This year’s Maui Film Festival includes six hours worth of free—yes, free—workshops on filmmaking. Organized by Maui Film Commissioner Benita Brazier, who’s worked as a script supervisor on dozens of films including Mannequin, Great Balls of Fire!, Never Been Kissed as well as both Big Momma’s House and Big Momma’s House 2, the free—there’s that word again—workshops will take place at the Wailea Marriott and feature big Hollywood movers and shakers.
“Most of them are people I’ve worked with in my previous life,” Brazier said. “The most difficult thing was scheduling. These people are independent people, and when something comes up, they have to go.”
The first three-hour-long workshops take place on Thursday, June 14. The first, titled simply “The Studio,” explains the role of the big studio in movie financing and management. It features Warner Premiere Vice President Jon Kuyper, who learned production management from Roger Corman, the legendary B-movie producer.
Then Monica Levinson, who produced the wonderfully sadistic Borat: Cultural Learnings of America for Make Benefit Glorious Nation of Kazakhstan as well as Zoolander, Dodgeball and some other flicks, will talk about how producers go about getting a picture made.
Thursday’s workshops end with a discussion on the role of the director. This talk features Betty Thomas (Private Parts, The Brady Bunch Movie, Dr. Doolittle, I Spy) and Darius Shamir, who shot the film The Shimmering—adapted from a Keola Beamer short story—on Maui, which he premiered at the Hawai‘i International Film Festival.
Friday’s workshops begin with “The Location Manager,” a look at the guy who decides where movie filming actually takes place. Val Kim, the location manager for National Treasure, Batman 3 & 4, Jurassic Park 3 and the last two Pirates of the Caribbean pictures will head this one.
The penultimate workshop deals with film composition. Richard Gibbs, who’s scored pictures ranging from Say Anything to Queen of the Damned to The Simpsons TV show, runs this one.
A combo talk dealing with visual effects and digital media ends the series. This one features Jeff Barnes, who did effects for King Kong, Snakes on a Plane, Spider-Man 3 and Pan’s Labyrinth, and Will Kendall, who produces Battlestar Galactica webisodes.
“My main focus is to educate,” Brazier said. “Hopefully we can educate people interested in films about what it takes to make movies. It’s always nice to talk to celebrities, but these are the behind-the-scenes people—the unsung heroes—who make up the backbone of making movies.”
Did I mention all the above talks are free? The workshops run from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. on June 14 and June 15 in the Lokelani III room at the Wailea Marriott. MTW