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Monday, September 4, 2000

By Ken Ige, Star-Bulletin
Laura Sode-Matteson, location manager for "Jurassic
Park III," is a 1968 graduate of Kailua High School.
Behind her is the plane being used in the film.

Film producers
catch aloha spirit

Their $22,000 gift will
cover a salute to Hawaii's newest
Medal of Honor recipients

By Gregg K. Kakesako

When producers of "Jurassic Park III" leave the state at the end of the month, they will depart not only with lush island scenes on film, but the thanks of many islanders after donating $22,000 to help pay the costs of a weekend salute to Hawaii's newest Medal of Honor recipients.

Jack Carreiro, Chamber of Commerce of Hawaii executive vice president, said the donation from Universal Pictures "should take care of everything."

"I don't know what to say. I am truly very grateful for this company which came from out of state and is willing to go the extra mile and help honor these men."

Carreiro credited Army Capt. Cynthia Teramae, 25th Infantry Division spokeswoman, who suggested that the sponsors of last weekend's activities approach the producers of "Jurassic Park III" when organizers realized they would not be able to meet their nearly $100,000 budget.

Laura Sode-Matteson, the picture's location manager, said the producers of what will be the third in a series of dinosaur action films wanted to give "something back to the state of Hawaii."

Sode-Matteson, a 1968 Kailua High School graduate, said the producers were grateful for the help the Army offered and the use, without charge, of a part of the 664 acres it owns at Dillingham.

For nearly a week the film company has been at Dillingham, using one of its abandoned airfields for a scene in the movie where Sam Neill, who is repeating his role as Dr. Alan Grant, is sent to the island of Isla Sorna to "investigate reports of mysterious deaths."

Sode-Matteson said that as she scouted the islands, she decided upon Dillingham because the filmmakers needed "a long runway that had jungle."

Although Dillingham had the runway, it did not seem to have enough "jungle," and set decorators had to import potted palm trees and California grass that was placed strategically along the runway during filming.

Film publicist Ernie Malik said filming will continue on Oahu through Saturday and then move to Molokai for two days and a week on Kauai.

Maj. Nancy Makowski, Army spokeswoman, said the Army was willing to help by making Dillingham available "to help build on the good relationship we have with the local community.

"When a filmmaker comes to the islands, it's always a real boom to the local economy."

Amy Alie, 25th Division spokeswoman, added that the movie "is creating a lot of jobs and a lot of revenue for the state of Hawaii."

The original "Jurassic Park" was filmed on Kauai in 1992, and Steven Spielberg returned to the islands in 1997 to do a sequel. This time, Joe Johnston, who shared an Oscar for visual effects on "The Raiders of the Lost Ark," is directing. His past films have included "Jumanji," "October Sky" and "Honey, I Shrunk the Kids."

"Jurassic Park III" is expected to be released next summer. It also stars William H. Macy and Tea Leoni.

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