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Month: September 2008

HONOKAA MEETS HOLLYWOOD (AND JAPAN)

HONOKAA MEETS HOLLYWOOD (AND JAPAN)

 

                  Honokaa People’s Theater

 

PRODUCTION UPDATE: Right on the heels of the Wheel of Fortune filming, the Big Island scores again with the independent feature Honokaa Boy slated to shoot  Oct. 5- Nov. 15 in quaint Honokaa… 

The film is “loosely based” on the book by Leo Yoshida
Here’s the story: In 1999 a young Yoshida visits Honokaa and falls in love with the town. He meets Dr. Kinney who owns the Honoka’a People’s Theater and asks if he could train to become the projectionist. The doctor welcomed the idea. While working at the theater, Leo befriends a seamstress named Beatrice Okamoto and the pair become very close. Almost nightly she cooks dinner for him and they would talk about Japan, Hawaii and life in general. This is a very special period in their lives. 
Leo returns to Tokyo and writes a book called Honakaa Boy that becomes a hit because it’s a true story about a little town in Hawaii that talk about real people…
Producers are Gary Basson (L.A.) and Keishi Kuroki (Japan). Three well known Japanese actors are expected to play the lead roles. The real Leo Yoshida will have a cameo role…Local Hawaiian casting is by Laurie Foi on Oahu and Laura Bollinger of the Big Island. This is director Atsushi Sanada‘s first feature film.
Honokaa Boy, which is scheduled for a spring release in Japan, will mostly be in the Japanese language. No international release is scheduled. The production compny is Robot Communications (Japan) and Twin Planet Films (U.S.)…

 

 

 

 

 

UPDATES: While it seems like the final edit oF the much anticipated film Princess Kaiulani will not be completed in time to premier at the Hawaii International Film Festival next month, co producers Island Film Group has provided Reel Hawaii with the link to the film’s remarkable trailer. Take time to enjoy it a few times at www.islandfilmgroup.com/trailers/PK%20Trailer.wmv

Mahalos to producers Rick Galindez and Roy Tjioe, and the film’s publicist Kristen Jackson. Next stop for the film likely will be the Sundance Film Festival in January…

 

Will Ben Stiller surf Big Wave pic in Hawaii? Stiller and his Red Hour productions plan to produce the film Big Wave at Twentieth Century Fox with the directing team of Brendan and Emmett Malloy. Story – based on an idea by Stiller – is a sports comedy about a big-wave surfer who, after being sidelined for years following a traumatic wipeout, decides to surf again in order to raise money to save a convalescent home for old surfers. The Malloy brothers directed the surf pic Thicker Than Water, They’ve also directed music videos for the White StripesMetallica and the Black Eyed Peas. After Stiller wrapped Tropic Thunder on Kauai he told several crew he wants to film in Hawaii again. Big Wave release date is supposed to be 2010. Keep your fingers crossed…

 

Soul Surfer, the feature film about Kauai surfer Bethany Hamilton’s “comeback” after her left arm was bitten off in a shark attack on the Garden Isle, was supposed to begin a Sept. 15-Oct. 15 pre production and filming on Oahu but apparently has been delayed, Oahu sources said. The film is described as Blue Crush meets Rocky meets Chariots of Fire. According to Hamilton’s website  www.bethanyhamilton.com/ casting for the film has begun. No other details were provided. The production will be based on the Oahu’s North Shore apparently in time for the fabled winter surf season…   

 

The indie Lost Medallion slated for six weeks of filming on Kauai next month has been delayed until January. The $3 million film will now will shot on Oahu to save money and because of several “design elements that still need to be created,” a production executive said. Since much of the story takes place in jungle, several Oahu rainforest locations will be used…

 

Hawaii Film Partners which co produced the acclaimed kid’s show Flight 29 Down is looking for a storyboard artist to work in its Hawaii Kai offices on an international TV animation series project. You must have storyboard experience and be an Oahu resident. If interested Email your resume and art portfolio and/or Demo Reel with a storyboard sample to Cameron Nitta at Cameron@hawaiifilmpartners.com or call 808-447-7529.

