Hawaiʻi actor and expert special FX artist, Kamakani De Dely, has an interesting relationship with “Hawaii Five-0”– one that has cast De Dely in several unique roles. As an actor he’s been seen in two episodes and worked as a stand-in; and as an special FX artist he has helped to craft traditional Hawaiian props for the show. Still, he never thought that his latest role, as the owner and operator of the Hawaiʻi special FX make-up and supply company, Oncefound FX, would bring his connection to “Hawaii Five-0” full circle.
De Dely recently started working with Five-0 actor, Jorge Garcia, crafting and sculpting masks and other scary effects for Garcia’s haunted house “Mummy: Curse of the Crypt.” Garcia, a true Halloween aficionado, is designing a professional haunted house in Kailua with Skeleton Key Hawaii. Starting October 6, “Mummy: Curse of the Crypt” will run until Halloween and provide a single themed haunt inspired by the classic story of “The Mummy.” De Dely has been hard at work to duplicate Garcia’s ideas and designs into reality.
For De Dely, who was first seen on “Hawaii Five-0” in “ʻŌlelo Hoʻopaʻi Make” (“Death Sentence”) in season three and returned in “Pono Kaulike” (“Justice for All”) in season five, this is his biggest dream come true, as it melds his with his love of Halloween with his work creating “Hawaii’s first Special FX and Makeup supply store.”
When I first met De Dely in 2015, he had just played the desk guard in “Pono Kaulike.” Fans vividly remember him as the by-the-book official who kept McGarrett (Alex O’Loughlin) from seeing Danny (Scott Caan) before Danny was sent to a brutal Colombian prison. Behind the scenes of Five-0, De Dely also crafted all of the Hawaiian leiomano (shark-tooth weapons) used in season two’s “Kūpale” (“Defender”). It was during our first meeting that De Dely told me about his work to bring his dream of a special FX store to fruition.
De Dely opened his doors a little over a year ago on Kamokila Blvd in the Hawaii Self Storage building in Kapolei, and since his grand opening, he has been very busy. He not only offers special FX supplies for sale but also holds classes in how to use these materials on a regular basis. He holds classes on Lifecasting, where he teaches people how to make replicas of their faces, and then teaches sculpting techniques, molding, and casting in PlatSil, or special FX silicone. He does demos in the shop if customers want to make specialty pieces or parts for not just special FX projects, but for model airplanes or other craft pieces. “As an artist, it’s so exciting that people want to take classes and want to learn how to make their own [FX pieces],” said De Dely, who spoke to me via phone from his shop on Friday.
De Dely learned his tools of the trade when he moved to Los Angeles several years ago to act. He also pursued his love of physical FX when he interned with Renegade Effects Group, a Special FX company in Sylmar, California. He worked with them and learned the proper way to use special FX supplies and brought all of his knowledge back to Hawaiʻi. “I really want people to learn and not have to fumble through how to use the [supplies], I want to share with I know and give them the tools to continue to create the effects they want to make and use,” said De Dely.
He’s especially excited to work with Garcia, who he says is really inspired to replicate the Mummy theme in the Skeleton Key Hawaii haunted house. De Dely has been busy taking Garcia’s ideas and designs, and using his Special FX experience as well as the unique supply of his store, to help them come to life.
Likewise, Garcia seems to want to also share his own expertise and passion for designing all things scary and spooky. His passion for Halloween has certainly been reflected in his work on “Five-0,” as Jerry Ortega, the resident conspiracy theorist and expert on all things supernatural and strange. It seems as if Garcia shares a lot of Heleuī aloha with his on-screen counterpart.
For several seasons, “Hawaii Five-0” has celebrated Halloween by showing off Hawaiʻi and its island superstitions and legends. The best episodes have been when our Hawaiian stories become part of the storyline. Fans anxiously await the annual Hauʻoli Lā Heleuī, or Happy Halloween, episode which tends to be full of tricks and treats. Garcia has had a chance to have cool Halloween costumes in the last two Halloween episodes, much like the Keanu Reeves themed costumes of Masi Oka’s character Max Bergman.
