Friday, June 26, 2015

Hawaii Research Updates

Barring last minute indexing and proofreading on Flickers of Film, I've turned my summer attention back to the Hawai'i project. I spent last week in the Wisconsin Center for Film and Theater Research Archives at UW Madison. Here's some of the materials I've found (partly listing this out for my own reference later):

  • Various NBC memos from 1931 and 1932 about how to incorporate the promotion of Dole Pineapple into radio spots
  • A transcript from a 1951 episode of Now Hear This (military propaganda) called "Hawaii Rescue"
  • Transcript for a 1954 TV special on NBC called "Hawaii--the 49th State"
  • Correspondences (1958) concerning an industrial film made for Kaiser Aluminum called "Opening Night in Hawaii" by Gordon Mitchell
  • 1959 testimonies and other documents from a Civil Aeronautics Board hearing on the value of air travel to Hawaii from the Pacific Northwest
  • Many materials (1958-59) from NBC president Pat Weaver papers concerning the promotion of a real estate deal in Hawai'i called "Hawaii Kai" (?), including how to incorporate advertisements for said plan into media (Maverick TV show, Hawaiian Village in Honolulu, United Airlines involvement, McCann Erickson ad agency, etc.)
  • NBC general notes (1960) on what kinds of formats, plots, themes, etc., should be involved in half-hour filmed or taped shows set in Hawai'i
  • a listing of George Tahara's (producer) short-subject, non-theatrical Hawaii-themed films, circa 1960, complete with summary of film content
  • Correspondence (1960) between Tahara and Weaver concerning the use of footage from Riding the Big Surf in an unspecified TV ad (also reference to Michener show on ABC)
  • Writers Guild documents concerning a credit dispute between Hal Kanter and Dan Beaumont over who wrote what in Elvis' Blue Hawaii (1961)
  • Transcript for a 1962 episode of Keyhole called "The Hidden Hawaii" (overtones of MacCannell's "backstage" authenticity)
  • A massive assortment of materials (circa 1964) from Kirk Douglas' papers concerning the production of In Harm's Way (all-star WWII epic directed by Otto Preminger)
  • 1964 memo from Honolulu mayor's office, offering advice to MGM Studios on what it saw as a realistic depiction of life in Hawaiian politics--in regards to research for show about big city mayor
  • Script notes, press kit materials and Exhibitor promotional guides concerning producer Walter Mirisch's epic, Hawaii (1966) (some materials on the 1970 sequel, Hawaiians)
  • 1967 Writer's Guide for Hawaii Five-O
  • Script Notes and Honolulu Map (!) in files of H5-O scriptwriter Sy Salkowitz's papers
In the next several weeks, I'll be focused only on finishing a draft of the Hawaii Five-O chapter--looking at the show's cultural politics through the historical lenses of tourism, multiculturalism and militarism evolving at the time of its popularity in the late 1960s and 1970s. The introduction is done, I know more or less what I want to say, and I've spent the past two weeks compiling 20+ pages worth of historical research on the show, drawn from the archives as well as several historical databases. No reason I can't finally tidy this one up.

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