Hawaii Film Blog

Wednesday, August 17, 2005

Meet the Film Office: Sandi

Congrats to Sandi, who was just promoted to fill the position Sharon Clark vacated when she retired earlier this year. Sandi now occupies the film office's senior permanent specialist position, and is the primary steward for the state's film permit system, film studio, film office budget, film industry statistics, and contract administration. Learn more about this superwoman below:

Sandra Ichihara
Film Industry Development Specialist / Studio Coordinator
Email Sandi

What I Do: On busy days, I convince my state counterparts that film permit applications do not need to be submitted 30 days in advance, and that they really do need to drop everything they're doing to respond to them. On slow days, I think of ingenious ways to torture rude location managers and pissy producers.

But seriously, I respond to inquiries related to film permits and guide productions on location issues such as jurisdiction (state, county, federal or private), insurance required, and fees involved. I process film permit applications by reviewing them to ensure that all the necessary information is provided and to advise location managers of any possible conflicts or red flags. I then submit each application to the appropriate state agencies under whose jurisdiction the requested locations fall. During this approval process, I act as a liaison between these agencies and the location manager, helping to iron out any outstanding issues and problems. Once approved, I forward the permit to the location manager.

As part of my new responsibilities, I coordinate Hawaii Film Studio-related matters including responding to inquiries, conducting studio tours, drafting tenant leases, and discussing daily operations and maintenance issues with Tammy, the studio manager. I also often badger production coordinators and location managers for statistical information, and I review our office expenses to ensure that we deliver the best public service possible within our allocated budget.

Strangest Request: They're all strange, but I seem to remember the animal-related ones the best. Like for "George of the Jungle," the production asked that we keep and feed their elephant at the Hawaii Film Studio. This was right after Tyke, a circus elephant, went on an angry rampage through the streets of Honolulu, so I was pretty freaked out. But luckily, things went off without a hitch, just like they did when chimpanzees were flown in to create "atmosphere" for a commercial with a Tarzan-Jane theme. The production built a treehouse at a state park, and I was able to watch the chimps swinging from the vines and to interact with them...totally amazing experience. On a side note, the producer told me after the shoot that they would not have been able to get permission to build this tree house in a California state park.

Favorite Films: Top Gun, Harry Potter movies

Favorite Hawaii Film: 50 First Dates

Favorite TV Shows: CSI, Law and Order, ER, NCIS, West Wing

Favorite Hawaii TV Shows: Magnum P.I., Lost

Years at Film Office: Long enough that I remember when Jim Triplett was being trained by Randy Spangler. Since 1992 (started as Student Help).

Life Before the Film Office: Worked summers at Continental Air Micronesia Cargo and worked at Ocean Resources Branch prior to transferring to the Film Office. Received a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration and a Masters in Business Administration from Hawaii Pacific University.

Hobbies, Interests & Activities (besides film): Reading, Cardmaking, Hiking, Teaching religious education to pre-schoolers

Film Crew Position that Best Fits My Personality: Production Accountant

>> Meet the rest of the Hawaii Film Office

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