Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Happy New Year! - The Blog Continues...........

Maybe I should get out more, but it still amazes me that only 3 weeks ago was Christmas Eve, 2 weeks ago I was in New York City, last week in Minneapolis, and here I am back in Honolulu with a month's worth of Christmas decorations to take down.   While I was on the mainland, I did see an ad for a drugstore that scanned slides and photos, so there must be a place here that could do the same for me.  I'm kind of down to the dregs on what photos I have left, but something will work out.  I've had so many encouraging comments from you that it's the only applause I get these days!

These photos were from an episode called "Paniolo" which is the Hawaiian word (I think with a little Portuguese influence) for cowboy.  This was one of the few times an episode was partially filmed off the island of Oahu.  The only others during my tenure were the one on the cruise ship and the one when they went to England (and Tom met his future wife).  

A new luxury hotel on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island was opening and offered us rooms for "promotional consideration."  I remembered we scouted several big cattle ranches on the Big Island (Hawaii) which is larger than all the other islands combined.  At the time it was home to the largest privately owned cattle ranch in the USA (Parker Ranch with over 250,000 acres and 50,000 head of cattle).  The last owner, Richard Smart, had a career on Broadway and I was the designer of the theatre he built in the town surrounded by his ranch.  Ok, digression over, we wound up shooting on Monty Richard's Ranch, the name of which eludes me.

Some of the interiors were still built on the soundstage in Honolulu which are shown here.  I did spend some time on the Big Island with my crew, but most of the work for me was back in Honolulu.  As much as I would have liked to have spent some time at this incredible resort, it was a little difficult to hide behind the umbrella in my mai tai by the pool, so I went back to Honolulu and left my crew to deal with the bales of hay and horse poop at the real ranch.

This set looks like they had a sale on crackle paint but regardless, it's appropriate for a rustic ranch office.  If you wonder why that cord is hanging in the middle of the set, normally set dressing is responsible for hanging any visible, "practical" light fixtures.  Then the electricians hook them up.  In Hollywood they actually have a separate fixture crew to do this.

The HOT SET sign is Hollywood language for "Don't Touch."  Technically it's supposed to refer to a set that has been partially shot and needs to remain intact for continuity purposes until filming is complete.  Sometimes we would just use the signs so the crew (or extras) wouldn't have lunch on it, but more than once we would find someone taking a nap on a bed or sofa.  If the items were rented and had to go back in new condition, I just wish stun guns had been invented back then.

I think this set would still hold up today--maybe some old photos on the walls and I'm not sure what I was thinking with those curtains.  Maybe they were on sale along with the crackle paint?

Aloha,  Rick


Dave from Perth said...

Hi Rick,

Welcome back and happy new year! I was really excited to see your new posts - interesting stuff and great photos! Thanks..


DarCA said...

Welcome back and Happy New Year.

This is one of my all time favorite episodes - gotta love TS on a horse.

James J. Walters said...


So none of this episode was shot at the Parker Ranch? It was shot at Monty Richards' Kahua Ranch??

Magnum Decorator said...

Kahua Ranch--that was the location, thanks! I remember he was really a nice guy and very cooperative. I don't think we even scouted the Parker Ranch for some reason. It must seem strange to people who don't know Hawaii well (the State or the Big Island) to think that there can be so many large cattle ranches--it's not all volcanos you know! Actually, that's another cliche I shouldn't encourage. Thanks everyone for your comments.