Another ‘LOST’ Film Snafu?

Early last month, Mynette Louie of the Hawaii Film Blog posted an official notice from the Hawaii Film Office about the inadvertent destruction of film from two Hawaii productions. I immediately e-mailed around trying to confirm that “LOST” was one of the productions affected, but — at least as far as lowly bloggers are concerned — no one wanted to talk.

The Honolulu Advertiser got the story a few days later (albeit mis-attributing Mynette). New TSA procedures and improper handling at the airport had meant hundreds of hours of work went down the drain, requiring costly reshoots to the tune of an estimated $200,000. Here’s state film commissioner Donne Dawson:

“This is the first time anything like this has happened… The issue has been addressed, and they have procedures in place to make sure it doesn’t happen again.”

But has it?

On Feb. 24, a tip from my friend Todd led me to St. Andrew’s Cathedral, where I watched “LOST” film a scene for the character of Desmond (played by Henry Ian Cusick). But I was surprised to get another tip a week later that they were back. As you can imagine, it’s unusual to do a full unit setup and takedown twice at the same location, especially a week apart (though “pickup shots” aren’t uncommon). Still, I didn’t think much of it.

LOSTA week later, I came across the “LOST” crew hard at work again, this time shooting a scene with Yunjin Kim (who plays the character of Sun) near Chinatown. Seeing her told me it was for the episode slated to air April 25. It seemed a bit late to be shooting for the season’s 18th episode, but, they’ve cut it shorter than that. Again, I didn’t think much of it.

But yesterday, Daniel Dae Kim (who plays Sun’s husband Jin) posted this update to his MySpace blog (emphasis added):

“This one was a tough one I have to say. After we finished shooting all of my flashback scenes, a few days later we found out that there was a problem with the film. After much debate and investigation, it was decided that the only solution was to go back and reshoot all of my scenes. ALL OF THEM. Not the greatest news for an actor – or anyone with the show – to hear. We were all really happy with the footage we got the first time, so to have to re-shoot was a little heartbreaking. On top of that, we had some heavy rains in Hawaii this week, so our outdoor work got delayed as well. Double whammy. I guess that’s how it goes sometimes when you’re filming in paradise, right?

this is definitely a different incident than the one reported by Mynette and picked up by the Advertiser (which couldn’t have occurred any later than the first week of February). Also, the Sun/Jin episode is scheduled to follow the Desmond episode (airing April 18). If Daniel Dae Kim’s scenes had to be redone, it seems quite likely Henry Ian Cusick’s return to St. Andrews was also a reshoot.

I suppose “a problem with the film” doesn’t mean X-rays are necessarily involved this time. But either way, something is definitely amiss here on “The Island.”

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