at Jason@luckydogkauai.com.


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Kauai Production Profiles

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he Garden Isle offers a wide array of amenities to the film and video industry, ranging from production and post-production companies to crew, talent, and support services. Here is a look at just a few of the available services available on Kauai.

Kauai Ranch www.kauai-ranch.com Kauai Ranch has developed into the premier location for tropical shoots, offering superbly exotic, easily accessible, multiple locations on one exquisite 4,300-acre private ranch. Onestop shopping. Not only do we provide varied sites and diverse eco-systems—i.e. African-like Serengeti-scapes, Asian-like jungles (Tropic Thunder), lush valleys, mountains (portions of The Descendants), rivers, waterfalls, horses, and beautiful reservoirs— we can also provide heavy equipment and skilled operators to assist with location logistical needs, in addition to our on-site nursery plant material to aid in ease of shooting. Helpful resourceful ranch staff to support and assist for seamless shoots. Lucky Dog Productions, Inc. www.luckydogkauai.com Lucky Dog Productions, Inc. is Kauai’s only dedicated, professional TV, film and event production company. Lucky Dog is committed to making filming on Kauai easier for those who want to film on Kauai. Lucky Dog also produces its own commercial, TV features and films. Lucky Dog can help with everything from consulting, locations, casting, equipment, talent and more. Recently, Lucky Dog has helped with casting on commercials and films and has helped staff and get equipment for an international documentary. Lucky Dog maintains a comprehensive database of all media-related education and talent on Kauai. Lucky Dog is currently in pre-production for a film to be submitted to Sundance and a pilot for a Kauai-based television show. To discuss your upcoming project on Kauai, call 808-652-5210 or e-mail info@luckydogkauai.com. 42

Eddie Abubo/Kauai Productions www.kauaiproductions.com I work within the many different micro-climates that are indigenous and available in

Hawaii. Producing tropical backdrops, waterfalls, rain forests, canyons, navigable rivers, remote beaches and coastlines; as well as providing logistical solutions, permitting and budget estimates for film and print. I’ve been based on Kauai for over 35 years but work just as comfortably with my library of resources and knowledge of all the outer islands. I just returned from spending nine days on the Big Island managing Billabong’s production requirements for their girls’ fashion shoot. We shot film on Arriflex and Red cameras, as well as print photography for ads and catalog. This was my eighth production shoot with Billabong. Recently, I worked on Molokai on a grant from the PBS Channel, researching the beaches, the ocean and interviewing the people. We were examining how the ancient, traditional Hawaiian methods of fishing could apply today in order to help maintain our fisheries for future generations. Look for Fishing Pono to be released this year. Kauai Productions specializes in film production services and film production management throughout Kauai, Hawaii and the outer islands. Working in all the medias— feature films, TV shows, documentaries, commercials, music videos, print ads for magazine covers, editorials, fashion and catalog. Please visit my Web site for a partial list of clients, photos and more information regarding my work. Kauai Exclusive Management www.kauaiexclusive.com Kauai Exclusive Management is the premier full-service real estate rental, management, and sales

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organization on the island of Kauai. We specialize in caring for the specific and often unique needs of the film industry. With our organizational commitment to the principle of hookipa (hospitality) with aloha (love and caring) we consistently exceed the expectations of our clients and guests. Your kuleana (business responsibilities/needs) is our kuleana. Locally owned and personally operated by Joshua Rudinoff, we invite you to experience our excellence through service. To give us a try, call 1-877-GO-KAUAI when you go Kauai. Island Helicopters www.islandhelicopters.com Island Helicopters Kauai, Inc. has been serving the filming industry in Hawaii for over 32 years, with an unparalleled reputation for satisfaction and professionalism.

They have participated in hundreds of filming events, large and small, throughout the years to include major motion pictures such as: King Kong, Raiders of the Lost Ark, Jurassic Park, Tropic Thunder, and more. Owner/pilot Curt Lofstedt has a knack for finding the perfect filming locations and has experience in nearly all camera mounts. Island Helicopters fly the most popular and preferred helicopter used in the filming industry, the AS 350 B2 (AStar). Save time and money and get the best shots for your filming or photography success by contacting Island Helicopters at 808-246-0008 or e-mail: fly@islandhelicopters.com.

