Tune your dial to ABC tonight, March 23rd, to see Spencer (a Turtle Bay Resort Surf Instructor) fall “Off the Map”
Unlike the likes of LOST, Cougar Town, Pirates of the Caribbean IV, Enlightened and Soul Surfer, all of which filmed on property of Turtle Bay Resort, ABC’s new show Off the Map has not used any of the resort’s jungles or lands in filming its first season. However, that does not mean that there is no connection between Off the Map and Turtle Bay Resort. Quite the opposite.
Turtle Bay Resort works extensively with two schools in its immediate vicinity, Kahuku High School and Brigham Young University Hawaii. The resort’s staff has taught courses at both institutions, has worked with internships and partnerships with both institutions and has worked with career opportunities with both. So how does Turtle Bay Resort tie in with Off the Map?
Take a look at Cody Mafatu Easterbrook, a graduate of Brigham Young University Hawaii with a degree in international culture studies and communications. Last fall, Cody wrote, produced, filmed and edited a made for television half hour feature on Turtle Bay Resort’s Seafood Festival and in last week’s episode of Off the Map he played a titled role as Ramirez, a young guard who reluctantly runs to the rescue to stop a bleeder when a doctor passes out during surgery. “I got a call to audition for the part on a Monday and I was in wardrobe and on set that very Friday! I learned that your life can change in an instant! So be prepared because in this industry you never know what will come your way!”
Cody is also grateful for the work that allows him to stay in Hawaii. “I think it is great that so many productions have come to call Hawaii home. Not only do they boost our local economy but they give Hawaii actors and crews the great opportunity to participate in the magic of Hollywood while living in their own island homes.”
And then there is Spencer Deavila. Spencer lives in the Kahuku/La’ie area and he attended Brigham Young University Hawaii. He is also a surf instructor at the Hans Hedemann Surf School at Turtle Bay Resort. He currently also works on Off the Map as stunt double and stand in for Actor Zack Gilford, who plays Dr. Tommy Fuller on the series. In the March 23rd episode he fell through a wooden scaffold.
Spencer attributes his experience on the show with teaching him how to work hard and enjoy life at the same time. “I have learned how to work 16 hour days and stay happy”, he said. He also feels that the show helps the Hawaiian economy as he sees many others, like himself, earning money while living local.
And then there is Joshua Aplaca, originally from Haleiwa and now living in La’ie. Joshua is just starting to attend Brigham Young University Hawaii. He has worked as a Photo Double and Background on Hawaii Five O, was an Extra on Cougar Town and is both Featured Background and an Extra on Off the Map.
Joshua appreciates the opportunity he has been given. “…So many people see the end product but never see what it takes to make filming. It really does take any army. I see more and more shows being filmed on the island. It’s a major increase not only for Hawaii financially but also its popularity as a tourist destination as viewers see these shows who have never been here.”
Finally take Kealohilani Wallace, a Kahuku High School Valedictorian, a graduate of Brigham Young University Hawaii in International Business with a Digital Media emphasis and a minor in Polynesian Studies and a Hau’ula resident. She worked as a “day player” on Off the Map as a Locations Assistant. She was also called twice to be an extra for Off the Map but was not able to work due to scheduling conflicts.
Kealohilani is also grateful for the opportunities she has been given from Off the Map. “This show was my way back into Locations. I got into locations with LOST, but then had to hop around different departments as a production assistant until Off the Map. This job got me on my desired career path doing Locations and I have been able to be hired as a Locations Assistant ever since.”
She is also a big supporter of filming in Hawaii. “I think it is impacting our economy in a very positive way. Every dollar that Off the Map spends while in Hawaii goes to benefit local businesses. And every local hire they acquire gives an opportunity to further that person’s experience. It is especially good for young people trying to break into the business. Many of my friends have been hired for either a better position than they have ever had before, or even given their first chance ever to work in this industry.”
If you have not checked out ABC’s Off the Map, do so today (it airs on Wednesdays). Check your local listings. Your viewership just might be what it takes to boost the rating enough to keep this show…and filming around Turtle Bay Resort…going for another season!