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Heavenly Ha‘ena on Kaua‘i’s north shore. Photo by Kicka Witte Photography hotography





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








James Baker


Tim Ryan tryan@media-inc.com ASSOCIATE EDITOR

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Beth Harrison, Sonjia Kells, Liz Weickum, Sam Rockwell WEBMASTER

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Audra Higgins

Dolphin Excursions crew ready for action.


Editor’s Letter

29 Maverick Vet Goes Wild on Nat Geo


Donne Dawson Talks 2015 Production

33 Kauai Goes Viral: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Highlights Garden Isle

11 Hawaii Film Studio Gets Much-Needed Repairs 13 Five-0 Update: An Interview with Executive Producer Peter Lenkov 17 Al Harrington Returns Home to Hawaii Five-0 21 Looking Ahead to a Great 2015 23 Maui County Production Update

Lois Sanborn


Aloha Vet, a Nat Geo WILD reality show about Kauai veterinarian Dr. Scott Sims, shoots in the islands.

39 Focus On: Location Managers 42 Behind the Scenes with Laine Rykes 43 Epic Experience Expands in Oahu 45 Oahu Company Offers Marine Coordination Services 48 Island Film Group Returns with Pali Road

24 Local, National, and International Exposure for Kauai


37 Location Spotlight: Ko‘olau Ballrooms


50 Patrick Gey Named President of EuroCinema Hawaii

ISSUE ONE 2015 • hawaiifilmandvideo.com

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Editor’s Letter


aybe it’s just an unwritten law in business.

One year you make $100 and the next year it drops to $99, so that’s considered a deficit. One year Hawaii gets six million visitors and when that number falls a little a few years later, the tourist industry screams that the sky is falling. My point is that Hawaii’s production revenues may have dropped the last couple of years, but that doesn’t mean that suddenly the 50th state isn’t a coveted location by studios and networks. 2014’s production revenues statewide were $223 million. Productions spent $228 million in 2013 and $245.6 million in 2012. Okay, a small drop. That’s not some gigantic collapse of Hawaii’s production industry. 2014’s production revenues still generated some $400 million in economic activity in the state, according to state film commissioner Donne Dawson.


Revenues hovered in the high $200 million-plus range for years, topping out in 2010 at $384 million. In the previous year, 2009, revenues were just $171 million. Did we panic? Some may have, but we bounded. The Hawaii Film Office has no control over how many productions come to Hawaii. All their four-person office can do is reach out to productions in lieu of begging for funds to promote Hawaii. There is only so much that film office professionals can do to get out—beyond Hawaii—and herald the benefits of filming in the islands. Why don’t we get it? Neither the Hawaii Film Office nor its neighbor island counterparts have any autonomy to require funding. Those decisions come from either state or county governments. The film offices are left to do more with less. The average Hawaii resident doesn’t understand the value of productions filming here. And what is that?

ISSUE ONE 2015 • hawaiifilmandvideo.com

Productions spend vast sums of money in Hawaii. For example, Hawaii Five-0 spends $4 million an episode. So for the current 25-episode season, that’s $100 million! And there are 80-plus local crew on that show, who spend that cash here. So why the production downturn? If Hawaii doesn’t regularly promote the state as a production-friendly location with excellent crew, great tax incentives and breathtaking beauty, does any studio/network remember what we offer? The counties and Hawaii Film Office “have very, very minimal marketing funds… that is so critical to get productions here,” Dawson said. “We’re unable to get out there and create a buzz about the increases in Hawaii’s production tax credits.” The state film office “is hamstrung” in its ability to do the level of marketing they really need to do, Dawson said. “We can’t sit back just on Hawaii’s good looks.” Amen! Read more on page 9. Tim Ryan Executive Editor


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CAMERON CROWE’S "UNTITLED HAWAII PROJECT" GODZILLA DAVIDOFF - COOLWATER: NIGHTDIVE (PAUL WALKER) REVLON (Dir. Darius Khandji) BANK OF AMERICA "TRAVEL REWARDS" (Dir. Nick Lewin) HUNGER GAMES: CATCHING FIRE MAD MEN THE RIVER (ABC TV series) CHANEL: “Surf” (Kathryn Bigelow) OFF THE MAP (ABC) HAWAII FIVE-0 2010 (TV Pilot) PIRATES OF THE CARIBBEAN ON STRANGER TIDES (Oahu) Capitol One “Visigoths Beach” Lipitor “Heart to Heart Bob” Census 2010 - Pytka AT&T “Amelia” AT&T “Fountain of Youth” Sugarland “Keep You” Sugarland “All I want to do” Jenny Craig “Surfing” “Cycling” CDW- “Help,” “Getting Started,” “Expansion,” etc. CDW- “Growth,” “Gallery,” “Ransom,” etc. The Hartford- “Surfing” Pacific Life- “Cyclists,” “Surfer” You, Me and Dupree LOST (6 YRS.) Saturn-Sky North Shore (T.V. SERIES) LEXUS (COMMERCIAL) Coca Cola (THEATER ADVERTISEMENT) The Run Down (FEATURE/OAHU) Hanssen: MasterSpy (T.V MINI-SERIES)

E.R. (WARNER BROS. T.V./OAHU) Punch Drunk Knuckle Love

War & Remembrance (MINI-SERIES/ OAHU)

Ten (FEATURE/OAHU) Hart to Hart (T.V. MINI-SERIES/MAUI) Diet Mountain Dew (BIG ISLAND) U.A.L. (BIG ISLAND) Jeep Grand Cherokee (BIG ISLAND &






Baywatch Hawaii (T.V. SERIES/OAHU) Pacific Blue (T.V. SERIES PILOT/OAHU) Honda (COMMERCIAL/BIG ISLAND) Wind On Water (T.V. SERIES/BIG ISLAND) Honolulu Cru (T.V. PILOT/OAHU) What About Me (T.V. SERIES/OAHU) Beverly Hills 90210 (T.V. SERIES/OAHU) Meet the Deedles (FEATURE/OAHU) Mighty Joe Young

American Express (MAUI) And the Sea Will Tell (MINI-SERIES/OAHU) Thornbirds (PRE-SCOUT ALL-ISLANDS) Summer Girl (M.O.W./OAHU) Papillon (FEATURE/MAUI) Body Heat (FEATURE/KAUAI) Camel Cigarettes (BIG ISLAND) Rumblefish (FEATURE/MAUI) Jeep (KAUAI) (FEATURE/OAHU/KAUAI) Gaz de France (MAUI) Krippendorfs Tribe (FEATURE/OAHU/BIG Merit Cigarettes (MAUI) Honda (BIG ISLAND) ISLAND) George of the Jungle (FEATURE/PRE- Kenai Helicopters (MAUI) SCOUT/OAHU/KAUAI) Budweiser (OAHU) Byrds of Paradise (TV SERIES/ Throw Mama From the Train (FEATURE/KAUAI)



Exit to Eden (FEATURE/LANAI) Don Juan de Marco and the Centerfold (FEATURE/OAHU) Nike (OAHU) Hawaii Five-O (10 YRS.) Magnum P.I. (5 YRS.) Jake and the Fatman (3 yrs.) Honeymoon in Vegas (FEATURE/KAUAI)

Pearl (MINI-SERIES/OAHU) From Here to Eternity (OAHU) Trenchcoat in Paradise (M.O.W./OAHU) Swimsuit (M.O.W./OAHU) Baywatch (OAHU) Point Break (FEATURE/OAHU) Island Son (T.V. SERIES/OAHU) Step by Step (MAUI) Blood & Orchids (MINI-SERIES/OAHU) McDonalds (KAUAI) Chef Boyardee (OAHU) Pepsi (OAHU) HBO “Chimps” (OAHU)

From stills to features, we do it all, large and small FAVAH/AICP/TEAMSTERS hawaiifilmandvideo.com • ISSUEONE 2015


Donne Dawson Talks 2015 Production BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor


f Hawaii production activity in 2015 slides—as it’s likely to do and as it did last year—it could be due to the industry being so cyclical. In some years, real estate sales are through the roof; then it tanks. But when it comes to attracting production, it usually takes spending money to make money, i.e. promotion, promotion, promotion.

