Monday, November 30, 2015         


For articles after August 3, 2011, see the Premium Archives »

The high from his summer viral video, "Batman Maybe," a parody of Carly Rae Jepsen's megahit "Call Me Maybe," was starting to wear off when Maui-born actor Wesley Freitas had another snap-genius moment.

Hollywood director Peter Berg brought his "Battleship" cameras back to Hawaii last week to shoot additional scenes with the film's biggest star: the Mighty Mo.

Not long after he was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2008, after the radiation had left him weak and depressed, documentary filmmaker Tom Vendetti felt an inexplicable tug on his soul.

The start of a second season for "Hawaii Five-0" arrived earlier this month with a big media splash and a lot of face time for the show's major actors. But the smiles have been just as big off camera.

The waiting continues for Hawaii's Anthony Ruivivar, who's hoping A&E will order a season of "Big Mike," a police drama that shot a pilot this past spring.

Audiences are generating buzz for a small independent movie from Maui called "Get a Job," which is on the film festival circuit.

When it comes to television reruns, the checks are always in the mail. It's like winning the lottery. The royalty checks — commonly called residuals — can arrive long after a series has left prime time, a surprise delivery that keeps on paying for decades.

As she read the script for a guest spot on ABC's new war drama, "Combat Hospital," Tia Carrere felt like she was holding a gift in her hands. "I flipped," she said. "It was awesome."

In the dreary world of TNT’s new alien invasion hit “Falling Skies,” the future of the human race is resting partly on the shoulders of an 11-year-old boy from Mililani. But don’t worry, Maxim Knight says he’s ready.

Rann Watumull and the rest of the folks at Hawaii Film Partners are ecstatic because they finally have a release date for their locally made feature film "You May Not Kiss the Bride."

ABC's new series "The River," which will shoot in Hawaii, has a South American jungle backdrop similar to the network's failed series "Off the Map," which also shot in the islands. But the trailer for the pilot shows off a mystery that is more like "Lost."

Paul Atkins has been to the birth of the universe, and lucky for you, he brought his camera. OK, that's a stretch. But the veteran cinematographer shot creation scenes all over the world for "The Tree of Life," the new film from director Terrence Malick that won the prize for best picture last week at the Cannes Film Festival.

The idea sounded simple enough to Rachel Sutton, the local casting agent for the CBS hit "Hawaii Five-0." She wanted to minimize the time background actors spend waiting at casting calls by creating an online database.

If you've watched "Hawaii Five-0" every Monday since the pilot aired in September, chances are you've amassed a highlight reel for season one — favorite scenes, choice character comments, the occasional "da kine" faux pas, and shout-outs to isle food, places and things only locals would appreciate.

Larisa Oleynik, the newest regular cast member of "Hawaii Five-0," feels she's not tough enough to be in the action-oriented police drama, but she can definitely disarm you with a smile.

"Ahoy" doesn't mean "mahalo," but it will come close when Hollywood mogul Jerry Bruck­hei­mer holds a private advance screening of the new "Pirates" movie as a way to thank the Hawaii-based cast, crew and government workers who helped turn out the blockbuster.

If you're a fan of Tia Carrere and Kelly Hu — and who isn't? — you'll love the TV action the two Hawaii-born actresses are involved in.

Those were real flames, but the car spewing them wasn't really burning in the parking lot of Alii­olani Hale last week, thanks to the special-effects crew with "Hawaii Five-0.

Hawaii's next generation of filmmakers might get its inspiration from the students in Wai­anae High School's award-winning Searider Productions Academy and the program's new digital media bus.

There are a lot of local actors in the background of the new film "Soul Surfer," but there are two who really make a splash: Sonya Balmores Chung and Cody Gomes.

It feels like deja vu all over again. A year ago, when ABC was filming the pilot for "Off the Map" in Puerto Rico, there was talk that the medical drama would relocate to Hawaii for the series. By last summer it had done just that.

