In January 2017, Laurie, Anne Misawa (DP) and Jay Hubert (2nd Camera/Sound) flew from Honolulu to the Big Island for a three-day shoot at Mauna Kea. Our student intern Hoku, a Native Hawaiian media maker from Miloliʻi, assisted as Sound PA, and we also had three volunteer helpers who live on the Big Island on hand as well. The primary purpose of the shoot was to document the week-long annual Palila Point Counts. This survey’s purpose is to approximate palila populations in Palila Critical Habitat on Mauna Kea, where about 40 volunteers participated.
We knew going into the shoot that this would be an important event to capture, as several of Hawaii’s bird experts would be on hand. During this shoot, we interviewed a new main character, Kalā Asing, Project Coordinator for the Mauna Kea Forest Restoration Project. Kalā is a Native Hawaiian conservationist from Waimea (on Hawaiʻi Island) with a background in Hawaiian Cultural Studies. He spoke very passionately about his dedication to bringing a Hawaiian perspective to conservation, which is a relatively new way of integrating natural resource management with science practices with indigenous knowledge. We interviewed Kalā, as well as several supporting characters, including Dr. Paul C. Banko, the premier Palila expert who works for USGS as a Wildlife Biologist, and Dr. Chris Farmer, the American Bird Conservancy Hawaii Program Director.