Hawaii film commissioner Donne Dawson believes the state “must” make studios and networks aware of what Hawaii has to offer, other than “just being a pretty face.” And it’s not that Hawaii’s production tax incentives aren’t adequate. Qualified productions in Hawaii are eligible for a refund based on what they spend here: 20 percent for Oahu-based productions, and 25 percent for neighbor island productions. But Hollywood’s memory can be short. “There are a few (productions) looking at Hawaii this year that could be here this summer,” said Dawson. “But… we have very, very minimal marketing funds for the film office and that is so critical to get productions here.” Dawson is more than just a little passionate about the state film office being “unable to get out there and create a buzz about the increases in Hawaii’s production tax credits.” “Letting people know face to face what we can and will offer can be crucial in getting productions to come to Hawaii,” she said. Marketing to networks and studios “can have a huge impact for the state’s annual production revenues.” Then Dawson delivered a tough love declaration. “As long as we don’t have the opportunity to go out there and do that, we will see those (production revenue) numbers remain fairly flat,” she said. She’s hopeful that Hawaii Five-0’s presence will give the state “a little bump” since it’s coming back for a sixth season, and possibly a seventh. Hawaii Five-0’s per-episode budget is “$4 million and change,” according to Peter Lenkov, the show’s co-creator and executive producer. For season five, Five-0 is spending more than $100 million with its 25 episodes.

“I don’t think our government officials really appreciate the serious competitive climate that we have to exist in that’s on a global level,” Dawson said. “We’re competing prominently with other countries that literally have multi-million-dollar marketing budgets.” The Hawaii Film Office’s marketing budget this year is $50,000 to $100,000 for a $250-million industry.

“Then factor in the operation of the film office and the support this office provides as a whole, as well as the administration of a tax credit program with just four of us, including me,” she said. The Hawaii Film Office’s only marketing opportunity it can afford to attend this year is AFCI Locations Show in Los Angeles in March. The state film office “is hamstrung” in its ability to do the level of marketing they need to do, Dawson said. “We can’t sit back just on our good looks,” she said. “We always have to fight to get every (production) dollar that comes into the state.” 2014’s production revenues were $223 million statewide. Productions spent $228 million in 2013 and $245.6 million in 2012. The Hawaii Film Office “is not just giving money away to productions,” said Dawson. “We are not giving them anything unless they are spending a minimum of 80 percent in Hawaii. For every dollar they spend here, they get back either 20 cents if shooting on Oahu or 25 cents if on the neighbor islands.” Dawson and the Hawaii Five-0 production team recently met with new governor David Ige. “The Hawaii Film Office has a good relationship with him,” Dawson said. “He very much understands the importance of the film industry. He comes from the Senate Ways and Means Committee so he understands the dollars and cents of television and film production. “I’m encouraged.” HFV

“I don’t think our government officials really appreciate the serious competitive climate that we have to exist in that’s on a global level.” hawaiifilmandvideo.com • ISSUE ONE 2015


Hawaii Film Studio Gets Much-Needed Repairs BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor


n 1976 Gerald Ford was president and Hawaii Five-O, starring Jack Lord, was in its eighth season.

It was the same year that the state of Hawaii built four wooden, single wall bungalows on post and blocks at what is now the Hawaii Film Studio at Diamond Head. Ford and Lord are gone, but the 39-yearold termite-ridden, rat-infested, creaking bungalows used as production offices for Magnum, P.I., LOST, Baywatch Hawaii and the Hawaii Five-0 reboot, among other shows, are still there. But not for long. The state plans to demolish the bungalows and in their place install modular one-story office buildings during Hawaii Five-0’s hiatus from April to June. The series begins filming season six in July. The project will cost $3.9 million. Since there’s such a narrow window of construction time, there can’t be the traditional “ground-up construction” for new offices, said Donne Dawson, state film commissioner. “When we have a working production in place at the studio, we can’t relocate them for construction,” Dawson said. “It was a major ordeal for Five-0 to have to move in the first place from the Hawaii News Building to the Hawaii Film Studio.” The Hawaii News Building in downtown Honolulu was being turned into condominiums and retail shops, forcing Five-0 to relocate.

A look at the modular units that will be installed and (below) the bungalows as they currently stand.

So the state decided to purchase the modular units that would be built on the mainland, shipped to Hawaii, and then reassembled at the Hawaii Film Studio in the same location as the current bungalows. Hawaii architecture firm Design 70 International is providing the design of the modular units and their layout on the site. “We have done several modular buildings before,” said Linda Miki, Design 70’s principal and vice chairman. “For the new studio units we have to consider their size for shipping, as well as bringing them (from Honolulu Harbor) to the studio.” Dawson said the use of modular buildings means that the bungalow demolition work and the installation can be done simultaneously, which “saves us valuable time.” The project—including bungalow demolition, building the foundation and installation of modules—is expected to take four to six weeks, she said. The flat-roofed modules do not look like trailers but permanent offices in square and rectangular shapes with about 6,000 square feet of total space—about the same size as the four bungalows. They’ll be placed in a square-like configuration around 2,000 square feet of “communal” decking at its center that ties the offices together, Dawson said. “The durability of the modules’ materials will be a great improvement over what has been there for nearly 40 years,” added Group 70’s Miki. The existing bungalows are connected by exterior walkways. The grassy areas around them have picnic tables and

benches, papaya and plumeria trees, chili pepper bushes, and an herb garden. “We want to make the new place a homey and attractive, safe and functioning work space,” Dawson said. The modular units also can be moved and reconfigured to accommodate the needs of other productions using Hawaii Film Studio. “We know Five-0 is here now, but at some point in time their tenancy will end and other productions will come in,” Dawson said. “They may want to move them around to other areas of HFS to fit their needs.” Group 70 has been “an amazing partner” with the state, Dawson said. The company in 2005 also designed new non-modular production offices near the studio’s entrance.

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More recent construction at HFS occurred during Five-0’s December hiatus when the large and very heavy barn doors at the 94,000-gallon film tank building were replaced with an acoustically approved rollup door that slides into the ceiling. Currently, the tank—which was also used by ABC’s LOST—is covered by a removable floor that allows for much needed additional set space. “Five-0 is using every bit of space available at the Hawaii Film Studio, including the tank,” Dawson said. “It’s been amazing how the Five-0 production has been able to work around deficiencies in the facility. The production has made it work for their needs.” With state funds for HFS basic repairs and renovations at minimal amounts, Five-0 stepped up to spend nearly $250,000 for retrofits to both the original stage—a former warehouse—and the much larger, nearly two-decade-old main stage. Those repairs included sound proofing insulation and new air conditioning for the original stage and AC repairs at the newer building, as well as general electri-


cal upgrading, Dawson said. It’s taken so long to replace the dilapidated bungalows because of the lack of state funding. “It’s complicated,” Dawson said. “It’s not just the money, but the time it takes to get the funds (once they’re allocated). We didn’t get everything we needed (in funding) for repairs in the first goaround, so modifications (for repairs) had to be made.” The Hawaii Film Office has estimated that the studio needs about $15 million for repairs. According to Dawson, “We requested $9 million and got $7.” Hawaii Five-0 has made “significant improvements over and above” the state’s capital improvement projects funding, Dawson said. She added, “We had to rely on our tenants—Hawaii Five-0—as partners to help us address those. Five-0 took it upon themselves to help.” In exchange, the state film office credited the production off its $50,000 a month rent.

ISSUE ONE 2015 • hawaiifilmandvideo.com

“Hawaii Five-0 invoices the state its expenses, then the film office in turn deducts that amount from the monthly rent,” Dawson explained. The production also gets the needed repairs done quickly. “Five-0 was able to go in there and fix things in a matter of days,” Dawson said. Hawaii Five-0 currently is the only major production in Hawaii. The production spends more than $4 million an episode, or about $100 million a season. “That’s a lot of money and a lot of jobs,” said Peter Lenkov, executive producer and co-creator of the series. “I would hope… with the (construction) work we did at the studio that we’ll leave a very impressive footprint here in the end. I hope (state officials) realize the significance of that. “I would think… Hawaii’s representatives and politicians would see what we’ve done as a production… as a huge plus that will make (the state) more attractive for more shows to want to come to Hawaii.” HFV

Five-0 Update: An Interview with Executive Producer Peter Lenkov BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor


eter Lenkov is captain of the Hawaii Five-0 television series ship.