The entertainment world is full of great books that were made into awful movies. Lists of these bad relationships are a Google search away. So pity the author whose best-selling memoir is replaced by scathing reviews of wooden acting.

The tale of murder and justice delayed was a horrific, emotional nightmare, but the fact it was true made it even more profound for actress Taryn Manning. When she immersed herself in the role of Leslie Douglass for the film "Heaven's Rain," Manning found a story of survival.

Call it a close-up without the camera or an audition without a speaking part at stake, but the recent panel discussion from the casting gatekeepers of "Hawaii Five-0" definitely gave aspiring local actors an inside track on how to land a part on the successful TV series.

Dave Holmes has always found it difficult to watch the same movie more than once, which sounds odd given that he's co-host of a TV show about movies. But whenever viewers tune in the FX series "DVD on TV," they see Holmes in his element.

When he said "cut" for the last time this season on the set of ABC's "Off the Map," it didn't surprise director Randy Zisk that none of the cast and crew was in a hurry to go home. They had come together last summer as strangers on a new drama about doctors in the jungle.

Think of it as a metaphor for a character who refuses to quit or maybe the ghost of the actor who first brought him to life. Either way, the spirit of Jack Lord will be making an appearance tomorrow on the new "Hawaii Five-0."

From royalty in exile to shipwrecked Italian nobles, the characters in Shakespeare's "The Tempest" inspired Oscar-winning designer Sandy Powell to create costumes that would be as inventive as they were memorable.

The Honolulu homecoming has been bittersweet and not without its tears, but H.B. MacArthur has found her emotions buoyed by the memories of her husband.

When he began filming "The Descendants," Alexander Payne said he wanted to direct a film that captured the soul of Hawaii.

Scott Caan is in Beverly Hills for one of the biggest nights of his career: the 68th annual Golden Globe Awards. The 34-year-old actor was nominated for his role as Detective Danny "Danno" Williams, the wisecracking sidekick on the CBS reboot of "Hawaii Five-0."

After a $62 million record year for film and television production spending in Maui County, new Mayor Alan Arakawa replaced longtime Film Commissioner Benita Brazier and changed the focus of her former position to now include sports events.

When the creators of the new "Hawaii Five-0" touted their show last summer, they promised story arcs that went beyond the weekly crime procedural.

Better set aside some serious popcorn money. Hawaii will be in wide release next year with as many as four major films that were shot here planning 2011 premieres.

The economy may stink like dried squid, but don't tell the bean counters who monitor Hawaii's film and television industry. By their tally, a record year of production spending was even better than they thought.

What just happened to fledgling Hawaii filmmaker Ty Sanga is something akin to standing in a crowd during a thunderstorm and praying that lightning will find you.

Alex O'Loughlin and his crime-fighting crew might be the stars of "Hawaii Five-0," but they don't take aim at a bad guy unless a writer tells them they should.

If you've ever dreamed of seeing your name as the credits roll at the end of a movie, here's your golden opportunity. For a $10 donation, the Hawaii producers of the short indie film "Strange Circus" will tell audiences about your contribution to movie magic.

Ever since the first scene in July, when the stars of "Hawaii Five-0" raced into the spotlight with tire-squealing action, the pace of production has been brutal.

The mystery in the "Champ box" was James MacArthur's to solve. In case you haven't been closely following the new "Hawaii Five-0," that's the toolbox Steve McGarrett found in his father's garage during the pilot.

It's a small mystery every week for fans of "Hawaii Five-0" that can't be solved by watching the show. It takes investigative work on your own time. Each episode has a title that never appears on screen.

There have been several film versions of the Jules Verne novel "The Mysterious Island," which served as the back-story for the author's enigmatic Capt. Nemo and "20,000 Leagues Under the Sea."