Toolmaster Hawaii, Inc. www.toolmasterhawaii.com Toolmaster Hawaii has been serving the island of Kauai for over 30 years. Our knowledgeable and friendly staff will help you choose the right equipment to get the job done. We rent a wide variety of hand and


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power tools, portable and towable generators, high reach booms and lifts, ladders, scaffold, pumps, pickup trucks, flatbed trucks, cargo vans, high cube vans with liftgate, and many other items. Visit our Web site for details. We are conveniently located less than one mile from Lihue Airport, close to downtown, harbor and shipping facilities. Props managers will find many unusual or hard to find items in Toolmaster’s inventory. Both Harrison Ford’s beat up red tool box that he carried on his plane in Six Days Seven Nights and the engines that turned the props on helicopters in Uncommon Valor came from our shop. Sweet Marie’s Hawaii Inc. www.sweetmarieshawaii.com Sweet Marie’s has been catering to the film industry since 1984. 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

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developed a signature line of gluten-free culinary delectables. Marie has been the proud owner and chef of Sweet Marie’s Hawaii Inc. for the past 14 years. 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. 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; she has now expanded into a larger “allergen friendly” facility in Lihue, Kauai. Our mission is to tantalize your sense of taste with healthy nutritious meals and desserts; we use the finest local fresh organic ingredients. Marie continues to provide support to nutrition and celiac health education by putting on workshops and cooking classes at the restaurant. Jack Harter Helicopters www.helicopters-kauai.com Jack Harter has been working with photographers and the film industry since 1962. Jack Harter Helicopters has earned a reputation for their steadfast dedication to safe-

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ty and quality during the 50 years that Jack has been on Kauai. Jack’s first feature film work was on Paradise Hawaiian Style (1965), in which Elvis Presley was a helicopter pilot and the movie was loosely based

on Jack’s business. Jack and his pilots have provided transportation to numerous remote locations on Kauai, like the Honopu Arch for King Kong (1976), and served as an aerial platform for many still photographers and videographers over the years. Most recently, the company transported still photographers down to the base of the Waimea Canyon to shoot base images for the 3D movie Journey 2 (2011). Based in Lihue on the island of Kauai, Jack Harter Helicopters has one Eurocopter AS350B2 AStar and three MD500E helicopters that are available for charter and contract work. The company’s MD500s are equipped for landing in very confined areas and are certified by the FAA for external load operations. Assistance with your project planning and securing flight services can be arranged by calling Casey Riemer (General Manager) at 808-245-3774 or 888-2452001. HFV


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We rent forklifts from 5,000 lb 15’ reach up to 8,000 lb 30’ reach.

We rent Genie selfpropelled and towable booms, scissors lifts and portable manual material lifts.

We rent trucks: • Pickups • Long Body Cargo Vans • Flatbeds with liftgate • Cube Vans with liftgate • Free airport pickup and drop off, no mileage fees, no charge for extra drivers.

We rent and sell: Stihl Chainsaws and Brushcutters for clearing sites.

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TOOLMASTER HAWAII, INC. 3061 Aukele St., Lihue, HI 96766 Phone 808-246-1155 Fax 808-246-1155 www.toolmasterhawaii.com Hours: 7 a.m to 4:30 p.m. Mon - Fri 8 a.m. to 12 noon Sat

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The Family Business PRODUCTION POWER COUPLE ANGELA LAPRETE AND CHICO POWELL BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor

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e’s the tall, silent type—a resolute man who picks his professional battles carefully. She’s diminutive, affable and outgoing with a beguiling smile and sparkling eyes that hide the wide swath of responsibility she carries on her shoulders. This is Angela Laprete, Hawaii Five-0 associate producer and production supervisor, and her life partner William “Chico” Powell, production accountant on the same CBS hit series. They are Hawaii’s production power couple, who for nearly two decades, rung by rung, have climbed the production career ladder to the point where they are on the coveted first-call list of Hollywood studios and networks that plan to shoot in the Islands. What’s especially miraculous is that neither Laprete nor Powell had to leave their beloved Hawaii for Hollywood to establish reputations. And they’ve been together for 21 years. “Like most people in the production business, we started out waiting tables at one point,” says Powell. Laprete and Powell are self-described “military brats” who met when they lived with their parents at Hickam Air Force Base. Powell was a 19-year-old waiter at HAFB when he saw Laprete, who is seven years older, and made a point to be her server. “I was clubbing at HAFB every Wednesday night,” says Laprete, grinning. “Chico thought he was cool waiting on me.” “Obviously, I was cool enough,” Powell counters. They’ve been a couple ever since and now have two children, Aidan, 10, and Aya, 5. Laprete has always been interested in 46

Powell was also a gifted athlete and received a soccer scholarship to the University of West Virginia. “My high school guidance counselor advised me to major in engineering,” says Powell, who was ranked ninth academically in his high school senior class. “So I said if I’m going to do that, then I’m going for the gusto and be a rocket scientist, an aerospace engineer.” But Powell left UWV early to come back home to Hawaii where his parents still lived. After Laprete graduated from UCSB, she also returned to the Aloha State to make her way in the production business. She started working on video projects that included karaoke laser discs with producer David Talisman. Powell, who was then working in retail, assisted Laprete on some of these projects behind and in front of the camera. Laprete went on to become actor Pat Morita’s personal assistant in Hawaii for five years. In 1998, she was hired as production coordinator on the television series Wind on Water, starring Bo Derek, which was shot on the Big Island. When the production needed a computer-savvy accountant, they asked Laprete if she knew of anyone. She, of course, recommended Powell. “I had always been comfortable around computers so I thought ‘what the hell,’” he says. “I thought it would be a good department to get into.” Whereas Laprete has worked in several production departments over the years, Powell has remained in production accounting. “Accounting is accounting is accounting,” he says. “We still abide by general accounting procedures, but production accounting is different because it’s so specialized. You really have to know what you’re looking at. It’s more than just knowing accounting principles.” Powell has worked on several productions, including Baywatch Hawaii and the indie

Angie Laprete and Chico Powell with kids Aidan and Aya.

production, and “loves” organizing events. Her first film production was Race to the Sun, on which she was a production assistant. She was born in the Philippines, and after graduating from Moanalua High School in Honolulu and later attending the University of Hawaii, she transferred to the University of California at Santa Barbara to study film. Powell, who was born in Fukuoka, Japan, says he was always good with “numbers,” but also really enjoyed learning video technology. “I really took to it,” says Powell. “Between my sports and academics I would go and dabble in video. My class did well and made a name for ourselves, but I always thought that actually working in the production industry was a kid’s pipe dream.”

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film Princess Kaiulani. But Hawaii (L-R) Chico Powell, Angie Laprete, Five-0 is his and Laprete’s biggest job and Samuel Jackson. yet. He has a staff of six that maintains the books. “My primary job is budgeting and estimating,” says Powell. “It’s a forever war, in a sense, a shell game. Some shows come in under budget and some may go over. When we’re going over, I present the package to (line producer) Jeff Downer or (executive producer) Peter Lenkov.” He continues, “Jeff will act on my advice. Then he talks to Peter and they discuss possible alternatives.” That’s where the pressures of Powell’s job ramp up because the producers act on what he tells them. Powell, in turn, relies heavily on the production’s department heads, who provide him their departments’ budgets. ies in college. “We get a script eight days out and then “When I take her to a movie she goes out we have eight days to prep it, then shoot it cold from fatigue and sleeps,” he says, grinfor eight days,” explains Powell. “I read the ning. script along with the unit production man“Yes, I’m tired,” she says, feigning a yawn. ager and line producer to get an idea where Her long list of credits includes everything our big (budget) hits will be.” from award-winning independent shorts and Powell works directly with CBS in Hollyfeatures to blockbuster movies, network telwood, which bases its budget decisions largeevision shows and commercials. She also sits ly from his recommendations. on the board of both the Hawaii Interna“I’m really just a scorekeeper,” says Powtional Film Festival and the Film and Video ell, who works 60 to 70 hours a week. “I tell Association of Hawaii. you where you’re at and you decide what you Laprete’s big break came when she was want to do. I never get emotionally involved hired on Baywatch Hawaii as executive proin that eternal battle between finance and ducer Greg Bonann’s assistant. production.” “He’s just a great, giving person,” Laprete Laprete’s workweek can be nearly as long says of Bonann. “He was so nice to everyone. and can include night shoots. The production was a big family.” “There’s a lot of stress in our industry; it’s Powell also worked on Baywatch Hawaii tough work and long hours,” she says. in payroll. Powell interrupts, joking that he’s The couple agrees that working in the same “amazed” that Laprete majored in film stud-

