Student film crews collide with the real world

The glamorous interior of the surfwear shop got an extra shot of excitement this week.

The lights that highlighted products at Deja Vu were pushed into extra service as the video team from Chiefess Kamakahelei Middle School converged on the shop at Kukui Grove Shopping Center to carry out the filming of their assignment.

“We did the slipper shot on Monday,” Keila Carvalho, one of the student video operators said. “There were all these feet, and the slippers. It was so cool.”

That enthusiasm overflowed from their outing under the direction of video instructor and coach Kevin Matsunaga.

Earlier in the school year, the class was visited by Sara Miura, the marketing director for the family-run shop. She visited the class for the purpose of orienting them to do the holiday ad as well as the television ad that will run for Deja Vu in 2007.

Miura said the choice of using the student crew was based on the fact Deja Vu, although a family store, has strong appeal for young people. Additionally, Matsunaga was an employee prior to becoming a teacher.

During the filming that took place on Monday and Wednesday between 2 p.m. and 3 p.m., Miura was also on hand to assist the student videographers as well as coordinate the models for the filming.

“Most of these models are from families of our workers,” Miura said. “We use them because our offering is family-oriented and they’re family of our workers.”

Carvalho, Kapua Nahele, David Ochoco and Emily Post formed the student filming crew who split up as an advance team scouting angles for shots while one student worked with Matsunaga to operate the videocam.

“We shoot parts,” Carvalho said. “There are more students that will edit, put the segments to the script and add music.”

Nahele said her favorite part of the program is being part of the media crew.

“I want to be in charge of such a fun project,” Carvalho said. “It’s so much fun to be able to direct things so it comes out according to the script.”

As the excitement buzzed inside the store between models preparing for their shoot, customers shopping and the students filming, prospective shoppers were warned of the activity by “Filming in Progress” signs that were prominently posted at the two entrances to the store.

Working within the hour time frame in an operating business did present its share of problems for the videographers as Nahele and Carvalho tried to zoom in on Miura trying to sell a customer a swimsuit.

But the display shelves couldn’t be moved, sending the video operator to utilize the zoom lens on the camera. And just when the framing was correct, and the action perfect, a shopper walked in front of the camera.

Welcome to the real world.

Whether the signs served as warnings, or drew attention to the ongoing activity was debatable as other students cruising the mall peeked their heads in, commenting on the filming activity inside.

Miura said she is hoping the final tape would be ready by Nov. 21 in time for the big holiday sales campaign.

“We’re going to do a preview party once the tape is done,” Miura said. “Hopefully, it’ll be ready by Nov. 21st, or sooner. Once it’s ready, we’ll do a preview party at the school.”

For the students, their main concern was trying to squeeze in as much of the scripting as they could while being able to enjoy the experience.

That meant Carvalho and Nahele could don a stack of caps for a segment on headwear while letting the videocam run on its own, the viewfinder turned so they could monitor themselves.

“It feels real good to be in charge of something this much fun,” Carvalho said. “But the best part is that we’ve become best friends.”

• Dennis Fujimoto, photographer and staff writer, can be reached at 245-3681 (ext. 253) or dfujimoto@kauaipubco.com.

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