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Month: July 2008

BEN STILLER & REESE WITHERSPOON REPORTEDLY IN OAHU-BASED ADVENTURE COMEDY

BEN STILLER & REESE WITHERSPOON REPORTEDLY IN OAHU-BASED ADVENTURE COMEDY

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ben Stiller is scheduled to head back to Hawaii in January with Reese Witherspoon for an adventure comedy Sony feature now being called Untitled Cameron Crowe Project. Crowe is the director. According to L.A. and Hawaii sources the film focuses on Brian Gilcrest, late 30s, angry military contractor in middle age who has trouble with women and has few friends. The United States Army hires him to travel to Hawaii to help launch a satellite. While in Hawaii he briefly meets with a former girlfriend but that doesn’t work. He then meets and falls in love with a female military officer Maj. Lisa Ng (Witherspoon) and, of course, there are problems with that relationship as well. Your basic love triangle. The Army needs the spy satellite because of increased tensions between the U.S and China.

 

Before the project can begin Stiller and Witherspoon’s characters need approval by a native Hawaiian council to build the on the aina. According to online sources, the main characters are “haunted by visions of Hawaiian ghosts in green mists, mistaken for incarnations of the Hawaiian gods Lono and Pele.” Somewhere along the way Stiller and Witherspoon toss a sacrifice into an erupting volcano…There’s a Hawaiian king named Itchy.

 

Producer is Scott Rudin. Casting director in L.A. is Francine Maisler. Two children characters being cast are Mitchell Goodrow, a 10-year-old, Caucasian. An aspiring moviemaker, he always has a videocamera in his hands, taping everything. Smarter beyond his years; Grace Goodrow is a 12 year-old Caucasian at that awkward, befuddled, adolescent stage; smart and a bit shy…

 

Stiller, who stars and directs in the upcoming Tropic Thunder filmed on Kauai where he has a home, currently is filming Night at the Museum 2: Escape From the Smithsonian

 

 

LOST’S LOSS: Veteran Hawaii casting director Margaret Doversola who has been with the hit series since season two will not return for season four. Doversola declined comment. But according to several sources, Doversola was told several three weeks ago by a producer that the production wanted “a fresh eye” because they had been seeing too many of the same faces on the show. Next month marks Doversola’s 32nd year as a Hawaii casting director. Her list of credits is staggering from 29 episodes of Magnum P.I., North Shore, Along Came Polly, Punch Drunk Love, ER, Pearl Harbor, Baywatch, Krippendorf’s Tribe, Blue Crush, and Too Rich: The Secret Life of Doris Duke. She also acted in the 1997 film A Rock and a Hard Place as Sister Marie…Hana hou Margaret!….

 

FINGERS CROSSED TIME: Los Angeles sources say Matthew McConaughey is executive producer Brian Grazer’s first choice to play Thomas Magnum in the big-screen version of the ’80s hit Magnum P.I. Universal Pictures and Imagine Entertainment are reviving CBS’ 1980-1988 series. Grazer reportedly is fine tuning the script, by Michael McCullers

 

Beverly Holloway Casting in Los Angeles is doing the principal casting for The Lost Medallion set to film on Kauai this fall…There are 10 principle characters including those named Anui, Faleaka, Huko, and Mohea.  No Hawaii casting person has been named…

 

Hawaii International Film Festival News: Attorney/producer Ric Galindez, co owner of the Island Film Group with Roy Tjioe, is becoming a HIFF board member. UH grad Gerard Elmore (below right), who last year premiered his film All for Melissa at HIFF, is directing this year’s festival trailer. Pre production is starting already with filming beginning in late August. Shooters Production is the production company. All for Melissa has been picked up for national DVD distribution by Echo Bridge EntertainmentThe DVD will be released in November… 

 

 

  

 

The HIFF inaugural Summer Film Festival debuts this month at the Doris Duke Theatre at the Honolulu Academy of Arts. Tickets go on sale on August 8th. Movie ticket prices are $10, $9 for students, seniors, children, military. Groups of ten or more are $8 a ticket over the phone or in person.  Tickets are available in person at HIFF’s box office at Dole, by phone at the Honolulu Box Office at 550-8457(TIKS), by fax at 536-2707, or online at www.hiff.org.
This year’s SUMMER FILM FEST includes films from the USA, India, South Korea, Hong Kong and Japan. For the most current information, please visit online www.hiff.org
 