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industry, and even on the same show, is far more positive than negative. “We understand what each of us goes through on a daily basis,” says Powell. “Long hours away from home and kids can be brutal on a couple, but I understand her responsibilities and she understands mine and that helps ease things a lot. Ang and I rarely butt heads at work, but finance will always butt heads with production.” In addition to her everyday tasks on set, Laprete also sees one of her responsibilities as being the “production liaison for Hawaii.” “You have your L.A. people, then me, then Hawaii people,” she says. “I try to get as many Hawaii crew on the show as possible.” Hawaii Five-0 employs about 150 to 160 crew, 80 percent of which is from Hawaii. And while Laprete and Powell truly enjoy their work on bigger productions like Hawaii Five-0, the two are especially passionate about “the independent stuff,” says Laprete. “It’s really where my heart is,” she says. “That’s where we see our future. In six months I would like to go back to producing indie films. When the right indie project comes along, I want to produce and grow.” The couple worked together previously on the independent features One Kine Day and Deadly Honeymoon, and is in the process of bringing Hawaii’s award-winning book, The Tattoo, to the big screen. “The greatest thing about working with your spouse is sharing the same goals,” says Powell. “We always dreamed of developing the film industry in Hawaii from a grassroots, indie level with in-house talent. “It’s how we want to pay back our community.” HFV


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IATSE buffet

LeRoy and Margie Jenkins of Production Partners, and IATSE members Linda and Bruce Vollert Stylist Laine Rykes and Benita Brazier, Hawaii State Film Office economic development specialist.

Henry Fordham, IATSE Local 665 Hawaii business agent, addresses his members.

John Reynolds of Sea Otter Productions, and a 34-year IATSE member, manned the sound board at the event.

IATSE Mixed Local 665 Celebrates 75th Anniversary BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor

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arlier this month, several hundred members of the International Alliance of Theatrical Stage Employees, Moving Picture Technicians, Artists and Allied Crafts of the United States and Canada celebrated the 75th anniversary of the union’s organization in Hawaii. Keynote speaker Matthew Loeb, IATSE International president, in a spirited and rallying address, noted that the 75th anniversary event was “not about longevity, but success of local growth, leadership, and overall prominence in the IATSE.” “You’ve had excellent development and you protect your members,” said Loeb. “You 50

have strong leaders, skilled men and women who are nothing less than the best in the world.” Loeb congratulated Local 665 members for “standing together and always fighting for your brothers and sisters.” “You have excellent contracts and terms and conditions,” he said. “We all have known peo-

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ple who got their first home because of this union, who took care of their elderly parents because of this union, or who put a kid in college, the first one in the family ever, because of this union. That’s worth fighting for, isn’t it?” he said. “The membership gets it. It’s important to stand together… If we don’t take care of each other, who will do it?” Al Omo, Local 665 president, thanked the IATSE Gold Card members for all their help and encouragement when he started working for the union. The Gold Card is a permanent membership awarded to retired IATSE members for their distinguished serv-


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Dean Des Jarlais, co-owner of Hawaii Media Inc. and 35-year IATSE member, with Eric LeBuse, 48-year IATSE member. Mike Miller, IATSE International vice president, with makeup artist Tania Kahale.

