Q and A

In its 26th year, PNM adds a roster of film production sessions.

Pacific New Media: Stealth Success on Film

PNM’s director discusses the pioneering group’s new series of seminars with local moviemaking pros


What’s new this year?

Considering the recent amazing changes in technology, we’re giving a series of evening seminars by local craftspersons, eight in all. Take only one … or the whole series. It’s called, as it originally was, “Elements of Film and Video Production.” (6/19–8/14, 6:30-9pm, UHM Krauss Hall.)

These are people who’ve studied and, in some cases, mastered the new technologies, and who have learned that it is now possible to be moviemakers here in Hawaii in ways that were never possible before. And these are practitioners who know the new cutting edges.

Each evening one craftsperson will speak, and there’ll be a Q&A afterwards.

Who are these folks?

It’s a good professional lineup: Week 1 features Renee Conair Sensano [who] has a quarter-century of experience, most recently as a Production Supervisor (The Descendants, Battleship, et al.) A USC graduate, a stellar group of large companies. She’ll discuss both new equipment and new personnel for film/video producing.

On June 26, we’ll have James Sereno on directing. Sereno has his own production company, Kinetic, and his latest feature film was Broken Paradise. He has made outstanding short films as well. He’ll talk about all the hats directors must wear, and why.

The third week features screenwriter Brian Watanabe, with an overview of structure, creating memorable characters and the script-to-screen process. His best-known film is the cult hit Endgame, and he’s worked for Fox and Sony.

On July l7, we’ll have Shawn Hiatt, a director of photography. Today’s film/video industry is very different from when I began in l988. Now everyone can have access to some form of camera system. The format doesn’t matter as much–the film basics are still the same. We need to tell our stories with vivid images.

On July 24, we’ll have John Fielden, sound engineer with 30 years’ experience. He’s written two terrific books: Roll Sound and A Videographer’s Audio Handbook. Sound is one of the biggest bugaboos in production … his practical advice helps clear the air.

Longtime film editor Jay Evans is next in our lineup. A senior editor at Pacific Focus since 1985, he has had his work recognized by hundreds of award-givers. He’s … vice-president of Creative Services, serving national and international clients.

On Week 7, we have “Pre and Post-Production Planning,” with Kimberlee Bassford, documentarian (Patsy Mink: Ahead of the Majority and the PBS series The Meaning of Food). She has her own production company in Honolulu called Making Waves.

Our final entry, on Aug. l4, will be “Marketing and Distribution” with Gerard Elmore, a local director/writer/producer whose feature film All for Melissa underwent the marketing and distribution wars. He’ll discuss changes in the system, and how an intimate knowledge of such can help young filmmakers.

Your hopes for the future?

We can now have a full-fledged film community here, with no one having to leave Hawaii in order to become a moviemaker. We hope we’ve been and will continue to be in the forefront of that movement.