 


 

CHANG APANA COMES TO LIFE THROUGH CAREY TAGAWA

CHANG APANA COMES TO LIFE THROUGH CAREY TAGAWA

 

 

                                  An Icon is Reborn

 

Part of legendary Honolulu police officer Chang Apana‘s story is being told in a five-minute short film tentatively titled Chang Apana slated to be shown at this year’s Hawaii International Film Festival. The fictional movie detective Charlie Chan was patterned after the five-foot tall Apana who carried a whip instead of a gun. Author Earl Derr Biggers met Apana while vacationing in Waikiki and created the character Charlie Chan in 1925. It’s too early to reveal much but here’s what Reel Hawaii knows. The locally produced independent film finishes its three-day schedule tomorrow. There’s been one day of exterior filming in Chinatown and two days of green screen work. The projects is the brain child of Hawaii radio talk show host John Noland who for years has wanted to get the story on film. Noland, a producer on the film, hopes the short film directed by Michael Wurth sparks enough interest to make it a series. Other big news is that veteran actor and former Hawaii resident Carey Tagawa is playing Apana. The film’s co star is newcomer Merlinda Garma, host of Hawaii Skin Diver TV...Jon Brekke is executive producer; Colin Fong is stunt coordinator. More details to come…Garma and actor James McCarthy are students at Scott Rogers Academy of Film & Television. McCarthy also teaches the keiki classes at Academy.

 

                                       Carey Tagawa as Chang Apana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Actors Merlinda Garma and James McCarthy in a scene from Chang Apana.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Director Michael Wurth and executive producer Jon Brekke review a scene.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Carey Tagawa (left) and director Michael Wurth (right) discuss an upcoming scene in Chang Apana. (Rear left) Eddie Croom, HPD police museum curator and (right) John Noland, producer. 

 

 Stunt coordinator Colin Fong

  

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

                

Carey Tagawa prepares for the ladder jump stunt.

 

 

LISTEN UP! ABC has announced that season five for LOST will have 16 episodes but actually there will be an additional two hour closer – or number 17 episode…

Rachel Sutton is the new local LOST casting person. Sutton did extras casting in 2006 for two episodes on Beyond the Break, Winger Chicks and Charging It...

She’s holding an open call for SAG members exclusively who are interested in auditioning for principal roles for the upcoming season. The auditions will be held Saturday, Aug. 2, 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. at the Hawaii Film Studio, at 510 18th Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816. Bring a headshot and resume. For members who cannot attend, you can mail the headshot and resume to Grass Skirt Productions, LLC, Attention:  Principal Casting, 510 18th Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816. For more information call Brenda Ching at SAG…

 

ONLY RUMORS ABOUT PRODUCTIONS BUT TROPIC THUNDER ROCKS

ONLY RUMORS ABOUT PRODUCTIONS BUT TROPIC THUNDER ROCKS

 

 

Whispers in the local film industry about Samuel Jackson‘s upcoming film The Unthinkable shooting here are wishful thinking. Though Jackson is a big fan of Hawaii – remember he filmed Snakes on a Plane here – The Unthinkable is all being shot on the mainland. In 2005, Jackson was selected to receive the Achievement in Acting Award from the Hawaii International Film Festival…There’s also lots of chatter about a straight-to-DVD Blue Crush 2 film but no one is talking publicly…

 

Still hush-hush is the locally produced reality show pilot headed toward a premier on Fox in October. Virtually all the participants and 99 percent of the crew are local. Still too early to mention the show’s name or executives. Check back next week. Depending on ratings, the show could become a weekly series….

 

ABC’s Lost is scheduled to start filming Aug. 18…

 

Looks like the state film office budget will be severely cut as in more than $50,000 that may critically hurt Hawaii promotions…State film commissioner Donne Dawson this spring told Hawaii Film & Video Magazine that even without any funds being cut that her office is “working off very limited marketing budgets…so marketing trips to L.A. are few and far between. They haven’t increased of late, and if anything they’ve dropped off a bit. In order to stretch the limited resources we do have, we try to combine marketing trips/targeted meetings with other industry events we are participating such as Locations Tradeshow or Cineposium when it’s held in the L.A. area. Hawaii’s film offices have not been to New York for a marketing trip in several years also for budgetary reasons. She predicted that the financial situation :is not going to improve in the near future because budgets are going to get tighter. And with the skyrocketing fuel costs, it’s going to be even harder to make these trips.” The film offices do some limited print advertising in the trade publications “to get the word out that way,” she said. “But again, due to budget constraints it’s not a lot”… 

