Covering the ‘Hawaii Five-O’ premiere

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Monday’s “Hawaii Five-O” premiere at Sunset on the Beach was our first big editorial test.

It was, after all, a huge event with thousands of people (some estimate the crowd at 10,000) descending on Waikiki Beach to catch the show’s stars and be among the first in the world to see the pilot episode. Nonstop had to be there in a big way.

The first task: Secure media access to shoot the red carpet. In the past, with “Lost” events at Sunset on the Beach, the PR folks from ABC didn’t make this easy. But fortunately, getting access for John Garcia and Tracy Chan wasn’t a problem.

John, Tracy and Ed Morita came up with a plan. John would shoot both video and stills from the red carpet. Tracy would shoot party pics, as well as some red carpet. And Ed would shoot party pics and scene pics. Because our site is so multimedia driven, we focused on the photos and video.

So the night comes, and John, Ed and Tracy are all there early. By 4:30 p.m., John’s setting up his equipment to work the red carpet. Ed’s taking scene shots, and I’m at home, receiving snaps from John and Ed and adding them to a gallery on our main “Hawaii Five-0″ page. The gallery gets bigger and bigger. “More party pics, Ed,” I text him. He’s a bit reluctant to go up to strangers and ask them to pose, but as always, he goes for it and brings back terrific shots.

John, meanwhile, decides to live stream the red carpet entrances via UStream. All of a sudden it’s up on our page and with some promotion on Twitter, people start coming to watch.

The stars are doing there red carpet thing, and John and Tracy are snapping away. Pics are coming my way, along with a flurry of texts about what’s happening on the scene. The night keeps rolling; Tracy returns home to upload her shots; John adds his red carpet pics, then stays up for most of the night editing his video.

In retrospect, there are a few things we probably could have done differently to boost the coverage. Along with our team of three, I should have sent a reporter to the event to ask the stars questions as they made their way down the red carpet. This would have allowed us to have exclusive interviews on video. I also should have tried to get us access to the after-party at Nobu.

But all in all, I think our coverage was terrific. We were quick, innovative and comprehensive with just three people working a huge event. And you guys supported us in a big way, sending our traffic soaring. Tuesday — the day most people came to see our “Hawaii Five-0″ coverage — was our highest traffic day to date.

You can be assured that we’ll be there at Honolulu’s next mega event, maybe in an even bigger way.

Here’s our coverage of the “Hawaii Five-O” premiere:

Red carpet pics: 'Hawaii Five-O' premiere

— Photo by Tracy Chan

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'Hawaii Five-O' premiere @ Sunset on the Beach

— Photo by Ed Morita

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Scenes from the red carpet

Video by John Garcia

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New media FTW. You guys had video (live no less!) and pictures up before ANYONE else by a mile. I agree that it might have helped to have someone with a mike going "ALEXALEXALEX" to get the stars' attention for interviews. Anyway big mahalos to all of you guys for your hard work. I see nothing but good things ahead for this site. "I like this ship, it's exciting!"--Montgomery Scott


Yes some people don't understand the background setup for any event. It takes manpower, testing, patience, testing, setup, testing, more testing... you get my point. I know everyone had to set up well in advance of the arrival. Whether it be onsite or back at "home base".

Hats off to you all!

nonstopmari moderator

for a website that was not in existence a month ago, this was unbelievable. loved the livestream and the constantly updating site content. and if i'd been the reporter sticking the mic in all the stars' faces, my first question wd have been what's ur fave food discovery since u came to hawaii? and 2nd wd have been what's too strange to eat?

johngarcia moderator

Whoa! let's change that photo out. heh I look like I'm going to eat someone! great write-up, Diane! :)


I was there, under the hot Hawaiian sun assigned to "watch Ed's stuff" as he went around to capture photos. After setting up our table against the barrier, I purchased each of us a bottle of water and I waited patiently. Some may not realize, but it's hard work covering an event this size with no air conditioning. Yet, when I saw Tracy pass by backstage capturing photos, John emerge from the red carpet, and Ed at the table to send the media -- they all had smiles on their faces. I am happy to be "Ed's Assistant" any day!