Local keiki framed in fashion shoot

WAIMEA — A photographer and coordinator for a Kaua’i photo shoot for a Japanese magazine found a vehicular prop in a county parking lot, and some willing Kaua’i keiki at Island School.

The international shoot features a crew from Europe, a photographer from Japan, two models — one from London and the other from Iceland — a coordinator from Maui, and the Kaua’i keiki. The scenery will combine with a beat-up Volkswagen van belonging to a new County of Kaua’i employee, explained Art Umezu, Kaua’i film commissioner in the county Office of Economic Development.

“It’s a global production,” Umezu said.

The visitors involved in the Do Family Magazine photo shoot have been conducting shoots at the Courtyard by Marriott Kauai at Waipouli Beach lu’au hale, Kealia Beach, Waimea Plantation Cottages, and other locales.

“It’s real exciting,” said Inanna Grimes, one of three of the Kaua’i children who was employed for the shoot that wrapped up Sunday at the Manager’s House at the Waimea Plantation Cottage.

“This is the first time I’ve done something like this, and it’s exciting to see how some of the professional models act,” Grimes said.

Hunter Bilbo and Jesse Voohies were the two male models selected for the shoot. Grimes pointed out that Bilbo is the brother of a classmate, Lana, who was going to be surprised when she found out that her brother was modeling alongside her.

“Yuki Mossman had a lot to do with them getting selected,” said Abby Lapetina, the mother of Voohies.

Lapetina patiently worked on a crochet piece as the two boys frolicked in the yard with a soccer ball while awaiting their turn in front of photographer Sato’s camera.

“They were at basketball practice (county 12 Under Gee Unit teams) at Kapahi Park when Yuki came and checked them out,” Lapetina said. “They’ve never done anything like this. This is their first time modeling.”

This is the first time the other models — Susie Mashford of London and Elin Jakobs of Iceland — visited Hawai’i. Both agreed that Hawai’i is very nice “when it doesn’t rain.”

The girls were caught in a Friday afternoon deluge and shooting had to be adjusted around the rain.

Jakobs, who is in her first year in modeling, decided she would try it for a year following her school in Iceland. Based out of Paris, Jakobs said, “You get to travel a lot.”

The crew, who got to know Sato on a trip to Paris, said it would be nice to have a project like this, and with a Japanese high fashion catalog scheduled to be released shortly, this was an ideal project.

The team includes Sato, who celebrated his 52nd birthday Saturday, a photographer’s assistant, Michael from Germany, a stylist Margot from Holland, and a makeup artist Elodie from France (all declined to give their last names).

Jessie Maejima of Maui Location Service worked with Umezu and Takashi Yamada of Kaua’i to coordinate the logistics of the project.

All told, they will stay on Kaua’i for 12 days, and between hotel rooms, rental vehicles, meals and other necessities, will likely end up spending between $65,000 and $75,000 on the island, Umezu said.

While it’s not a major motion picture shoot like “Jurassic Park,” the smaller shoots do add up, he pointed out.

Coming soon will be a British Broadcasting Corp. crew, and an animation-studios group, he said. Recently, a crew shooting a Saks Fifth Avenue catalog spent around $400,000 on the island, mostly for rooms at the Princeville Resort.

The international team is scheduled to leave Kaua’i today, and the three students have President’s Day off before returning to school Tuesday.

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