Friday, May 7, 2004

Carpenters booked
for series set

The grand hotel facade and lobby
for "North Shore" cost $850,000

If you're having a hard time finding lumber or a carpenter to work on your home improvement project, chances are both are on the "North Shore."

The Fox TV series filming here for 13 episodes through September is building the largest and most expensive set, at $850,000, in Hawaii production history inside the 17,000-square-foot Hawaii Film Studio soundstage.

The hotel drama is about a fictional resort, the Grand Waimea, its staff and the wealthy guests who visit. While the production is filming part of the series at the Ihilani Resort & Spa at Ko Olina and the Turtle Bay Resort on the North Shore, the Grand Waimea's facade and lavish lobby are in the soundstage.

Emmy Award-winning set designer Michael Hanan had only one order from Fox network executives about the design: Make a grand hotel lobby.

"I didn't have another hotel in mind and wanted the set to represent Hawaii's basic elements of water, stone, sky and greens," Hanan said.

He also wanted the lobby to be so scenic and tropical that there would be little need for false photo backings behind the windows. From conception to drawings, it took Hanan -- set designer on several films and TV shows, including "The Punishers," Ronin and the NBC pilot "Eyes" -- about two weeks to complete the design.

As many as 100 carpenters in two around-the-clock shifts, seven days a week, have spent nearly three weeks building the lobby to have it ready for filming on Monday. Wood purchases have been enormous: 800 16-foot-long two-by-fours; 200 12-foot-long two-by-fours; hundreds of 8-foot beams and plywood sheets.

"We've bought out a lot of hardware stores," said foreman Bobby Mara.

Darin Woldman welds metal support rods that will be part of the stair rails for the balcony on the set of FOX's new series, "North Shore."

The main soundstage loading entrance on the Ewa side will serve as the Grand Waimea's entrance with a porte-cochere about 80 feet wide by 25 feet high, comprising concrete, glass, stone, waterfalls and trees. Four glass doors in two sections will serve as a "guest" entrance.

Just inside the doors will be two L-shaped tile ponds with fountains. Also featured will be three fake lobby elevators and a check-in area with three pukas in its rear wall for fish tanks housing koi. The lobby walls will be covered with African mahogany that costs $50 for each 4-by-8-foot sheet. Lobby floors will be of bamboo and Italian tile. Some of the walls will feature man-made stone.

A semicircular bar will be bordered by "The Skyway," two curving stairways leading to a second floor of fake offices and conference rooms. The bar's surface is covered with Formica that looks like rice paper.

Most of the material was purchased here, although some teak, African mahogany and plaster was brought from L.A., Mara said.

Home owners, don't worry. In a few days, construction will be over, and hopefully, the home improvement stores will be restocked.

For the last 3 weeks, two crews of 40 carpenters each have been working 24/7 to complete the massive lobby set of the FOX series "North Shore."

Do It Electric
Click for online
calendars and events.


E-mail to Features Editor


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Calendars]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2004 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --