Hawaii Film Blog

Monday, August 01, 2005

Culture Clash

Each time producers, directors, actors, and crew members from Hollywood or New York leave their respective centers of the universe to film on location, they often have to adapt to the location's local culture to make for a smooth shoot. This is certainly true of Hawaii, which boasts a unique local culture, including our very own eclectic cuisine and dialect (pidgin or Hawaiian Creole English).

Last year, Hawaii Business Magazine featured a great primer for doing business here called, "Local Style for LoLos." Among the advice given to the malihini (foreigner)--the bold parts only; the rest is my own editorializing:

  • No talk stink - Hawaii's smaller than NY or Hollywood, so there are less degrees of separation among people here.
  • Dress the part - Casual is key--this shouldn't be a problem with production folks. I think I've only seen a guy in a suit here once...ever.
  • Build relationships, then do deals - This involves "talking story" (shooting the breeze) before delving into dealmaking.
  • Come hungry - People here love to cook, eat, and bring food with them wherever they go, so waistlines, beware.
  • Don't confuse slow with incompetent - We do drive 50-55 mph on the freeway, but hey, speed kills!
  • Give back - Perhaps its our beautiful surroundings that inspire us to be more concerned with the welfare our immediate community.
  • Check your ego at the airport - I know this will be very, very hard for you Angelenos and New Yorkers (I can say this because I'm one of the latter), but please try. Trust me, it works much better this way.

But Hawaii's not so different--it's no Romania or South Africa. You can still use the currency in your wallet right now, sip your Jamba Juice, drive on the right side of the street, and chat on your usual cell phone, and there are bagels and pizza that are just as good as the New York stuff (well, almost).

>> Local Style For LoLos [Hawaii Business Magazine, Sept 2004]
>> Extra Credit - History Lesson:
The Hawaii Annexation Or "How to steal a Kingdom" [Asians in America Project, Aug 2004]

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