Friday, October 18, 2013

Island Hoppers Lives Again as Paradise Helicopters!

I'm working on a film out at the Turtle Bay Hotel on the spectacular north shore of Oahu.  We are building some set pieces before filming begins next week.  I was very surprised to see the Magnum, P.I. helicopter taking off right next to where we are working.  I knew that a company here was flying the same helicopter (but not THE identical one) we had used on the show with the same graphics.  I walked over to see if they would allow me to take a photo to post here.  I met the pilot, Josh, and Sarah and mentioned to them I had worked on the show and they kindly allowed me to take these photos:

The helicopter had just been used for some aerial photography and still had the camera mount.  We are working right on the other side of those trees.
Both Roger Mosley and Larry Manetti have visited and signed the helicopter in 2 places.

They have also signed the console at the bottom as well.

It was great to see this copter again after so many years.  It's in much better condition than I remembered ours being.

So if any of you get a chance to visit our beautiful State sometime, contact and go for a ride.  Too bad they can't fly to the estate and land, but maybe someday.  Josh said he'd take me up sometime so maybe I'll have something more to post!

Saturday, August 31, 2013

Answer to map of Robin's Nest Question

I think I addressed this once in an earlier blog posting.  I know we had a fairly crude (by today's standards) framed drawing or painting of the Robin's Nest Compound.  It was one of the many "meaningless" remains of the show that was kicked around for years in the set dressing area and finally either eaten by termites or dumped when cleaning out the space--I know, what a waste when there is still so much interest in the show.  
Any reference to floor plans would have been more of a writer's issue for any episode that needed one and would have then become a working prop item rather than set dressing.  I think they mostly made things up as they went along although there was a Magnum "Bible" that did keep track of things that were invented so they didn't make a big mistake or repeat something.
I would say the door-to-banister measurement was probably 4' as you have guessed--based more on a standard sheet of plywood being 4' than any artistic reason.  There wasn't a lot of room up there as I recall.  As i have repeated several times, I joined the show 30 years ago this August for season 4 and all of the permanent sets (except for the later, seldom used living room) were done by then.  There probably were plans that were kept for awhile on the permanent sets, but Universal eventually bulldozed the remains of not only Magnum sets, but all of the original Hawaii 5-0 sets that were still stored under tarps in the back lot around 1987 when the show shut down.
So at this point, your guess is as good as anyone else's!
FYI, with the new "Hawaii 5-0" filming at the State Film Studio again, the old 5-0 / Magnum soundstage has been refurbished with new air conditioning and is again being used for filming rather than storage as it has been for the past 14 years or so.
Thanks for your continued interest!  Original blog comment / question below for reference. 

Hey Rick! Did you guys have a reference floor plan or blueprints of Robins nest when you were working on the show? And if you did can we (the fans) see it? I am currently trying to construct a formal and real floor plan of robins nest and Magnums guest house from scenes compiled from the show. I know the rooms where not in real time as they were really just studio sets and locations filmed at different residences to make up the imaginary Robins nest. All of my dimensions are guessed based on visuals... for example the stair landing when you walk in the entrance of magnums guest house looks like its about 4 to 5 feet wide from door to banister. Do you still have the dimensions for the interior settings? Just in case we fans want to reproduce them?
August 26, 2013 at 4:01 PM
Blogger lamond jack said...
Believe it or not I am currently trying to make formal blue prints of the entire Robins Nest estate and could really use your historical knowledge of the different sets dimensions and measurements. I know the guest house was located behind Robins main house in TV land but they actually filmed and used the boat house located past the tennis courts in real time as the gust house. I want to blue print everything about Robin's Nest in its TV land make believe interpretation. So far I have had to slightly enlarge the houses structure width wise and height wise to accommodate some of the rooms depicted on the show. I also had to add three basements... LOL. We all know the double doors that are suppose to be the entrance to Robins nest actually lead out to the court yard. Hence the reason why I had to widen the house to fit the shows central hallway in comfortably. LOL I know, I know, I'm a Magnum PI NUT! Sorry but I can't help it!
August 26, 2013 at 4:19 PM

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Yearly Update! Greetings from 2013.....

Aloha All!  I had never intended this to be a once a year posting.  I even had trouble remembering my password to answer all of those (well, not that many) who have emailed in the past year.  So, if you don't mind not much news about Magnum, P.I., here's what's going on:

I'm afraid my "new career" as a Creative Director for a special events company only lasted 10 months.  The job wasn't particularly creative, nor was there a need for the kind of creativity I could provide.  So other than creating an 18' long smoke breathing dragon we put into the middle of a swimming pool at a hotel for a food and wine festival, I spent most of my time doing Xcel documents in a cubicle!  I now have a much greater respect for my sister who managed to do 38 years in a cubicle for the phone company.  I'm not a cubicle kind of guy!

Earlier this year, I spent about 10 days as the Production Designer for the opening credits and trailer for the new "Dog and Beth Bounty Hunter" show.  It's actually not being filmed here and I don't know if they used any of the footage we shot since I haven't seen the show now on the CMT network.  I thought I was going to be working on "Godzilla" which just wrapped.  The day and location for my interview were set, but the call with the time never came.  They did bring over a huge number of crew people from the mainland and Canada which was mildly insulting.  It's ok, a movie about Godzilla attacking Waikiki will not be on my viewing list anyway.

What will be on my viewing list is my next job--one of the potential best of my career. Funny how one job doesn't even want to meet and a much bigger one, with an Art Director position working for an Academy Award winning Production Designer and very famous director on a true story with an incredible script does work out.  Unfortunately the 3 page non-disclosure agreement I signed prevents me from discussing it here!  But I think I can say that I am very excited and look forward to my 6 week involvement.

I can tell you, however, I have written up a Production Design course outline I will be teaching at Pacific New Media through the University of Hawaii extension division this fall.  There will be 6 weekly 2 hour sessions for anyone who wants to sign up.  It will be a chance to educate a group of people what actually does happen in the art department and hopefully give some insight to visual aesthetics when creating a film or video production.  If nothing else they will learn how to fake it and find it!  I am hoping that this will eventually lead to the possibility of teaching more within my field.

The only Magnum News to report is that a local helicopter company did bring Roger Mosley over here to land in their Island Helicopter looking helicopter that is now doing tours here on Oahu.  The actual helicopter crashed years ago, but I believe this is the same model and is painted to look like the original.

Other news is that the facility that the new "Hawaii Five-0" had been using in an old newspaper warehouse complex near downtown is being torn down for one of 22 new 40 story high-rises being built in Honolulu.  Apparently being recognized as already having the worse traffic in the USA, we need to be even more crowded in our city core so that our new $5 billion monorail might actually get used. (yes, I have my own opinions!) Now that Disney has given up their lease (originating with "LOST") on the State Film Studio at Diamond Head (where the original "Magnum, P.I." was filmed), 5-0 has moved in there.  Shows today are so much more complex than they were 30 years ago so they are also renting additional warehouse space.

I will try and post more than once a year!  Thanks to those of you who do keep in touch.