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Month: August 2009

LYCHEE THIEVES WRAPS THIS WEEK

LYCHEE THIEVES WRAPS THIS WEEK




The precious lychee


Lychee



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It’s a bit unusual even on a independent film when the cast and crew start eating the main prop. But no one on Lychee Thieves, the indie written and directed by director Katherine Man #2Hawaii born and raised Kathleen Man (right), seemed to mind since the oh-so-ripe lychees that were being picked for two days of filming at a cozy Kaneohe home would have just gone to waste after their 15 minutes of fame. So there was Man, co producer Matt Locey, DP Anne Misawa (below left), camera operator Vince Lucero and just about every one else including lead actor Pomai Brown munching on the coveted fruit between scenes…

The 30-minute Lychee Thieves centers on four local characters – Hawaiian, Chinese, Japanese, and Caucasian – who clash over a miraculously bountiful lychee tree. The story takes place from a Friday to Monday. Filming is eight days ending Saturday…



Anne M views a monitor







Lychee Thieves was inspired by a newspaper article about two locals who robbed a Big Island lychee farm. The characters of Arnie and Ethel grow paranoid and territorial when Keoki, a Hawaiian man who picks fruit between jobs, offers to harvest the lychee growing in their yard. Driven by selfish impulses, Arnie fiercely defends the tree from Keoki (Pomai Brown) and their neighbor, Mrs. Chun (Blossom Lam Hoffman) by arranging for professional pickers to strip the tree of its fruit as quickly as possible, no matter what the consequences. It falls on Keoki’s shoulders to break a cycle of long standing fears that governs our daily lives…


Camera operator Vince Lucero (below)



Cam Op tight




clapboard in scene #1


Actors Pomai Brown and Blossom Lam Hoffman film a Lychee Thieves scene



The filming has been done primarily on weekends when most of he crew is available..Man, who graduated from Punahou before heading to Yale, now teaches film at Vassar College. This is her first movie shot in Hawaii…Lychee Thieves’ budget is “next to nothing,” she said. Man said getting a top notch crew “is miraculous” since she knows so few crew in Hawaii. But contacting and meeting production vets like Angie Laprete, producer on Lychee opened doors to get the crew she wanted…


Man and Misawa watch the filming on a monitor

Director K Man likes what she sees. DP Ann Misawa at left







Man




Stage blood #1



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Make up and hair artist Tania Kahale applies fake blood





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L-R: Happy execs producer Angie Laprete and director/screenwriter Kathleen Man




Lychee Thieves is one of three stories to be used in a feature film by Man. The other segments were shot in Italy and New York City…



Crew logo #2







LOST & HIFF COME TOGETHER FOR ALOHA SEASON CELEBRATION

LOST & HIFF COME TOGETHER FOR ALOHA SEASON CELEBRATION


TAX INCENTIVES INCREASE IN NORTH CAROLINA & TAHITI


GOOD TO KNOW: North Carolina governor Bev Perdue has signed Senate Bill 943 that allows production companies a 25-percent tax credit for film projects in North Carolina, up from the previous credit of 15 percent. The bill also sets minimum spending and hiring requirements for qualifying film companies working in the state. “This legislation will help grow our $91 million motion picture industry, preserve and create thousands of jobs and increase investments in yet another emerging economic cluster,” said Perdue. “Providing a strong foundation for North Carolina’s film industry is essential as we work to build a strong and sustainable economy through increased diversification”…Companies must spend a minimum of $250,000 on production costs in the state to be eligible for the tax credit. The bill also requires companies to meet hiring requirements for North Carolinians and other criteria to qualify for the incentive…


The incentive is aimed at keeping film production in North Carolina and allow the state to compete on a level playing field in a growing global market…


North Carolina’s production industry employs more than 2,500 statewide. Recent major motion pictures filmed in the state include Nights in Rodanthe, Leatherheads and The Secret Life of Bees. The N.C. film industry is also home to the CW Network’s One Tree Hill TV series as well as hundreds of commercial and industrial productions each year throughout the state.


