Monday, May 7, 2001

Film office could
use more good news

Interim state Film Office Manager Donne Dawson was pleased to learn via a Star-Bulletin call Friday that the Writers Guild of America had settled with producers in Hollywood, and that there would be no strike.

"That's good news," she said. "I hope that we can say the same for the actors."

Contracts for the Screen Actors Guild and the American Federation of Television and Radio Artists expire June 30, with negotiations to commence May 10, according to Associated Press reports.

Dawson was in need of some good news, following reports that the proposed HBO series "Lessons Learned," which was to be shot in Hawaii, had not been picked up for production.

"I think everybody is holding their breath for another Baywatch or huge production we can all get our arms around," she said.

"We're working on several things," she said, but would not elaborate.

"The nature of it is such that everybody's got great ideas but they're scared to talk about them until they're nailed down. Especially when it comes to reality television -- nobody wants to get scooped."

Dawson said reality-based television shows such as "Survivor" on CBS gained interest in recent months due to concerns over possible strikes by screenwriters and actors.

"We need to and, we are going to, be working harder to get more big name national commercials here," she said.

The commercial production segment of the industry is third behind television series and film production, in terms of revenue, she said, but it serves as the "bread and butter," in the absence of TV or film projects.

Dawson said still photography for advertising work is included in the commercial production category, but that it's harder to quantify.

"If someone shoots on private property, they don't need to come through the film office for a permit," Dawson said. "We may hear of it through location scouts working through (advertising) agencies, but they don't have to fill out the requisite forms to do shoots."

Erika Engle is a reporter with the Star-Bulletin.
Call 529-4302, fax 529-4750 or write to Erika Engle,
Honolulu Star-Bulletin, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., No. 7-210,
Honolulu, HI 96813. She can also be reached

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