Student Spotlight: Laura Butler Shines with the Stars of Hawai‘i 5-0

Communications major Laura Butler produces her own ticket to Hawai‘i by creating an internship with television show Hawai‘i 5-0.

Home School: Ithaca College in Ithaca, NY

Home Town: Ho-Ho-Kus, NJ

Favorite UHM Class: Hawaiian Studies. I’m learning different things and studying a culture I didn’t know anything about before.

Favorite Form of Social Media: Twitter; you can pass a lot of time on it!

What’s on your iPod? Maroon 5, Broadway musicals, and Demi Lovato, Apollo Run, OneRepublic

What one word would you use to describe yourself? Determined

What one word would your friends use to describe you? Busy!

Describe your top accomplishment: I worked on “DJ3K”, the documentary about New York Yankees Derek Jeter’s 3,000th hit. I was 18 years old and 2 days out of high school when I began the job. Since I knew about the technology that they were using on the production, I became involved with managing the content coming off the memory cards, for the documentary and even received a credit on HBO. The show was nominated for an Emmy. (Editor’s note: click this link to view “DJ3K”.)

Describe your internship with Hawai‘i 5-0: I’ve always been a fan of the show, and I’m also very interested in TV production. So I decided to think of a way to get an internship on the show and come to Hawai‘i. I researched and discovered how film students at UHM become interns. I realized that wouldn’t work for me because I am a communications major. Later after more research I discovered I had a connection to the show through an alumnus from Ithaca. After more research and perseverance I was able to craft an internship within the wardrobe department. In fact, I am the only intern who specializes in wardrobe.

The back of the on-set chairs the actors sit in during the break

The back of the on-set chairs the actors sit in during the break

What are your duties? There is quite a range of duties. I sort the stock of clothes worn on the show, help with paper work, shadow and help the set dressers, help pull cloths to dress extras, and even help “age” clothes to make them look like the actor went through a particular experience, like getting shot! I can easily spend 10 hours on set. I enjoy it very much since the environment is very open and kind. I feel ok asking questions, but also know when not to.

The stock where all the clothes are kept and pulled from when needing to dress extras.

The stock where all the clothes are kept and pulled from when needing to dress extras.

What have you learned through your internship? I’ve learned what works and what doesn’t wok in communicating with various departments within the production. I’ve learned how easily things can slip through the cracks without good communication. Also, I’ve seen how important it is to balance controlling things and letting them happen on their own, trusting the people and situations involved. Lastly, I’ve learned that one must have quick problem solving skills in this business!

Original Five-0 stage where many of the interior scenes of McGarrett’s house and the medical/lab scenes are currently filmed.

Original Five-0 stage where many of the interior scenes of McGarrett’s house and the medical/lab scenes are currently filmed.

 

What’s Next? I plan to graduate from Ithaca and get a job in production.

Dream Job: Producer of a hit TV show.

Craziest Ambition: My craziest ambition is the same as my dream job and my hopes for the future! Becoming a producer is really tough!

Favorite Movie: Right now it’s Frozen.

Favorite TV Show: Hawai‘i Five-0, of course. But also NCIS, Royal Pains, and Intelligence.

The Reality Show I’d Go On: The Voice. I like to sing!

Fun Fact: I play the guitar.

If I’m cooking we’re having: Chicken Parm. I’m the only one in my family who can make it.

Favorite Thing to Do in Hawai‘i: Go to the beach

Favorite Local Food: Fish! The on-set catering always has delicious fresh fish!

Favorite Hawai‘i Place: The North Shore. It’s a great place to go to get away from all the excitement of town. The North Shore is calm and relaxing and has a small town feel to it.

Favorite Hawai‘i Tradition: Lei-giving. After you wear the lei, you can hang it in your room, and it makes the room smell wonderful.

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