More than 800 movies have been filmed in North Carolina. The state is well known for supporting its motion picture industry with a strong infrastructure and a bevy of locations that can stand in for sites throughout the world. Wilmington’s EUE Screen Gems, home of the largest studio lot east of California, recently opened the largest film and television production soundstage on the East Coast.


FRENCH POLYNESIA INCENTIVES

CHECK OUT STORY at:

http://pidp.eastwestcenter.org/pireport/2009/August/08-27-10.htm

or

www.tahitipresse.pf


TAHITI SHIFTS TOURISM FOCUS TO MOVIE PRODUCERS


According to the Tahiti Presse, since Tahiti is having problems attracting visitors during the global financial crisis, the Temaru government has decided to change its promotion tactic by promoting Tahiti as a destination for making movies. Universal Studios is going to bring some 50 journalists to Tahiti, and more precisely Bora Bora in the Leeward Islands from September 20 to 30.


This is but one of two upcoming events connected with the movie-making industries in Hollywood and France that the French Polynesia Tourism Ministry and GIE Tahiti Tourisme are helping to organize during September. During the same month, filming will wrap in Tahiti on a 3D IMAX movie due for a February release and eight Hollywood scriptwriters will be chosen to visit Tahiti on an all expenses paid trip that Tahiti is hoping will result in more movies being filmed in French Polynesia…


GIE Chief Executive Dany Panero has said that a 2004 study by the Film Exporters Association found that 62 percent of foreign tourists in France were influenced in their travel destination decision by what they saw at the movies…


But Universal Studios is bringing the journalists to Tahiti to launch its media coverage of the movie Couples Retreat. Some 75 percent of the comedy was filmed last fall on French Polynesia’s Bora Bora…Nearly US$7 million was spent locally during the filming, including, airline tickets, lodging and hiring 80 people and 35 extras…


Also in September, filming will be wrapped for the 45-minute 3D IMAX movie The Ultimate Wave 3D that focuses on the legendary Teahupoo surfing site as well as the people, culture and beauty of Tahiti. Filming began in August…


Also on the September agenda is a seven-day visit by eight “A-List” movie scriptwriters chosen jointly by the French Embassy’s Los Angeles Film and TV Office and the Writers’ Guild of America. This is being billed as an “Unlimited Access Tahiti Mission” trip to allow the Hollywood scriptwriters to check out the movie scenario possibilities in French Polynesia…


The criteria for qualifying for the trip to Tahiti includes having had one scenario made into a movie that has earned a minimum of US$100 million for the film studio during the past three years…


Tahiti is counting on the chosen scriptwriters coming up with eventual film ideas from their visit that will make the rounds of Hollywood film producers and perhaps result in more movie-making business for Tahiti…


The French Parliament enacted a law in December creating a new credit for foreign films shot in France to promote actual film production as well as post-production services of movies whose ‘dramatic content’ has links with the ‘culture, heritage or territory of France,’ to quote the text of the law”…


The rebate is worth 20 percent of all eligible costs and is capped at US$2.8 million. Eligible costs include authors’ rights (through French contracts), crewmembers’ salaries, actors’ salaries (up to the minimum rate of the collective bargaining agreement), technical costs (rentals and purchases), locations fees, transportation, food and all fringes.” The Tahiti Film Office is reportedly considering a rebate of around 15 percent…








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Season 6 poster



In what will be one of the premier events in Hawaii International Film Festival’s storied history, HIFF and ABC-TV are joining hands for a multi-tier, marathon Lost event that will include open-to-the-public seminars with cast, crew and executives, an in-depth, two-hour discussion in the evening of the hit show’s progression over the last five years that includes a question-and-answer segment with at least two of the show’s producers followed by an invitation-only after party. Video clips and other visual media likely will be used during the discussions…