 

 

SHOOT Magazine will publish it’s first ever Hawaii Regional Feature in their upcoming ssue to be relersed tomorrow Sept. 26. Check it out…

 

 

 

Wedding Day, a new documentary-reality series from Mark Burnett Productions and DreamWorks Television, wraps five days of filming on Friday with locations including Lahaina and Paia. Casting was done in Los Angeles. The show revolves around people who “deserve” a dream wedding, including teachers, volunteers, military personnel, police, community leaders, cancer survivors, firefighters, and others. Burnett also produced Survivor and The Apprentice. Originally, the show sought engaged social workers not able to plan that special day because they’re putting the needs of others before their own…Wedding Day will air on TNT…

 

Regarding recent Reel Hawaii information about the SAG contract issue, a reader and SAG member writes: “Your website is portraying SAG as the bad guy in negotiations for a new contract. Nothing could be further from the truth.” He goes on to say that producers are unwilling to budge…in negotiations. “The agreement they made earlier with AFTRA has not even been offered to SAG…I don’t believe that the majority of actors voted in favor of the new AFTRA conract either. SAG contract negotiations are still ongoing despite reports to the contrary. I’ve got this information first hand from SAG HQ. A few things I have heard that have been agreed to already are: 1. 10% pay increase over 3 years. 3.5 percent, then 3 percent, then 3.5 percent; and 
2. Expanding the Las Vegas zone from just the Strip to a new 15 mile radius…Yes, we would all like to see a contract soon. But things move slowly when one side just won’t compromise”…

 

HAWAII INTERNATIONAL FILM FESTIVAL UPDATE: Actor Tia Carrere will attend the HIFF opening night film as well as Andre and Maria Jacquemetton who just won an Emmy for Mad Men, where they’re supervising producers/writers. 

The couple also wrote for Baywatch Hawaii.  HIFF’s opening night film will not be Princess Kaiulani as itemed here earlier but the Korea picture The Divine Weapon at Regal Dole Cannery…

 

 

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INDIE BEAT: Hawaii filmmaker Susanna Lo hopes to get her Big Island-based film BEYOND THE VOLCANO into production by November but she’s still working to get funding. The film as in the tradition of Double Indemnity and Body HeatBeyond the Volcano tells the story of Primo Owens, a talented piano player who dreams of leaving Hawaii for the jazz music scene of Paris. His responsibility to his handicap father keeps him rooted yet frustrated, until one day he meets the mysterious Misty Blake, a married woman he once had a crush on as a teenager. She’s in a loveless marriage to the richest man on the island. Her beautiful singing voice brings them together in a steamy lounge act that carries them into an affair that drives Primo to the brink of sanity. His obsession with Misty makes him willing to do anything to have her, maybe even kill. The production will be based in Kailua-Kona. Proposed budget is $580,000. Pre-pre-production is Oct. 13-27 with a limited first team; pre-production, Oct. 27 – Nov. 10; production is Nov. 10-23; and post production is Nov. 24 – Feb. 13, 2009. Lo is the film’s writer/director/producer; Jamie Luner – producer/actress; Brett Cranford – UPM; Joe D’Agosta – casting…For more information contact Keith D. Jones at 808-385-1793 or 702-884-0932…

 

BAD NEWS: NBC’s Knight Rider which had hoped to film on Oahu for about three days this fall apparently has decided to shoot elsewhere… 

 

 

WHEN WILL SAG STRIFE END? NOT SOON ENOUGH

WHEN WILL SAG STRIFE END? NOT SOON ENOUGH

 

The Los Angeles Times is reporting that dissidents backed by Tom Hanks and Sally Field won six of the 11 Hollywood division seats on the national board of the Screen Actors Guild which, the Times reports, “empowers moderates” inside the union potentially altering the dynamics of stalled negotiations with the studios.

 

Private Practice star Amy Brenneman and veteran film and TV actor Ken Howard were elected from the Unite for Strength group, which mounted a challenge against the leadership of SAG President Alan Rosenberg. The dissidents now have enough votes to get a majority of seats on the national board that could help jump-start talks with studios after months of being stalled, the Times reports…

 

The union’s 120,000 members have been working without a contract since June 30, with the guild and studios at odds over how actors should be paid for shows that are distributed on the Internet and other new media. Sources said, it’s unlikely the studios will significantly modify their “final” offer after rejecting SAG’s chief demand to extend jurisdiction over all shows specifically created for the Web. Nothing will happen before the board meets Oct. 19…

 

Hawaii production has been stalled by the lack of action in getting the SAG contract resolved. Hawaii production has all but stopped for major TV or film productions wanting to film in Hawaii. Only ABC’s Lost has resumed filming in Hawaii while the unions fight it out. The studios seem all to willing to play a waiting game apparently believing that SAG leaders do not have the clout to obtain a strike authorization vote from members. Several studios have begun a number of major feature films that normally might have been stalled because of strike fears…

 

