This local Maui movie has caused quite the buzz on the island in the past few months. Written by local Maui boy, Brian Kohne, its a gut busting comedy starring a bunch of Maui celebs and random people you see around town almost every day. Willie K and Eric Gilliom do a great job at being them..fun, local, and hilarious. If you have free time this weekend, the movie will have its debut at the Iao Theater. Thanks to Kainoa, on Friday and Saturday we’ll have a beer and wine garden open across the street from 4pm-9:30pm so come have fun night out with your pals or have an early Valentines Day date night! Cafe O Lei will be catering some ono food in there too..proceeds will go to Maui On Stage. After you see and fall in love with the movie, Maui Thing will also be selling Get a Job limited tshirts. Be sure to get one while they’re available! The movie is a must see..how often do you get to see a feature length movie written on Maui, filmed on Maui, edited on Maui, starring Maui folks? Talk about a “Maui Thing”….
I caught up with Brian in between his movie marketing and crazy soccer life and threw out some questions..here’s what I got:
What’s your favorite scene?
B: My favorite scene is when Laura waits for William at Mama’s Fish house anticipating a proposal – but William gets caught up fixing Merton’s mess – and doesn’t show up. She gets drunk and belligerent, and the Waiter tries to calm her. I love how Caroline Omine (Laura) played the scene – we truly feel her pain, yet are able to laugh openly at her. Funny stuff…
What did you find most challenging?
B: Each stage has it’s own series of unique challenge – Writing, Production, Editing, and now Marketing/Distribution. The hardest thing with projects of this size and complexity, is finding the will to keep working day after day despite the many uncertainties.
Did Stefan offer to be the drag queen or did it take some persuasion/bribes? (it was a great character)
B: He thought he was to be the Waiter, but when the cross dresser role was offered to him, he leapt into the heels with jubilance. Stefan is a gifted Producer/Writer/Director – but he is also a terrific actor. Some of the other roles he has played in his own films are equally as colorful… he’s just one funny dude on screen, that knows how to fling it when the camera rolls.
What inspired you and really motivated you to get this done?
B: It’s what I’ve always wanted to do – make independent films on Maui – and the time was right. We’d built a great body of music (Barefoot Natives), Willie, Eric and I had worked hard to build the characters over the years, and all we need was a story. Once the script was complete – we were not going to let anything stop us.
Do you have another one planned? Any inside scoop on that?
B: Yes. I’d like to be shooting another Maui based film by years end, “Brother’s Kuleana,” which takes place in the late seventies and is about the Hawaiian cultural reawakening… I wrote it six years ago when I first moved home from California. It’s not a farce like “Get A Job,” but it will be funny as I find our culture inherently amusing. But this one is more cultural, thrilling, spiritual. I’m doing a rewrite now, will start to seek funding, and hopefully Maui is ready to support our team for another effort. We can do better, and I am anxious to prove that.
Whats next for the movie?
B: Continue to work on a self distribution strategy in Hawaii, seek distribution paths in New Zealand, Australia, and Japan (among other places). Try to figure out how to get it theatrically to the displaced Hawaiian on the mainland. At some point it will be widely available on Netflix, on DVD, and the like. But we want to use this film to build an audience, to build a community of film goers, to prove that Hawaii people can make compelling films that we in Hawaii should support. Ultimately I would like to see Hawaii galvanize a self sustaining film industry in the islands – we should be able to do it. If we make good stories and the public gets in the habit of supporting our work – it could come about in a short period of time and help us to perpetuate culture (indigenous, contemporary, etc) using the most powerful art form/storytelling tool in history – the motion picture.
Whats your favorite memory about making this movie?
B: Willie K telling me how much fun he had making the film, and how profound his love for our team had become during production. I think there are a lot of great memories coming up the road for all of us as we share the work with the public- as a work of art it will have a life of it’s own. It’s going to be a lot of fun as folks develop their own relationship with the work/characters.
Whats your least favorite memory about making this movie?
B: Seeking funding. It’s frustrating, uncertain, and a tough time to be out their with a risky offer (film). I hope that over time the investment community will embrace our vision of creating a self sustaining industry and understand the big picture – if we take strides and do the work now – the financial rewards will come later. But more important than that is what a film industry can do for our community, our culture, our families. Anybody who has a child that is studying or working in the arts/media/ tv/film needs to recognize that until we achieve this bigger goal – our children will never be able to live, work, and thrive here at home. It took me 22 years from the time I moved to the mainland for college/work to move home – after I finally realized that a job would not be here unless I created it. That, I believe, is one of my Kuleanas… fortunaly I am surrounded by other does such as Willie, Eric, Stefan, Kathy… I’m not alone in this pursuit on behalf of future generations.
Words of wisdom for the young guns on Maui that want to get into the film industry?
B: Regardless where your interest lies at the moment – pursue your passion vigorously. We learn by doing – so do!
Do you think Kathy Collins mom should win an Oscar? She definitely needs some type of award…
B: She is so much fun in this film! It’s actually us that are rewarded by Yaemi Yogi – for she is in our lives, and an inspiration to us all. People in Hawaii are special, and we only need look around to recognize that. “Get A Job” celebrates our flaws and triumphs.
Lastly, how cool are the tshirts?! :)
B: Way super cool, as are all the great designs at Maui Thing. We are really excited to begin a marketing partnership with Maui Thing, and hope that over time we can grow our line of Movie apparel and merchandise to appeal to a wide spectrum of islanders and tourist alike. Scott Johnson of Dogtowne Design has done a wonderful job with the creation of our Key Art and Movie posters, and the Willie Character/Get A Job logo T-shirt is fantastic!
Click here to see the trailer and buy tickets. Tickets are $5 and $10 depending on the time and on sale at Maui Thing!