Kauai film commissioner leaving
after 10 years on the job

By Anthony Sommer

LIHUE >> Kauai film commissioner Judy Drosd, who lured a parade of moviemakers to the island and helped make Kauai synonymous with "Jurassic Park" over the past decade, has announced she is quitting at the end of July.

"I am truly leaving in order to pursue other opportunities. It won't be a secret when they develop," Drosd said yesterday. She said she intends to continue to live on Kauai, although she may be traveling a lot.

She leaves at a point during which no major productions are scheduled on Kauai.

Before coming to Kauai, Drosd spent 20 years in the television and motion picture business and was working as a vice president for production at Home Box Office.

Drosd was hired by then-Mayor JoAnn Yukimura in early 1992, and her first project was the filming of Steven Spielberg's first "Jurassic Park" movie. She was also involved in the filming of both sequels.

Her job has entailed everything from attending film festivals worldwide to trudging through the jungle helping filmmakers find locations on Kauai.

"This job allowed me the opportunity to work with the most extraordinary talents in Hollywood -- great directors, great production designers and great cinematographers," she said.

Drosd remained when Mayor Maryanne Kusaka took office in 1994.

In addition to movies such as "Outbreak," "Six Days, Seven Nights" and "Dragonfly," hundreds of television shows and commercials have been made on Kauai by working through Drosd's office.

She estimates more than $67 million was spent on Kauai by film crews during the past 10 years.

Drosd said that in addition to working with movie crews, she was most proud of helping create the Kauai Institute of Communications Media.

Working with the Kauai Economic Development Board, the institute was created in part to lure conventions of all types to Kauai after Hurricane Iniki.

By bringing top filmmakers to Kauai to address film conventions, Drosd said the institute showed many industries the value of having conventions on Kauai.

"It wasn't difficult to get the most talented people in the world to come to Kauai to speak at conventions," she said.

E-mail to City Desk


Text Site Directory:
[News] [Business] [Features] [Sports] [Editorial] [Do It Electric!]
[Classified Ads] [Search] [Subscribe] [Info] [Letter to Editor]
© 2002 Honolulu Star-Bulletin --