The fundraiser events will be Saturday, Oct. 17 at as-yet-to-be-determined venue. The evening event will be 7-9 p.m. Details of who will be attending,where there events will be held, and event costs are being discussed. But this unprecedented event honoring Lost and with unparalled access to Lost crew and above-the-line execs is expected to attract domestic and international media and attendees. Lost joins Hawaii Five-0 and Magnum, P.I. as being synonymous with mega successful Hawaii productions that have not only spend hundreds of millions of dollars here but brought immense publicity to the aloha State…


Lost


The Saturday Master Classes may begin as early as noon led by key Lost crew and execs that the public normally does not have access to…


This is Lost’s sixth and final season. The series is scheduled to air from February to May 2010. (Sources say Matthew Fox is the only cast member who knows the ending of the show so get your questions ready.) HIFF proposed the idea to Lost executives weeks ago “and they jumped at it,” said Chuck Boller, HIFF director. Prior to the evening event will be a private meet and greet cocktail party with Lost execs and actors at a Waikiki beachfront hotel…

Since the production plans to auction off nearly every prop used on the show at season’s end, ABC will preview some of the items at various this and other HIFF events.


“This is an event (HIFF) has to do,” Boller said. “The production has done so much for Hawaii and local filmmakers and crew that they deserve so much.”

BTW: Title of the final season’s two-hour premiere is “LA X” with the space intentional…


More details to come so keep checking back…



PREDATORS PRODUCTION UPDATE: Scouts for 20th Century Fox’s $40-million creature feature are back on the Big Island for their third week of scouting Hawaii most of it where a lot of jungles have been looked at. The production would film for 18 days with an October start if the Hawaii portion is a go. That decision is expected to be made very soon…Some Hawaii production execs are being contacted about availability…

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The creature feature is directed by Nimród Antal (left). Filming begins Sept. 28th at producer Robert Rodriguez’s (below) Troublemaker Studios in Austin TX…Produced by Rodriguez, the new film will involve a very intense group of people stranded on a Predator planet discovering unspeakable horrors that are not always from outside their group. The sci-fi action-adventure is written by Alex Litvak and Michael FinchPredators is slated to open summer 2010…

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This will be the  alien-hunter franchise’s first solo outing since 1990. The dreadlocked menace, who first appeared in a Central American jungle stalking Arnold Schwarzenegger and friends in 1987, has had other two solo features. Box office for the last combined feature was just $121 million worldwide after the previous installment’s $169 million. The studio and filmmakers reportedly aim to return to the franchise’s roots as a character-driven action movie…


In this version, a group of humans find themselves stranded on a planet home to Predators and must survive the horrors they encounter…





LATEST COOLER KINGS NEWS: Producers would like to be here at the end of August to start prep on the Jerry Bruckheimer produced pilot pilot for A&E…





INK DROPS “STAR” IN HIFF TRAILER; OH, AND DANIEL DAE KIM

INK DROPS “STAR” IN HIFF TRAILER; OH, AND DANIEL DAE KIM





Daniel Dae Kim HIFF trailer

DDaniel Dae Kim as Chi with “writers block”




Overview set up



With the annual Hawaii International Film Festival in October rapidly approaching, it’s trailer time again with several members of Hawaii’s production community and actors, including Lost’s Daniel Dae Kim and models Eric and Kimi Chun all donating their time. Two days of filming was completed Friday at Island Film Group/HMI’s Halawa Valley Studios. The studio facility was provided without charge…All the crew working on the trailer donated their time and equipment…



Props and set dressing were provided by the Hawaii Film Office, Tammy Hasegawa. The story os based on the “Ink Blot” theme b: OrangeRoc




2009-HIFF-logo-dates



Kim, a longtime HIFF supporter, on Thursday spent some 11 hours – two longer than originally scheduled – at the studio portraying a frustrated director/screenwriter with writer’s block. While attempting to write a screenplay using an old fashioned style fountain pen, a few ink drops spill from the ink well. Kim starts seeing various designs in the spots that formed in the drops. It spurs his creative juices and his writing starts to flow in part about two a mysterious detective and femme fatal – the Chuns…The story moves very quickly with the images from the drops rapidly moving across the screen capturing some film grenres like action, romance, intrigue  before they reform on the paper. The story is finished when Kim…You’ll have to wait to see it on the screen…


