When she was growing up in Hawaii in the late 1970s and early '80s, Kimberlee Bassford looked forward to each episode of "Sesame Street," the PBS children's show that's delighted generations of viewers with quirky songs about the alphabet, gentle morality lessons and feel-good characters.
To understand how nervous Josh Kim was as he flew to the prestigious Berlin International Film Festival last month to premiere his film, consider this: When Kim hosted a test screening of "How to Win at Checkers (Every Time)" in October, a veteran director told him he felt nothing — and his uncle fell asleep.
It's easy to understand why the Hawaii-based producers involved with "Pali Road," a romantic thriller shot on Oahu for Chinese audiences, are excited about the project: The China Film Agency estimates the country adds 14 new screens a day, making it the fastest-growing movie market in the world.
When he decided to tell the story of Tyke, the circus elephant that rampaged through Honolulu in 1994, documentary filmmaker Stefan Moore knew the collective memory of that event was overwhelmingly negative.
Board members with EuroCinema Hawaii were surprised when the Hawaii International Film Festival ended their five-year partnership with an emailed letter last month, but what raised eyebrows even further was the explanation of what prompted the split.
Not much is left to chance on the set of a feature film. The way props are positioned can be just as important to a director as the tone of an actor's voice, so set dressers labor to create the necessary realism.
The irony of her situation wasn't lost on artist Margaret Keane during last week's New York premiere of "Big Eyes," the Tim Burton film about her life. Keane's haunting portraits of children with large, round eyes were a pop-culture fixture from the late 1950s to the late 1980s.
The first thing filmmaker John Sullivan thought after reading the script for "Fort Bliss" was that he had never read anything better. Its main character, Maggie Swann, is a decorated Army medic who is struggling to emotionally reconnect with her young son.
While it's certainly a high-five moment when your TV pilot wins a prize in a screenwriting program, it doesn't mean you've written your way to a network contract. It just means you have more to write. A lot more.
Walt Disney Studios hasn't said much about the Polynesian heroine in its newest film, "Moana," but the animated feature is sure to be a lightning rod for filmmakers, writers and producers meeting here this week.
Jesse Cudworth, a 21-year-old filmmaker from Kauai, didn't make the final cut for the HBO reality series "Project Greenlight," but he's OK with that. He's measuring success with a story that would make a Hollywood director jealous.
The governor's recent release of $100,000 to help state officials identify the best location for a new film studio was welcome news to state film commissioner Donne Dawson. Despite recent repairs, the state film studio at Diamond Head remains an aging and limited facility.
The magic of computer-generated images is always right in front of you, from your smartphone to the big screen. But for Remington Scott, a freelance director from Hawaii Kai, much of the magic lives inside his active imagination.
If you want an executive producer to cast you as the next Catwoman, then it's best to consult a cat. Camren Bicondova watched her own cat, Mr. G, and landed the role of Selina Kyle — aka Catwoman — on "Gotham."
Gordy Hoffman, an award-winning screenwriter, an instructor at the University of California at Los Angles film school and founder of the popular BlueCat Screenplay Competition, says he's passionate about inspiring storytellers and will be on Oahu this week to lead four workshops.
Nothing tests a relationship like travel, but Kauai surfer Bethany Hamilton and new husband Adam Dirks believed in each other so much that they gave their marriage the ultimate test: They entered "The Amazing Race."
When the videojournalists at Waianae Intermediate planned to produce a story about a transgender classmate for "Hiki No," the student news show on PBS Hawaii, Robert Pennybacker held his breath — but only for a moment.
Kailua's Jonah Ray has come a long way from the nights when he played in punk bands and read funny poems between sets. Back then, in 2001, Ray enjoyed wailing on the drums, but what he wanted most was to make people laugh.
For 15 years, producer Dana Hankins tried to turn the beloved young-adult novel "Under the Blood Red Sun" into a film, failing twice before she found financial backing last year. Now its premiere scheduled for next month.
When the state film office asked lawmakers in 2012 for money to repair the Hawaii Film Studio at Diamond Head, the request came with a stark admonishment: In its condition at the time, the facility was "an embarrassment to Hawaii's film industry and a liability to the state."