ice to the union. “All were my mentors as I grew up on the stage at the Blaisdell Center,” said Omo. “They took me under their wing and said if you have any questions, ask. We are not individuals, but we are team players.” Mike Miller, IATSE International vice president, described Local 665 as “holding to the traditions that makes the union strong, but also is not afraid to move forward and embrace new ideas.” Henry Fordham, Local 665’s business agent, illustrated the experience depth of the union ranks with impressive numbers. “Local 665 has 7 active members with more than 40 years (in the union),” he said. “Thirty-one active members have more than 30 years’ experience, 65 members more than 20 years, and 128 with more than 10 years.” In detailing Local 665’s growth, Fordham said half of its nearly 600 members have come aboard the Hawaii labor organization since April 2004, when ABC’s LOST began filming its first season on Oahu. Fordham also noted that the celebrated IATSE Gold Card recipients are “the people who went through the years building this organization, making the personal sacrifices to

(L-R) Eryan and Jimmy Thurston, and Marie Peyton.

move forward, and create the unity that we have and we need to remain together and move forward.” Also among Local 665’s dues-paying rank and file is one member who is more than 80 years old, said Fordham, followed by a round of applause. Executive Board member Alan Brady is in his 52nd year of active membership. Local 665 members Eric LeBuse and Mel Pang have 48 years in the union. But Fordham said the union needs to nurture and bring on board young talent, not only into the union but also into leadership roles. He added, “We need the youth to start being engaged and learn to be a part of what it is that makes our union strong and our collective bargaining work… not being individuals, but being heroes.” HFV

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Film Offices of the Hawaiian Islands Earns Marketing Awards

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he film commissions of all four Hawaii counties, the Hawaii Film Office, and the Creative Industries Division of the state Department of Business, Economic Development and Tourism (DBEDT) were honored with a collaborative award from the American Marketing Association (AMA) in April. The Best Non-Profit/Government/NonCommercial Marketing award was presented to the film offices by AMA’s Hawaii chapter at a luncheon at the Hawaii Convention Center. The award came as a result of a presentation that Walea Constantinau, Honolulu film commissioner, and Georja Skinner, chief officer of DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division, did for AMA Hawaii in 2010. That presentation emphasized the relationship between destination marketing and film and television, and the capacity of the film offices to leverage minimum dollars for marketing

about people working day to day in production, she added. “It’s about all the ancillary benefits like tourism promotion,” Skinner continued. “This award also is a recognition that we do a lot with less. The film offices’ marketing budgets over the last five to six years have been constantly dwindling. Even with lower budgets, Hawaii production in 2010 had a mega year, which is a credit to Hawaii’s reputation as a film-friendly destination.” Kauai film commissioner Art Umezu said that being recognized by AMA, “especially in the company of other distinguished win-

“Hawaii’s film industry is flourishing and this award will help energize our marketing effort to reach out to global filmmakers.” through developing relationships with studio public relations and marketing representatives, as well as visitor destination reps. “The award honors the legacy of the work by all the film offices throughout the state to bring production here and to help Hawaii diversify its economy,” said Skinner. An important thing about this type of award is that it shows that film is not just

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ners—Disney’s Aulani Resort and Spa, the APEC Host Committee and Farmers Insurance—is truly an honor.” “Hawaii’s film industry is flourishing and this award will help energize our marketing effort to reach out to global filmmakers,” he said. All of Hawaii’s film commissioners, as well as Skinner, attended the event, including

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

Umezu, Honolulu’s Constantinau, the Big Island’s John Mason, Maui’s Harry Donenfeld, and the Hawaii Film Office’s Donne Dawson. Skinner said the film offices were recognized for their collaborative efforts to preserve Hawaii’s reputation as “a premier motion picture and television location, while also nurturing opportunities for Hawaii’s creative industries and local filmmakers.” The economic impact of Hawaii’s film industry since 2007 totals nearly $2 billion, creating some 15,000 skilled jobs, an average of 2,500 to 3,000 a year. In coordination with local businesses, the AMA said that DBEDT’s Creative Industries Division, the island visitor bureaus, and the film offices of the Hawaiian Islands are able to extend the value of film and television exposure through national and international promotions, brand integration, trip giveaways and media coverage. In turn, this provides the studios and networks with a greater marketing hook, while furthering the exposure for Hawaii, according to the AMA. Skinner said the recognition was especially a morale boost because the film offices, with the exception of the state’s film office, are “one-person operations.” So what’s next? “We can always improve,” said Skinner. “That begins with assessing where we are and looking at the state’s assets, then looking at ways we can lobby together for additional funding for the offices, ensure our offshore productions always want to come here, and develop our own local industry simultaneously while doing that.” HFV


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Big Winners at Big Island Film Festival

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t was another great Big Island Film Festival (BIFF) in May, as the annual event celebrated its seventh year.