Eric Chun soloKim arrived at the Halawa Valley Studios carrying his own wardrobe and other necessities in a backpack…


Eric Chun (r) plays a detective; wife Kimi (below left) is the “femme fatale”…


Kimi solo #1












This year’s trailer theme is What Do You See. HIFF trailers in recent years have been strictly narrative stories of three minutes or less. The 2009 version honors the medium of animation with this piece only about one minute in content. The key visual is the ink blot and how people focus on on what they see within the white and the black image…Previous HIFF trailers have been as long as five minutes…



Everyone raise thier hand now!

Crew members (l & R) Jason Fratis and Michael “Strawberry” Romano  gesture simultaneously about an upcoming scene



Todd Robertson, founder and CEO of Hyperspective Studios animation studios in Manoa – http://www.hyperspective.com/ – is directing this year’s trailer. Hyperspective Studios also did some special effects for HIFF’s 2007 trailer…Hyperspective Studios is producing the trailer…

Director Todd Robertson watches kissing scene Director Robertson (l and r) fine tunes “The Kissing” scene…

Todd Robertson checks with Eric Chun









camera operator ? Romano makes adjustments


Camera operator Romano makes some equipment adjustments; The director of photography Mark Morgan (below right) jokes around with the stand in for Chun.


Stand in and DP ? play between scenes

Gaffer Jason Fratis adjusts lighting











Lighting adjustments










Director's silhouette #2


Chun feigns firing a revolver


The Name is Chun, Eric ChunT


“The Name is Chun, Eric Chun”


Kiss rehearsal #2







Prelude to “The Kiss”



Close up #4











Close up













Finally, “The Kiss”

The Kiss #1



The trailer will be shown to HIFF Ohana members at Dole Theaters on Sept. 30 and the general public soon after…





“HONEYMOON” FOR ISLAND FILM GROUP & MARVISTA IN HONOLULU

“HONEYMOON” FOR ISLAND FILM GROUP & MARVISTA IN HONOLULU



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THE HONEYMOON

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JUST IN: Island Film Group, owned and operated by Ric_GalindezRick Galindez (l) and Roy Tjioe, will partner again with MarVista Entertainment on a project that begins filming in late September on Oahu for as long as 15 days. Roy_TijoeFilming of the $3-million cruise ship murder mystery The Honeymoon currently is slated to begin Sept. 28. Preproduction begins right after Labor Day…


The production needs to film some scenes on a cruise ship so if one cannot be arranged in Hawaii the production may have to travel to the mainland for those scenes. It still hasn’t been determined if the project will be a MOW or a feature for theatrical distribution. Director is Paul Shapiro…Casting is still being done…


In related news, the Hawaii International Film Festival trailer is being filmed at IFG and HMI’s studio in Halawa Valley. The facility’s official name is now Halawa Valley Studio…




nimrod-antal-predator


UPDATE: Scouts and other execs for the 20th Century Fox’s big budget feature Predators have already visited Kauai and the Big Island for possible two weeks of filming beginning in October. Predators’ execs seem to be so taken by the Big Island they’re scheduled to return next week making it nearly three weeks. The Big Island at this point has the upper hand, sources said….The BIg Island’s Gail Pyburn is coordinating local locations scouting…



The creature feature is directed by Nimród Antal (above). It’’s been reported that filming will begin Sept. 28th at producer Robert Rodriguez’s Troublemaker Studios in Austin TX…One reason the film is being shot in Texas is so the production can take advantage of the state’s new tax incentives that requires at least 60 percent of the movie be shot in Texas. All of the stage work will be done there, sources said…

Produced by Rodriguez, the new film will involve a very intense group of people stranded on a Predator planet discovering unspeakable horrors that are not always from outside their group. The sci-fi action-adventure is written by Alex Litvak and Michael FinchPredators is slated to open summer 2010…





