Film festival trailer gets a symphonic boost
Every year, the Hawaii International Film Festival produces what the film industry calls a "trailer." This is a short promotional video that encapsulates the theme and feel of a movie. It's what the rest of us would call the movie commercial.
The trailer sets the tone for the whole festival and creates a vision for the festival itself. Hawaii is the only festival that does something like this, and is recognized internationally for this innovative project.
Over the years, the HIFF trailer has taken on a life of its own, trying to outshine the festival with celebrity stars and guest directors.
This year, the HIFF camp decided to take on an even more ambitious feat: an orchestral score that accompanies the trailer, performed by the Honolulu Symphony and arranged by yours truly.
The trailer has an impressive all-star cast, featuring Kelly Hu and Jason Scott Lee, and was produced by Shooters Productions and directed by Gerard Elmore. The truly amazing part is that everyone who worked on the trailer did so for free. From the Teamsters to the grips, the actors and now our local Musicians Association of Hawaii, all donated their services to create the final product. Coming together for this wonderful festival has given us all the opportunity to be a part of something larger than our individual organizations.
The genuinely fascinating part for us -- the Honolulu Symphony -- is that we were working with a Depeche Mode song. Definitely not our normal fare.
I took a decidedly local approach to the tune, adding a ukulele part, which is performed by Zanuck Lindsey. We also had the opportunity to work, once again, with the beautiful vocals of Paula Fuga (you'll recall that Paula made her Symphony Pops debut with us last year).
The two-minute piece of music will give a "Jawaiian" feel to the distinctively lush and exotic Hawaiian scenery in the trailer, which was filmed exclusively on location here. For the finishing Hawaiian touch, we recorded the music at AVEX Studios in Hawaii Kai, which also donated its services for the cause.
Be sure to check out the lineup of this year's festival and pay special attention to the trailer that will appear at the beginning of each and every film -- your Honolulu Symphony will be the soundtrack of this year's endeavor, carrying sounds, images and inspiration to the world.