The soft-spoken executive producer/ co-creator of the rebooted series has the dark eyes of a raptor, always watching what’s happening on set, but he projects an openness not so common with many production executives. In interviews Lenkov doesn’t struggle answering the tough questions, taking his time to respond honestly and at the same time corporately correct. If a reporter has information about Five-0, Lenkov will always affirm it or explain why it’s untrue. That’s because he’s not only brilliant at producing a hit show some 2,500 miles from CBS honchos in Hollywood, but also likely knows that the reporter will use his/her confidential sources anyway to confirm the rumor. Lenkov did that several times in a recent interview with Hawaii Film & Video Magazine, confirming that the series will return for a sixth season, that the current season five will have a record 25 episodes, and that each Five-0 episode costs more than $4 million. That means by the end of season five this April, CBS will have spent in Hawaii about a half-billion dollars, more than any series in Hawaii’s stellar production history! Hawaii is a far cry from where Lenkov grew up in a small town outside Montreal, Canada, with its eight months of winter a year. The Emmy-nominated writer said he would hurry home from school at lunch to watch The Flintstones and after school to catch episodes of his favorite dramas, Magnum, P.I. and Hawaii Five-O. In an earlier interview with HF&V that included the late producer Glen Larson, Lenkov said it was the episode in which Magnum confronted and killed the person who’d held him as a POW that inspired him to start writing. “I’d never seen an episode like that,” Lenkov told Larson, a producer of Mag-

Hawaii Five-0 films a scene.

num. “I realized it was possible to take someone on an emotional journey in a short period of time.” Lenkov is “humbled” that he’s at the same studio used by Magnum star Tom Selleck and the original Five-O’s late Jack Lord. “Life can be amazing and unpredictable,” said a smiling Lenkov. Hawaii Film & Video: With Hawaii Five-0 nearing the end of season five, how has the series managed to continue to grow creatively and remain fresh without being repetitious or lazy? Peter Lenkov: We come at each show thinking about the characters first and what would they be doing as time goes on, how will they evolve. In terms of story, we just push ourselves to look for things first that are Hawaii-centric that you probably only can tell in the (Hawaiian) Islands. And if we can’t do that, we just look to tell the story and if it’s somewhat familiar in terms of case elements we always look for putting a spin on it. We’re very self-aware that we’re at 100-plus episodes and have to be continually fresh and inventive. A lot of times we’re sitting in the writers’ room saying, ‘Did we do something like that in season two?’ When that comes up, we throw the idea out and start from scratch. We know that in order to survive we have to keep

things fresh and be aware that the actors need to feel they’re being served character-wise and they appreciate that. They don’t want Five-0 co-creator/executive to play the same producer Peter Lenkov. thing; they want to keep learning about their character and from each other’s. HF&V: Do the actors make suggestions to the writing staff? PL: Sure. We have a special episode this year with Chi McBride, a very character-centric episode, and we tapped his thoughts on it and he even gave me some great casting ideas for the show. As time goes on and we do that, the actors become more like partners on the show. That’s the way the show grows. HF&V: In season four, CBS signed you to a two-year contract that would continue your leadership through season six. And considering the amount of money CBS paid to improve the old Five-0 stages—air conditioning, new electrical and sound insulation—it seems certain the series is returning for a sixth season.

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PL: I think you’re right about that. HF&V: Alex O’Loughlin has a seven year contract to do Hawaii Five-0. If the ratings remain solid in season six, do you anticipate that the series will come back for a seventh season? PL: Oh yeah, it’s very possible. As long as we’re doing good there is no reason to pull the show. If the show is making money and doing well in the ratings and everybody wants to continue doing it, that’s the key for a season seven. I mean the talent, creative unit, and not just (CBS); that’s the key. Those are the right reasons and not that it’s just a paycheck, but because we think we can add something more in a season seven. Hey, I didn’t think we would have a season two when we first started. Anytime you do a reboot you’re really put under a microscope. It’s a lot tougher with something that doesn’t have a pedigree behind it. HF&V: Five-0 will shoot 25 episodes this season, the most of any season for the series. Why is the production doing this?


PL: Yes, it will be 25. The first season we did 24, then second season 23, then 24 and 24... Part of the reason is to have more inventory.

“I realized it was possible to take someone on an emotional journey in a short period of time.” HF&V: But there must be another reason. Any hints about what the finale episode number 25 will be about? PL: We’re just starting work on the finale. I have a bunch of ideas I want to put in it. But I can say that a lot of Five-0 storylines that have been left open will be closed in the finale. Anyone who watches

ISSUE ONE 2015 • hawaiifilmandvideo.com

the show knows there are still key storylines still open. (Editor’s note: Sources say there’s going to be a price to pay for character Danny killing his brother’s murderer. And for Chin Ho borrowing the money from Gabriel. That episode will be a big one for McGarrett too, as he’ll get more information about his mother, which will launch into a bigger story with him finally finding her and coming to terms with what happened with Wo Fat.) HF&V: How important has the Five-0 Hawaii crew been to this production? Were you concerned when you first came here about their abilities? PL: I knew LOST was such a good-looking and well-produced show that we would be hiring a lot of that same Hawaii crew. I knew we would be very lucky to get anyone who had worked on LOST. You can be nervous about going into a new show for a lot of reasons, but using the (Hawaii) crew never made me concerned. I met a lot of the local crew first when

we came over to do the pilot and I felt that we were lucky to have these guys from a place that is a bit more remote (than the mainland). HF&V: How do they stand out from, say, a mainland crew? PL: The Hawaii crew very much act like a family to one another. They stay after work to hang around together. They hang out in trailers together, in trucks together. They like what they do and they like each other. Right now Hawaii Five-0 is the only game in town here, so the crew I think really appreciates the work. In L.A. you can lose your job, then walk across the street to get on another production. Our crew appreciates that they have job security and don’t take that lightly. The fact that Hawaii can still produce a good show after five years of shows clearly illustrates that there is a quality crew on the island. HF&V: You’ve used dozens of local actors in the series, especially Dennis Chun, Al

Harrington and Taylor Wily. Their roles are serious and you’re not just throwing them a bone. Why is it important for the series to use local actors in prominent parts? PL: If I were making a list of whom I really wanted, those (three) would be at the top. Even though sometimes our show borders on the fantasy, we try very hard for Five-0 to be as real as possible to reflect the community and the culture (of Hawaii). I would be silly to not use local talent. It makes Five-0 feel real and authentic. We’ve added (local) people as the show has gone on to give them more presence on the show. Dennis has almost done 95 percent of all the shows. It’s great that someone may have a history with (the original) Five-O, but I use actors like Dennis because he makes the show seem real, helps ground us. What’s so great about the island is that it’s a different culture and way of life. Viewers know this show right away is set all in Hawaii and nowhere else and that’s very special.

HF&V: Taylor Wily’s role has grown enormously since the first two seasons. What did you see in him? PL: Taylor is great and a good friend. When he walked through the door when we were first casting the pilot, I knew he had the role. He was so charming, real and honest. What you see on the screen is not him acting. It’s who he really is. He has great comedic timing; he’s very sincere. He’s very much like his character. He’s a businessman, always looking for an angle. I love that about him. He’s focused on providing for his family and he’s that way on and off screen. HF&V: Do you have a “prized” actor you have tried to get on Five-0? PL: I’ve been bugging Gary Sinise for years to be on Five-0. I did CSI: New York with him for years. He’s an incredible talent, but more importantly he’s a great guy… The last two years he’s spending so much time with his band. He sort of gave up acting for a time and I will forgive him for that. But I won’t stop trying. HFV

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ISSUE ONE 2015 • hawaiifilmandvideo.com

Al Harrington Returns Home to Hawaii Five-0 BY BRIAN M. SOBEL


or 12 years on the CBS network, Hawaii Five-O was a mainstay of the television primetime lineup, at one point ranking as the third most watched show on TV and four times ranking in the top ten. The success of the original series that ran from 1968-1980 was a bonanza for Hawaii’s tourism industry, delivering hundreds of millions of dollars to the state’s economy. Today the original series continues to pay dividends to Hawaii’s economy in reruns, still popular with viewers of the original show. So popular is the Hawaii Five-O franchise that when the original show ended in 1980, it was almost inevitable that a reprise would be attempted. Unlike other shows that have been retooled, recast and brought back only to fail, Hawaii Five-0 is a notable exception. The new version of the show, now in its fifth season, is replicating the success of the original. Utilizing a cast as unique as its predecessor, the leader of the current version of Hawaii Five-0 is Australian-born actor Alex O’Loughlin, who portrays Steve McGarrett, head of a special police crime unit with jurisdiction throughout the Hawaiian Islands. Series co-stars include Scott Caan, playing Danny “Danno” Williams, McGarrett’s able deputy, along with actors Daniel Dae Kim, Grace Park and Masi Oka, and a variety of other actors who appear in various episodes, most notably the popular Taylor Wily as Kamekona Tupuola, who runs a shave ice operation and assists the Five-0 team whenever called upon. The current show, like the original which starred Jack Lord as McGarrett, James MacArthur as Danny Williams, Kam Fong Chun as Chin Ho Kelly, and Zulu as Kono Kalakaua, relies heavily on the beauty of Ha-

Actor Al Harrington (right) films a scene for Hawaii Five-0.

