LĪHU’E – According to a report issued today by Kaua’i Film Commissioner Art Umezu, the first three months of 2013 brought a flurry of film activities to the Garden Isle.
Some of the highlights include: an independent film; six episodes or segments of reality-type TV shows; scouting by three production companies and four media and magazine crews; along with a surge of video productions by students on Kaua‘i.
“Film is an important industry for Kaua‘i, and we’re pleased to report that production activity has been keeping a steady pace so far this year,” said Umezu. He noted that today’s recap is his first in a series of regular updates on film activity.
“A lot of people are not aware of all the film and media activities that are happening on Kaua’i unless there’s a blockbuster movie being filmed here,” said Mayor Bernard Carvalho, Jr. “These updates will provide a glimpse of what is actually taking place on an ongoing basis.”
A recap of film activities in the first-quarter 2013 include:
- In January, Optomen Productions from New York City filmed an episode for a historical travelogue, “Monumental Mysteries”. Locations included the Russian Fort and Hofgaard Park in Waimea. Expenditures – $2,500. Crew – 3.
- Off The Fence Production from England brought a crew of eight in mid-January to film an episode of “Masters of Nature” for The Weather Channel. Locations included: Hanalei Bay; Hā‘ena; and Princeville. Expenditures – $12,000.
- In early February, a media crew spent five days on the island covering a number of locations that will be spotlighted in a future edition of Dazzle, a Japanese high-fashion and lifestyle magazine geared for doctors, lawyers, bankers and business owners. Locations included: Waimea Plantation Cottages; Napali Coast by helicopter; taro fields; Hanalei town; Kalāheo Café and Coffee; Bar-a-cuda and Tapa’s restaurants; and St. Regis Hotel at Princeville.
A crew from Tokyo including producers and a director for a Japanese movie with the working title “Rain” scouted the Garden Isle for five days in February. The movie, written by an award-winning author, is based on a book that’s set on Kaua’i. If confirmed, production will begin later this year. Scouting expenditures – $3,500.
- A major movie studio has scouted Kaua‘i since January for a feature film which is set to start production in mid-2013, if confirmed.
- In early March, a crew of seven from Japan’s TBS-BS filmed four episodes of “Best Hotels” which featured four Kaua‘i properties including: St. Regis Hotel; Westin Princeville Ocean Resort; Sheraton Kaua‘i Resort; and Koa Kea Hotel and Resort in Po’ipū. The show received 25 minutes of coverage per episode and was recently broadcast to millions of people in Japan.
- Seattle-based Jumpshot Films, an independent film company, spent three weeks in February and March filming “Endeavor”, a story about two young runaways who escape by boat to an island paradise. The movie stars up and coming actor Tristan Erwin and is directed by Robert Burke. “Endeavor” will finish shooting in Seattle.
- Left-Right Productions from New York City, who shot an episode on Kaua’i last year of HGTV’s “Hawai‘i Life”, returned to the island to film another episode and is scheduled to shoot more episodes later this year. Expenditures for three weeks – $45,000. Crew of eight including two local hires. The production will return in May to film another episode.
- Also in March, LA-based, Pietown Productions shot an episode of HGTV’s “House Hunters” for three days featuring: Lydgate Park; Ke Ala Hele Makalae, the multi-use coastal path; Līhu‘e Airport; and the Sunshine Market.
- A special article about Kaua‘i’s 80-year history of film making is featured in the April edition of a trade publication, Hawai‘i Film & Video Magazine. The article is part of a spread on Hawai’i’s 100 year anniversary of film making.
“Saving Lives” (working title), a Kaua‘i-based reality TV show featuring Kaua’i’s Junior Lifeguards, will be shot over the course of a year. The show is being produced by 4D Ventures of Līhu‘e.
- Film students at Kaua‘i High School and the Kaua’i Film Club produced a music video featuring Paradox Lockdown, a local band, and tween singer, Sydney Agudong. The video premiered in March at Kukui Grove Center in The Jam Room. Congratulations to teacher Edwin Sawyer and student director Isaiah Alvarez, a senior at KHS.
- Film and media teacher Kevin Matsunaga reported that several Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School students participated in the national Student Network Television competition in LA in March. With more than 3,500 students representing 150 schools across the nation, the Chiefess students came home with first, second and third place wins in several categories including: spot feature; movie trailer; and public service announcement respectively.
- Another up and coming student filmmaker to watch is Kapa‘a High School’s Peter Sizelove who recently produced “Burn”, a short film about bullying.
- The Kaua‘i Film Commission is currently in discussions with Robert Lambeth, assistant director of Hawai‘i International Film Festival (HIFF), about bringing the festival back to Kaua‘i later this year. HIFF, which recently concluded its 16th Annual Spring Showcase on O‘ahu, submitted four films from the showcase for consideration to screen at HIFF Kaua‘i.
REPORT FROM KAUAI COUNTY