Never underestimate the allure of a mystery. Filmmaker Robert Campbell doesn't. In the last 18 months, whenever he wore a hat emblazoned with the word "Ecila," people wanted to know what it meant and how they could get a hat of their own.

After nearly two months of filming in Hawaii, the cast and crew of "Battleship" are weighing anchor for Baton Rouge, La. The $200 million production from Universal Pictures employed hundreds of local extras and a handful of actors who say the experience was largely positive, with director Peter Berg getting high marks for being an all-around good guy.

It doesn't matter whether you have the endorsement of an estate worth billions of dollars or just your mother's couch. If you're one of Hawaii's indie filmmakers, there's a genuine thrill if your work is selected for the prestigious Hawaii International Film Festival.

When CBS released a promotional video for "Hawaii Five-0" a few weeks ago that featured the University of Southern California marching band, the University of Hawaii band — which has played the "Five-0" theme for the past 42 years — was feeling a little like the ugly stepchild.

Do you speak bird? Do you know anyone who went to Kukui High School? Did you play football with Steve McGarrett? Chin Ho Kelly? Both were record-setting quarterbacks. Maybe you never heard of that Hawaii.

Fans of Kelly Hu owe a debt of gratitude to Jack Lord. The star of the original "Hawaii Five-0" was the first actor she ever met. She was in preschool in Liliha and suddenly smitten with the idea of being a superstar.

To most of the world, Waikiki is a shiny tourist destination with combed white-sand beaches, gentle surf and room service. Not so for filmmaker James Sereno and novelist Chris McKinney, who have teamed up to create "Broke," a dark tale of failed dreams they are filming in and around Waikiki.

Words failed to completely describe the gigantic mess the producers of A&E's "Hoarders" found when they arrived at the home of the Kaneohe family they planned to help.

If you look closely, you'll see them on the edge of the action, actors doing their best to blend into the scene and give it a sense of realism. They're the unnamed customers trapped in a bank robbery. The faceless fans at a football game.

For years, George Russell and college buddy Grant Wheeler dreamed of making a film together that would showcase the beauty and mystery of local culture. Then, after stumbling upon the world of Hawaiian ghosts, they were unsure whether they could ever fund the project.

It was more than a year in the making, but Teddy Wells considers it a victory worth savoring. With less than two days' notice, he was able to get 300 aspiring local actors to a casting call for ABC's Hawaii-based medical drama "Off the Map."

The creative brain trust behind the CBS reboot of "Hawaii Five-0" is promising a series with deep characters, subplots wrapped in mysteries and a mythology that builds on the show's origins.

Some rumors are so good, you just can't pass them up, especially if they involve a Hollywood star and war heroes. So it was for filmmakers Ric Galindez and Roy Tjioe, whose Hawaii-based Island Film Group helped produce "Princess Kaiulani."

Honolulu actor Dennis Chun, whose father, Kam Fong, played Chin Ho in the original "Hawaii Five-0," was at the recent showcase when he spotted the actor who will play the role in the CBS remake: Daniel Dae Kim. So he walked up and introduced himself.

Of all the amazing stories screened each year at the Hawaii International Film Festival, the shortest one never fails to delight audiences. The festival trailer lasts only a few minutes, and yet that's been long enough to capture a devoted following.

The idea is simple genius, if it works: Instead of waiting for a casting director to invite you to an audition, why not rent a room, throw in a buffet and drinks, and invite the director to watch you perform?

This is how you know that social media has made the world a better place: When the Kauai set of the new "Pirates" sequel is so remote the director needs a personal watercraft to get there, but afterward the producer of the film posts photos of his arrival through Twitter.

Landing a part on Disney's new "Pirates" sequel, whether to speak or blend into the background, has become a glittering treasure for a lucky few in Hawaii's acting ohana.

It has a wave, the familiar drumbeat and the same neighborhood deja vu—Is that my auntie's street?—but the CBS remake of Hawaii's most beloved TV series is not your father's Five-0.

Most Popular