Star-Bulletin Features

Hawaii's Sanoe Lake, left, stars with Kate Bosworth in "Blue Crush."

Studio plans isle junket
for ‘Blue Crush’ movie

By Tim Ryan

Universal-Imagine Entertainment will bring more than 100 entertainment media, actors and production team members to Hawaii late next month for the "Blue Crush" press junket.

A Universal executive confirmed that the event will be held on Oahu the last weekend in July. Three members of the studio's marketing team were in town last week visiting Oahu resorts, including the Ihilani Resort and Spa at Ko Olina, and discussing recreational activities for visiting reporters.

Hawaiian Airlines and the Ihilani Resort have offered discounts to the studio which has not made a final decision, sources said.

The romantic-adventure film, which opens nationwide Aug. 16, is about professional women surfers living on Oahu's North Shore. It stars Kate Bosworth, Michelle Rodriguez and Matthew Davis. The film is directed by John Stockwell and its premiere will be in Los Angeles, sources said.

A marketing partnership between the state and "Blue Crush" producers was brokered by Joe Blanco, Gov. Ben Cayetano's executive assistant, and April Masini, who helped convince "Baywatch" producers to relocate the show here.

Though specific details of the one-time marketing agreement are confidential, sources said the partnership involved the studio qualifying for the state's Act 221 high-tech tax investment discount.

Act 221 was adopted by the Hawaii Legislature last year to encourage investment in high-technology businesses. Two sections apply to the film and television industry:

>> A 100 percent tax credit over a five-year period to investors in performing-arts products.

>> Royalties derived from such products are tax-exempt.

"Blue Crush" cost about $32 million and the production received about $14 million in credits under Act 221. The agreement allows the Hawaii Visitors and Convention Bureau to tie in destination marketing with the film, sources said.

Masini, who lives in Los Angeles, declined comment on the agreement, citing a confidentiality agreement with Universal. Studio executives did not return telephone calls.

The junket is planned between July 25 and 28. In addition to meeting the stars for interviews, media will attend a private screening of the film.

Among excursions being considered for visiting news media are guided excursions around Oahu, dolphin sight-seeing cruises, fishing and surfing lessons.

On the Web: The film's official Web site is

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