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Wednesday, October 22, 2014         

OUTTAKES


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'Off the Map' crew, director want back on the island

By Mike Gordon

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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. Now they were family, although one with an uncertain future.

"Off the Map," which aired the sixth of its 13 episodes last Wednesday, has not yet been green-lighted for a second season. That decision will likely be announced in May, when the network releases its fall lineup of shows.

"Like all shows, you wait to see what will happen next," Zisk said.

"It's hard. I won't lie. It is hard. We all would really love to be back here. But that is the nature of this business. All you can do is try and make the best shows you can make and hope for the best."

The cast and crew finished shooting the season finale on Feb. 11 at the show's Whitmore Village set. There were more than 120 people there when things wrapped up at 11 p.m.

"It was very emotional," Zisk said. "The good and the bad of this business is you make friends quickly and then everyone goes off and does new projects until we find out if we are coming back."

Regardless of what happens, Zisk will leave impressed with the production support he found in Hawaii. When ABC arrived, the fear was the work force might be spread thin because there were two big-budget films in progress, "Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tides" and "Battleship," and the CBS TV series "Hawaii Five-0" was ramping up.

"We wondered how deep Hawaii was in talent and we were amazed at how many great local crew members are here," he said.

"If you are going to do a show away from Hollywood, this is the place to be. It has such great chemistry of crews and culture."

The 52-year-old Zisk, a TV veteran of 20 years, is planning on a few weeks off and maybe a some short-term directing gigs while waiting for the network's decision.

"We had an amazing time here," he said. "As sad as it is to get on a plane, you take a breath and look back and realize how lucky we were."

BROOKE ALEXANDER may have grown up in Kailua during the laid-back '70s, but after living for 25 years in New York City, she's mastered the art of being assertive and that helped her land a guest-starring role on tomorrow night's episode of "Hawaii Five-0."

Alexander has had a varied career. She left Hawaii when she was 18 to become a model in Europe and wound up starring on the soap opera "As the World Turns," shooting TV commercials and hosting shows on FOX, CNN and PBS. A few years ago, she started wondering what happened to the actor in her and pushed her agents to get her parts on "Law & Order: Criminal Intent" and "Law & Order: SVU."

In New York City, "Law & Order" is a must, Alexander said. If you don't have an episode on your resume, you're nobody.

But she wanted to be on "Five-0." When Alexander was in Hawaii last summer for a Maryknoll High School class reunion, she got an agent in Honolulu. But nothing happened. During the holidays, Alexander gave the agent "a New York push." She was in Hawaii on vacation with her husband and 7-year-old son.

It worked. The show cast her as Diana Meachum, a public defender, and shot her part the day before Alexander was to return to New York.

She is hoping she'll get more work on "Five-0," and doesn't pull her punches when she talks about it. Even eye-popping beach scenes need real people, she said with Manhattan moxie.

"One of the things I am up against is I am an aging, attractive female actress," she said. "But I think it is the right time for women to age and be strong for a change."

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 mgordon@staradvertiser.com.






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