 

Regarding Hawaii’s production tax incentives, Dawson said earlier this year that it would be difficult “to get any kind of increase…at this point.” “Given the state of the economy, our goal is really to prove our worth and preserve what we have. This is a valuable credit that was hard won and is doing what we anticipated it would do: attract production to Hawaii and start to make a real difference in developing our industry. There’s a lot more work to be done to smooth the process for application and certification. We are currently drafting rules with the Tax Department to address some of the issues that have come up and expect that process will take between 3-6 months to complete.”

 

Recent media screenings of the $100-million-plus comedy Tropic Thunder – most of which was filmed on Kauai – have been outstanding. Variety calls it a “smart-alecky sendup of Hollywood in general and action films in particular.” The film starring Ben Stiller pokes fun at a troupe of spoiled, self-centered actors who get more than they bargained for in making a Rambo-like rescue drama in Southeast Asia. The film also stars Robert Downey Jr. and Jack Black with a hilarious appearance by Tom Cruise

 

 

Stiller (below)  also directed TT and co wrote the film with Justin Theroux and Etan Cohen.

 

 

The film begins with a few fake trailers to introduce the stars of the forthcoming Vietnam epic. Surprisingly, the mock movie studios use their official logos. From Universal there’s a  global-warming themed action movie called Scorcher VI; New Line’s Meet the Fatties Part 2; and Fox Searchlight’s Satan’s Alley starring Spiderman’s Tobey Maguire as a gay monk. 

Stiller plays Tugg Speedman, Black as comedian Jeff Portnoy, Downey is Australin actor Kirk Lazarus, and aspiring hip-hop star Alpa Chino (Brandon T. Jackson.) (Say the character’s name slowly to get the joke.)  Cruise portrays a tycoon producer. There are also appearances by Nick Nolte and Matthew McConaugheySome local crew receiving film credit include hairstylists Lotus Benedix, special effects coordinator Archie Ahuna, special effects assistant Mike Sua, and transportation captain John Reed…

TT opens nationally on Aug. 15, but Kauai Film Commissioner Art Umezu (left)
is working with the studio to hold a private screening earlier on the Garden Isle for local crew, family and actors…
Looks like a good chance that a feature film first called It’s Good To Be King and now Lost Medallion will film on Kauai this fall...TV Land’s reality show High School Reunion is in full gear after starting filming on Kauai this month in Kilauea at a new grand estate home. It’s a 20 year reunion series of 6-8 episodes which will film entirely on Kauai then air early 2009. Kauai-based still photographer Mario Perez was the set photog…
                               


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   
LOST RECEIVES 9 EMMY NOMS INCLUDING BEST DRAMA

LOST RECEIVES 9 EMMY NOMS INCLUDING BEST DRAMA

ABC’s Lost which just finished its fourth season is nominated for eight Emmy Awards including best drama series and supporting-actor for Michael Emerson who portrays the character Ben Linus. Other nominations include: editing (Henk Van Eeghen, Robert Florio, Mark J. Goldman, Stephen Semel), cinematography ( John Bartley), sound editing and sound mixing, and Michael Giacchiano for musical composition. The eighth nomination was in the category of Special Class -Short-format Live-action Entertainment Programs, for Lost: Missing Pieces mini-episodes posted online at www.abc.com. Emerson also was nominated last year but lost to Terry O’Quinn who plays  John Locke on the show. Interestingly, Lost was not nominated for writing or directing…

Pre production on Lost is supposed to begin later this month with filming to start in August depending on whether or not the Screen Actors Guild calls for a strike. No season five premier broadcast date has been been announced for Lost. Speaking of which there’s been no apparent progress between SAG and the studios this week. SAG execs say they’re still bargaining while the studios say talks have ended…

Island Film Group & Princess Kailulani Update: The most production work in Hawaii this year outside of ABC’s Lost comes from Island Film Group owned by attorneys Rick Galindez and Rick Tjioe. IFG produced the feature film Princess Kaiulani in partnership with England’s Matador Pictures, and two Lifetime movies of the week. Combined spending for the three productions was about $15 million, including “about $7 million” for the Princess Kaiulani drama, Galindez and Tjioe say.

