What the Heck?
The volunteer crew of Hui Ku'i Hekili shot footage last weekend in Chinatown as producer-director Ja-Ne Abreu, wearing a straw hat, looked on. Hui Ku'i Hekili was one of 24 local teams that attempted to make a film in 48 hours for a national competition. CLICK FOR LARGE
Isle filmmakers become weekend warriors
Ever hung out with 10 people trying to write a spy film in two hours? The members of a volunteer team called Hui Ku'i Hekili had two days to script, shoot and edit a film. They were just one of two dozen local teams vying in the 48 Hour Film Project, a national competition that came to Honolulu for the first time last weekend.
While the camera crews assembled equipment and discussed color balancing with the editors, the writers couldn't agree. Ideas were rebounding off the walls like pingpong balls.
Producer and director Ja-Ne Abreu needed dialogue immediately. KGMB anchor Keahi Tucker had volunteered to do fake news flashes for the film, but she had to shoot him that night right after the late news.
By the time Abreu returned from shooting Tucker, things had hit bottom. The writers had split into rival teams, with alternate stories, all of which she hated. By 4:30 a.m., they'd decided to shoot a live-action parody of the old "Spy vs. Spy" cartoons. Shooting began at 5 a.m.
It was an ambitious script -- 10 locations, a skydiving sequence and an entrance by outrigger canoe. Abreu got two hours' sleep all weekend.
The seven-minute film was due at 7:30 p.m. Sunday. Sunday at 2 p.m., the team decided to reshoot the end and the beginning. Somehow, their effort, complete with sound effects, titles and music, was finished and dropped off five minutes before deadline. Of the 24 teams competing, two dropped out, one was late and disqualified, but 21 films got made on Oahu last weekend.
Winners won't be announced for two weeks. Having seen a screening of all the films last Wednesday, Abreu thinks hers will make the top five. If a film wins here and again in the nationals, there are prizes.
"Doesn't matter," she says. "The real reward was having the team, 30 people who didn't know each other, suddenly jell. No egos, no prima donnas, it was better than any paid production I've ever worked on."
Some gubernatorial appointments make the news, like Laura H. Thielen being tossed in the fire as interim Department of Land and Natural Resources head.
Others do not. At the invitation of the governor of Louisiana, Linda Lingle has appointed Jackie Lau, corporate chef for Roy's, to represent Hawaii in the Great American Seafood Cook-Off. The New Orleans competition is, at least according to its organizers, "one of the nation's most prestigious culinary events."
Lau intends to knock 'em dead with Kona Kampachi sashimi on a salad of North Shore-raised sea asparagus. "I hope the judges don't freak out when I serve them raw fish," she says.
Maybe. Previous winners were all from the South, whipping up dishes like Texas Wild-Caught Shrimp with Buttermilk Biscuits and Gravy. "Biscuits and gravy?" Lau said. "That sounds horrible."
Louder Than You Think:
COURTESY ANTHONY GRILLO / ARTISTICMINDZ
Dick Allgire played with Bluzilla at the Hawaii Arthritis Foundation's Reds, Whites and Blues fundraiser last weekend. CLICK FOR LARGE
Every night, KITV's health reporter Dick Allgire goes home to his Makiki high-rise -- and unwinds by playing a little blues guitar. At a respectfully low volume, or so he thought.
He was riding the elevator one morning when a blond neighbor stepped in and said, "You play guitar." How did she know? he asked. "Don't be silly, the whole building knows."
Turns out she was Hawaii Arthritis Foundation's Susan Milton. She recruited him on the spot to sit in with blues band Bluzilla at the foundation's Reds, Whites and Blues fundraiser last weekend. Allgire managed a creditable couple of tunes. "Ah, the band was carrying me," he says.
Crazy Willie: The night of Reds, Whites and Blues, Aloha Tower was jammed. In addition to the wine and music event, Willie K was putting in one of his rare appearances at Chai's. Chai's sold out, even the overflow tables out on the lanai.
"We used to try to do two seatings," Chai said. "But when Willie was playing, no one would leave, so now they stay all night."
Willie likes to hang around, too. After his last set, he took a brief break during which he kissed nearly every woman in the room, then took the stage again. "I'm off the clock, so I can sing what I feel like," he said, launching into a manic medley that veered from the Flamingos' "I Was Such a Fool" through a succession of country hits, and ending with an aria from "Turandot."
At the final aria, the crowd at Chai's -- well-dressed, older, the kind of folks who can afford Chai's stuffed quail appetizer -- erupted in a standing ovation.
"That's what I like about Willie," Chai said. "He goes a little crazy."
Civilizing the Heathen: Nearly 200 years ago, the missionaries landed in Lahaina, intent on getting the Hawaiians to wear more clothes and stop enjoying themselves.
Now the Hawaiians are returning the favor. A group headed by Kahu Charles Kauluwehi Maxwell Sr., Hawaiian cultural adviser and Pentecostal minister, is railing against the immorality of Lahaina's annual Halloween street party.
"There's nudity and drinking in the streets," Maxwell said. "We shouldn't expose our children to this."
For the record, Lahaina has outlawed drinking on the street. Revelers do drink in bars and hit the pavement -- and a good few wear provocative costumes. It's Halloween, after all; inhibitions often take the night off.
But there's hardly wholesale nudity, and the children's parade is over hours before the late-night shenanigans.
Maxwell seems particularly worried that Lahaina Halloween "will start to look like one of those terrible gay parades in San Francisco."
The missionaries would be proud.