Anyone who watches "Hawaii Five-0" knows the show's high-octane stunts are as common as bad guys. There were so many last season that stunt coordinator Jeff Cadiente figures he could make a 45-minute highlight reel.
If Adam Braff finds success as a Hollywood screenwriter, it's going to be on his own terms. That's the promise he made to himself six years ago this summer when he and his wife decided to move from Los Angeles to Hawaii. And no, success hasn't quite happened yet.
Chris Kahunahana's alarm goes off when most people are fast asleep — 3 a.m. — but the Kaimuki filmmaker says that's his most creative time of the day. "It seems to be the only time that my mind is free to wander and create things," he said.
When Barry Rivers gets excited about the films in his Maui Film Festival, he can sound like a man who drank too much Red Bull. But this year, as he prepares for the 15th annual edition, his descriptions are machine-gun fast.
Pre-production on the big fantasy film "Ethyrea: Code of the Brethren," which was to begin in early June on Maui, Molokai and Kauai, is three months behind schedule, but the author who created the story insists her film will be made.
Given America's insatiable appetite for everything related to food, from reality cooking shows to the social media obsession of making each meal a photo op, the idea of creating a new food program on TV is daunting, to say the least.
The actors are on vacation, production crew members have joined other local film and TV projects, and the Diamond Head soundstage is buttoned up. But even though "Hawaii Five-0" is on hiatus until July, location manager Timmy Chinn is already scouting for next season.
When films have focused on issues facing transgender individuals, they often told stories filled with discrimination, violence and disrespect. Filmmakers Dean Hamer and Joe Wilson were familiar with that, having explored the LGBT community in rural America in their film "Out in the Silence."
When Henry Ian Cusick describes his new character on the CW series "The 100," it's easy to understand the attraction. As Kane, he has a say on the survival of the human race. Who could resist a role like that?
Most days the cast and crew are just as busy as their counterparts on any other show, but "Five-0" honcho Peter Lenkov decided to reach out anyway. The executive producer invited a small group of devoted fans to meet him March 1 for breakfast (mostly pancakes) at Wailana Coffee Shop in Waikiki.
The most popular underground film contest in Hawaii "Showdown in Chinatown" is poised to start its season of challenges Saturday with a huge new venue that should allow organizers to pack the house without having to seat people with a shoehorn.
The last time we saw Jason Momoa, the Hawaii-born actor was a sword-swinging anti-hero in the 2011 feature film "Conan the Barbarian." It was an encore of sorts from a genre that also turned him into Khal Drogo, the brutal horse-riding warlord of HBO's "Game of Thrones."
Students at the University of Hawaii are having face-to-face discussions this month with one of the great storytellers in film: John Sayles. Among independent filmmakers and art house aficionados, he's royalty, the American godfather of the genre.
Spending by film and television productions in Hawaii dropped 7 percent last year, but industry insiders here feel 2013 was a strong year and that recent increases in the state's tax credits will bear fruit over the next 12 months.
Writer Ed Rampell likes to share the story about a conversation he had with two-time Oscar-winner Alexander Payne, the director/screenwriter whose 2011 movie "The Descendants" showcased Hawaii in its most accurate light to date.
Jordan and Aaron Kandell are identical twins, so it's no surprise that they've been thinking many of the same thoughts since they were born. They chose the same sports at 'Iolani School, the same school clubs, too.
If the story of the Navy SEALs in the new film "Lone Survivor" sounds familiar to you, it's because five of the elite warriors who died in the mission and failed rescue were based at Pearl Harbor, and a sixth — the lone survivor, Marcus Luttrell — was also stationed here.
Los Angeles librarian Christina Rice has been a film buff for years, with a special affinity for films from the 1930s and '40s. But that didn't prepare her for Ann Dvorak, a forgotten star who was living on government assistance in a run-down Waikiki neighborhood when she died in 1979.
He wound up with only a single day in front of the cameras, but it was enough to put Hawaii actor Joji Yoshida in the middle -- literally -- of one of this fall's most talked-about films -- and in a scene opposite the star of the movie.
There's a moment near the end of a new documentary on the late U.S. Sen. Daniel Inouye, "Journey to Washington," that speaks volumes to Tomo Mizutani, president of Nitto Tire U.S.A., which sponsored the film.
Finding the right actors is a priority for any filmmaker, but there was a lot riding on the casting of the two lead roles in "Under the Blood Red Sun," the indie film based on the popular young-adult novel set in World War II Hawaii.
The owner of Maui Film Studios thought he would benefit from a pair of film projects worth hundreds of millions of dollars: "Tarzan," a $175 million Warner Bros. remake starring Alexander Skarsgard, and a five-film deal based on the young-adult book series "The Order of Ethyrea."
Starting with a benefit screening tonight at the Hawaii Theatre and continuing through October and into early November on ESPN, the new documentary "Hawaiian: The Legend of Eddie Aikau" will share the late surfer's story with millions of people who have probably never heard of him or even been to the beach.
Destin Daniel Cretton insists that success has not changed him. His new film "Short Term 12" is playing in theaters across the country, including a held-over run here, but he's the same unassuming guy from Maui who went to Los Angeles to make movies.
The scene was right out of a television sitcom. A huddled group of football players waiting for the coin toss. An Aloha Stadium crowd eager for the kickoff. And a woman in a muumuu and heels running onto the field, ...
The state's next generation of film and television storytellers is going to receive hands-on mentorship that money can't buy, thanks to a new program with the Hawaii International Film Festival's Creative Lab.
Filmmaker Gerard Elmore likes to be surprised, at least when it comes to movies. But even he was taken aback with the realization of just how many selections in this year's ‘Ohina Short Film Showcase have a Hawaiian theme, a Hawaiian director or a Hawaiian script.
Landing inside Aloha Stadium isn't included in Makani Kai Helicopters tours, so don't go reaching for your cellphone to book a flight if you to see one of the company's Eurocopter Astars disappearing behind the north end zone this week.
Nanette Napoleon has seen people express the same reaction so often that she has a name for it: "The "Wow! What? Factor." But the best reaction was the first one, 13 years ago, when Napoleon experienced it herself while going through microfilmed newspapers.
The searching never stops, and the realization of that can prompt Timmy Chinn to smile and shake his head. He could be driving through Honolulu, sitting at a restaurant or even staring at a storefront and every single time ask the very same question: How would this look on television?
In his brief time as a gonzo fisherman, "Showtime" Eric Young has caught a lemon shark from a paddleboard, free-dived beneath the ice-capped waters of the St. Lawrence River for small-mouth bass and used his hand for bait while wrestling a catfish in a Tennessee lake.
If there was an award for viewing the most films in a year, Barry Rivers would certainly be a contender. The founder of the Maui Film Festival figures he watched parts or all of nearly 1,000 movies as he whittled his festival selection to 51 features and shorts.
As he swam through the murky depths off the southeastern coast of the island of Hawaii, his underwater camera trained on molten lava entering the sea, Craig Musburger weighed his desire to shoot the best footage against the possibility of being boiled alive.
The home of the world's most famous bounty hunter is an ocean-view retreat with high walls, security cameras and the trappings of an active family: photos of children, posters of his popular reality show, mementos of a well-lived life, bicycles by the garage, three dogs, a squawking rooster and a parrot.
If there's something Aisha Tyler does not do, then please, point it out. Her resume on IMDB.com, an online database of films and television, lists a string of credits under actress, writer, producer, director, editor, composer and more.
Two days after the death of her brother-in-law, jazz musician Thomas Chapin, Hawaii documentary filmmaker Stephanie Castillo found herself listening to a public radio tribute. In that moment she realized she had to make a film about Chapin, a man The called "one of the more exuberant saxophonists and bandleaders in jazz."
Ever since she could hold a crayon or a pencil, Brenda Chapman was drawing something. Drawing would become a career for Chapman, a story artist and director on animated features that include "The Little Mermaid" and "The Lion King."