Monday, February 1, 2010

A LOST evening in Waikiki

Living in Hawaii has its perks. The 50th state has events happening all the time. Some times it's local and other times it's on a national or even world wide state. This past weekend was one of those times when one of those world wide events happened.

The TV series LOST has been filming on O'ahu since the series started in 2004. My understanding is that all but a handful of scenes have been done here on O'ahu. Saturday night, January 30, 2010 ABC held the premiere of the final season at the Sunset on the Beach event in Waikiki.

There's been a lot of hype about this TV show and it's gained fans from all over the world. Many of whom flown from all over the world to experience this event. Luckily from my Apt in Paradise to the premiere site is only 1.5 miles as the crow flies. I hopped on the number four bus and was there in 15 minutes.

Living in Honolulu often time as I was travelling I'd see the production trucks some where. It might be in Downtown Honolulu or at the Hawaii Convention Center. It was always exciting to see them and with the advent of Twitter, Plurk and Facebook, being able to tweet out LOST is filming at such and such location. Watching the show and being able to spot locations added more excitement. Looking at a location and seeing how they might have changed it slightly to represent another location somewhere in the world added still another dimension. It's been a fun ride spotting locations.

Anticipation has been building for the closure of LOST for some time. Since Damon Linderloff and Carlton Cuse got the number of remaining episodes that ABC and their parent company Disney were going to allow, the timer started. They now knew what they had to do in order to complete the series in the time allowed. At first you would put it out of your mind, but on Saturday it hit a high point.

People were on the beach all day getting ready for the show that night. Chairs were set up in a reserved VIP area and then there was the open sand. I saw tweets that said people were already set up prior to 8AM. The day started a bit overcast, but by the time I got there it had pretty well cleared up. By the time the stars started to arrive at 5pm, it was beautiful with some clouds and the sun shining through. There was a little bit of a breeze and off shore a catamaran, and a couple of sail boats were observing the festivities as they bobbed up and down in the waves.

One by one the stars arrived to cheers from the crowd. It was funny to hear people going "who's that?" Calls to the stars by their real names and their characters names rang out to try to get their attention. My location was near the hospitality tent, but not along the main path. Some of the stars came over to our side so we could get shots. Michael Emerson (Benjamin Linus) and his wife Carrie Preston who were one of first to arrive came over and stood for shots. Naveen Andrews (Sayid) stopped off at the hospitality tent for a smoke. He then came over a little later and held his sun glasses, cigarettes and lighter behind his back as he got right up to the barricade to take photos with and sign autographs with fans. Terry O'Quinn (John Locke) even came over to one fan, took off his lei and placed it over her head. Some of the stars just rushed back and forth between the back of the stage and the hospitality tent where one of the handlers had them doing what looked like signing t-shirts.

As the sun was setting the stars gathered up by the stage and screen getting ready for introductions. Stephen McPherson President of ABC Entertainment along with Damon and Carlton took the stage to make introductions. In addition to those already mentioned, Matthew Fox, Evangeline Lily, Henry Ian Cusick, Daniel Dae Kim, Emily De Ravine, Harold Parrineau, Jorge Garcia, Yujin Kim, Nestor Carbonell, Josh Hollaway, Jeff Fahey, and Ken Leung all took their place on the stage and took their bows to the cheers and clapping of the fans. After a couple of commercials they got everyone caught up with the series by playing Everything you need to know about LOST in 8:15. Then the main event, the first hour of the two hour premiere with NO commercials! All I'm going to say was *GREAT*!

After the main event was over people were scrambling to get a commemorative T-shirt. By filling out an evaluation of the episode there was a tent where you could redeem the eval for a white t-shirt. As the next episode of Modern Family played on the screen thousands of people crowded around the half dozen or so people in the tent. They had enough for everyone so there was no fighting pushing or shoving. It was very calm.

Let me say right here that if you're reading this and you made the trip to O'ahu to see the premiere, Mahalo nui! Thank you for taking time out of your schedule to visit us here. We hope that you had a great experience and will come back again. You'll need to come back and take a tour to see new locations that were used for the sixth and final season!

I would expect that locally, there will be two more times when there will be a lot of LOST activity in the news. First will be the last day of filming. When they make the call "That's a wrap" bringing the final scene to a close it will probably be all over the local media. The second would be when the final show airs sometime in May. I expect this event to play out on a world wide scale. Who knows, maybe they'll do a Sunset on the Beach on a Tuesday for the last episode. Here's hoping!