waii to buttress the storylines, sure to attract a mainland viewing audience with dreams of coming or returning to Hawaii. For actor Al Harrington, the series has been a major presence in his life since he joined the original cast in 1972. Harrington played the part of Detective Ben Kokua, a trusted member of the McGarrett team in 64 episodes of the show, along with other appearances beginning in 1969 portraying other characters on the show. Today, Harrington is the only major surviving cast member of the original series, so liked and respected by the television and film community that he’s appeared in episodes of the current Five-0 in all five seasons. Harrington recently returned to the Hawaii Five-0 soundstages at the Hawaii Film Studio in the shadow of Diamond Head to discuss his long association with the series. Coming to the studio, or visiting the original soundstage, a former armory located nearby at Ft. Ruger, then-as-now a military

operated facility, always reminds me of the great impact this show, both the original and current production, has had on Hawaii. In the early years when Leonard Freeman, who conceived the show and was the principal architect of Hawaii Five-O, met with then-Governor John Burns, they both realized the many benefits of the show as a vehicle for tourism, adding another revenue source along with the sugar and pineapple industries. Harrington credits the focus on Hawaii and its diversity as one of the key reasons why the show has succeeded for so long. “A show of any kind to do well has to touch a nerve,” Harrington said. “The Hawaii Five-O series, both the original version and the current show, properly depict Hawaii and its culture. The internationalism of Hawaii and the diversity of the people of Hawaii are huge factors in the success of the shows. Frankly, the word ‘Aloha’ is a national word because of the original series.” The use of exterior shots in the original

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show and now in the current series has historical roots. “Leonard believed in shooting outdoors,” said Harrington. “He knew the value of Hawaii scenery and… often employed the use of helicopters for shots that greatly highlighted the islands. He used to say, ‘Don’t get caught up shooting too many interiors,’ and he was right. We would get our program-shooting list each week and we would always be filming somewhere around the island.” The path for Harrington from his birth in Pago Pago in Western Samoa as Al Ta’a, to playing Ben Kokua in Hawaii Five-O, along with many other parts in television and film, is an interesting one. Harrington grew up on Oahu in a project called Halawa Housing and attended Punahou School grade five through high school graduation. “My step-dad, who was a policeman and formally adopted me when I was in high school, helped get me in. That’s where I got the name Harrington,” he said. Achieving notable success in high school athletics put Harrington on the college football radar screen.


Harrington takes a tour of the film studio.

“As a result of Dr. John Fox, the president of Punahou, who helped me understand the opportunities available at Ivy League colleges or some of the great West Coast schools, I eventually chose to attend Stanford, where I played football and graduated with a degree in history,” Harrington said. “I was trying to figure out what to do next and decided

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to go on a mission for the LDS Church in American Samoa, where I was born. “After the mission I attended law school in the San Francisco Bay area, but eventually left to come back to Hawaii and help my family who were struggling financially. In a nice turn, I ended up teaching school in Hawaii.”

It was at a motivational talk Harrington was giving to high school students where a casting director for Hawaii Five-O heard him speak and later asked him to read for a part on the show. From there, Harrington appeared in several episodes of the series before landing a permanent spot as Ben Kokua. “When Zulu left the show after four seasons, they needed a replacement and I benefited from being in the right place at the right time,” he said. “Timing is everything.” Walking the 7.5-acre Hawaii Film Studio and looking at sets with Jessica Calventas, assistant to show producers Jeff Downer and Bryan Spicer, reminds Harrington of things both the same and different. “In the original series…we used two cameras,” said Harrington. “Today they are utilizing as many as four cameras to shoot a scene. Also the production team today is much larger than when we were filming the original series. And it is much more technical now than it was then. “On the other hand, the long shooting days, the way in which the show is filmed and assembled, often shooting pieces of more than one episode at a time, is still the same.” The studio is a walk down the Hawaii Five-O memory lane for Harrington. “I remember being a rather inexperienced actor and joining the cast,” he said. “The (cast) members were fantastically welcoming and open with suggestions, particularly James MacArthur. While he would never comment on what an actor was doing or how they were delivering their lines, he would be very helpful when asked. “Jack Lord, on the other hand, was more alone with his thinking, but he was also the top decision-maker in many respects, so he was concerned with many things on the set. Nevertheless, Jack Lord was very warm and had great aloha for Hawaii. He was a huge reason why the show was so successful.” Harrington also learned to appreciate how hard the cast and crew worked. “One of the things I did was watch closely,” Harrington said, “how Jack prepared for scenes, or MacArthur’s casualness and comfort in front of a camera.

And of course we had lots of guest stars to watch and learn from, as well. Ricardo Montalban was my favorite.” Still working in the entertainment business, Harrington and his wife Rosa travel to the mainland to work on projects, as well as in Hawaii. About his legacy, Harrington reflects, “Being sort of a continuum between the two shows is very interesting. I am often reminded by people of the many years the series has been a presence in their homes. “Sometimes, Rosa and I will holoholo (to go for a drive or walk to no place in

particular and just for fun) and end up in Waikiki. We always quietly thank the tourists who are walking along putting money into the Hawaiian economy. I know Hawaii Five-O has been a big part of the popularity of Hawaii and to know I contributed is a great feeling.” HFV Brian Sobel is a frequent contributor to magazines and newspapers and the author of two books and an anthology. He often appears on radio and television. E-mail: brian@sobelcommunications.com. Phone: 707-762-3509 (W) or 707-953-6626 (C).

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Looking Ahead to a Great 2015 BY T. ILIHIA GIONSON Big Island Film Commissioner


loha! 2014 was an exciting year for the industry on Hawaii Island, and we are looking forward to continuing that momentum into 2015. The Big Island Film Office permitted 68 productions that reported spending $8.7 million on island in 2014. That included student films from across the state, travel shows from around the world, documentaries on everything from Mauna Kea astronomy to Hilo-grown mixed martial artist BJ Penn, and shoots for GQ, LL Bean, Roxy, Speedo, and the Kona Brewing Company taking advantage of our locations, our knowledgeable crew, and our 25-percent state tax incentive. We were also very proud to host two big television favorites: Wheel of Fortune and Hawaii Five-0. Wheel of Fortune spent a month at the Hilton Waikoloa Village. They shot twenty shows over four nights in September. Pat Sajak, Vanna White, and the crew were also on island in the summer to shoot at locations around the island. Bringing

Hawaii Island to 12 million viewers in living rooms across the nation will have a lasting positive impact on all sectors of our economy. It was truly a pleasure working with Harry Friedman and his team, as well as the Hilton team, to bring Wheel of Fortune here. This was their fifth time shooting in Hawaii, and their third time on Hawaii Island. Hawaii Five-0 brought their first neighbor island shoot with members of the principal cast to Hawaii Island with “Ke Koho Mamao Aku,” which aired on CBS December 12. Attracting Five-0, which gets about 9 million viewers a week, has long been a priority for Hawaii County Mayor Billy Kenoi. Five-0 shot at two of our island’s most unique locations. One day was on the slopes of Mauna Loa, at a University of Hawaii site called HI-SEAS (Hawaii Space Exploration Analog and Simulation). It’s 8,200 feet above sea level and looks otherworldly—in fact, NASA uses HI-SEAS to conduct studies in preparation for an extended mission to Mars. The second day of shooting was at a home in remote Kalapana Gardens, a neighborhood where 120 houses were covered in 50 feet of lava in the early 1990s. In more recent years, about 40 houses popped up, scattered over the stark lava—just one of the many unique landscapes that Hawaii Island offers. While we continue to work to bring production from afar to Hawaii Island, we also embarked on a new venture in 2014

to support our homegrown storytellers. The GVS Transmedia Accelerator is a business development program, bringing creative entrepreneurs together with seed money and mentors to get their projects ready for commercial success. The accelerator is a partnership between the County of Hawaii, the State of Hawaii’s HI Growth Initiative, and Global Virtual Studio, headed by filmmaker and Kona boy David Cunningham (Beyond Paradise, To End All Wars). Amazing mentors like Cunningham, Grant Curtis (Spiderman), John Fusco (Young Guns), Tab Murphy (The Hunchback of Notre Dame, Brother Bear), Ralph Winter (X-Men), and others have been working with the entrepreneurs to bring their stories to life across multiple platforms. The projects will be created in Hawaii for the world, with three of the five projects in the first cohort slated for production on Hawaii Island. Applications will be accepted for the next accelerator cohort soon. Find out more at www. globalvirtualstudio.com/accelerator. We’re looking forward to an amazing 2015, and we hope you’ll be part of it. From the lush Hilton Waikoloa Village, to the slopes of Mauna Loa, to the stark black lava of Kalapana, Hawaii Island has the perfect location for every project. If you have a project you would like to bring, our office is here to help. Give me a call at 808-961-8366 or drop me a line at film@ filmbigisland.com. HFV

