‘29 Down’ has premiere on the beach
The third and final season of "Flight 29 Down," a series that was shot in Hawaii and airs on Discovery Kids, premiered Sunday at Sunset on the Beach. It followed a documentary segment from Don Brown's
"Hawaii's Reel Stories" (OC16) that highlighted the Hawaii actors on the show.
Executive producers Rann and Gina Watumull of Hawaii Film Partners introduced a video message from the show's biggest star, Corbin Bleu, who could not attend due to his touring schedule. "The High School Musical" star is promoting his new solo album across the country but told the crowd that he had "the best time shooting for three beautiful years on the North Shore of Oahu."
After that brief greeting, Rann Watumull told the crowd, "It's great to see our kids do so well."
Another star from the show doing exceptionally well is Hawaii's own Tani Lynn Fujimoto, who dazzled the audience with a live vocal performance before the episode aired. Based on her performances -- on stage and screen -- Fujimoto will have lots of options down the road.
Rann Watumull also announced a new animated series that's in production -- with plenty of local talent on board. "Ape Escape" is a series of 38 two-minute shorts based on the Sony PlayStation game of the same name. It will air on Nickelodeon's digital Nicktunes network. "That's next," said Watumull. "So stay tuned!"
"Tropic Thunder" started shooting on Kauai last month, and features Hawaii residents in minor roles. Another loose tie to the islands can be found in screenwriter Justin Theroux, nephew of travel and fiction writer Paul Theroux ("The Mosquito Coast," "Hotel Honolulu," "The Happy Isles of Oceania," "My Other Life"). The elder Theroux lives in Hawaii part time with his wife, public relations executive Sheila Donnelly Theroux. In addition to his screenwriting duties, Justin Theroux also stars in "Tropic Thunder." His acting credits include roles on Broadway, "Sex and the City," "Alias" and "Six Feet Under," as well as several feature films, including "Charlie's Angels, Full Throttle." The 36-year-old Renaissance man also directs.
Several months ago I mentioned that 10-year-old Kalani David was selected to take part in the preliminary round for a show airing on the Cartoon Network. Well, he made the cut. The skateboarding phenom from Haleiwa will be one of six young finalists featured on the one-hour special, airing at 7 p.m. Saturday. It's all part of the network's 2007 Get Animated initiative, which involved searching the country for kids "who demonstrate exceptional talent, commitment and accomplishment in sports, the arts or even a hobby," according to promotional materials.
Viewers voted online for the finalists. In the episode, surfer Andy Irons and skateboarder Bob Burnquist visit David, offer two days of personal instruction and leave the prodigy with a couple of gifts he'll surely appreciate: a new, state-of-the-art skateboard and surfboard. Olympic gold medalist Johnny Moseley will host the show that includes Venus and Serena Williams, Johnny Lang, Jack Beckman, Baron Davis and Billie Jean King.