Drosd resigns film commissioner post

Kaua’i Film Commissioner Judy Drosd is resigning.

She expects to leave the County of Kaua’i’s Office of Economic Development, the agency that houses the Kaua’i Film Commission, by the end of the month.

Drosd took over the post just weeks prior to the Kaua’i location filming of Steven Spielberg’s mega-hit Jurassic Park, in the spring of 1992.

During her 10 years in the office the Kaua’i film industry has generated over $67 million within the Kaua’i economy, according to figures released by her office.

Kaua’i has hosted numerous major feature films that Drosd scouted locations for and helped in coordinating their production. The list includes Disney’s new hit animated film Lilo & Stitch, Kevin Costner’s thriller Dragonfly, Jurassic Park and its two sequels, the Disney animated film Dinosaur, Harrison Ford in Six Days/Seven Nights, the live action film Mighty Joe Young and Dustin Hoffman in Outbreak, as well as hundreds of television shows, commercials, videos, documentaries, and still photo projects.

Drosd said she will be pursuing other interests in the private sector, but isn’t moving into a new position immediately.

“I’m ready to do something different, I’m looking for new challenges,” Drosd said following her announcement. “It’s been extraordinary and a satisfying experience but it’s time to move on.”

Drosd served as vice-president of production at Home Box Office in Manhattan and spent 20 years in the film and television industry prior to coming to Kaua’i.

She said her future work won’t be limited to film projects, and she will stay based on Kaua’i. “I not leaving Kaua’i, I will be doing a lot of traveling, but this is definitely home.”

She said working with filmmakers on the many creative projects that have come to Kaua’i over the past ten years was a highlight for her.

Drosd said using digital technology to organize how Kaua’i supports filming productions on Kaua’i, and attracts filmmakers to the island for location filming, was another highlight. The film commission’s www.filmkauai.com Web site was created by Tsunami Marketing of Koloa has won awards from the Association of Film Commissioners International, rated as highly as Internet sites from major cities and international geographic regions.

“I’m most pleased about the way the county and state agencies have worked together to help filmmakers,” she said.

She also credited private sector businesses ranging from hotels to caterers to transportation companies, and individuals, who “always tried to do whatever is needed for productions.”

Drosd said by going out of their way to help out filmmakers, local residents and businesses have gained Kaua’i a great reputation in Hollywood as a prime location filming destination.

Her interest in digital media resulted in the staging of several international conferences on Kaua’i sponsored by the Kauai Institute for Communications Media, an organization incubated by the County of Kaua’i and the Kaua’i Economic Development Board. The conferences focused on contemporary issues in media, communications and new technologies and drew leading figures of the digital world including the special effects creators from George Lucas’ Industrial Light & Magic studio who created digital dinosaurs for Jurassic Park.

Her work has been recognized through awards from the Legislature and the Kaua’i Mayor’s Office, as well as film industry organizations.

Editor Chris Cook can be reached at mailto:ccook@pulitzer.net or 245-3681 (ext. 227).

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