There are at least two major feature films hoping to film in Hawaii late this year and early next once financing and other issues can be overcome…

 

According to the Times, an informal SAG poll shows that 87 percent of the 10,000 people who responded agreed that union leaders should not accept the studios’ final offer. The studios countered that the poll was unrepresentative because less than 10 percent of the guild’s members responded, the Times said…

 

 

HIFF INFO: Special pre-sale tickets for the 28th annual Louis Vuitton Hawaii International Film Festival (HIFF) go on sale to HIFF members and sponsors starting  Sept. 19. HIFF’s 2008 program is being held at Regal Dole Cannery Stadium 18 Cinemas from October 9 – 19. Member tickets are available for purchase 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. General admission tickets go on sale to the public next Friday, Sept. 26 for $10 or $9 for students, seniors, children and military.

 

The year’s lineup of 150 films come from over 36 countries. Films being showcased include  the Korean-style Western and #1 box office hit from Korea THE GOOD, THE BAD, THE WEIRD, directed by Kim Jee-Woon and starring mega-Korean star Jung Woo-Sung who will be attending the festival this year. The Festival’s centerpiece film is acclaimed docu-drama RAIN OF THE CHILDREN from New Zealand director Vincent Ward….

 

 

A sneak preview of the HIFF trailer, starring actors Kelly Hu and Jason Scott Lee, will be screened Sept. 29 at HIFF’s program launch event at Dole Cannery. Festival catalogs will be available at the launch along with a program overview by Anderson Le, director of programming and a festival screening for members and sponsors. 

 

Still no news whether Island FIlm Group’s much anticipated Princess Kaiulani will have its final edit done for an opening night premier. But since no opening night film has been announced there still seems to be a chance…For more information please visit out website at www.hiff.org.

 

 

 

WHEEL DEAL$ FORTUNE FOR WAIKOLOA & PROD. CREW

WHEEL DEAL$ FORTUNE FOR WAIKOLOA & PROD. CREW

 

FINAL WHEEL OF FORTUNE UPDATE: Cast & crew of Wheel of Fortune used as many as 300 rooms a night during their month stay at the Hilton Waikoloa Village on the Big Island, or about 5,000 nights. More than 8,000 people attended the eight tapings at the resort over the four days of filming. There were 225 crew from Los Angeles and 200 from Hawaii, including the Big Island and Oahu. Wheel of Fortune, which is seen weekly by 47 million viewers, invested close to $5 million in the Hawaii show.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

WHEEL UPDATE: Wheel of Fortune during their recent Big Island filming teamed with film commissioner John Mason and the county Film Office to sponsor the Student Video Project. In conjunction with the show’s recent tapings. Wheel producers awarded Sony Handycam camcorders to the Project that have been gifted to the winning schools – Hawaii Preparatory Academy, Konawaena High School, Parker School and Keaau Youth Business Center.  In all, 26 students and faculty visited the Wheel of Fortune set at the Hilton Waikoloa Village last Saturday. The students met the production crew and taped an exclusive behind-the-scenes look at the show. Nineteen Big Island schools, all with digital video production programs, were invited to submit proposals that included information about the school’s video program, the type of projects they work on, and where the school sees the program in the future. 

 

 

 

Three Big Island filmmakers – cinematographer Howard Wexler, documentary filmmaker Sally Lundburg and Jon Sabati, technical coordinator for Na Leo O Hawaii in Kona, the community access cable television station, reviewed the proposals and selected the winners. The submissions were judged on their creative approach to the project at hand, their probability of success, and the educational and learning benefits. 

 

Tropic Plunder!: You knew it would happen eventually. Ben Stiller‘s Tropic Thunder comedy last weekend surpassed the magic $100-million mark in ticket sales and now stands at $102,970 million…

 

A small army known as Wheel of Fortune has established a beachhead command center at the Hilton Waikoloa Village’s Buddha Point on the Big Island where the filming of 20 shows begins tonight on a lavish stage of green carpet, tiki torches, straw huts, manufactured palm trees and stunning views brought from Hollywood along with all the stage, video, lighting, rigging equipment in 37 containers. The containers and a dozen massive production trucks fill a narrow road on the north end of the sprawling hotel’s Ocean Tower where some 200 crew and executives are residing. Lights have been set up on both sides of the backdrop bay so when the high definition television cameras span the ocean the lighting will show every detail of this dramatic stretch of coastline….

 

 

On Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday Vanna White and Pat Sajak did several dozen stand-up spots around the Big Island, including a remote waterfall in HIlo and scenic points in Waikoloa and the hotel.

