‘You May Not Kiss The Bride’ Film Has That Local Touch

Linda Dela Cruz
Wednesday - August 05, 2009
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Hawaii Kai actor Howard Bishop gets into character as Agent Myers in ‘You May Not Kiss the Bride.’ Photo by E.Y. Yanagi.

Helicopter scenes and water stunts are all part of the local film You May Not Kiss The Bride, which tracks a Croatian mobster as he tries to arrange U.S. citizenship for his daughter by setting her up with a American photographer. (Agents are supposed to kidnap her while on her honeymoon.)

Hawaii Film Partners of Hawaii Kai used local actors and crew for its first feature romantic comedy. The project started in March and was finished in five weeks, during which time it turned Oahu into Chicago and Tahiti.

Familiar on-screen faces are Willie K, Tia Carrere, TV weather anchor Malika Dudley and renowned waterman Brian Keaulana.

Dedicated to stimulating the state’s film industry are owner/producers Rann and Gina Watumull and David Jackson and Shauna Shapiro Jackson.

“We looked for years to find a good movie project to do,” explained Rann Watumull about the film, which is pending release. “Since we couldn’t find one we decided to help create it.”

So they invited Rob Hedden to collaborate on writing the script, which Hawaii Film Partners now owns after two years of work. Hedden also directed the comedy.

“Sometimes when we were doing a scene, all of us might laugh out loud so hard that we ruin a take,” recalled Watumull. “We are thrilled with what came out. Our actors did a wonderful job. The chemistry between them was great. As for the production quality - when people see it, it looks like a $30 million movie, but it was much less than that. “

The film has several Hawaii Kai residents on board. * William “Chico” Powell, who was the film’s accountant, knows along with the Watumulls all too well the importance of stirring up the local film industry.“If we are trying to build our industry from within, we need these independent projects to build our workforce and infrastructure for ourselves rather than relying on the big machine to come in,” he said. * Angela Laprete, production supervisor, organized a welcome party for cast and crew and coordinated logistics, such as insurance, deals with airlines and hotels, and lining up Paradise Helicopter to assist with a critical scene.

“Everyone was super nice,” she recalled. “It was a lot of fun!”

A film industry veteran, Laprete is vice president of the board for the Hawaii International Film Festival, the Film and Video Association, and she throws VIP parties for Tom Moffatt. She’s worked on Indiana Jones, Into the Blue Part 2, The Reef and Princess Kaiulani. * Actor Howard Bishop portrays Agent Myers opposite actor Kevin Dunn, who is another agent. “It was the best experience I’ve had on any project in over 30 years,”

Bishop said. “I was really happy that they let a local actor do a sizable role ‘cause most production companies won’t. It was a family feel-good environment.

“This had a sense of community and family because we started with opening day at Outrigger Canoe Club where we had lunch and did a read-through. It’s rare that we get to do that - meet each other and spend time talking to each other, doing other things than just being on the set doing the show. There was a little drama, and a kahu did a blessing. It was very refreshing. It has a lot to do with the Watumulls and the director. I felt good about going to work every day.”

Bishop also plays a salesman in the McDonald’s commercial where two bushy-haired teens are gulping down french fries inside a car, which turns out to be parked in a dealer’s showroom. It’s a role Bishop plays in real life; he’s been leasing and selling Mercedes Benz for 15 years, though he mastered in acting and is in the Screen Actors Guild. * Mike Sua was the film’s special effects coordinator, and still other East Oahu residents were in fight scenes with a helicopter at Bamboo Ridge, by Halona Blowhole, the cliffs near Eternity Beach, Hy’s Restaurant and a base camp at Sandy Beach.

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