Okay, so the title is a shameless variation on the title of the thread Jazzaloha started a while ago regarding how authentic The Descendants was in terms of getting Hawaii right.
Well, those of you who read the thread know my opinion on this matter. My opinion was that the film itself wasn’t particularly outstanding especially with what I felt was a tacked on didactic speech by George Clooney’s character about the land belonging to Native Hawaiians. I also found it frustrating—even though more on a meta-analytical sense than just with the film itself—that the typical Hollywood portrayals of Honolulu and Hawaii almost never dig underneath the surface to show all of the panoply of human experiences that actually takes place here in the islands.
Nobody ever hears about how Honolulu might be the least affordable place in America—it has just about the highest cost of living and rent, yet its wages don’t approach those of other expensive places like NYC and the Bay Area. The fact that there is an active Native Hawaiian independence movement never gets mentioned. In fact, even most progressive Americans—with their fashionable Free Tibet bumper stickers and all—are woefully under-educated about the illegal annexation of Hawaii and the continuing occupation. The hula, a dance and a ritual of immense spiritual importance to the Hawaiian people, has often been reduced to a part of kitschy tourist dinner shows and so on. The fact that the Islands are one of the methamphetamine capitals of the world is never talked about either.
Well, it has long been a dream of mine to document the wide ranging human experiences in Honolulu and Hawaii. And even though I still find myself asking if I am prepared for all of the challenges of making a feature documentary, I have actually started a documentary film project. The title of my feature documentary is KANAKA. Kanaka is a Hawaiian word that originally means a person, a man, the human race, and so on. It has, over the years, come to have somewhat of a negative connotation as well, as it became a slur against people of Hawaiian descent. Of course, I am using it in the original sense of the word as my documentary will strive to chronicle the human experience here in the islands.
So yes, I do have an Indiegogo campaign going on. Many people from this site have already donated to the project. But since there does seem to be some interest in seeing the Hawaii beyond what we see on TV shows and in travel brochures, and since I can use the financial help, I’m asking for your support.
That is the pre-production trailer. And as those of you who have interacted with me on this site or who have followed some of my posted thoughts already might guess, this isn’t going to be a conventional documentary that is expository and presents facts. It’ll be more experimental and it’ll focus on presenting (hopefully) what Werner Herzog has called moments of “the ecstatic truth”.
And this is the Indiegogo page where you can pledge support for the project.
Since I have been outspoken about cinema in general, I won’t begrudge anyone for watching the trailer and criticizing it. I am already prepared to face the fact that many people will not like this film. I can’t even make any grand promises about the quality of the film. But I do ask that the members of this site—as cinephiles who want to see more than the cliche commercial films out there—consider the intent of independent filmmakers like myself. However this film might turn out, it is imperative for us to support projects like this. Film projects that are truly independent and daring. Because even if my film turns out to be shit, continuous support of such endeavors will lead to some changes in the landscape of cinema.
So please take the 5 minutes or so it might take you to watch the trailer and to read the Indiegogo campaign. and please donate if you can. If you find the project worthwhile but can’t donate, then please help spread the word.
And when you support this project, you are not only supporting me but the other two principal member sof the filmmaking team—Tobias Morgan who will be doing the doing the sound and music and JP Schmidt who will be doing the cinematography. MUBI regulars already know what good talented people these two happen to be. And they are both helping produce the film as well.
And as if all of this groveling isn’t enough, I’ve even made a pitch video of myself groveling for money. As embarrassing as it is, I’m even going to post that on here.
You can also see wonderful video updates from Tobias and JP when you click on the “gallery” tab on the Indiegogo campaign page. Thanks for taking the time out to read this post.
As a long-time fan of you as a person I can’t wait to see what you have and will capture with this project. You know you have my support, financially and otherwise.
And I encourage all of you to look into this and support it if you can, with any donation you can make. Five bucks, even. Don’t buy a latte today—help a filmmaker. One who I think has great potential, and judging from the teaser, one who has something very interesting to say that I think we should experience.
hey thanks for that Blue, good on you for making a personal appeal. You’re so cute in that hat!! I gave ♥
oh and I love your trailer, that opening through the trees is beautiful (as you can see on my profile I love trees) also am quite ignorant about Honolulu – it’s a far off holiday destination in my mind, that rich folk visit and that I will probably never see (unless I win lotto in fifteen minutes:) so looking forward to the finished product
“this isn’t going to be a conventional documentary that is expository and presents facts.”
Proud to be kupuna. Good luck, Blue!
this sounds really cool! I can’t promise much but I should be able to donate something before the deadline. Good luck to you guys.
Meg, Mike S., Keldon, thank you for the support!
You’ve got my support Blue. And my money. Godspeed soldier.
Now this is a project I can (and will) support. The pre-production trailer was great, and your connection to this project and its meaning really got my attention.
All the support warms my heart. Thanks to everyone! Your words and donations mean a lot to all of us :)
The film sounds interesting. I wish you the best of luck on this.
very excited to see the final product. hope my little bit helps!
Thank you, Miasma, Bijoux, Jazz, and Brentos!
I will donate a bit in June, once I’ve got some finances sorted out.
The Indiegogo campaign for the project now stands at $3,261 with 18 days left.
Now is the time to get your final donations in. :) Please help true independent filmmaking!
Thank you for the support, all!
Amazing, I’m glad you posted the update blue. We’re so close to our goal! We could really use that final push from any and everyone! Every dollar helps! Great perks await.
Thank you EVERYONE who has donated and spread the word. A truly amazing feat.
First in person production meeting in t-minus eight days.
Thanks to everyone for making this possible! It’ll be a truly amazing project, no doubt.
Hey there, people. The Indiegogo campaign is at $4,666 with less than 4 days left to go. We need only $334 more to meet our goal of $5000 to make this film.
This is about as independent and personal as a film project gets. So please show your support for independent cinema. Thanks! And an extra thanks to those who have already shown us support by either donating or helping spread the word!
Yet another update! We now sit a mere $251 from our goal! Thanks to recent donations we keep inching our way to the end goal.
As an update on the film itself. . .
I (the film’s cinematographer and co-producer) landed in Honolulu just a few days ago and am officially settled into our production office where I will be living for the duration of filming over the next few months.
The gears are turning and we still need your help for that final push, to keep them as greased as they can be!
Thank you to everyone who has donated so far or even just spread the word of our crowd-funding — it all helps
donations can start at $1 and each level of donation has its own perk.
Less than 4 days, push. push. push.
Ah, this seems a very worthwhile project. I’ll take a further look.
Thank you to all who have supported this project, either financially or through word-of-mouth. We have achieved our goal of raising $5000 at Indiegog. In fact, we sit at $5749 now. But of course, that is the absolute minimum amount we felt we needed to do this. So if you’re still in the mood to support truly independent filmmaking, help us out. There are still over 48 hours left in the campaign!
Donovan’s Reef got Hawaii right.
retreats before Blue K cockpunches me