DENNIS ODA / DODA@STARBULLETIN.COM
Visitors to the Pacific Aviation Museum get an introduction to the events of Dec. 7, 1941, through an award-winning short film, "A Return to Ford Island."
‘Ford Island’ film highlights history
The Pacific Aviation Museum runs a video made by edit1media
Visitors to the Pacific Aviation Museum receive an introduction to the history of Pearl Harbor through a 12-minute film that delves into the experiences of two young servicemen on the morning of the 1941 attack.
"It's a very powerful video," said Laura Randall, president of edit1media, the Tacoma, Wash.-based company that produced the piece. "When you watch people after it's over, there's stunned silence. That's kind of a good thing. We want people to know they're on hallowed ground. And I think it's nice for the servicemen to realize that their legacy will continue."
Laura, a former Hawaii resident, along with her husband, Chris Randall, won the top Telly Award last May for "A Return to Ford Island," which debuted in the Pacific Aviation Museum theater on Dec. 7, 2006.
The short documentary film earned honors for excellence in video production in the Charitable/Not-for-Profit category.
The Randalls tracked down the two stars of their video, Ernie Olson and Herb Franck, in San Diego and brought them back to Ford Island to talk about what happened on Dec. 7, 1941, when the men were just 19 years old.
Laura, whose husband is vice president of edit1media, said they often come to Oahu to shoot wedding videos, and were thrilled to get the historic assignment. Laura grew up in Hawaii Kai, attended Niu Valley Intermediate and Kaiser High schools, and still has family here. "I'll come back to Hawaii at the drop of a hat -- any excuse," she laughed.
The Randalls also produced four shorter videos that play in kiosks throughout the Aviation Museum.
The five-minute films summarize stories from the war, including the Japanese plane that landed on Niihau, the Doolittle Raid and Guadalcanal. The fourth narrative focuses on the private pilot who was flying over Oahu with his son in a single-engine Aeronca when the Japanese Zeros arrived and opened fire on them. Miraculously, they made it home in one piece. Their rented, bullet-ridden plane resides in the Pacific Aviation Museum.
All five films, which include a wealth of archival footage, were "a lot of work but very rewarding," Laura said from her office in Washington. Edit1media also produced a promotional video about the museum, voiced by local radio personality Michael W. Perry, to help launch a successful campaign to secure grants and donations to complete the museum (visit www.edit1media.com).
"This project was such a perfect thing for us," added Laura. "I love Hawaii. I love history. I'm a very patriotic type of person. It was one of my favorite projects."
The Randalls travel to Oahu at least twice a year -- more often when business opportunities call. Still, she yearns to return permanently: "Hopefully someday soon we'll be more local again."