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Maui County Production Update BY TRACY BENNETT Maui Film Commissioner


s we roll into 2015, I’m excited for Maui’s future. Several feature films and a potential TV series have scouted Maui recently, and with the recent release of Kenny Chesney’s new music video “Wild Child,” shot entirely in Maui featuring Maui’s own Gretchen Rhodes, we are making progress. While Oahu gets a majority of the island’s business, the neighbor islands

continue to grow and strive to thrive. The 25-percent tax incentive offered on the neighbor islands is an enormous boost to entice productions and we all continue

industry continues to evolve and improve, and Maui has technicians that are trained and equipped to keep up with Hollywood. Maui had several other successful

While Oahu gets a majority of the island’s business, the neighbor islands continue to grow and strive to thrive. to work hard to educate producers and studio executives about what we all have to offer in locations, crew, equipment and Aloha. With new drone regulations being revised, filming activity seems to be picking up in that arena. While some rules and regulations still need some tweaking, the

productions recently, with the feature film The Inquisitor, A&E’s reality drama Surviving Marriage, and Anthony Bourdain’s Parts Unknown. We look forward to the ever-looming big-budget independent feature Ethyrea and two films each from Warner Bros. and Sony Pictures. Visit www.filmmaui.com for more. HFV

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Local, National and International Exposure for Kauai BY ART UMEZU Kauai Film Commissioner


auai’s beautiful and scenic locations have been popping up on local TV commercials recently, including Mauna Loa Candies, Hawaiian Airlines World Elite Card, and Hawaii Visitors & Convention Bureau. Mauna Loa Candies’ commercial not only features Kauai’s various locations but also Kauai’s tandem surfing champions, Krystal Apeles and Kalani Vierra, who also works as water safety officer for County of Kauai. The Kauai-made commercial also features Kauai recording artist Maila Gibson-Bandmann, who sings the Mauna Loa jingle. The spectacular Ke’e Beach on Kauai’s north shore at Haena is the backdrop for an idyllic World Elite Card commercial near Makua Beach, where actress Kathleen Turner sunbathed in the 1981 Kauai-shot movie Body Heat. Many Kauai locations, including Waimea Canyon and Waimea Plantation Cottages, are featured in the new HVCB commercial, which included a cast of hula

dancers and musicians. The commercial was shot in November 2014. In other Kauai news, this March, Nat Geo WILD will premiere eight one-hour episodes of Aloha Vet, a reality show based on the story of a Kilauea, Kauai, veterinarian. Shine America Productions filmed Aloha Vet on Kauai beginning in September 2014. A Shine America marketing team traveled to Kauai in February to create a promotion camSports Illustrated swimsuit photo shoot on the north shore of Kauai. paign for the series. Read more about the 2014, will premiere nationwide June 12. production on page 29. As I prepare for the Kauai premiere In April, BS11 Television from Tokyo and private screening of Jurassic World on will air six episodes of Love. The crew June 12, the Kauai Film Office extends its from BS11 spent two weeks on the island appreciation to Marlene Blair, owner of in July 2014 to cover the film history and Kukui Grove Cinema in Lihue, and her locations on Kauai. staff for support for the JW premiere. Since Meanwhile, Sports Illustrated’s coveted 2008 Blair has opened the theater to host Swimsuit issue features 22 pages of photos premieres and screenings of Dreamworks’ all shot on Kauai (see page 33). Tropic Thunder, Soul Surfer, Sony Pictures’ Finally, Universal Studios’ Jurassic World, Just Go With It, Disney’s Pirates Of The which filmed for two weeks on Kauai in Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, and Fox Searchlight’s The Descendants. HFV

Casting*Kauai Angela Tillson PO Box 1405 Kapaa, HI 96746-7405 (808)823-0105 Phone • (808)635-3710 Cell E-mail: angela@aloha.net 24 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO

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Crew films a scene for Aloha Vet.

Maverick Vet Goes Wild on Nat Geo


roducers for the Los Angeles-based production company Shine America were at a rural property on Kauai last year to possibly develop a television program for the National Geographic network featuring noted ocean waterman Laird Hamilton. “Suddenly, the property owner’s dog where we were at got badly mauled by a much bigger dog,” said Eden Gaha, executive producer at Shine America. The owner called well-known Kilauea veterinarian Dr. Scott Sims, also known as the Barefoot Vet since the physician rarely wears shoes. “After Dr. Sims arrived, he literally hauled the dog down the trail to his (medically equipped) SUV and operated

on the dog right there,” Gaha said. “We all thought this is great. And he’s treating the dog in bare feet. “We knew he was an amazing character and we had to do more with him.” The producers, including Mike Aho, took the idea to executives at Nat Geo WILD, a sister network of the National Geographic Channel. “They fell in love with the story idea immediately,” Gaha said. “And when we presented (Sims) on tape to the network, they went crazy for it.” As the Hollywood expression goes, “a star was born.” The hour-long, eight-episode series titled Aloha Vet marks Shine’s first docu-series. Gaha and Aho will executive produce for Shine America with Tracy Rudolph as executive producer for Nat Geo WILD. Gaha said Sims and Kauai are a perfect fit for the WILD series. hawaiifilmandvideo.com • ISSUE ONE 2015


“What’s interesting about Kauai is that in many ways it’s the next frontier,” the producer said. “We have seen a lot of stories titled ‘Alaska something.’ But Kauai in many ways is still quite wild.” Sims’ services are not restricted to Kauai. “A lot of his visits can be tough getting access to the animal when he has to cross some very rough terrain on his ATV, or flying to another island on a plane he built himself,” Gaha said. But Sims always finds a way to get there, Gaha said, even if he has to walk, ride a horse, drive an ATV, fly a plane, or swim. The animals he treats vary from mammals to birds, reptiles and marine creatures, wild and domesticated alike. “These patients can be as exotic as the landscape,” Gaha said. “Dr. Sims lives in a very interesting world.” The first episode has Sims rescuing a sea turtle caught in fishing line, an unconscious horse stuck in a river bed, and bringing sight back to a pig blinded for years. Gaha said he was “very surprised to


Gaha said. The production brought most of the equipment it needed from the mainland, though they did use local cameras, jib and audio equipment. Aloha Vet, which also filmed on the Big Island, Maui and Molokai, returned to Kauai a second time in February for additional interviews and animal stories. HFV The series premieres Saturday, March 21. For more information, visit www.natgeowild.com. Dr. Scott Sims, the Barefoot Vet.

see so many young people willing to work and learn this business.” Pre-production and production took five weeks. The four-member crew, all Kauai locals, “had very good attitudes and were hard workers and keen for more experience,”

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Filming a scene for Aloha Vet.



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EDDIE ABUBO kauaipro@hawaii.rr.com • www.kauaiproductions.com p: 808.826.9438 • c: 808.652.3965 • f: 808.826.6184 hawaiifilmandvideo.com • ISSUE ONE 2015



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The team from Sports Illustrated shoots on the beaches of Kauai.

Kauai Goes Viral: Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue Highlights Garden Isle BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor


t may be the biggest publicity coup that Kauai County has ever had.

Kauai is one of the destinations featured in the 2015 Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue with 22 pages and 23 photos of coverage showing virtually every side of the Garden Island with five supermodels: Hailey Clauson, Emily Di Donato, Gigi Hadid, Emily Ratajkowski and Irina Shayk. Sue Kanoho, Kauai Visitors Bureau executive director, oversaw the county’s logistical support for the ten-day photo shoot last April, attending seven out of the ten shooting days. “I don’t know if this is the most publicity Kauai has ever received, but it’s certainly up there,” an ecstatic Kanoho said from New York, where she was attending the issue’s launch at SI’s Swim City in Herald Square. The swimsuit issue, the most widely read magazine in the world, is also published in 10 other countries, “which we believe will generate massive online and media coverage,” Kanoho said.