The stand out production is the Princess Kaiulani feature film which is being marketed as a love story by Content Films, the production company’s sales agent. “PRINCESS KA`IULANI combines the profound natural beauty of Hawaii with the sweeping romance of a classic Merchant Ivory epic,” according to Content Films promotional material. “The film right now is being marketed as Princess Kaiulani including the promo shown at the Cannes film Festival,” Galindez says. “We’ve already gotten some sales there based on the promo.” But the title may not stick depending in part on what the as yet not chosen domestic distributor wants, he said. “If a domestic distributor picks up (PH) and puts in $30 million, $40 million, or $50 million it will be there call,” Galindez says. “How do they want to promote the film?” Princess Kaiulani filmed in Hawaii before moving to England to shoot there for nine days. Post production is being done in England.

The producers plan some special events for the premier of the film in Hawaii that may include the Royal Hawaiian Hotel venue, Sunset on the Beach, Hawaii Theatre, or a mini outdoor fundraiser showing on the grounds of Iolani Palace.) Island Film Group has other projects in development, Tjioe says. 

STILL PHOTOGRAPHERS ALERT: There’s a new photography store on Oahu with a full range of available professional camera gear especially for Nikon and Canon users. What’s particularly exciting about the store is its large inventory of high end pro gear meaning there’s no wait to get what you need right now. Lighthaus Camera in Honolulu is located at 2885 S. King St. Honolulu, HI 96826. They can be reached at 955-5155…

STUDIOS REPORTEDLY MAKE FINAL OFFER TO SAG; DEADLINE LOOMS

STUDIOS REPORTEDLY MAKE FINAL OFFER TO SAG; DEADLINE LOOMS

 

 

SCREEN ACTORS GUILD UPDATE: According to several wire sources, the major studios are playing hard ball telling SAG by letter Wednesday  that if the union does not accept its final contract offer by Aug. 15 any proposed wage increases would not be retroactive. The producers’ final offer reportedly included $250 million in additional compensation over three years. If the Aug. 15 deadline passes before the union ratifies a contract actors could lose more than $200,000 a day in increases dating to July 1, the day the new contract would take effect. According to sources the two sides seem headed toward an impasse. The studios, represented by the Alliance of Motion Picture and Television Producers, plan to meet with SAG today  to discuss their final offer. Earlier this week the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists with 70,000 members ratified a three-year deal retroactive to July 1. SAG represents 120,000 actors in movies, TV and other media. It represents the vast majority of work in prime-time TV and movies. SAG has not called for a strike authorization vote. The guild said it is seeking further increases in compensation for DVD sales and Internet content and additional terms covering actors who must endorse products in scripted scenes. The producers’ chief negotiator said in a letter to California’s state Legislature Wednesday that the studio alliance had presented its “last and best and final” offer to the guild…

 

LOCAL MOTIONS: IATSE 665 member Guy Belegaud, who works on ABC’s Lost in the construction department from carpenter to coordinator, spent seven months in Chicago working on Dark Knight, the upcoming Batman sequel to be released this month. He was general foreman on the pic managing set fabrication. Belegaud is no stranger to blockbusters having also worked on Spider-Man 1 & 2, and Tears of the SunHe’s also is a member Local 44 member in Los Angeles…

Liquid Planet Studios one of Hawaii’s high definition production leaders, will film next year’s Merrie Monarch Festival in HD. It’s the first time that’s been done for what has been called the Olympic of hula. The one-year deal between Liquid Planet, Merrie Monarch organization and KITV4 which broadcasts the event in the islands was signed last month. It’s a major coup for the Honolulu-based business – www.liquidplanetstudios.com – which also does equipment and studio rental, post production at its Iwilei facility, all with its state of the art new HD Fiber Fly-pack with Final Cut Studio Pro…The production company will use eight HD cameras for the filming… 

 

FOR WHAT ITS WORTH DEPT. Celebrity photographers – aka paparazzi – are out in force again this summer especially at their favorite feeding grounds around Wailea, Maui. Some eight paps – including six from a single agency – swarmed actor Ashley Tisdale, boyfriend Jared Murillo and her parents who were staying at the Four Seasons Maui. Lots of recruiting being done for Hawaii-based photogs by the BIG L.A. agencies: a Kauai local just switched one L.A. agency for another for more money; another agency is using a respected Oahu photog to cover celebs on this island… 

 

 

 

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