Throughout the five-day festival, 57 films from Hawaii and around the world were screened, and at a ceremony held at the Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii, 12 of the films received prestigious awards. The bilingual comedy French Immersion (director Kevin Tierney) took top honors for Best Feature, Irvine Welsh’s Ecstasy (director Rob Haydon) received the Best Foreign Film award, and Beatrice (director Lance Dumais) won Best Short. The Audience Choice short film Hi Honey was created by Big Island residents Kelly Winsa and Peter Henderson. The Audience Choice feature winner was Shouting Secrets, directed by Korinna Sehringer. BIFF kicked off with the Mayor’s Welcome Reception, where mayor Billy Kenoi presented Big Island film commissioner John

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Mason with the 2012 BIFF Mayor’s Special Award. Festival founders Jan and Leo Sears received an appreciation plaque from Hollywood Foreign Press Association member Elisa Leonelli, who attended to evaluate foreign language films for possible Golden Globes consideration. Also present were celebrity guests Eloise Mumford (The River, Lone Star) and NBC story consultant, author and Huffington Post blogger Jennifer Grisanti. Other BIFF winners included: • Best Student Short: Faceless • Best Student Feature: Anos Despues • Best Hawaii Short: Flat • Best Family Short: Swoosh! • Best Animated Short: Cadaver • Best Foreign Short: Scenen • Barbara Award: Mr. Babbo BIFF is an annual celebration of narrative films and filmmaking and this year was attended by more than 2,200 people. Anchor sponsors included: The Fairmont Orchid, Hawaii; The Shops at Mauna Lani; Hawaii

HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

Big Island Film Festival staff

Tourism Authority/Hawaii County Department of Research and Development CPEP; Kenwood Vineyards; Redeeming Light International Inc.; and many other generous sponsors and supporters. HFV For more information, visit www.BigIslandFilmFestival.com.


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Tropical Visions Video Dances with the Goddess

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ilo’s Tropical Visions Video is now entering the post production phase of its most recent documentary scheduled for release in 2013. But what do a photographer, scientist, glass-blower, poet, tour guide, oil painter, and hula halau have in common? Well, Kilauea Volcano, naturally! While Halau Hula Ka Makani Hali‘ala O Puna with Kumu Ehulani Stephany literally chant and dance to the Volcano/Fire Goddess Pele, the others do so figuratively. But the inspiration remains the same—the manifestations of Pele in the eruptions of Kilauea, the world’s most active volcano. Kilauea volcano is hypnotic—it fascinates us. Many are drawn to the volcano from around the world, but only a few truly embrace it. Tropical Visions Video’s program will explore what being near an active volcano means to a variety of different people; those who perform hula depicting it, study it, write about it, capture images of it in various forms, guide others to see its wonders up close, or create artwork inspired by Pele’s handiwork. Most seem to have a deep spiritual connection with the volcano.

Tropical Visions’ documentation of Kilauea’s activities over the past 30 years has been seen worldwide on news programs, documentaries and the company’s eight previous documentaries. VolcanoScapes… Dancing with the Goddess will be a DVD/Blu-ray release highlighting those volcanic eruptions, with hula as the backbone of the show, and the participants who are intimate with the volcano in many other ways. Walk to the dramatic early morning ocean entry with Brad Lewis and Mick Kalber; hike to Halemaumau crater with scientists Mike Mick Kalber (also pictured top right) of Tropical Visions Video. Poland and Tim Orr; go behind the scenes to see the amazing fiery creations of glass-blower Daniel Moe; witness the volcanic creations of oil painter Rod Cameron; hear poet Kim Dark’s composition of an absolutely “chicken-skin” poem to the Goddess; and take to the skies over blistering flows with helicopter pilots Cal Dorn and Marco Ernandes. Viewers will also meet slack key artist Ben Kaili, tour guide