Kauai’s 22 pages of magazine coverage also include a one-page Call to Action about the island. KVB’s contract with Sports Illustrated initially called for 8 to 10 pages of coverage. The end product was 22 pages. A one-page advertisement in the swimsuit issue sells for $400,000. Kauai County provided the publication $70,000 for various expenses related to the island shoot. The Kauai mayor’s office provided $50,000 of that, while KVB ponied up $20,000. “The Kauai Visitors Bureau utilized funding from Kauai County to support Sports Illustrated with the production costs for the photo shoot,” Kanoho said. KVB was contacted two months before the April shoot. “There were lots of phone calls back and forth,” Kanoho said. “(Sports Illustrated) has a to-do list for what they need before they commit to a location.” The St. Regis Princeville Resort, where the 18-member crew and talent stayed, provided in-kind support with special rate accommodations. Kauai Mayor Bernard Carvalho was

Kauai Visitors Bureau’s Sue Kanoho with model Gigi Hadid.

ecstatic. “To be featured in a publication with such wide reach and distribution is an incredible accomplishment for our island,” he said. “We applaud the efforts of the Kauai Visitors Bureau to make this happen and ensure that the beauty of Kauai is appropriately displayed throughout the magazine.” Kauai locations included Ke’e Beach, Kekaha Beach, Mahaulepu Beach, Makua Beach, Moloaa Fruit Stand, National Tropical Botanical Garden, Polihale Beach, Smith’s Tropical Paradise, Waimea Beach (black sand beach) and Waimea Canyon. Launch Week for the Swimsuit issue

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SI shoots on Kauai.

festivities were held in New York City for two days in February at what was called Swim City by SI. KVB provided 3,000 lei at


the launch, along with tropical flowers for display. The event was open to the public, and organizers estimated it attracted 10,000 visitors for each of the two days. KVB conducts a media blitz in New York each year to keep Kauai top-of-mind with media who influence where people travel and vacation. KVB scheduled this year’s media blitz to coincide with the launch of the Swimsuit issue, Kanoho said. Kauai is the only Hawaii island featured in this year’s Swimsuit issue, and it’s the first time Kauai has been included in this annual edition since 1989. Kauai Visitors Bureau wanted the island included in the photo shoot because of the coverage it would generate to potential travel consumers and film and television productions, Kanoho said. “There will be hundreds of millions of website views (of the magazine),” she said. “There’s also specially produced location video showing the scenery of Kauai and posted online at the Swimsuit web page of Sports Illustrated. “There’s also a five-part Travel Channel series about the photo shoot that debuted in

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February.” Kauai’s Angela Tillson, locations manager, said the weather created several location challenges. “We had rain and wind and clouds and spent a lot of time chasing the sun,” she said. “But we always found places to shoot.” KVB thought it was done with SI after the photo shoot. “But they called us to ask if we had any waterfall videos and a still waterfall image to be used as a backdrop at Swim City,” Kanoho said. That backdrop would be Wailua Falls in Kapaa. Swim City in New York was decorated with “giant” photos of the models being filmed on Kauai as a backdrop to the stage. In the center of the video was Wailua Falls and a still photo in the middle of that. The behind-the-scenes video of the actual photo shoot will be on the SI site for a year. “There’s no question that Kauai County got more in publicity than what we paid for,” Kanoho said. HFV

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Location Spotlight: Ko‘olau Ballrooms


estled amidst 242 tropical acres and sitting at the foot of the spectacular Ko‘olau Mountain range in Kaneohe, Ko‘olau Ballrooms & Conference Center is one of the largest, most versatile, and certainly one of the most breathtaking venues in the state. With its lush, picturesque beauty, coupled with its close proximity to downtown Honolulu, Ko‘olau Ballrooms is a hot commodity for special events.

“Business has been brisk over the last three years and our weekend venues are booking to capacity very quickly for this coming year, so we highly recommend that you make your reservations at least 12 to 18 months in advance to secure your venue,” said Herb Yamamoto, sales manager at Ko‘olau Ballrooms. Not only is the venue a prime spot for weddings and other events, but it has also played host to the production industry, including Hawaii Five-0 and LOST, as well as local programming that is featured on OC-16. According to Yamamoto, Ko‘olau Ball-

rooms enjoys working with the production industry and “being part of promoting Hawaii and giving our aloha for the people of Hawaii.” Whether your production—or event— is large or small, Ko‘olau Ballrooms & Conference Center has many options. The Grand Ballroom can accommodate up to 750 people and the stunning “signature” Glass Ballroom can comfortably seat 250 guests. The unique Glass Ballroom has a mesmerizing panoramic view of the golf course, Pacific Ocean, and Ko‘olau Mountain range. The facility also features four smaller venues: the Mauka and Makai

Rooms, each able to accommodate up to 100 guests; the Library, which can accommodate up to 60; and for intimate meetings, the Boardroom. All are perfect for a cozy meeting, holiday gathering, corporate retreat, or your upcoming production project. The amenities provided by Ko‘olau Ballrooms are equally fabulous, complete with large drop screens, audio/visual equipment, a full-size stage, versatile lighting, and dance floor. “For other off-property production events, we also specialize in fulfilling your indoor or outdoor catering needs,” said Yamamoto. “Give us an empty room or spacious lawn and we’ll turn it into a magical paradise or an incomparable, chic soiree. With trendy tents, elegant place settings, and unparalleled cuisine, let us bring excellence right to your door.” HFV For more information, please call 808-9547000 or visit www.koolauballrooms.com.

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production’s impact on the community and culture. Being respectful of both the community and production when it comes to restoring the property used to its original state or better than when we started.

ANGELA TILLSON, A Whale of a Time Productions

GLENN BEADLES, On Location Services

What are some recent production projects you’ve worked on? I have recently worked on an advertising campaign for Apple, which included shooting for both TV commercials and print ads. An advertising campaign for Oakley and Google for a new product concept incorporating video technology with eyewear. Locations to shoot print ads for a pharmaceutical company that develops medicine for MS patients. How long have you been in the industry and how did you get into this field? My first job as a locations person came in the summer of 1998. Art Brewer, an old friend and photographer based in Southern California, called me and asked if I would help him find Kauai locations to shoot print ads and catalogs for Nike. Having been a resident of Kauai for over 20 years at that time, I felt confident that it would be an easy job… “a piece of cake” I told him. It turned out that they needed much more than just locations: I was asked to provide four local athletes to augment their talent. Naturally this involved a casting call. Grip and lighting equipment needed to be coordinated from Honolulu. I needed to acquire two boats and coordinate all of the logistics and required production assistants to take the crew down the Na Pali Coast to shoot a day on the beach. And of course, I needed to hire an on-location caterer to provide meals and craft service for each day.

What are some recent production projects you’ve worked on? November Man movie – Pierce Brosnan interview; Disney’s Aulani Hotel commercial; Childish Gambino – “Telegraph” music video; Biggest Loser – reality TV show; Sports Illustrated Swimsuit Issue 2015 – still & video; Hawaii Visitor’s Convention Bureau – national commercial; Oakley Sunglasses – still shoot; Johnson & Johnson – commercial; Extreme Homes – TV show; Nike – print ad. How long have you been in the industry and how did you get into this field? I celebrated 25 years in the film industry working in Hawaii, California and France in November 2014. I have a background in event coordinating, including film festivals, and was offered a job as a location assistant on a feature film shooting on Kauai in 1989. What do you think makes a good location manager or scout? To be a good location scout/manager takes having a unique personality with many skills, including photography, stress management, organizational skills, flexibility, budgeting, communication (both written and oral), computer proficiency, a sense of adventure, stamina for the long hours, and great people skills. We are the face of the production to the community and responsible for addressing the issues that may arise due to the

How long have you been in the industry and how did you get into this field? I started as talent in front of the camera in the mid-‘80s on Oahu and quickly saw the need for production assistance, location coordination and management on Maui. I started my production services company On Location Services in 1990 and incorporated in 2000. So I’ve been in or around the industry for 30 years… doesn’t seem that long! What is your most memorable experience on the job? Hard to pick just one, as each job has its own memorable merits… I’d say working with the producers of the Bond movie Die Another Day, or more recently for the experience in the remake of Point Break for the surfing segments at Peahi would be close to the top of the list. What do you think makes a good location manager or scout? A good location scout/manager would be aware of the potential sensitivities to a location and know how to mitigate any concerns before they become issues. Location pros have sort of become international diplomats, in that certain sense.

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STEPHANIE G. SPANGLER, Hawaii Film Authority, Inc.

for Oculus Rift… and a couple of projects we can’t talk about yet (until they air). How long have you been in the industry and how did you get into this field? Approximately 30-something years ago I was producing sporting events and had to do permits, rent equipment, hire crews, etc., to shoot some of our events. Eventually I began producing my own shows, learning on the way... Eventually a couple of our event sponsors asked me to manage some of their other projects.

How did you get into this field? Returning home to Hawaii, after living in France for 10 years, I was brought in on my first production by Randy Spangler, my mentor and business partner. I became passionate with the business from the beginning. What are some of your most exciting discoveries as a location scout/manager? I discovered He’eia Kea Jungle and Kualoa Ranch for filming, which have become like Hollywood’s back-lot. These two locations have been responsible for bringing countless projects to Hawaii.

