Wednesday, June 8, 2011

OMG - A Big Blog Blast!!







Thanks again for your continued comments about me and the show. I do have some news and pictures to share.
One of our loyal fans who built his own model of the Bridge on the River Kwai sent me these screen grabs from the episode where Tom blows up Higgins' model. As you may recall from an earlier post, I built 3 versions of this model for the show when I was still working up the hill at what's now Diamond Head Theatre as their last resident designer. There was the just started model, the halfway there bridge, and finally the completed one. I was there just off camera when they filmed the scene with Higgins building it. He'd go to place a piece and then they would yell "CUT" and I would take it off, wipe off the glue and get another piece ready. Sure glad I spent 7 years in college for that one!
I wasn't there when they filmed the scene with Tom blowing it up. Well, actually Jack Faggard, the special effects coordinator, did the actual explosion. These screen grabs are great since it really shows the pieces being blown up in the air. What I don't actually know for sure (and yet can still sleep at night) is who built the model they really did blow up? My guess is they completed more of the half done model and blew that one up. The reason I think that is that when I did start working on the show full time in season 3, my Higgins' model was already established on one of his bookcase shelves. Also don't know when the decision was made to place my completed model on the set as permanent dressing.
Well, I hope the gentleman who bought my invoice for the bridge sees these photos. When I was selling off anything I had left from the show on ebay, one person purchased my copies of the invoices I'd sent to the show for building the bridge and a couple of other things and framed them all together. Don't forget you can click on any of the pictures to make them larger. I blew them up a bit and corrected the colors.
Next bit of news for those of you with $10-15 million or so that you don't know what to do with. The estate where the pilot of "Magnum" was filmed (not to be confused with the Anderson Estate where the series exteriors were sometimes filmed) is being sold again. The estate had been owned by the State of Hawaii for decades, then a division of the Teamsters Union (another interesting story best told over a mai-tai) and finally a private owner is now for sale. The man who bought the estate in a very sad condition and spent many millions restoring what was one of the grandest estates ever built in Hawaii (for Clarence Cooke in the 30's) is having to sell it. I did get to tour it last year and gave him photos of some of the sets I had done in the house over the years (sorry, all post "Magnum"). The room with the brick where they did the first Higgin's den is there along with what became the drive-up and entry for Rick's Bar (aka Kamehameha Club) all look fantastic. He also restored the pool house, pool, servants quarters, all the decorative tile on the lanais and put in a kitchen any 5-star restaurant would envy.
The line is amazingly short for those who want to purchase it so you still have time to think about it. I may have some other news soon about my lack of career since "Alvin 3" ended in January. I did join the film board at the Honolulu Academy of Arts--the main film art house in Honolulu at the Doris Duke Theatre. Hope you're all having a great summer! Aloha.

10 comments:

Steveadl said...

Awesome stuff Rick, great story. Looks as though the estate has been up for sale for a while now, I guess for that much money on Honolulu people want a beach front mansion, not a heritage listed fixer-upper. ;)

Darla said...

I remember the scene, where Magnum blows up the bridge, very well. Paper War is my favorite episode of Magnum, because of the interaction between Higgins and Magnum. They both try to one up the other. Hilarious!

Magnum Decorator said...

Actually, that sounds like the premise of many of the episodes as I recall. I learned today that apparently John Hillerman has my original model.

Wholesale Flowers said...

Is there an mls listing for the estate that can be looked up for details?

Magnum Decorator said...

The estate is for sale and is located at 3860 Old Pali Road (Nuuanu Valley) in Honolulu, HI. There is a public auction there tomorrow (Saturday, Aug 6) of some of the things the owner hasn't been able to sell on his own. I don't know how much of the house will be open and not sure I even want to go. Most people who would spend that much money for a house in Hawaii want to be on the ocean and not in a rainy valley (like I am, too!)

Jim G. said...

Hi Rick! I am "the gentleman" who bought your invoices for the Kwai Bridge construction as well as for some other set pieces. They are framed along with your signed business card. I also have one of the custom-personalized Buliva watches T. Selleck had made as Xmas presents for the crew in 1988 as well as one (of 350) of the Magnum crew gift silver belt buckles. My prized possession however is the Magnum AAPI plack from Season 7 visible in the episode. It's one of several you had made at a trophy shop in Honolulu (tag is still on it). I am excited to see The River...onward and upward! Regards, Jim G.

Shawn E. said...

It was a pleasant surprise to find your website and to keep the Magnum memories alive. Keep posting more great memories and keep up the great work. We love all shows that come out of Hawaii and look forward to seeing more of your work!
-Shawn E.

kurt glaz said...

We just watched that EP in Season 7!!! I really like the elevator scenes with the two of them jumping up and down. LOL Whats the latest Rick is there a 30th Anniversary planned at Robin's Nest? How can we make that happen?

Jose Brian said...

As a current, and fairly new propsperson, I absolutely love (and understand) your commentary. Just kinda wish I was 30 or so years years older, worked in film and actually lived in Hawaii when Magnum PI was being filmed. Sure sounds like it was a fairly fun show to work on. And from what I hear talking to guys from my local up here, very different from nowadays shoots...

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