 

 

According to a Los Angeles production, when filming begins the production will generate enough electricity to power a nuclear submarine. Last night Thursday, a run through rehearsal – minus Pat and Vanna – was done with hundreds of excited hotel employees attending…Glitches were minor…

 

‘This really isn’t brain surgery,” said supervising producer Steve Schwartz who started with Wheel 18 years ago as a production assistant. “We do two remotes a year and have crew who have been with us a very long time so we know how to get it done right pretty much the first time out of the box”…More than 100 Hawaii crew either from Oahu or the Big Island are working on the production and have nothing but positive things to say about the production…

 


 

“They treat people with respect and as professionals,” said Honolulu sound man John Reynolds. “They know what they’re doing and respect that we know what we’re doing.” Another Hawaii crew from Hilo said “there is no “L.A. attitude on the Wheel production.” “You get used to L.A. productions acting like we’re from L.A. and we only know the right way to do things,” said the crew member who worked on the Indiana Jones sequel. “The Wheel people actually ask us our opinions to do something differently that might be better. It’s nice not to be treated like a robot.”

 

Earlier in the week when a still photographer was told by the cameraman to stop taking photos because the sound of the cameras were distracting, White after the filming was completed waited behind five more minutes so the still photographer could get the shots he missed. “Everyone here has a job to do and to do it right we need to help one another no matter what job we have,” White said. “Staying a few minutes longer so the photographer could get his shots is good for me and the show. It’s just cooperating.”

 

Security is tight with Sony Television bringing in a force of its own staff headed by a not-to-be-fooled with former marine with a handle bar moustache named Al. Private Security of Honolulu and owned by Charlie Long also is working the show guarding the production equipment and keeping the curious off the stage…

 


Wheel of Fortune is spending millions of dollars filming in Hawaii including more than $1 million in Hawaii crew salaries…Depending on weather filming will be completed Monday…

 

HONOLULU SYMPHONY LIKELY TO RECORD PRINCESS KAIULANI SCORE

HONOLULU SYMPHONY LIKELY TO RECORD PRINCESS KAIULANI SCORE

 

UPDATE: Tropic Thunder took in $7.5 million at the box office over the weekend pushing total revenue to $96.8 million. The $100 million mark should be passed this coming weekend…


Looks good that the Honolulu Symphony will record the soundtrack of the film Princess Kaiulani over three days within the next couple of weeks after the film’s composer arrives from the UK…Producers want the film to have its world premier at the Hawaii International film Festival in October but the only glitch is will the Island FIlm Group/Matador Pictures’ movie have all its editing done in time. The orignal deadline for a completed film was late October; HIFF runs in mid October. Producers also have decided not to show Princess Kaiulani to distributors at the American Film Market in November in Santa Monica as planned but instead focus on the Sundance Film Festival in January. According to producer Ric Galindez and partner Roy Tjioe, the PK poster being shown on the Matador Pictures website along with the title Princess Kaiulani were used to show distributors at the Cannes Film Festival and likely will not be used as the final promotional product. Final title of the film and poster is still being determined…BTW: Tjioe did the storyboard drawings for HIFF’s 2008 trailer…

 

 

 

Sony Television’s Wheel of Fortune rolled into the Big Island late last month with some 200 Hawaii crew – 30 from the Big Island – hired to build the massive set at the Hilton Waikoloa Village, in the production’s second visit to the resort. The production, under the watchful eye of 18-year Wheel veteran Steve Schwartz, began set construction Aug. 25 and will wrap out Sept. 23 after nearly a month’s work of eight hour days. Salaries for just the local crew will exceed $1 million, Schwartz said…

 

 

Twenty of the 30-minute game show will be filmed in five days at the Village.  “This is a huge show for the Big Island that spends a lot of money, is universally watched, hires almost all local crew, and to top it off is an extreme pleasure to work with,” said John Mason, Big Island Film Commissioner. The production, including the crew brought in from Oahu, is staying at the resort in 316 rooms. This is Wheel’s fourth visit to Hawaii, including now two on the Big Island and two on Oahu at the Hilton Hawaiian Village. Schwartz says Hawaii crew “kicks butt” compared to other location crew when it comes to work ethic. “No where else do I find that kind of work ethic,” he says… 

The set and other equipment required 37 containers and eight trailers for shipping from Los Angeles. The overall production cost for the Big Island filming is in the “multiple millions of dollars,” Schwartz said. Shipping from the mainland was less than $1 million…

 

 

 

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