What are some of your most exciting discoveries as a location scout/manager? I have always liked working outside. Typically people want to shoot spectacular scenery and awesome action so we find ourselves hanging out at some of the most spectacular spots with some of the coolest people on Earth. RANDY SPANGLER, Location: Hawaii

What is your most memorable experience on the job? Being stopped by rifle-toting marijuana growers while scouting miles back in a secret valley on one of the neighbor islands in the ‘80s, and making friends and getting away with my life. PAUL EHMAN, Ehman Productions, Inc.

What are some recent production projects you’ve worked on? Anthony Bourdain: Parts Unknown (CNN), Architectural Digest shoot, Bausch & Lomb Corporate, NBC/Golf Channel Tournament of Champions, Chico’s catalogue shoot, Surviving Marriage (A&E) - Pilot and Season 1, XTERRA Off-Road World Championships, a world-record live webcast from the top of Mauna Kea, some sample VR environments 40 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO

How did you get into this field? I started as a “location manager” on the original Hawaii Five-O, around 1970, when I took over from my father, Earle Spangler, who was Hawaii Five-O’s first “location manager.” What are some of your most exciting discoveries as a location scout/manager? Some of my most exciting discoveries are an unknown, mystical valley on Oahu; a beautiful canyon overlook (like Kauai); a WW II quonset hut village; a hidden river-front valley; a gorgeous rolling pasture over-looking the ocean; an interesting art house in the mountains; and opening a local ranch to the film world. What is your most memorable experience on the job?

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It would have to have been the experience of working with Jack Lord on the original Hawaii Five-O. Jack was a perfectionist and taught all of us what it meant to do the job right. He was a great guy who gave Hawaii its film industry. Because of Jack, to this day, I still love to help anyone who calls, in anyway I can. SHAWN SPILLETT & SKY PIERCE, Hana Productions

How long have you been in the industry and how did you get into this field? Since 2005. We recognized that we lived in a location that was highly desired by productions that were coming to our remote area. There was a need for a liaison in the sensitive area we call home: Hana, Maui. Essentially, we live on location. Since then, we have expanded and been offering full services statewide for all sizes of production. On budget, on time, every time. What is your most memorable experience on the job? Presently, it would be watching one of our productions go viral. We watched a short film that we produced become an international phenomenon in two weeks on the internet. What do you think makes a good location manager or scout? An ability to understand the creative vision presented by the client, and combine that with the logistical challenges and considerations necessary. Some locations work perfectly from a creative standpoint, but do not work logistically. Understanding all the needs of a production crew makes it possible to determine if a location will work or not. Respecting cultural and environmentally sensitive areas is paramount. Respecting the local residents and tourists alike is very important as well. HFV

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s a child I was artistic and was always daydreaming. In my fantasy I lived on multiple continents and possessed a magical closet. Every morning I would go into my closet and exit wearing wonderful, elaborate costumes—a different wardrobe for every day!

Perhaps this is why a friend suggested that I try the TV/movie industry since it attracted creative, imaginative types and the opportunity to travel. My first television job was on a show called Step by Step. Upon meeting Suzanne Somers, who was the lead actress, I was a bit tongue-tied. It was a dream realized—a whole new world full of lights, equipment, people scurrying about. I loved it! My latest movie was Aloha by Cameron Crowe. A majority of his department heads were award-winning, established technicians... my boss included. My job responsibilities were making up and maintaining my actors’ looks throughout the day (Alec Baldwin and John Krasinski), overseeing “dayplayers” and keeping track of continuity and supplies. It was a wonderful experience and I was fortunate to be a part of it. I’ve been a production makeup artist for over 20 years now and a member of the International IATSE Union, Local 665 and Local 1260. I have had the great fortune to

Mamie Gummer, star in Off the Map.

Autumn Reeser close-up, star in Last Resort.

Laine Rykes (center) with clients.

work on major motion pictures such as Jurassic World, Godzilla, Aloha, and Pearl Harbor, and have had the great honor of doing makeup for actors like Rob Schneider, Jennifer Garner, Nicole Scherzinger, Jason Momoa, Mamie Gummer, Scott Speedman, and Lisa Edelstein... just to name a few. Film-wise, besides Jurassic World and Godzilla, I’ve worked on Big Eyes, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides, Just Go With It, Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull and many others. In between features, episodic television and commercials, I try to stay active in the visual media industry. On local commercials where I am hired as a stylist, I have more responsibilities—I become an extension of a creative team who decides what the look is for talent, wardrobe, hair and makeup. My responsibilities will sometimes include purchasing wardrobe and/or props, and on shoot day it can be a little hectic. I come to location with wardrobe prepped and with my makeup and hair kits ready to work. Often,

the wardrobe is decided on the spot and the usual scenario is for me to do makeup and hair on someone, as well as overseeing wardrobe fittings on others. When everyone has gone through makeup, hair and wardrobe, we wait for the director’s approval. On set I’m attentive and happy to assist with set dressing and moving plants and furniture if needed. My last national commercial was for Michelob; we shot on Oahu and Kauai for the spot. I was hired to do makeup to look like no makeup! It was a fun job and I look forward to what the future brings! I’m ready! HFV To contact Laine Rykes, e-mail lainerykes@ gmail.com.

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Epic Experience Expands in Oahu


ahu-based Epic Experience Productions has been providing luxury converted motorhomes and production support to commercial photographers and on-location production crews for nearly 30 years on the West Coast and in Seattle, Washington. After 19 years in the Northwest, Southern California-born Chris Gonzalez relocated his company to Oahu. “I wanted to try something different and to expand the business,” Gonzalez said from his new home in Kailua. His clients are mostly print clients, including Eddie Bauer, REI, Nordstrom and Victoria’s Secret. But Epic Experience also has two luxury motorhomes for specialty wedding photography and private photography sessions. “Epic is taking wedding photography on Oahu to a new level with our custom mobile suites,” said Gonzalez. “It’s your very own hotel suite, parked right on the beach.” Epic is also branching out in creating private photo tours of Oahu that include pictures of some of the island’s most scenic locations. “A mobile suite is a perfect home base for the whole wedding party during the photo

session and reception, and we’re also available for bachelor(ette) parties,” he said. Why did Gonzalez move his company to Hawaii? “I knew there was a demand for the services I had done over the years,” he said. “So we relocated.” Epic Experience Productions has four employees in Hawaii, including Gonzalez, who handles logistics and operations. Other employees handle business development, event management and event administration. The company currently has two motorhomes in Hawaii, both 32-plus-footers used for hair and makeup. Epic can also supply portable restrooms. “We also offer some catering; that was my hook on the mainland for the camera guys and producers,” Gonzalez said. “Instead of them sitting around eating cold cereal, my guys are making them made-to-order omelets and breakfast burritos.” Epic’s Hawaii vehicles have worked on several commercials, including Adidas and AARP, as well as the Dog the Bounty Hunter series. “We have well maintained vehicles, provide high-end service, and we are obsessive about the details,” Gonzalez said.

The motorhomes have hair and makeup stations, clothing racks, steamers, restroom, Internet, air-conditioning, and a driver is provided. The luxury portable restrooms have flushing porcelain toilets, sinks with running water, vanities and mirrors, soap and hand towels, air conditioning, low level outdoor lighting, and occupancy light indicators. For more than two decades, Epic has provided support to the high-fashion industry. In 2012, the company expanded its business to the event industry. “We recognized that there are many events that could benefit from having the convenience of our luxury mobile vehicles on location,” Gonzalez said. “After some market research and a lot of positive feedback from the event industry, we launched Epic Experience Productions.” HFV For more information, contact Epic Experience Productions at 808-366-0750 or visit www. epicxpro.com.

hawaiifilmandvideo.com • ISSUE ONE 2015


• 32’ Slideout RV for Hair, Makeup & Wardrobe • Catering Available for Crews of 15 or Less • Racks, Steamers, Extra Generator, EZ Ups • The All Important Espresso Machine! • Best Drivers In The Biz • Too Many Credits To List Epic Experience Productions provides basic infrastructure and support that is anything but ordinary. We pride ourselves on the quality of our vehicles, equipment and people, and we are obsessive about the details. If you’re planning an event, we’re here for you - from providing the basics to full-blown event support. We look forward to helping you create your Epic Events!

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Oahu Company Offers Marine Coordination Services


ictor Lozano has always loved the ocean, on and below the surface.

It became his playground after moving to Hawaii from Southern California some 38 years ago. And when he created Dolphin Excursions Hawaii on Oahu’s Waianae Coast 17 years ago, the Pacific also became his livelihood. Dolphin Excursions operates two trips daily, taking visitors to where a pod of 20 to 100 Spinner dolphins frolic, or Humpback whales swim by from just outside Waianae Boat Harbor to Kaena Point State Park. What started as a one-person operation has grown to 25 employees. In 1998, Lozano added another venture to his resume. “I was hired to assist the marine coordinator on the Godzilla film starring Matthew Broderick,” Lozano said. “I had to locate 40 different boats for a scene where (Broderick) lands in a seaplane near Kualoa Ranch, then he rides one of the boats to a pier.” That was the first of many productions for Dolphin Excursions. Lozano has become well known in the production community. With the encouragement of renowned waterman and marine coordinator extraordinaire Brian Keaulana, Lozano created a Motion Picture Division as part of his excursion business. “Brian is my mentor and friend; he brought me into the business, showed me what productions need, and to do water safety and stunts,” Lozano said. The productions Lozano has worked on include the films The Descendants, You, Me and Dupree, The Rundown, Journey to the Center of the Earth, and Alvin and the Chipmunks. TV productions include Baywatch Hawaii, Baywatch Hawaiian Wedding, Survivor, LOST, Last Resort, and Hawaii Five-0. “I can’t remember how many times I’ve been killed on Hawaii Five-0,” he said. Commercial credits include Lexus, Sony, Ameratex, US Navy Seal Recruiting, United

Dolphin Excursions Motion Picture Division works on set.

Health Care, and Aulani Disney Hotel. After working on Godzilla, ABC’s LOST came looking for a Hawaii-based marine coordinator. Keaulana recommended that the production hire Lozano. But they initially decided to hire someone else. “Brian told them, ‘if you hire someone from the mainland, that person is going to hire (Lozano) and he will still be doing all the work,’” Lozano said. ABC caved and gave Lozano a shot. He worked on LOST for six years, and accord-

ing to Lozano, “that really launched me.” Dolphin Excursions Motion Picture Division offers marine coordination for Hawaii’s waters with access to the largest selection of marine equipment in the state, Lozano said. “We keep a production safe and on budget,” he said. Film permits for filming on Hawaii waters require consideration for the community, culture and weather conditions, Lozano said.

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“Our team can help streamline this process,” he said. From the staff’s first meeting with a production, Dolphin Excursions discusses budgets, permit requirements, water safety, equipment, vessel contracting/insurance and scouting. The company also has a photo library of picture vessels from which productions can choose what best serves their needs. Dolphin Excursions also arranges for camera and lighting vessels in small and large industrial types. “Technocranes out at sea can be tricky

Victor Lozano


An underwater scene made possible by Dolphin Excursions.

but not impossible with Libra and Scorpion Heads,” Lozano said. “Each situation needs to be looked at carefully.” The water safety the company coordinates is made up of Hawaiian Water Patrol members who hold certifications in Risk Management, CPR, First Aid and Advanced Life Saving. Dolphin Excursions also has licensed USCG captains, dive instructors and sailing instructors. Lozano knows that underwater filming can be expensive and dangerous. “Our team has been involved in over 90

ISSUE ONE 2015 • hawaiifilmandvideo.com

percent of all underwater filming in Hawaii for the past 20 years with zero incidents,” he said. “Our commitment to safety is the reason we have such a record.” Dolphin Excursions also can supply production companies with needed rental gear, as well as lessons for actors. Tech gear is also available, including dry suits, re-breathers and underwater scooters. HFV Contact Dolphin Excursions at 808-239-5579, or toll free at 877-257-5579. Visit www.dolphinexcursions.com for more information.

hawaiifilmandvideo.com • ISSUE ONE 2015


Cast and crew shoot a scene for the indie film Pali Road.

Island Film Group Returns with Pali Road BY TIM RYAN Executive Editor


sland Film Group, Hawaii’s premier independent film company created by attorneys-turned-producers Ric Galindez and Roy Tjioe (Soul Surfer, Princess Kaiulani, 4 Wedding Planners, Deadly Honeymoon), is again filming a Hawaii-themed feature with the working title Pali Road. The indie film wrapped on February 12 after 22 days of filming at several Oahu locations, including the North Shore, Kahuku Hospital, Kailua, Waimanalo, Tantalus, Old Pali Road, The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, and Honolulu International Airport. Hawaiian Airlines and The Royal Hawaiian Hotel are marketing partners. 48 HAWAII FILM & VIDEO

The film stars Jackson Rathbone (Twilight), Sung Kang (Fast & Furious), Michelle Chen (You Are the Apple of My Eye), and Henry Ian Cusick (LOST). The psychological thriller from Los Angeles-based Crimson Forest Entertainment tells the story of a young woman whose world is turned upside down after a terrible car accident—on Old Pali Road— the night her boyfriend proposes to her. It’s the first project in a slate of three films that Crimson is co-producing with Dadi Digital Cinema, one of China’s largest theater chains. No premiere date has been set, though the film will be released theatrically in China through Dadi. Twenty percent of Pali Road will be in Mandarin, so there will be English and Mandarin subtitles. “We are in discussions with sales agents and distributors for the rest of the world,” said Tjioe.

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Jonathan Lim, CEO and president of Crimson Forest Entertainment, is screenwriter, director and producer. Kenneth Burke, who worked with Island Film Group on Soul Surfer, is line producer. Noted Hawaii production executive Angie Laprete, now with Island Film Group, serves as co-producer. Cinematographer is the talented Quyen Tran. Local crew include production designer Rick Romer, costume designer Cathie Valdovino, makeup artist Mahealani Diego, hair stylist Tania Kahale, sound mixer Thomas Visser, veteran gaffer Dean DesJarlais, still photographer Noah Hamilton, camera operators Shawn Hiatt and Vince Keala Lucero, and production assistants Yama Cibulka, Leah Gallegos and Eli Cusick. Island Film Group specializes in film, television and commercial production in Hawaii, providing production services, tax

credit administration, financing, equipment, and production facilities. The company is Hawaii’s leading provider of equity and tax credit financing for productions wanting to access the state’s 20-percent Oahu/25-percent neighbor islands production tax credit. Island Film Group was initially contacted by Crimson’s Lim for assistance with Hawaii’s production tax credit, a role that later expanded to include production services and co-financing, explained Galindez. Pali Road’s offices are located at Island Film Group’s production facility and studio in Halawa Valley. Island Film Group sees an opportunity to serve the rapidly expanding theatrical market in China, where as many as 40 new theaters are being built per day. “Chinese audiences have a tremendous appetite for American-style films but have so far been limited to Hollywood-style tentpoles,” Tjioe explained. “Our idea with Pali Road was to cast Chinese and American actors in a U.S.-style production for theatrical distribution in China and the rest of the world.” One of the biggest challenges for independent filmmakers is financing, “and when we lost Hawaii’s investment tax credit (Act 221), that created an even bigger challenge,” said Galindez. Galindez explained that “the sweet spot” for independent budgets is in the $3 million to $5 million range. “We’re working hard to develop more independent films to keep our local crew working between the big features,” he said. HFV Contact Island Film Group at 808-536-7955 or info@islandfilmgroup.com.

A scene at The Royal Hawaiian Hotel, a marketing partner on the film.

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Patrick Gey Named President of EuroCinema Hawaii


atrick Gey is the new president of the 6th Annual EuroCinema Hawaii Film Festival. As a founding board member, Gey is credited for envisioning the regal red carpet arrival fronting the Westin Moana Surfrider Waikiki at the EuroCinema Hawaii Awards Gala. His contributions in service, style and culture resonate with the glamour of Europe’s leading film festivals and his vision for the festival ensures an exciting year ahead. Gey said he “deeply appreciates the former founding president, Jefferson Finney, for his past five years of inspiring leadership and outstanding accomplishments.” EuroCinema Hawaii Film Festival was

created on the initiative of Princess Dialta Alliata di Montreal, who wanted to establish a European cultural event in Hawaii to bring to the islands the richness and elegance of Europe’s famed film festivals in Berlin, Cannes and Venice. EuroCinema Hawaii promotes the development of art and filmmaking within an emerging generation of student filmmakers, while fostering a spirit of collaboration among all filmmaking from European countries. “It will be my mission this year to accomplish and pursue the development of EuroCinema Hawaii for what it must be tomorrow,” said Gey. EuroCinema also confirmed the appointment of Carmen Di Amore-Siah as secretary/treasurer and Elizabeth Kawananakoa as vice president for the 2015 film festival.

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Gey is originally from Paris, France, and had an accomplished career in the luxury fashion sector for over 25 years within diversified markets from France and Europe to Asia-Pacific. He held upper management positions with companies like Christian Dior, Boucheron, Fendi, Louis Vuitton and now is the general manager of Versace Hawaii. HFV

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