HAWAII FILM OFFICE UPDATE: While the layoff situation for the Hawaii Film Office staff by Nov. 13 remains intact, the situation is considered “very fluid” while negotiations between the union and state administration continue. The parties have been unable to reach an agreement on the budget shortfall and furlough scenarios…Negotiations between the union and the state are not over and that’s a good sign…



The message state officials are emphasizing about the Hawaii Film Office is that HFO’s services to film, television and commercial productions are continuing. The Hawaii Film Office and its operations are under DBEDT’s jurisdiction so by statute those prescribed duties must continue, including film permitting, managing the tax credits, and managing the Hawaii Film Studio at Diamond Head…



“The Hawaii Film Office is open, the individuals that are in this office are doing their jobs and are fully engaged in helping to support to bring a number of projects here that are going to represent significant economic impact to the state of Hawaii,” said Donne Dawson, state film commissioner.

Regarding potential layoffs, Dawson said “Once these positions are gone there is no expertise within (DBEDT) to run this program to the degree that has been run…


“This staff understands the importance of the film program definitely in terms of attracting business and dollars to our shores. What others don’t understand is the complexity of the job and what it takes to manage this program on a day to day basisæ….


State officials are discussing how these duties will be carried out if the layoffs are implemented…


Jason Suapaia, president of the Film and Video Association of Hawaii, is telling its members that he and several production industry leaders have been meeting to discuss the impact of the state 
administration’s decision to issue layoff notices to the majority of the HFO staff. The group is working towards a solution, he said….



Suapaia also says local film industry associations, unions and county film offices 
are “on the same page and are united on this issue”…



“We are committed to doing everything 
we can to address the matter and make sure our industry will still be able to receive the vital 
services that the film office provides to us,” Suapaia writes in an Email to FAVAH members. “We’re also in agreement that there are larger political issues at play and that decisions made 
by the administration are affecting a number of industries, including our film industry…So we have to keep in mind the larger context of what’s at hand as we consider our 
response options”…Suapaia is “confident that solutions” will be found…


Stay tuned…




“DESCENDANTS’ EXECS SCOUT HI FOR EARLY 2010 FILMING

“DESCENDANTS’ EXECS SCOUT HI FOR EARLY 2010 FILMING




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PRODUCTION UPDATE: Director Alexander Payne (Sideways) and executives from Fox Searchlight have been scouting Hawaii for about seven days in preparation for an “early 2010” filming of  The Descendants on Oahu and possibly the Neighbor Islands, especially Kauai where part of the story takes place…Payne (above) has told his production team that the filming will start at the beginning of 2010.



descendents



Payne, who is rewriting the screenplay, returned to Los Angeles yesterday…The book The Descendants is written by Oahu resident Kaui Hart Hemming (right), step daughter of state legislator Fred Hemmings...



74617_hemmings_kaui_hartThe production could be in Hawaii for 18 weeks, including eight weeks of pre production and 10 weeks filming, Los Angeles sources familiar with the deal said. Preproduction is expected to begin late this year, sources said….


Some interior shots may be done in Los Angeles. That will be decided while the filming is occurring in Hawaii, sources said. The Descendants’ budget is about $20 million. Payne and Fox Searchlight execs reportedly are wooing a major A-list actor for the role. The Descendants was going to film in Hawaii this year but producers and Payne decided to wait until 2010 when the actor they hope will star in the movie will be available, the sources said…That timeframe was not affected by the number of productions hoping to film on Oahu this year and the possible thin ranks of local crew…”It’s all actor availability,” a source said…



While on Oahu the visiting Payne and production executives met with Honolulu Film Commissioner Walea Constaninau, said sources not associated with either the state or county film offices…


It will be Payne’s first directing since his acclaimed Sideways…Fox Searchlight bought the rights to Hemmings’ novel in ’07 for Payne to produce. Set in Hawaii, The Descendants is described as an unconventional family drama that tells the story of a newly widowed father – the descendant of landowners and one of the richest men on Oahu — who takes off with his two rebellious daughters to track down his wife’s lover on Kauai…


Nat Faxon and Jim Rash adapted the script which Payne is now polishing…



Fox-Searchlight


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