Simpkins will host ‘Hawaii's Reel Stories’
announced this week that producer and filmmaker Christina Simpkins
will become the new host of "Hawaii's Reel Stories," a half-hour magazine-format television show highlighting Hawaii's film and television industry. Now in its fifth season, the revamped episodes began at 8:30 p.m. last night on Ocean Cable 16.
Former hosts Jason Suapaia and Juliet Lighter are pursuing new opportunities. Suapaia accepted a job at Pacific Focus, a local production facility, and Lighter will become Target's new spokeswoman in Hawaii.
Brown said Simpkins has produced segments for the show over the past two years. Adding on-camera host duties for the SAG actress seemed natural when the opportunity arose.
"The inspirational part is we do bring in the big boys as well," Simpkins said of the show, which has garnered attention from industry folks in Los Angeles who saw a segment uploaded to the "Forgetting Sarah Marshall" Web site.
"You don't know if you're going to see some west-side kid in a venture with Waianae's Searider Productions, or some A-lister who's over here shooting a documentary."
Most exciting to Simpkins, however, is the opportunity to highlight filmmakers and their projects in Hawaii. "There's an extraordinary amount of talent here, and it's growing. Fresh talent is showing up in places like "Showdown in Chinatown," a filmmaking event that "Reel Stories" has covered in past episodes.
Simpkins, who will continue her work as a producer and actress (she's appeared on "Lost"), is working on projects with Honolulu filmmaker Brett Wagner ("Chief"), Los Angeles producer J. Todd Harris ("Bottle Shock") and Regent Entertainment executive Steve Jarchow.
"The show does for me what I hope it does for others in the film industry," Simpkins continued. "It's a great networking tool, and it's a great way to inspire each other with our stories." But it's much more than filmmaker sagas. Each episode explores a different aspect of the production process.
Look for her on Thursday nights, with plenty of repeats throughout the week. And if you want to share an idea for a show segment, e-mail Brown at Donbrown@hawaii.rr.com or Simpkins at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Popular demand convinced improv expert and Honolulu native Shannon Winpenny to offer eight more acting/impro- visation classes beginning Thursday. No improv training is necessary, though Winpenny recommends some acting or presentation experience. The purpose of the class is to enhance an actor's confidence, presence on the stage or screen and ability to focus on character development.
Winpenny's experience arises from stints at all of Chicago's improv theaters, including Second City, IO (ImprovOlympic) and the Annoyance.
Classes run from 6:30 to 9:30 p.m. beginning Thursday at 1121 Nuuanu Ave. (second floor). Cost is $175. Call 384-3392 or e-mail email@example.com.