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The Honolulu Advertiser
Posted on: Friday, February 29, 2008

'Lost' going back into film action here on March 10

By Mike Gordon
Advertiser Staff Writer

Hawaii news photo - The Honolulu Advertiser

"Lost" has cut three new episodes out of its production schedule.

Advertiser library photo

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Julie Carlson, the extras casting director for "Lost," is looking for people of all ages who have a Middle Eastern or Arabic appearance to take part in the new episode that begins filming March 10. Casting for other extras also continues.

Mail or drop off photos soon, with name and phone number attached, at Lost Casting, 510 18th Ave., Honolulu, HI 96816.

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As writing for film and television resumes across Hollywood's post-strike landscape, production on "Lost" has fired up again in the Islands.

Although the writers' strike ended this month, the cast of castaways won't step in front of cameras until March 10 just 10 days before the scheduled air date of the last completed episode.

Filming stalled last fall when TV writers went on strike. That left ABC with just eight episodes of 16 planned for a season that started in January.

ABC now plans to film only five more episodes for this season, a network spokesman said. The new episodes begin airing April 24.

But that means fans must endure a four-week cliffhanger, beginning March 20. Then, when the show returns, it will air at 9 p.m. in Hawai'i, an hour later than its current time on KITV.

ABC said writers are hard at work in Hollywood and crew members began returning to work in Hawai'i this week.

The network employed 240 production crew members in Hawai'i when the strike started, and many are being brought back, ABC said.

It's good news for an industry that spent a record $200 million in Hawai'i last year.

While local film officials do not have numbers for the economic impact of the strike, or the economic effect of idling production crew members from "Lost," they are definitely happy the labor troubles are over, said Walea Constantinau, film commissioner in the Honolulu Film Office.

"It certainly made an impact to us, because we had such a big show," she said. "A lot of people who worked on that show felt it."

A small film being shot in Hawai'i during the 100-day strike softened the impact, putting a few people to work. "It wasn't a big stopgap, but it was something and in those instances, something is better than nothing," Constantinau said.

Hawai'i may have lost a shot at some TV activity because of the strike, the commissioner said. Typically, projects are approved in December and begin shooting pilots in February and March.

"I am sure there were missed opportunities," Constantinau said.

Reach Mike Gordon at mgordon@honoluluadvertiser.com.