His first Halloween episode from season six, “Na Pilikua Nui” (“Monsters”), had Jerry costumed as a classic Dracula, stopping by the Hawaii Blood Bank to donate– rather than drink their blood like a good vampire would, was a good mix of humor and a secondary case for the Five-0 team. It was great how he helped the team find out who held up the blood bank, all the while trying to prove the actual existence of a real vampire.
His second Halloween episode, last season’s “Ka Hale Hoʻokauweli” (“House of Horrors”), was one of my favorites. Jerry not only had an excellent costume– the headless horseman– or perhaps he was just headless Jerry, but nonetheless, his over-the-top costume helped to break the ice when he shows up to take Danno’s kids, Charlie (Zach Sulzbach) and Grace (Teilor Grubbs) trick or treating. I also loved the episode because it included one of our own infamous folk tales as the set up for the case of the week.
Jerry doesn’t seem to really want to terrify people with his costumes, but he is particular about being accurate in his Halloween get-ups. Likewise, I bet Jorge Garcia is working very hard to make his ““Mummy: Curse of the Crypt.” with Skeleton Key Hawaii a real treat for fans of both “Hawaii Five-0” and Halloween. Don’t miss this epic event– and look carefully for De Dely’s creepy Special FX work at the haunt.
If you like to scare people and are interested in auditioning for the haunted attraction, Skeleton Key Hawaii is looking for a few more scare actors for the event. There will be another set of auditions on Saturday, Sept. 9 from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at 171-A Hamakua Dr, in Kailua. Open call auditions all types ages 18+ to be a paid scare actor. No previous haunt experience necessary– they will train you. You must love Halloween, and enjoy acting, improvising and scaring guests.
Dates for Skeleton Key Hawaii presents “Mummy: Curse of the Crypt” by Jorge Garcia, are October 6 and 7, with repeat shows October 13, 14, 19, 20, 21, and 26-31 from 7:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m. Keiki friendly nights are October 21, 28, 29 from 5:00 p.m. to 7:00 p.m.
REDUX SIDE NOTE
If you haven’t picked up a copy of the “Hawaii Five-0” season seven DVD because you’re just going to binge watch it on Netflix before the premiere on Sept. 29, you might want to think again. The DVD package includes the regular treats– a gag reel, deleted and extended scenes, and a video diary from Teilor Grubbs. It also includes a special from Alex O’Loughlin’s Watch! Magazine photo shoot, and a short film of “The Chun Family Legacy.”
The short focuses on Kam Fong, who played Chin Ho Kelly in the original “Hawaii Five-O.” Fong’s son, Dennis Chun, has played Sgt. Duke Lukela since the start of the current reboot, and released a heartfelt mahalo to the creators of “Hawaii Five-0,” as well as to the producers of the short, on his Facebook page on Friday.
“Want to express my appreciation to CBS and Peter Lenkov for including “The Chun Family Legacy” among the supplements for the “Hawaii Five-0” Season 7 DVD. A special mahalo goes to David Naylor for his dedication and commitment to this project. His creative professionalism was a key to the project’s successful conclusion.
I want to extend my most heartfelt and deepest aloha to Alex O’Loughlin, Chi McBride, Al Harrington, Kimo Kahoano and Emme Tomimbang for their participation. Know dad would have appreciated their kind words. Am so glad that my father’s story is once again being told for everyone to know. He certainly did not let adversity or heartbreak stop him from living and achieving his dreams. He touched and inspired so many during his life.
And in some ways, he and the original cast were certainly pioneers for until Leonard Freeman and CBS brought “Hawaii Five-0” to the airways the world had not seen such a multicultural or multiracial society as we have in Hawaii. For almost 50 years “Hawaii Five-0” has brought the hope of aloha to the world. For keeping that touch burning, all associated with “Hawaii Five-0” past and present deserve credit. But most of all, you the fans of both the original and the new show are the true custodians of that touch of aloha. Keep that light burning,” wrote Chun.
“Hawaii Five-0” starts their eighth season with “ʻA’ole e ‘ōlelo mai ana ke ahi ua ana ia” (“Fire Will Never Say that It Has Had Enough”) with McGarrett and Danny recruiting Tani Rey (Meaghan Rath) to join the task force when diabolical hacker Aaron Wright (Joey Lawrence) releases a dangerous arsonist from prison. Randy Couture returns, and Joey Lawrence joins his brother, Andrew, when he guest stars as Wright, a hacker.