Reel News

Tim Ryan

Wednesday, November 20, 2002

‘Lilo & Stitch’ duo
land new Disney deal

Based on the success of their "Lilo & Stitch" creation for The Walt Disney Co., partners and frequent Hawaii visitors Chris Sanders and Dean DeBlois have a lucrative new deal with the Mouse House to write, direct and produce animated and live-action fare under their Stormcoast Pictures banner. The pair will receive multiple seven figures for films that get made.

The duo gave the studio its most successful animated film in years with "Lilo & Stitch," a hand-drawn film that cost a comparatively modest $80 million, but grossed nearly $250 million worldwide and spawned a direct-to-video sequel and TV series, both in the works.

Don't think too hard about what the inspiration was for the WB summer reality series about pro surfers tentatively titled "North Shore." The show, in production in Hawaii until Dec. 23, follows seven surfers who live together in a house near Sunset Beach.

Executive producer Lisa Berger says she initially came up with the idea after seeing the trailer for "Blue Crush" and hearing her teenage cousins talk about how much they love surfing.

"I thought this could be an interesting trend, with 'Fast and Furious' and 'XXX' out, and I thought extreme sports is something that hasn't really been captured in prime time in an entertainment way."

Hawaii Film OFFICE Manager Donne Dawson and the state's four county commissioners hosted a producers' reception last week in Hollywood for about 150 filmmakers. The event was held at the AFI festival ArcLight Cinema, run by Christian Gaines, former Hawaii International Film Festival director.

The Hawaii contingent networked with filmmakers likely to consider Hawaii as a future location.

Attendees included George Litto, executive producer of the "Hawaii Five-0" movie that has a possible production start date in June; Michael Glick, senior vice president of physical production for MGM; Jeff Kramer, producer of "Five Stones," which is still on track for a Maui filming; and Barry and Stella Rivers, from the Maui Film Festival. Aloha Airlines, Starwood Resorts and Hilton Waikoloa donated transportation and accommodations for two in a drawing won by Tova Liter of Avida Entertainment.

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