Monday, July 27, 2009

I'm Still Here!

Ironically, not posting for a month I had 3 new followers sign up!  I wrote an article about this blog for the Hawaii Film and Video Magazine ( and I was quoted in our local union newsletter so this probably wasn't a good time not to post anything for a month.  However, any new viewers have a lot of catching up to do so this posting if really for you regulars.

The big news is that I am just about done with scanning hundreds of set photos on most of the projects I have done here and in L.A.--theatre, special events, as well as film and television.  Ultimately these will wind up on which I now own--at least for a couple of years anyway.  In the meantime, my work may just wind up on another blog or picasa web album.  I need to do something to get my work and experience out there.  The 3 categories will be Special Events, Theatre / Stage, and then TV / Film Design Projects.  There's really nothing I can do about getting film or TV work here--particularly when there isn't any.  Ok, I did just turn down being the production designer for an independent film project about skateboarding for $10 an hour (flat rate for everyone).  This was actually a union job that is a new, extra, ultra low rate for low budget films.  Given that I would have to pay someone else $40 an hour to do the construction I am doing on my house--even unemployment pays better than $10 an hour.  I know, "do it for art", well, I'll save that for someone who needs the experience (and the abuse).

Speaking of abuse, this photo is from an African bar set.  It's either from "E.R." or "LOST" that I did at Kualoa Ranch a few years ago.  The rattan bar stools are from Rick's bar set and the round table was the one in Higgin's den.  There might even be a couple of "Hawaii 5-0" things (the wooden beaded curtain for sure) and I know there are some "Baywatch Hawaii" pieces as well.  Most of these things were in storage at the State's Hawaii Film Studio and available for rent.  I'm probably the only person who remembers their origins.  I just wanted to show you that the few abused Magnum things that have survived the termites, purges, and thefts are either very obscure or virtually unrecognizable.   Even without termites, most of us aren't going to stay the same 25 years later either.

Our really wonderful film commissioner, Donnie Dawson, had her photo (more like a mugshot) on the front page of the Honolulu Advertiser as one of the hundreds of people whose job may be up due to budget cuts.  There is an attitude among many of the plantation mentality legislators here that we don't need to do anything to encourage film or TV work in Hawaii--that it will always come here anyway.  I guess they don't know that Canada and Australia will give you back a major portion of your expenses as a rebate if you film in their country and many other states will give you major tax or facility benefits.  Ok, pardon my political frustration, but I am working very hard on getting a job that actually gives back some creative satisfaction and not what is happening to the film / TV industry.

And last but not least, to answer Susie's question regarding my watching the show, watching to see how things looked when it aired was a little late.  I mean, what could I do about it after 20 million other people had seen it?  What I mainly watched the show for was to see what they did actually show (or not) so I could use the item(s) again.  I do remember once watching a show and noticing that the color orange really jumped off the screen so I normally avoided it--it used to be an "in" color.  Also, something I learned and continue to do:  use dark books in dark bookcases and light books in light bookcases!  Doing otherwise makes the contrast really jump out.  As far as the treehouse goes, I don't remember the treehouse, but it would have been built by the construction department and I probably wouldn't have had anything in it anyway.  I was much happier talking with Gwen Verdon.

Again, many thanks for your encouraging comments.  I'll let you know when I get my career photos up and running!  Maybe some day my career will do the same.

Aloha,  Rick