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'Pirates' and other stars open up to fans with Twitter

By Mike Gordon

LAST UPDATED: 3:15 a.m. HST, Jun 27, 2010

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.

That rare moment of access was brought to you by Hollywood mogul Jerry Bruckheimer, whose love of spectacular productions might rival his love of sharing photographs. While on location for "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" he thought, Why not tweet them?

And so Bruckheimer - aka "@BruckheimerJB" - did just that, tweeting links to photos that included the watercraft arrivals of director Rob Marshall and screenwriter Terry Rossio, as well as shots of himself, the beach, his "Pirates" chair and a rainbow. Simple fare, but fans loved it nonetheless - and that's the whole idea.

The emergence of online outlets such as Twitter and Facebook has given Bruckheimer, as well as others in the film and television industry, an easy way to communicate with fans. In what seems like an odd contradiction, the 50-million-times-a-day miracle of social media has forged an intimate relationship.

"It's a direct, unfiltered line of communication, something wonderful that these new technologies have allowed us to do," said Bruckheimer by e-mail.

"My relationship to fans and audiences is, and always has been, No. 1 on my agenda. But social media now allows me to forge that relationship even more directly, which is really a great thing."

The "Pirates" sequel, fourth in the popular series from Disney, began filming on Kauai on June 14. Produced by Bruckheimer, it stars Johnny Depp, Penelope Cruz and Geoffrey Rush.

As it was with the first three "Pirates" movies, the set for the current film is off-limits to everyone but cast and crew. Bruckheimer's tweets and Facebook posts, though, will offer glimpses that are bound to please fans.

"We're all excited about 'Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides,' and I'm trying to share that with fans by opening a little window into the process while still holding on to most of the surprises that we don't spoil for them," said Bruckheimer, who always travels with a camera, rolling suitcase carry-on and iPod.

Bruckheimer won't be the only one tweeting about how the cameras are rolling in Hawaii this summer.

Both ABC and CBS are about to start shooting new fall shows - "Off the Map" and "Hawaii Five-0" - and while network executives feel it's too early to discuss their social media strategy, they've promised something impressive.

The actors are already getting involved. Daniel Dae Kim, the former "Lost" regular now cast in "Five-0" as Chin Ho Kelly, plans to treat fans with tweets under the handle "@danieldaekim."

"I will refer to, allude to and outright talk about things we are doing on the show without breaching any confidentiality," he said by phone. "I will talk about how things are going or if there was a particularly cool thing that happened."

Kim is new to the world of Twitter and Facebook but said he immediately saw the value.

"In the past the only way fans had to stay in touch with celebrities was to write them letters," he said. "This technology kind of enables people to reach out in a different way and establish something of a relationship."

But unfiltered access also means uncensored questions get asked. It was an eyebrow-raising part of the actor's unfolding relationship with fans.

"Allowing a certain kind of access doesn't necessarily entitle people to ask questions that are too personal," he said. "Manners still apply."

RUSHES ... Hawaii-born hunk Jason Momoa, of "Stargate: Atlantis" and "North Shore," recently finished his title role in the Nu Boyana Film Studios version of "Conan," shot in Bulgaria ... A&E's "Hoarders," the reality show that helps people suffering from compulsive hoarding, was here this month to work with a local family. Former isle TV reporter Erin Ostrem is a producer on the Seattle-based show. The episode should air late this year ... and that's a wrap.

Mike Gordon is the Star-Advertiser's film and television writer. His "Outtakes" column appears Sundays. E-mail him at

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