'The Osbournes' to film vacation in Hawai'i
By Wayne Harada
Advertiser Entertainment Writer
The Osbournes are coming to Hawai'i for a vacation with MTV crews in tow for a week's filming, beginning this weekend.
"They were planning for Maui, so we checked out a few houses, but I think they found a better deal on O'ahu," said Benita Brazier, Maui film commissioner.
"They haven't filed permits yet," said Walea L. Constantinau, Honolulu film commissioner. "But it's a fairly small shoot, with small video cameras.
"The physical impact is that they are here, but the promotional impact is tremendous. The fact that someone anyone who is so visible in the media as are the Osbournes who choose to come here on a holiday, is good promotion for us. And they hit the valued demographics (18 to 24)."
No one is saying precisely where, what or how the Osbourne 'ohana will be playing tourists. But from arrival to departure, Ozzy and his clan, including wife Sharon, daughter Kelly and son Jack, are expected to hit O'ahu running.
Their visit is merely an episode for the family's comedy-drama-reality niche.
With TV pilot season in full swing, a lot of cameras, crews and actors are either here or heading this way in the next few weeks. Three network pilots from Fox, NBC and ABC are gearing up for prime time.
"We're going to have a lot of heavy hitters here," said Constantinau, "mainly because it's the main season for pilots."
Traditionally, pilot season extends from January to April or May, as producers prep, film and finalize pilots for delivery to the studios then sweat out the verdict.
To green-light or stop? The three shows vying for a slot on the fall TV schedule:
- "Lost," a Touchstone/Bad Robot production for ABC, produced by J.J. Abrams and Damon Lindelof. The premise: A plane crashes on a lost island and the survivors have to cope. Requires a jungle setting with ocean vistas. Production dates: Mid-March. No cast announcements.
- "O'ahu" (formerly "Big Island"), a 20th Century-Fox production for Fox, produced by Peter Elkoff of "Mr. Beautiful," Kevin Falls of "The West Wing" and "The Lyons Den," and Peyton Reed of "Bring It On." The premise: Hotel staff interact with monied guests at a luxurious resort. Production dates: Under way at the Turtle Bay Resort. Cast: Michael Ontkean, formerly of "Twin Peaks" and "The Rookies," as the father; Rob Estes, formerly of "Melrose Place" and "Silk Stalkings" as Vincent Boyd, a managing partner of the hotel; and Navi Rawat of "House of Sand and Fog," "The O.C.," as the hotel concierge.
- "Hawai'i" (formerly "Pearl City"), an NBC drama produced by Jeff Eastin. The premise: A police drama that might be dubbed "Hawaii Five-O" revisited. Production dates: Starts up next Wednesday. Cast: Ivan Sergei as an unconventional detective, Sharif Atkins of "E.R." as a member of the Honolulu Police Department.
"With three pilots in pre-production, it's really good news for us," said Donne Dawson, manager of the Hawai'i Film Office.
"All shows are hiring local crews; in certain degrees, our (workers) are stretched thin, but so far all needs are being met," she said.
The ABC and the Fox shows are hoping "to transition some of the crew that have been working on the Fox show to the ABC pilot," said Dawson. The networks customarily bring their own crews and augment with local hires, she said. "But they're really trying to create some synergy."
Dawson has not heard precise budget figures for each pilot, "but I venture it will probably be several million," she said.
Constantinau said a pilot that expands into a full-season series often 26 episodes is what Hawai'i could use after last year's burst of Hawai'i-filmed features "50 First Dates," "The Big Bounce," "Along Came Polly" released since the holidays.
"It's the long-term show that gives long-term employment and long-time visibility, which helps grow the industry," Constantinau said.
"And fortunately, the new pilots are so diverse, they can each work and not get in the other's way."
Constantinau said the producers have done the routine scouting for appropriate shooting locations and some permits have yet to be filed.
Some of the high-profile people involved in the projects include J.J. Abrams of "Lost," a producer for ABC's "Alias," whose filmography includes "Armageddon," "Regarding Henry," "Joyride" and the upcoming "Superman 6"; Kevin Falls of "O'ahu," who has been associated with NBC's "E.R." and "The West Wing"; and Jay Benson of "Hawai'i," whose credits include the "Traffic" mini-series.
"It's a cyclical industry," said Constantinau, noting that three concurrent pilots is unusual but logical for the season. "We are just very hopeful that with all the work we're having now, one or more will manifest itself into long-term series."
Reach Wayne Harada at firstname.lastname@example.org or 525-8067.
Islands a possibility for 'Geisha'
Benita Brazier, Maui film commissioner, said a Red Wagon Productions/Sony film entitled "Memoirs for a Geisha," produced by Lucy Fisher and Doug Wick, has been looking at local sites for possible filming to start in September.
Fisher's credits include "Win a Date With Tad Hamilton," "Peter Pan" and "Stuart Little 2." Wick has also worked on "Stuart" and "Peter" as well as "Gladiator."
"It looks attractive hopefully it will happen," said Brazier of "Geisha." "The good thing is that it's an all-Asian cast which means there would be some local hires."
And those titles bandied about for the past two years the film versions of TV shows "Hawaii Five-O" and "Magnum P.I." are still on the stove burner, as is The Rock's "Kamehameha."
"I know The Rock is still committed to do 'Kamehameha,' but he wasn't ready as an actor to do his absolute best to give it the justice it deserves," said Walea L. Constantinau, Honolulu film commissioner. "The level of respect is tremendous, and the production is in movement; when the time is right, things will heat up."