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HAWAII FILM & VIDEO MAGAZINE ISSUE TWO 2012

Shane Turpin, and many more in this 90minute release. Tropical Visions Video seeks to show, in a variety of ways, what the volcano means to these people, and why they are willing to get up close and personal with a force some people consider to be highly dangerous. There are many ways of interacting with the volcano—from hula to art to science. Each plays a prominent role in educating our future generations. Hula Halaus embody the spirit of Pele through mele and oli. Hawaii’s volcanoes provide inspiration to artists and writers who bring the Goddess alive in many art forms. And scientists study the inner workings of the earth to understand how and when volcanic eruptions may occur, providing information and safety for those who may be affected. Many dance with the Goddess—some literally, some figuratively—but it’s an intimate encounter nonetheless. And their stories remind us of that connection to the earth that can be made in no other way than by seeing the majesty of Pele in person. Next best option… buy the upcoming Bluray or DVD offering from Tropical Visions Video. HFV


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Pacific New Media Marks 25th Anniversary

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acific New Media (PNM) is one of the most comprehensive and dynamic training sites in the country.

This year the organization, under the directorship of Susan Horowitz, celebrates its 25th anniversary with a broad series of programs—seminars, public talks, classes, and short, intensive workshops—in film/video, photography, digital imaging, and graphic and Web design. Workshops feature both prominent local and mainland professionals, many of whom are leaders in their field, who share their expertise and insight with Hawaii residents. PNM’s mission is to balance creativity with technology and equip Hawaii individuals and businesses with the tools and information they need to effectively explore the rapidly changing digital environment and participate in shaping our digital future, explained Horowitz. The idea to create PNM was shared by Horowitz and Victor Kobayashi, who was dean of the University of Hawaii’s summer session when the organization was created. “There was no film program at the university,” said Horowitz. “That first summer we did a conference on Japanese film and some workshops on independent films.” PNM strives to make technological and conceptual advances in film/video, photography, digital imaging, and graphic and Web design available so Hawaii residents can stay abreast of recent developments in their professional fields, have access to nationally recognized faculty, and take advantage of educational opportunities that compete with mainland offerings. As digital technologies become increasingly important to numerous local industries, many persons also seek re-training to upgrade their skills and employability. Certificate programs in Web Design and in Digital Imaging currently enroll students and are highly successful. A certificate program in Filmmaking is currently in development. The biggest challenge for PNM is to keep up with the constant changes within the production industry, said Horowitz. The biggest and most frequent is with production equipment. “We have to make sure we know what’s going on and what people want,” she said. “But the basis for the industry remains a good story. But the way you capture it and how you make it happen has changed.” This summer’s seminars and workshops (see right) are designed to help filmmakers get their films into the marketplace. HFV

PNM’S SUMMER WORKSHOPS July 10 “SCREENWRITING” WITH BRIAN WATANABE The class is an overview of the craft of screenwriting, including the basics of story structure, creating great characters, and the script-toscreen process. July 17 “CAMERA” WITH SHAWN HIATT Learn how to tell a story with shadows and light in this exciting workshop. Find the drama and beauty within your images and explore what the camera has to offer. July 24 “SOUND” WITH JOHN FIELDE It’s important for every filmmaker to know how sound will affect your film. This class is for an intermediate sound engineer. July 31 “EDITING” WITH JAY EVANS An in-depth look into why the first cut is always the deepest, and where to go from that first cut. Aug. 7 “PRE AND POST-PRODUCTION PLANNING” WITH KIMBERLEE BASSFORD Learn how to best plan your shoot and once the footage is “in the can” how to effectively get it ready for the next step…editing. Aug. 14 “MARKETING AND DISTRIBUTION” WITH GERARD ELMORE How to build an audience and how to distribute films through new emerging distribution channels while on a budget. To register or for more information, go to www.outreach. hawaii.edu/pnm.

CHECK US OUT ONLINE www.hawaiifilmandvideo.com 58

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