Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Cheesy to Sleazy Photos that didn't fit in part 1 or 2

I I guess I made these photos too large as I got the "error" notice when I tried all of them in the Part 1 post.  P.S.  sorry about my typos--I shouldn't have the TV on next to my computer when I'm posting.  Unfortunately not watching Magnum reruns!

I don't remember where I got all those great mannequins, but they really worked out well.
A friend of mine who was the main scenic artist for the opera here painted the Mona Lisa with the bikini top.   I hate to tell you but that is my statue of Venus de Milo.  She's been living in my bathroom for 20 some years (without the pasties on).  So much for my degree in art history--more like desecration of art history.  Thanks for looking..........Aloha,  Rick


Mike (N1095A) said...

Hi Rick!
Thanks so much for more great pictures. Just a couple of questions. Were the sets that weren't seen too often also set up inside the main house set? I.E. The KKC office, Rick's and T.C.'s apartment, How about police stations? I was also wondering if you knew the reason in the 7th or 8th season, TC's Island Hoppers appeared in at least one episode as a rental trailer in near a marine instead of the usual pier. Don't know if you any info on that or not. That brings me to another question. Was TC's Island Hoppers office interior set up at the sound stage, or was it actually at the pier where the external shots were done? I realize I may be asking for too many details of something that happened long ago, but any info would be greatly appreciated.

Magnum Decorator said...

Hi Mike,
For the most part, only 1-time use sets were put inside the living room. The living room didn't come along until the show was more than halfway through it's run. It was a lot easier to set up in an open / unused area than inside an existing set with the carpet down and having to take out all the furniture. I would say the permanent sets took up about 2/3 of the soundstage which left a pretty good sized area for swing sets. Let's just say the required "fire aisle" walkway around the interior perimeter of the soundstage was not always clear!

I do remember Rick's office being set up past the living room. In other words Higgins' den was in one corner, then his hallway, then beyond that was an open area for what they call "swing sets". This is where Rick's office was and where TC's would also be set up. Again, because these were permanent sets, construction would set them up, my guys would dress them the same way each time, and I may or may not even see them unless there was something new or different for that particular episode. The look of these permanent sets was established before I became decorator although I was able to make minor changes at times.

I know those white chairs in TC's office were stored inside the women's restroom and my guys always hated having to go get them. Did you know they came out of McGarret's office on Hawaii 5-0? Buck Henshaw was the decorator for 5-0 and the first 3 years of Magnum.

The Makai Pier (just down the road from the Anderson estate and across from Sea Life Park) was used as the exterior of TC's helicopter pad. It was a real working marine biology office so I think all we did was some kind of sign or drapes or something when they did film exteriors there. Sometimes "permanent" locations werren't always permanent when they are owned or leased by someone else. If we would lose their use, then it becomes a portable trailer or another location. "Yeah, too bad the old place burned down" or some other line to that effect!

Either my memory is improving or I really made some strong coffee this morning! I think I managed to answer all your questions!


Mike (N1095A) said...

Thanks again. I'm really impressed at just how much you recall. I seriously doubt I could still find my way around the building I worked in back then. The real shame in this is that by the nature of the set construction, they most likely wouldn't have physically held up until today even if they had been saved. There goes any fantasy about buying say, the guest house set on Ebay and erecting it in my garage, but I digress. It must be a source of great pride to have had a hand in those now iconic images fans see as almost sacred.
Your time in this is invaulable. Thanks again,

Magnum Decorator said...

Yes, it's true: My entire career is in the garbage dump! Unfortunately they also say that "you're only as good as your last set" (which was over 5 months ago). Soon I will only be as good as my last unemployment check. Well, it's not like I'm the only one......

Mike (N1095A) said...

[B]magnum decorator[/b]said:"I will only be as good as my last unemployment check. Well, it's not like I'm the only one......"
I'm with ya' on there. Hey, when you worked on "Lost" did you ever get work at the Omega station site?
I've been curious about that building ever since it was used in a couple of Magnum episodes.
About the MPI sets, you mentioned that the interiors of the helicopter were done on the stage, Clearly the helocopter wasn't actually flying in those shots, but I always assumed they were shot in a real helicopter with the engine running/idling or winding down (shows my naivety. How did they do the rotors in the windows?

Magnum Decorator said...

I first worked at the Omega site in 1979 when I was hired to carve a giant big statue for the Aztec temple they had made over the building! "Vacation from Hell" The Omega Station was something out of a 50's science fiction movie. It used the natural bowl of Haiku valley to generate an ultra low frequency signal that ships and submarines could use to triangulate with other stations to figure out where they were on the planet. Sadly it has been abandoned for years and stripped and all those old dials and knobs mostly wrecked. On "LOST" we filmed in an old building near it but had to drive by the omega station to get there.

When the helicopter (it was a real mock-up) was used onstage, there was no blade turning overhead, There was a large fan blowing fake smoke puffs by in front of a blue piece of canvas--it sounds so crude and looked so good on the screen. It was all about close-ups on the stage and cutting to the actual helicopter flying back and forth. Tom wasn't allowed to go higher than 5' off the ground in the real one--or so I was told (for insurance purposes).

rubber chicken said...

Fascinating stuff Rick!

I looked up the movie you mentioned, "A Vacation in Hell" (you were close enough!).

I saw that it stars Maureen McCormick "Marcia Brady" and also Andrea Marcovicci who starred in two Magnum P.I. episodes.
(The daughter of the blind woman in Don't Say Goodbye, and the ballet dancer in the The Sixth Position.)

It also had a man named Ed Ka'ahea, who was in the Magnum P.I. episode Paradise Blues, as "Frank, the Man in the Warehouse".

It's only rated 3.9 but I bet I'd enjoy watching it! I had a great time watching Tom Selleck's "The Chinese Typewriter".

Anyway, you did a great job on the Never on Sunday store (great movie too btw). The mannequin on the sofa moving towards Rick was indeed in the show. I would have never guessed where the idea came from!

And I see the crew member in the fist picture of this post is standing on the top two steps of the ladder. Big no no! Is that another thing that never happens these days? ; )

Magnum Decorator said...

"THIS IS NOT A STEP" label was probably worn off the top of the ladder--probably from being stood on so often!

Ed Ka'ahea is still alive and lives on Kauai. His two partners in the greatest comedy team ever in Hawaii ("Booga Booga), Rap Replinger and James Grant Benton, have passed away. It's fun to see some of the early performances of actors who later moved on. Before my time at the local theatre up the hill from the studio where I worked for many years before Magnum, Bette Middler was kicked out of the chorus for upstaging a local "star". Maybe that's why she's never been back here to perform?