‘LOST’ by the Sea
SPOILER ALERT! Thanks to the talented ‘LOST’ production crew, an otherwise unremarkable corner of Honolulu was once again transformed into an exotic, international location. This morning they turned up at the Keehi Boat Harbor on Sand Island, a largely industrial area in the flightpath of Honolulu International Airport, and built a little Southeast Asian market on a small patch of sand.
Soon enough, the seaside village was bustling with buyers and sellers, kids and chickens. The effects crew added to the ambiance with smoke. Much of the shooting was “hurry up and wait,” however, as takes were frequently delayed or aborted due to noise. One moment, a jumbo jet was arcing overhead. The next, a large rumbling trawler was floating past. Locals using the adjacent boat ramp and washing their boats and motors in the parking lot also disrupted work.
When action was called, Henry Ian Cusick raced into the heart of the bustling marketplace. Desmond was out of breath, sweaty, wearing an unbuttoned maroon paisley shirt rolled up to his elbows, light khaki pants, and blue canvas shoes. He was clutching a piece of paper, reading it, then scanning the crowd frantically. He called out a name, over and over, stopping and saying it to perplexed faces.
He was looking for someone, but losing hope.
Try as I might, I couldn’t make out the first name. Althea? Theone? Was it a man, a woman, a child? From context, I’d guess it was a male name. But the last name was clear as day: Salonga.
Between takes, hair and makeup sprayed down Cusick’s shirt, face and chest with water, but not all the sweat was fake. He passed the time with a jumprope, jumping briskly while the director gave him advice on how to handle the scene.
One of the women lurking in the shade beside me said her friends’ kids were background extras, and pointed the boys out when they emerged in pursuit of some chickens. She said the scene was set in the Philippines. She wasn’t a fan of the show and had no idea what she was watching. Still, I asked her who Desmond was looking for.
“I have no idea,” she said. “His son?”
I almost gasped. But then I realized that — until I’d pointed out who Henry Ian Cusick was — she also thought his stand-in was the TV star.
She also said that the man who brought the chickens mentioned that there’d be more animals at a scene later in the day in Waikiki. And sure enough, a second location shoot was being set up at the Ala Wai Yacht Harbor. The crew was sequestered at the end of a pier, and it wasn’t clear whether the scene was being set on the pier, or on a boat.
It was clear, though, that filming wasn’t going to start until well after dark.
See all my photos here.