Hawaii Film Blog

Thursday, September 22, 2005

Paranoia + Hard Work + Ratings = "Lost"

This week's Honolulu Weekly features a cover story by Becky Maltby on the paranoia that pervades through the production ranks of "Lost." The Weekly puts its stories online a week after they're published offline, so here are some excerpts while you wait:

  • Are we paranoid? No more than anyone on the Lost payroll...."I'm really pissed off," [Lost's publicist] snapped over the phone from L.A., after hearing that I had interviewed two people from the Lost crew without her permission.... "This is why I hate the local press. You guys don't listen," she continued. "And the wrong information gets printed. Everything you read in the Star-Bulletin is wrong!"
  • I explained to her that the article was about daily work life on the set....I didn't want to find out what's in the hatch, I just wanted to talk to a gaffer, best boy, maybe a dolly grip... "Those people are not media trained!" [the publicist] retorted.
  • Despite [the on-site producer's] alleged training in media relations, her defensive wall comes across as fairly hostile. A heavy silence follows the question: Do you want the show to stay in Hawai'i? "Well we wouldn't be here if we didn't want it to stay here," she finally blurts. When questioned further on the subject there is another long pause. "It sounds to me like you're digging for a lot of dirt."
  • So why all the Woodward-and-Berstein treatment? It all comes to keeping the season plot secret...

Maltby's article then goes on to feature 3 crew members: Local residents Doug Olivares (camera operator) and Joyce McCarthy (2nd 2nd assistant director), and L.A. resident Steve LaPorte (make-up dept. head). Each is excited to be part of such a hit show, but each acknowledges that there is a lot of hard work and long hours that go into making it, much like any film or TV production:

  • Doug Olivares says, "To outsiders, Hollywood is so glamourous and they go ga-ga when they see actors.... It's not as romantic as people think. Sometimes you have to drive to the North Shore and then back home after wrap, people fall asleep at the wheel--there are those issues. But it's nice to have a hit here again. It employs people. We get our paycheck, we go out and buy from vendors and the production company buys things from vendors--services and goods--and we're paying taxes on it, so that all helps the economy."
  • Joyce McCarthy says: "I'm always working.... It's very weird because you don't participate in everyday life and you try to get everything done on the weekends."
  • Steve LaPorte says: "[The show] requires a lot of film-qualify work, labor-intensive. Some people think it's just a show about dirt and sunblock and it's really a lot more than that."

All that hard work and paranoia has paid off: yesterday, the show's season premiere garnered its highest-ever ratings, with 23.1 million people tuning in.

>> The Lost Files: What’s it like to work on the set of the most popular—and secretive—show on television? [Hnl Weekly, 9/21-27/05] (check back next week for direct link to article)
>> ABC's 'Lost' finds big ratings in Wednesday debut [Reuters/Hollywood Reporter, 9/22/05]

>> "Lost"'s Wet Premiere
Speaking of Blogs...
Musings on "Best of Honolulu 2005"
Tim Ryan, Local Scoopmeister
>> The Glamourous Film Industry (+ the People in it)

Like this post? Be social & share it:
digg   Reddit   del.icio.us   NewsVine   Technorati